Teaching Dining Etiquette to Americans: Here Are the 20 Most Common Mistakes We’ve Seen

Dennis
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When it comes to dining etiquette, Americans are a unique bunch. Don’t get us wrong, we’ve seen almost everything in our quest to teach table manners. From the broad-shouldered steak lover who thinks forks are optional to the enthusiastic salad enthusiast who treats utensils like drumsticks, you’d be amazed at the culinary capers we’ve seen unfold.

So, buckle up, dear readers, and join an entertaining and enlightening journey through the 20 most common dining faux pas we’ve witnessed among our fellow Americans.

Using the Wrong Utensils

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Using the Wrong Utensils_Canva.com_© tomazl

We’ve all been there, staring at a table full of shiny silverware, wondering which one to use for the salad. Remember, start from the outside and work your way in.

Elbows On the Table

Teaching Dining Etiquette to Americans: Here Are the 20 Most Common Mistakes We’ve Seen
Elbows On the Table _Canva.com_middelveld

Despite what your grandmother told you, resting your wrists on the table’s edge is perfectly fine. Elbows, however? A big no-no.

Talking With Your Mouth Full

Teaching Dining Etiquette to Americans: Here Are the 20 Most Common Mistakes We
Mouth full_canva.com_ SLP_London

This is more than bad manners; it’s a potential health hazard. Always swallow before sharing your thoughts. Your dinner companions will thank you.

Reaching Across the Table for Food

Teaching Dining Etiquette to Americans: Here Are the 20 Most Common Mistakes We’ve Seen
Reaching for food_Canva.com_Robert Kneshke

Instead of showcasing your impressive wingspan, kindly ask the person closest to the dish to pass it to you. Anthony Liccione emphasizes, “Worse than talking with a mouthful, is gossiping with a mouthful!”

Starting to Eat Before Others

Teaching Dining Etiquette to Americans: Here Are the 20 Most Common Mistakes We’ve Seen
Starting to Eat Before Others_Canva.com_SrdjanPav

It’s tempting, we know. But wait for everyone to be served before digging in.

Using Your Phone at The Table

Teaching Dining Etiquette to Americans: Here Are the 20 Most Common Mistakes We’ve Seen
Using phone at the table_Canva.com_Dean Drobot

Nothing screams “bad manners” more than scrolling through Instagram while your dinner companion is trying to have a conversation with you. Put your phone away and engage in real-life socializing.

Placing Your Napkin On the Table

Teaching Dining Etiquette to Americans: Here Are the 20 Most Common Mistakes We’ve Seen
Napkin on the table_Canva_Miromiro

When in doubt, remember this simple rule – when you leave the table, place your napkin on your chair.

Chewing With Your Mouth Open

Teaching Dining Etiquette to Americans: Here Are the 20 Most Common Mistakes We’ve Seen
Chewing With Your Mouth Open_Canva_Madrolly

Not only is this distracting for others, but it’s also just plain gross. Keep those pearly whites covered while chewing.

Playing With Your Utensils

Teaching Dining Etiquette to Americans: Here Are the 20 Most Common Mistakes We’ve Seen
Playing With Your Utensils_Canva.com_ajr_Images

Twirling your fork, tapping your knife – all signs of boredom or impatience. Instead, engage in conversation with your dinner companions.

Not Trying New Foods

Teaching Dining Etiquette to Americans: Here Are the 20 Most Common Mistakes We’ve Seen
Not Trying New Foods_Canva.com_SrdjanPav

One of the most common dining faux pas we’ve noticed is the reluctance to try new foods. This unwritten rule of the dining world often goes ignored due to fear of the unknown or being stuck in a culinary comfort zone.

Life is too short for repetitive meals. Embrace unfamiliar dishes as palate adventures, discovering new favorites along the way.

Not Thanking The Host or Server

Teaching Dining Etiquette to Americans: Here Are the 20 Most Common Mistakes We’ve Seen
Not Thanking The Host or Server_Canva.com_SeventyFour

Show appreciation for your host’s hard work by thanking them for the meal. And always remember to tip your server.

Taking More Than You Can Eat

Teaching Dining Etiquette to Americans: Here Are the 20 Most Common Mistakes We’ve Seen
Taking More Than You Can Eat_canva.com_Abdone

It’s tempting to fill up your plate, but it’s wasteful and can also be disrespectful to the chef. Take what you know you can finish.

Cutting all Your Food at Once

Teaching Dining Etiquette to Americans: Here Are the 20 Most Common Mistakes We’ve Seen
Cutting all Your Food at Once_Canva.com_Karolina Grabowska

It may seem efficient, but this is not a race. Cut only the bites you plan on eating at that moment.

Drinking Before Making a Toast

Teaching Dining Etiquette to Americans: Here Are the 20 Most Common Mistakes We’ve Seen
Drinking Before Making a Toast _Canva.com_fizkes

In some cultures, making a toast before taking the first sip is customary. Follow your host’s lead on this one.

Using Your Utensils as Drumsticks

Teaching Dining Etiquette to Americans: Here Are the 20 Most Common Mistakes We’ve Seen
Using Your Utensils as Drumsticks_Canva.com_atlasstudio

This is not a concert, and your dinner table is not a stage. Put those utensils down between bites.

Not Offering to Share

Teaching Dining Etiquette to Americans: Here Are the 20 Most Common Mistakes We’ve Seen
Not Offering to Share_Canva.com_miodrag ignjatovic

It’s polite to provide others at the table with a taste of your dish. It’s also a great way to try more than one thing without ordering multiple entrees.

Loudly Slurping or Chewing

Teaching Dining Etiquette to Americans: Here Are the 20 Most Common Mistakes We’ve Seen
Chewing_Canva.com_Elena Perova

This may be acceptable in some cultures but can be pretty off-putting for others. Try to keep the noise level down while eating.

Leaving Your Napkin on the Table After a Meal

Teaching Dining Etiquette to Americans: Here Are the 20 Most Common Mistakes We’ve Seen
Leaving Your Napkin on the Table After_a Meal_Cnva_Thuchapun

Remember to place it on the table or leave it on your chair when you are finished eating.

Forgetting Basic Manners

Teaching Dining Etiquette to Americans: Here Are the 20 Most Common Mistakes We’ve Seen
Forgetting Basic Manners_Canva_EXTREME-PHOTOGRAPHER

Saying please and thank you, asking for things to be passed instead of reaching, and using a polite tone can go a long way in making a good impression at the dinner table.

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Author

  • Dennis

    Dennis brings a comprehensive worldview to the Frenz Hub team, fueled by his passions for writing, reading, documentaries, and community involvement. His educational background enhances his thoughtful contributions.

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