Business Dinner Etiquette: American Vs. Continental Style Dining

I’ve noticed increasingly more during meetings where food is served, some of my colleagues are eating with their utensils in both tactile hands. I had been taught to carry my fork in my own right place and hands my still left hand in my lap. Have the rules changed? It sounds like you are referencing another design of eating known as ‘Continental Style’.

For those of us raised in the States, we were taught to consume our food ‘American Style’, which is exactly what you are explaining; fork in the right hand and left submit your lap. When seated to supper in Europe with the local people, pick up your silverware, and dig in using the nice old-fashioned ‘American Style’ – and they’ll look at you as if you’ve fallen off the turnip vehicle.

They’ll be wielding a fork in one hand, a knife in the other, using them in tandem like Freddy Kruger, all while keeping their hands above the table. Today we are such a multicultural culture, and with the advancement of technology and a far more global business world, our cultural limitations are becoming more and more blurred along with this dining styles.

It’s good to know the intricacies of both so you’ll be well versed and feel confident whether or not you’re eating with Americans or Europeans, or your end up stateside in the Midwest, South, or a Metropolitan city. You will easily be able to adapt based on the situation. What’s American Style Dining? A couple of three easy steps to understand American Style Dining. When slicing food “American style,” the fork is held in the remaining hands, and the knife in the right hand. The utensils are held as if they look like extensions of your pointer finger on each tactile hands. Avoid gripping and stabbing your meal like a Neanderthal.

With your fork, poke’ the piece that will finish up in your mouth ‘politely. Taking your knife just behind your fork Now, gently push down, then backwards and forwards to cut your food – stay away from looking just like a lumberjack. The meals that is positioned on the fork is chauffeured by the right hand into the mouth area. Repeat… and Eat. Cutting one bite at a time.

American Style is also known as “zigzag” style since the fork is continually changing from the left hands to the right. What is Continental Style Dining? To understand this style, you’ll start by cutting the same way as one does in American Style, however the transferring of the food to the mouth area is were it gets complicated.

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Some basic rules to remember for Continental Style Dining: The fork (tines down) is held in the still left hands (for eating) and the blade in the right (for trimming). These are used jointly – in tandem. One does not work without the assistance of the other. The blade also functions as a “support” system to aid placing small items of food safely on the fork (rather than a sneaky finger).

Continental Style, both of your hands remain above the desk all the time, keeping the blade and fork in your remaining and right hands, resting your wrists on the edge of the desk. You only lay your silverware down in its relaxing position if you want to take a drink, have a tendency to your bread, or when another duty is required of your hands. See Step One for American Style – slicing is the same for both Continental and American style eating. Transfer the meals that is positioned on the fork straight into the mouth by the left hand – tines remain facing down.