Dining Etiquette Tips and Advice

What’s the correct way to eat pizza?Pizza eating dining etiquette how to tips and advice

If I had a dollar for every time we’re asked by email and in our dining etiquette seminars “what’s the proper way to eat pizza?”. I’m Italian so I was born knowing how to eat pizza. But oddly enough, the correct pizza eating etiquette advice can be found in country music. (I know country music is not your first thought of a good guide for tips on table manners or even dress for success, unless you’re thinking of…  advice on what not to do.)

But Kenny Rogers has the answer

To paraphrase Kenny Rogers, “You’ve got to know when to hold ‘em, know when to fold ‘em, know when to use a fork and know when to use a knife”. Okay, apologies to Kenny and to you, now you’ve got that blasted song stuck in your head for the rest of the day. But the lyrics are true when it comes to the proper dining etiquette of eating pizza.

Know when to fold ‘em.

This tip works best for a thin or soft crust pizza or with toppings that may fall off. Pick up the slice in your hand and squeeze and fold the slice vertically along the middle (a little like closing a book). It looks like a V or a U shape and this keeps the toppings from falling off.

Know when to hold ‘em

For a firm crust pizza, just eat it as a wedge in your hand. Nibbling away from the point in.

Knife and fork formality

You can eat pizza with a knife and fork if you are eating at very formal setting. Say the Queen has you over to Buckingham palace and she orders in a pizza. (Like that’s going to happen? I mean the queen having you over, not her ordering pizza delivery.)

Even at an informal restaurant when the crust is very soft in the center, I will cut and eat the inner, flimsy part with a knife and fork. Then when I get to the firmer section or crust, I will eat it with my fingers, holding or folding. If tiny pizza slices are served as hors d’oeuvres, you eat them like the hold ’em method above.

When the dealin’s done

The idea is to not be messy, look messy or get your clothes messy. Oh yes and never count your money when you’re sitting at the table, there’ll be time enough for counting when… Unh-oh, now that song is stuck in my head. If you really want it to stick like glue, here is a link to see and hear Kenny singing the pizza eating etiquette song aka The Gambler.

PS – To quickly learn how to dine confidently anywhere, with the Queen or Kenny Rogers, check out our Dining for Success online training.

Posted by Joanne Blake – Italian Canadian Business Etiquette Expert, Trainer and thin crust Neapolitan style pizza lover

About the author 

Joanne Blake

Canadian speaker, corporate image consultant & business etiquette expert. If you're interested in booking a presentation, keynote or coaching, contact me. Based in Calgary / Edmonton, Alberta in western Canada.

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