Life Lessons
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How to Leave Dinning Table

How to leave you plates and cutlery when leaving a dining table

Some people have a tendency to tidy their plate, food on the plate, place cutlery nicely JUST before they leave the table. This is a sign of a service class. If you want to tidy your food on your plate or place your cutlery nicely, you should have done so WHILE eating, NOT when wanting to get up.

If you tidy your area while you are eating, it means you are a tidy person and want things around you as clean and neat as possible. However, if you tidy your area just before you get up, it means you are only doing it to help the server, a sign of a service class. When leaving a dining table, leave your plates and cutlery as follows:

  • 10 seconds before you get up DO NOT touch your cutlery or plates or food on your plates or it could be misconstrued as doing it to help the server. No matter how untidy your plates, food, or cutlery are, DO NOT tidy them before you get up and leave.


  • Leave your cutlery where they are. In a classy restaurant, no matter where you cutlery are placed, they will make sure when you get back from the restroom, you still have them or new ones. So, never worry about not having your cutlery when you get back or worse, don't worry about the servers getting confused and you having to go the extra mile (tidying your area) to clarify.


  • Before 10 seconds, if you are a tidy person, you should:


    • eat all your food or leave any left over in one corner in a tidy fashion


    • if you have finished eating, put your cutlery together on the right side of the plate (knife on the right hand side and fork on the left, together)


    • if you have not finished eating, such as in a buffet, leave the knife on the right hand side at a 45 degree angle and fork on the left hand side as a mirror image of the knife. If you put your cutlery together, the server will think that you have finished eating and take your cutlery away.
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