Useful Tips

Etiquette rules at the table - at a party, in a restaurant

Many catering establishments prefer the buffet system. This approach is very convenient, practical: all the preparatory work has been carried out, a varied menu is offered on the tables. This allows you to feed a large number of visitors at the same time, which is perfect for places with a lot of people, for example, for hotels, hotels. So, food is in the public domain, everyone can choose what they like best. The solemnity of the format makes eating unusual.

What is a buffet?

The way to serve a buffet is to serve ready-made meals, in which the visitor chooses one of his favorites from those displayed on special tables or distribution lines. Any appetizer is taken in moderation, transferred to your table. There are no waiters, everything is organized on the principle of self-service. Almost always, such a meal is free, the cost is already included in the ticket price.

The term "buffet" is found only in Russian. In Asia, European countries, this type of food is called the “buffet”, in Sweden it is called smorgasbord or “sandwich table”, where sandwiches mean absolutely any food. Another idea of ​​the Swedish food system is related to the Scandinavian principles of self-restraint in the absence of control.

The “sandwich table” system is widely used by hotels, hotels, when each client needs to be fed very quickly, tasty. Beer, pizzerias often arrange salad bars, democratic cafes and fast foods - buffets that offer cold and hot snacks, desserts. This approach solves the main tasks of restaurant service: to feed deliciously, to make quickly and conveniently for everyone, to attract new customers.


The organization of the buffet has several advantages. They are attractive to customers and organizers:

  • A large selection of dishes gives the visitor a feeling of abundance, the impression that for one price there are a lot of menu options.
  • The price of food is lower than with traditional nutrition.
  • Democratic additional service.
  • Save time for guests and kitchen workers.

The features of this system depend on the religious, cultural traditions of an individual people. Very often there are days of national cuisine. Some countries prefer seasonings, sweets, others refuse pork and beef. Most establishments in the buffet menu include European dishes, although the local chef always makes his own adjustments. The quantity and quality of dishes depends on how many stars the hotel has: the higher the category, the more varied the menu.

Each country has its own gastronomic preferences, depending on the characteristics of the people. For example:

  • Indonesia uses a lot of pepper and spices,
  • in Egypt, Tunisia, the UAE do not cook pork,
  • Eastern countries offer a wide variety of sweets,
  • in Southeast Asia, except for pork, they don’t use beef, but they prefer a large number of seasonings,
  • Europe loves meat: boiled, fried cooking options,
  • Italy prefers spaghetti,
  • Spain cannot do without paella
  • Greece, Bulgaria, Croatia include cheese and olives on the menu.

Special attention deserves drinks. If the hotel or hotel does not work on an all-inclusive basis, then any drink - water, coffee, juice, tea, wine - is dispensed for money at all meals, except breakfast. In Spain, for example, even champagne is served free of charge in the morning. Varieties of drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic, paid or free) depend on the characteristics of the country, and not the "star" of the hotel. In Europe, fresh juice is rarely served, Turkish and East Asian cuisines, on the contrary, are pleased to offer any natural drink.


There are two types of buffet according to the method of payment for food consumed. Both are not included in the price of the permit (if it concerns food in the hotel). Their features are that:

  1. Food can be approached an unlimited number of times. The price is fixed and does not affect the amount of food eaten. The size of the plate is any.
  2. The basis of such a catering organization is the "plate system": the payment depends on the size of the dish (small, medium, large) and the number of approaches to the table.

The Swedish filing formats are designed to satisfy the tastes of all visitors. Varieties are as follows:

  • salad bars (salad, light soup, simple snacks) - for those who did not have time to have breakfast,
  • American table (cola, hamburgers, fatty snacks) - is set next to places of entertainment, for example, near the beach,
  • National cuisine,
  • the diet is designed for rich customers and those who prefer only healthy food,
  • a lunch buffet is organized during the day
  • A coffee or tea table is offered between main meals.

A form such as brunch or “family dinner” is ideal for eating on weekends, at lunchtime. Often bonuses are offers for partial payment or free food for children of a certain age. Often brunch is used for birthday parties, other holidays. Revenues from this form of nutrition are small, but it is considered a good marketing method to attract customers.

