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Aug 11 2014

Which Bread Plate is Mine

breadplateFormal dining skills have become a little less formal these days, particularly in the U.S.  People can be found eating their meals most anywhere—on lawns or parks, in fast food restaurants, at an office desk, or in front of the TV. But what happens when your boss invites you to dinner and you aren’t sure which bread plate is yours?

I’ve heard the phrase: “Social intelligence is no replacement for abstract intelligence, which get’s you in the door. But social intelligence will get you to the top.”  And having a few good manners under your belt will make a good impression when you need it most.

Think of it this way, the table is set in a way that guides you through a meal.  You can anticipate what is coming by which plates and silverware are present.  Knives, spoons, and possibly a seafood fork are on your right. Forks are placed on the left hand side of the plate.  Liquids are on your right (your glasses); solids are on your left (your bread and salads).  The dessert spoon or fork will be placed above your plate, kind of like the crown of the meal.

Consider the BMW trick to remember where things go:  B is for bread plate, which is on the left, M is for the meal plate, which is in the middle and W is for water, which is on the right. And if by chance somebody grabs your bread, don’t breathe a word…simply ask the server for another roll, and keep it on the left hand side of your plate.

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