How to Look Smooth When Dining Out

By Joanne Blake | Dining

Jun 28

Tips how to hold your silverware
without looking awkward

Brought up in a barn?

Ever heard someone say “Were you born in a barn?” While it’s safe to say that very few of us were barn babies, that doesn’t mean that we were brought up with good table manners. Or you know how to hold your silverware.

Handsome is, as handsome does

Nowadays the majority of people don’t know all the dining etiquette rules (and even fewer know the rules of business dining). Most people will not notice when you make a table manners faux pas.
BUT one thing almost everybody knows is what awkward looks like.

How to look classy & smooth at the table

What makes you look awkward at the table? Well, holding your knife and fork in an unusual way when you cut your food, is probably top of the list.

Four weird ways how to hold your silverware

Here are four examples of strange (but sadly common) ways people hold their knife and fork and what that signals.

The Kiddie Grip:

Table Manners Kiddie Grip

Goo-goo, ga-ga. I can’t help it. I’ve held my knife and fork like this since I was liddle.

The Prison Grip:

Table Manners Kiddie Grip

Orange is the new black and I’m gonna bust out of this joint tonight.

The Drummer Grip:

Table Manners Drummer Grip

I’m banging out a tune cause I’m going to be the next Buddy Rich or Dave Grohl.

The Airline Passenger Grip:

Table Manners Airline Grip

Yeah, it’s a bit cramped but I’m too cheap to pay for business class.

The right moves

Table Manners Classy Grip

So if you want to look smooth at the dining table try to hold your knife and fork as illustrated in the photo above.
Your index or pointing fingers should extend down the handles. Your forearms and wrists should not be cocked at a sharp angle but should be held fairly straight. Your right and left hand should look similar.

When it comes to how to hold your silverware – practice makes perfect

Unfortunately, bad habits for holding your cutlery have been ingrained an awful long time, basically since you’ve been eating at your highchair. So you’re not going to change overnight.
But if you’re eating regularly you have plenty of opportunities to practice..At every meal, pretend that you are dining out, even when you’re sitting with the TV tray and watching Game of Thrones over supper. Practice, like they say, makes perfect.

Looking smooth the easy way

For more dining tips and an easy way to learn all you really need about business dining etiquette or smooth table manners, check out our 40 minute online video dining course (rated #1 by the Wall Street Journal) or take one of our dining etiquette classes.
Or give your children a head start  in life at one of our Social Skills for Kids or Teens classes.

Posted by Joanne Blake – the Canadian business etiquette expert and classy smooth eater

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.