The banquet provides simultaneous service to many guests. Drinks, juices are poured behind the bar, located in several places. The most popular drink - mineral water, orange juice, wine, champagne - waiters deliver. Snacks are displayed on special tables (round, oval, rectangular) with tablecloth skirts attached to them.

On the principle of banquets, catering or thematic events are organized when the celebration is held outdoors or in a room not intended for such purposes. For the organization, special catering companies are invited that take care of all the events, starting from the arrangement of tables, the design of the hall or territory, and ending with the preparation of dishes.


There are a number of rules that a buffet should be subject to, and the most important thing is the grouping of dishes: an appetizer is displayed on one side, a hot dish on the other, sweets, fruits on the third. For example, appetizers are placed at the beginning of the table, then bread, then first courses, second courses, and desserts at the end. Mixing products is strictly prohibited, so as not to create the impression of chaos. Fish and meat can not lie next to a tray or plate, seafood is allowed next to fish dishes. You can not lay next to vegetables and berries, fruits.

Grouping rules apply to dishes, drinks, spices and sauces. They are as follows:

  • Trays, plates are placed at the same interval.
  • Devices for applying food to each dish are their own. It is important that they are stainless steel, wooden appliances can be used, plastic ones are prohibited.
  • Separate places are organized for drinks (near the entrance), used dishes (away).
  • Sauce, spices are placed in small containers next to the dishes to which they are suitable.
  • Honey, yogurt, jam are served in small glass or ceramic sockets.

The shift and frequency of serving dishes is also subject to certain rules. In hotels, all food is exhibited immediately, but at banquets you must follow the order:

  • Snacks remain until the end of the banquet, are updated in the summer 2 times per hour, in cooler times - one.
  • Hot meals are served before use.
  • Cold appetizers are laid out on metal dishes (for cooling), salads can be served on ceramics.
  • Bakery products are in baskets or on patty plates.
  • Multi-level coasters save space.
  • Drinks can be served poured into glasses.

Particular attention is paid to decorating the buffet. Used flowers, tablecloths, bows, etc. Table decoration rules are as follows:

  • The presence of colors indicates a special chic, but they need to be changed periodically.
  • The tablecloth should not reach the floor by 10 cm.
  • Napkins are preferable to paper (it is more convenient to throw away, rather than stack with dirty dishes). They are laid out next to the plates in a stack or fan.
  • The decor of the table should be combined with the interior.
  • It is acceptable to use tall candelabra or small candlesticks with candles.

Hotel menu

Buffets serve more than cold snacks. It is important that there is no cooked food that needs to be cut for yourself with a knife: all dishes are exclusively portioned. The hotel has no more buffet menu restrictions. It consists of:

  • appetizers
  • first hot dishes
  • meat or fish hot,
  • side dishes for fish and meat,
  • drinks
  • desserts.

In different countries they use their dishes and drinks for a “sandwich” table. For example, the buffet menu in hotels in Turkey offers this:

Food & Beverage Category

juice, tea, coffee, milk, tea, coffee, drinking water all day long is offered unlimited

eggs, cereal, cheese, sausage, butter,

tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, bread

porridge, omelet, fried eggs, sausages,

stewed vegetables, fish, chicken, meat,

side dish: rice, pasta

casseroles, stewed vegetables, fish, meat,

side dish: rice, potatoes, pasta

dessert and fruit by season

The Spanish diet is slightly different from Turkish. In hotels in Spain, cooks are ready to offer the following menu:

Food & Beverage Category

coffee, a glass of fresh orange juice

juices, beer, dessert wine, water

spicy "bokadiyo" with cheese, jamon, herbs, tuna, tomatoes,

"Toast", egg, lettuce, white asparagus

jamon, cheese, sliced ​​bread

potato omelet, tortilla, boiled ham and cheese sandwiches

paella, pasta, pork, beef, lamb, fish, liver

fish, meat, seafood

cakes, fruits by season

How to behave near the buffet

In almost all countries, it is suggested that you drink fresh juice on an empty stomach before breakfast. The drink should be poured into a glass. Bread or bun is placed on a small dish, a patty plate. Everything is put on the dining table in the following order: snack or main dishes, on the left - small dishes with bakery products, in front of the main - a glass with juice. Then everything that is on the snack plate is eaten.

