Course Outcomes

This dining etiquette course will:

  • Outline the purpose of dining etiquette and how rules differ from culture to culture.
  • Review the ins and outs of table manners.
  • Explain the responsibilities of a host and guest.
  • Arm participants with ideas for handling the unexpected.

Course Overview

“He eats like an animal, and we simply can’t have him out with clients.” “All she talks about is what she will and won’t eat. She makes the people around her miserable at lunch.” “Why he brought up politics, I will never know. We lost the account, and I don’t see us getting it back.” Yuck, and oh no!  While dining has become more casual since the time of Downton Abbey and few places are using finger bowls these days, failing to understand the rules of the modern table can hurt business. This down-to-earth, interactive, and fast-paced workshop examines the ins and outs of dining etiquette and why knowing what to do still matters.

Program Objectives

At this program’s conclusion, participants should be able to:

  • Explain the value of practicing good table manners.
  • Describe a host’s responsibilities and a guest’s obligations.
  • Navigate a table setting with ease.
  • Use dining implements correctly.
  • Carry on an appropriate dinner conversation.
  • Adapt to regional variations in dining etiquette.
  • Handle the unexpected.

The following outline highlights some of the course’s key learning points. As part of your training program, we will modify content as needed to meet your business objectives. Upon request, we will provide you with a copy of the participant materials prior to the session(s).

Workshop Outline

Passport to the Past and Preparing for the Future: Why Dining Etiquette Matters

This program begins with a short history of etiquette and a discussion about how rules evolve and change over time. We’ll look at some unusual practices, typical customs, and when, where, and how people typically acquire their knowledge of table manners. Following that discussion, we will talk about the value of dining etiquette in the modern workplace and how understanding various rules can enhance one’s professional presence.

Rules for the Host and Rules for the Guest: Playing Your Part

Whether you are hosting an event or attending one, you have a part to play. This portion of the course explores roles and responsibilities at a business function. During this seminar segment, we’ll cover everything from sending invitations and RSVPs to seating and food ordering etiquette.

The Tools of the Table: Knowing What Goes Where and Why

Our next workshop segment focuses on common table implements and for what purpose each is used. Through a series of exercises, participants will learn where various items belong on a table and how changes to a menu can cause them to move from one place to another. This part of the course also takes a quick look at unusual serving pieces and eating implements that from time to time can surface.

Dancing Through Dinner: Moving with Style and Grace

Sawing through a steak, taking bites the size of Texas, spooning soup toward oneself, or putting the napkin on the plate when done eating are only some of the behaviors that will win a diner no friends when in the company of people who know better. This comprehensive portion of the course reviews the ins and outs of using various table implements and shares some guidelines for eating a range of food.

Being Interested and Interesting: Your Job at the Table

Good dining companions know how to be interested and interesting. They ask questions and have something to say. This workshop segment focuses on the art of conversation and the importance of preparing for business lunches, dinners, and networking functions.

Stranger in a Strange Land: Understanding Different Customs

Just as etiquette rules differ from one time period to another, they also vary from region to region. In this part of the program, we will look at variations in dining etiquette and what to expect no matter where you go. During this part of the workshop, we will also talk about what to do when you don’t know what to do.

Navigating Unfamiliar Food and Other Surprises: What to Do When Things Go Wrong

Drunk clients, undercooked food, bad service, a conversation that’s gone wrong – the possibilities for awkward situations are endless. From time to time, meals take a turn for the worse. Fortunately, the skilled diner knows how to handle almost anything. In this final part of the course, we’ll consider the unexpected and create solutions to a variety of tricky challenges.

By the end of this program, participants should understand modern table manners and feel confident and ready to dine at formal and informal business functions.