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American table manners

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American table manners are very crisp, sophisticated and class oriented. However, with different cuisine going beyond boundaries, there has been a lot of dilution in it, making it casual for the food lovers. American table manner is probably the most popular table manner, which is, to a certain extent, followed all over the world. Strictly or somewhat, we all follow American table manner in variably. No matter how modernity must have affected the manners, a special date, formal business meeting, special family gathering – all call for strict following of table manners in America.

Whether it is in terms of the correct spoon, the size of the bites or your volume at the dining table, every little detail contribute in making an impression at American dining table.

Follow the following tips for that formal American experience at their dining table, you never know you might just win a heart over or get the deal in your kitty.

Do’s and don’ts in American table manner

Handling the cutlery and napkins

  • Spoons and knife is placed on right side of your plate, while the fork is kept on left side. So use it accordingly, don’t change the placement.
  • Know your spoons and use accordingly, do not use soup spoon for rice dishes.
  • Place the napkin on your lap, but do not do it in haste. Not only it is considered impolite, but also a clumsily or hastily set napkin will not serve the purpose.
  • Once done, place you spoon very close to each other like hands of clock when it is 5.30.
  • When the plates are removed, use the napkin to dab your hands and mouth, don’t wipe vigorously, and fold it half and place it in your front on the table.


  • Clean your hands before meal. Cleanliness not only establishes you as an organized person, but also shows respect towards food. Though you may not use your hand to eat, yet you might need at times.
  • Be careful while you serve something on your plate or while you take the food form your plate to mouth, you should not drop food here and there.


  • You should offer food to other before you take, so offer it to the person on your right.
  • Do not disturb the food while you take, pick them carefully and either pass on the plate or keep it in its place. And if you have picked something for yourself, never put is back in serving plate.
  • Do not stretch or try hard to reach the food, instead ask someone else to help you.
  • Do not talk while you are eating, if you have to say anything, finish the food in your mouth and then say.
  • Chew your food with mouth closed and no noise. Take small bites, big bites is considered impolite.

Other etiquettes

  • Do not interfere is someone else is talking, wait for them to finish. Even you have to prove a point, wait.
  • Do not put your left hand or elbow on the table. Use left hand only to cut the food then slide it down.
  • If it gets urgent for you to leave the table, politely ask for permission from everyone, while you are seated. Do not stand up and ask.
  • Match you pace with everyone else so that you don’t finish your food too early or too late.
  • Help ladies put their chair in place.
  • Most important thing is that you should thanks and complement the host for food, service and atmosphere. You may also complement on décor.

American table manners, if followed nicely, can add taste to the food and the wholesome dining experience. It not only makes the guest feel good and cared for, but the host too gets complemented and feels good. It also makes the dining experience hassle-free and everyone gets their due attention.


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American Table Manners