The rules of the etiquette of the buffet prohibit coming to him in beachwear. The eating sequence is as follows:

  1. A pair of pieces of food are superimposed on a plate located in the left hand. It’s better to take several approaches rather than “filling up” dishes with food. Different dishes use different plates.
  2. To the left of the food container, put the fork with the teeth up, the knife on the right.
  3. On dishes with food, seasoning in the outlet is placed on the right, the bones in the upper left corner. Always need to use napkins.
  4. When the food is finished, the knife, fork are left on the plate.

If an additive is required, then with your dishes you need to go to the common table and put the desired dish. After using the sauces, the plate must be replaced with a clean one. When the meal is finished, the cutlery is placed parallel to each other, the knife with the blade inward, dirty dishes are carried away on their own or by the waiter. It is forbidden to take something out of the hall. It is allowed to take only one fruit with you or go out with baked goods to be eaten.

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How to handle kitchen appliances during and after meals?

There are two main ways to use cutlery:

  1. Continental (common in Asian and European countries): the knife and fork should be in hand until the meal is over.
  2. Americanaccording to which it is permissible to put the knife aside if you are not going to use it temporarily (in this case, it is placed on the serving plate with the point inward, the handle on the edge).

Consider the classic version rules of etiquette at the table, how to use cutlery. The main points are presented below:

  1. How to use forks:
  • if the fork is long, it has 4 cloves, and it lies to the left of the plate, then this is a table fork - it needs to eat the main dish (the snack fork looks exactly the same, but its size is much smaller - you need to choose it when you are served cold snacks) ,
  • a fork with 4 cloves and indentations, which is slightly shorter than the dining room, is used to eat fish dishes (cloves are designed to separate the bones from meat),
  • the dessert fork is thin and small, instead of 4 cloves it has 3,
  • there is also a special fork to eat fruit, it does not look like dessert, but it does not have 3 cloves, but 2.

  1. How to use spoons:
  • a large tablespoon, lying to the right of the serving plate, is designed to eat soups and other liquid hot dishes,
  • dessert spoon is designed to eat gluten-free sweet dishes that do not need to be cut with a knife (she has a long handle and a small cup),
  • a teaspoon is served exclusively for hot tea, and a coffee (it is the smallest) is served only with black coffee.

  1. How to use knives:
  • the knife, which is deployed with a blade to the plate, in addition, it is located on the right - this is a device designed to eat second hot dishes,
  • the fish knife is dull, it looks more like a “scapula”, its purpose is not to cut, but to hold the fish so that it removes bones from it with a fork
  • the knife for snacks and desserts has a small shape, in addition, it has cloves on the blade.

If you cannot keep all this information in your head, then remember one secret how to use cutlery: they are always placed on the table in the order in which they should be used. Always take the most extreme devices initially. After you finish the first dish, these devices will be taken from you along with an empty plate.

Now let's figure out what to do with devices after eating according to the rules of etiquette at the table:

  • if you have already finished eating, you need to fold the fork with the knife so that they are parallel to each other with their cloves and point up (the fork on the left and the knife on the right),
  • if you are delighted with the eaten dish and want to signal about it, it is not necessary to run to the chef, place the knife and fork on the plate parallel to each other, but so that the cloves are directed to the right (the fork must be placed on top and the knife under it) - the waiter will see this and convey your admiration to the author of the culinary masterpiece,
  • if you decide to pause at the meal, put the fork and knife on the plate with the tip to each other (outwardly it should look like the fork and knife form the letter “L”),
  • if you have finished the first dish and expect a second one, place the knife on the plate so that its blade is pointing to the left, and put the fork with the teeth in the direction perpendicular to the knife.

