Editor’s Note: This blog post was written by Marie-Therese Yokum, PRSSA at LSU National Assembly Delegate and member of Delta Sigma Pi.
1. In theory, follow the host for everything while dining. It is considered poor etiquette to being eating, drinking, or even unfolding your napkin before the host at the table does so.
2. Place your napkin on your lap after everyone is seated and after your host has moved his/her napkin. You would be surprised how many people do not know that the rest of the table is not supposed to see the napkin being opened or placed on your lap.
3. If your place is set with more than one fork, begin from the outside and work your way in. It is not very noticeable, but if dining around people educated with dining etiquette, knowing which utensil to use and when is important.
4. Take your time eating, talking and especially listening to everyone at the table. Dinner at a restaurant is somewhat designed for conversation. Never use your cellphone at the table—get up and walk outside to respond to a text or answer a call.
5. To notify the waiter that are you finished eating, place your fork upside down and next to the knife at 5 p.m. Not only are you supposed to be respectful to the waiters and waitresses; it is courtesy to place your utensils in certain ways on your dishes to signify completion.
Marthanne Calvi has been certified from The Protocol School of Washington D.C. on Protocol and Etiquette. Calvi livened the night with her wit and reality in many situations regarding etiquette and professionalism. She teaches and provides her services to many organizations in Baton Rouge and is also a regular on the WBRZ news.
Being in a comfortable atmosphere with colleagues and friends allows for a fun experience to learn. I most definitely recommend any student in college to take the opportunity to partake in an etiquette dinner. Behaving courteously and with the appropriate etiquette manners can make the difference not only in interview settings, but in numerous engagements throughout the future. I can only hope that PRSSA at LSU gets the chance to host one for next semester!