Dining Tips and Tricks

Joyce Marsh, a renowned etiquette speaker and manners expert on the WE hit show Bridezillas spoke to a group of University of Florida students about the importance of dining and business etiquette. As a former corporate executive for GM and veteran of the business world, Marsh often made employment decisions based on lunch and dinner interviews. Listen to the audio clips below to hear some of her advice!

Tips on blessings, grace and beginning a meal

Marsh recommends waiting to eat, even your bread, before your partner in case he or she wants to offer a grace or blessing. At banquets or meals with lots of people, someone will lead you through the meal and let you know when it is okay to start eating.

How to use your napkin during a meal

Napkins should be folded in half and placed on your lap at all times during the course of the meal. If you leave your seat to go to the restroom, place the napkin on your seat or across the arm of the chair. When the meal is over, place the napkin on the table, to the left of the plate. Leaving the napkin on the table signals the wait staff that you have finished eating.

How to sit while eating

Marsh suggests sitting a hand's length away from the table to avoid spilling food on the table or in your lap. When eating, bring your head towards the food a little bit by bending from the waist. Being too rigid will cause you to spill food but moving too close to your plate will come across as unpolished and messy.