How to behave at a table in a restaurant: etiquette rules

In public places, such as a restaurant, you need to behave accordingly. Be sure to check in advance basic rules of etiquette at the table in a restaurant so that you are perceived as a person from high society:

  1. If a man invited a woman to dinner, then he should enter the restaurant first. If the doorman is standing at the entrance to the restaurant, then the man must skip the lady forward, help her take off her outer clothing, guide her to the table, find out from her where she wants to sit, move the chair back so that the lady can sit on him.
  2. The man should be located either opposite the lady, or on the left side of her.
  3. Dinner must be ordered by the initiator. This is usually a man. He can only offer a woman to choose something from what he personally chose. According to etiquette rules at the table, girl she shouldn’t be capricious, talk about her illnesses, that she went on a diet or became a vegetarian. One must politely choose something from what her companion offers her.

  1. Sitting at a table in a restaurant should monitor their posture. The back should be flat, but at the same time it should not seem from the side that you are uncomfortable. Be easy, confident, but don’t relax.
  2. Immediately put a napkin on your lap that will stand on your serving plate.
  3. If it happened that you were brought a dish earlier than your companion, do not start eating it. Wait for the food to be delivered to all participants in the meal.
  4. If a woman's lips are made up, then she needs to go to the ladies' room to get rid of lipstick, because traces of her on the dishes are considered a sign of bad taste. In general, any hygiene procedures at the restaurant table can not be done. To do this, go to the toilet. But before you leave the table, you need to apologize.
  5. You can not take pictures of food and drinks during a meal in a restaurant. Such behavior is considered immoral in high-level institutions.
  6. If something inedible comes across in a dish, carefully remove it from your mouth, but not with your hands, but with a spoon.
  7. If any cutlery accidentally fell to the floor from your table, you do not need to pick it up. Call the waiter and ask him to bring others to you.
  8. If they brought you a very hot dish, wait until it cools down. Нельзя в ресторане дуть на еду, сербать и вообще издавать какие-то звуки. Это не прилично, согласно правилам поведения по этикету за столом.

  1. Вилку нужно обязательно держать левой рукой во время трапезы, а нож — правой. Если блюдо можно есть обычной вилкой, резать ничего не надо, то ее можно держать в правой руке.
  2. If you eat meat, then cut off one small piece from it, which you immediately eat. Sliced ​​slices on a plate should not remain.
  3. To eat pasta, you need to use a fork. Pasta is wound on it. If the dish is buried in sauce, it is preferable to use a spoon.
  4. If there is a bread product on a plate with your dish, then you need to break off slices from it and eat them gradually. You cannot bite off a whole piece of bread or take it in your hands.
  5. Chew food with a completely closed mouth.
  6. If you haven’t finished the soup, it’s not scary. Yushka at the bottom of the soup plate is considered the norm. If you want to eat, then tilt the plate in the direction away from you and spoon out the soup.
  7. You can’t lean heavily over the plate. You should carefully bring the fork or spoon with food to your mouth.
  8. If something is stuck in your mouth, do not get anything with your hands. Use a fork, preferably at a time when no one sees this.

  1. Hide the phone somewhere so that it does not bother you. If he calls all the time, it will look impolite. In this case, pick up the phone and ask to call you back later. Apologize if you need to clear your nose or clear your throat and leave the table.
  2. Do not hand the dish, salt or pepper shaker directly into the hands of the person who asked you to. It will be right if you just put the object or food he needs next to his plate.
  3. Behave at the table calmly, do not gesticulate, so as not to accidentally break something.
  4. In no case should you put your elbows on the table. Hands should not touch the table during meals. Women are only allowed to lean slightly against the table with brushes.
  5. A bag, wallets, phones and other things should also not be left on the table.
  6. During the meal you can communicate with the satellite, but on those topics that do not provoke a scandal between you or disputes.
  7. After the meal, do not set the dishes aside. Everything should remain on the table as it is.
  8. Do not forget to leave a tip to the waiter after dinner (this is approximately 10% of the total amount of the check). If tips are included in the amount of the check, then additional money is not required to be left.

How to behave at a table at a party: etiquette rules

When you come to someone’s house, even if your close friends have invited you, this does not mean that in this case it’s not necessary to observe etiquette rules at a table. It is imperative to show respect for the owners and leave a good impression about yourself.

