I recently had an e-mail with a dining question that we often hear in our dining seminars, so I thought I would post the answer here.

Q. Soup spoon stumped

I know where to place my knife and fork when I’m finished but what about when I’m done my soup course? I’ve seen some people leave the soup spoon in the bowl and some leave it on the plate. Which is correct? I want to follow the proper dining etiquette rules.

– From a reader in the soup

A. Listen up or no soup for you

And rules are important. Just ask Jerry Seinfeld’s Soup-Nazi. Otherwise  “No Soup for you!” (Click here to laugh and see the Soup Nazi and his rules)

Most restaurant staff and dining companions won’t be as harsh as the Soup-Nazi, if you make a table manners mistake. But here’s some advice to follow with your soup spoon to keep you out of trouble.

Tip #1

When you’re taking a break and resting, the correct position for the spoon is in the bowl. If you’re done, the soupspoon should be removed from the bowl and placed on the right side of the service plate (or under plate).

Tip #2 – What if there’s no under plate?

You’ve got to start eating at classier restaurants. Just kidding. If you’re eating at a very casual restaurant and they don’t provide a service plate under the bowl, rather than placing the finished spoon (read dirty spoon) on the table, you would leave it in the bowl when you’re done.

Keep it clean

The underlying reason for these table manners rules and many other dining etiquette rules is to prevent mess and keep yourself and the tablecloth clean. So don’t mess up the tablecloth or “No soup for you!” For many more easy-to-follow dining tips and advice check out our #1 rated Dining For Success video training program.

Posted by Terry Pithers

About the author 

Terry Pithers

Canadian speaker, humorist and business etiquette expert. If you are interested in booking me for a presentation, keynote or workshop, contact me. Based in Calgary / Edmonton, Alberta in western Canada.

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