Of course, such strict requirements are not presented to you, as in a restaurant, but several etiquette ruleshow to behave at the tablewhile visiting, you still need to know:

  • do not sit down at the table until you are invited to do so by the owners of the house,
  • if you need some cutlery, or you are asked to pass it on, remember that you need to do this in a counterclockwise direction,
  • do not eat with your fork or spoon from a common dish in which, for example, salad is poured - take a special cutlery and pour the dish on your plate,
  • if the dish is far away from you, do not reach for it across the entire table, but ask the person sitting nearby to be served,
  • drink water or an alcoholic drink only after you have fully eaten food,
  • do not talk at the table on political or religious topics, do not discuss diseases, but do not be silent, do not make the owners of the house entertain you,
  • Do not stay away until late at night (the optimal time to stay is 2-3 hours),
  • after dinner, be sure to thank the hosts.

How to behave at the buffet according to the rules of etiquette?

Everyone knows what a buffet is - when a lot of dishes are presented, and everyone can choose everything he wants and how much he wants.

It would seem that everything is simple, but here you must comply 5 rules of etiquette at the table:

  1. Once you enter the buffet restaurant, look around to see where and what is located. In many establishments, first courses are located separately from snacks and desserts. Think about what you would like to eat, so as not to overload everyone’s stomach at once. Take a plate in your left hand, and put everything on the right. If you need bread, then you need to take a special small plate for it.
  2. You can not appear at the buffet in a swimsuit or street clothes. An elegant dress is, of course, also not the best option for a buffet, but the fact that your appearance should be neat is unique.
  3. When laying a dish for yourself, behave with restraint, do not scream, do not push and do not cause a scandal if the dish that you wanted to take is over. Step aside, wait a few minutes for the waiters to bring the food you want. Try to make only one approach to the buffet.
  4. After completing your meal, clean up after yourself. In many establishments working according to the buffet system, waiters do not clean the dishes for visitors.
  5. Do not try to bring food from the buffet with you, unless it is provided in the institution.

The basic rules of etiquette at the table for children

As soon as your child turns one year old, you can teach him the rules of behavior at the table. At first, the baby will take an example from mom and dad, so it is important that the parents themselves behave correctly during the meal.

What should the child pay attention to:

  1. Before each meal, it is imperative to wash your hands thoroughly with soap. By the age of two, crumbs should already have developed a habit of observing hygiene rules.
  2. The child must know his place at the table. If he is still small, then parents need to seat him in his chair, which should correspond to the height of the common dining table. It is better to place the stool on the left side of the mother so that she can help the child when necessary.
  3. The meal should take place every day at the same time, so that the baby develops a regimen and culture of proper nutrition.
  4. Explain to the crumb that you need to start eating after all family members sit at the table and the phrase “Bon appetit” sounds.
  5. Up to three years, you need to teach your child to use a spoon, up to 5 years - a fork, and after 5 years you can already explain what a knife is and how to handle it. Do not allow your child to dig into the food plate with his hands. If he does not cope with a kitchen appliance, feed it yourself.

  1. Explain to the crumb that you cannot play, sing, dance and talk loudly at the table, especially if you have a mouthful of food. After all, it is not only indecent, but also dangerous to health.
  2. Accustom the kid to the fact that everything that they poured, he must eat. You can’t spit food back onto the plate, as this is ugly.
  3. The kid should already know at the age of three that after a meal you need to thoroughly wipe your mouth with handles, and say to the person who cooked the food “thank you”.
  4. Explain to the baby that getting up from the table is possible only after adults allow him.
  5. You can take advantage of innovative technologies in the process of teaching your child. On the Internet you can download educational cartoons and pictures, with the help of which the child will understand in a playful and informative way what to do with food. Great way to learn table etiquette rules - create a presentation on this topic on your computer (suitable for you if your child is already 5 years old). So the child will be more interested, because the craving for computer technology in modern children appears at a very young age.

The modern program of secondary educational institutions provides a course for students about the rules of etiquette at the table. In the lessons, children are told about the norms of behavior in public places, and in particular, special attention is paid to the topic of how to behave at the table.

Table etiquette rules in pictures

Try to follow all the recommendations that we gave you in this article if you want to be mistaken for a well-educated and cultured person in public institutions. Remember that ignorance and frivolous behavior even while eating are a sign, first of all, of disrespect for oneself, and then to others. Therefore, behave appropriately so as not to fall "face into the mud."