The mealtime standards of French etiquette is a vital thing to learn if you are about to indulge in serious French cuisine at France. French pride themselves in French cuisine and like to honor their sophisticated food with decent presentation and good table manners. It’s rare to see anyone gobbling up a sandwich or keep chewing food over the sink in France; in fact it is considered bad manners and blasphemous.

French cuisine is famous all over the globe and so are the French restaurants. Thus to enjoy French meals at its best you need to get a crash course on French table manners. Read on to know more about this –

table manners to be maintained in France

General Table Manners in France

In France table manners is very important and dining is a formal affair, even if you are with your dear and near ones. Here are 5 tips which will help you to understand French table manners in a better way.

  • You should always keep your hands on the table.
  • You should eat keeping the knife in your right hand and the fork in your left hand.
  • You must wait for the host or the head of the table to say “bon appétit” before you start eating.
  • You must cheers before you start drinking. You have to raise the glass and say “a votre santé”. The head or host will reply back and say “bon appétit”.
  • Generally most of the French meals come along with bread. In case you do not have side plate, you may keep the bread on tablecloth just beside your plate.

French Table Manners at a French Restaurant

If you go to Paris, you will definitely visit a French restaurant. Therefore it is important that you should know the table manners they maintain in a restaurant.  Here are few tips that will help you out:

  • When you have decided what to order, close the menu and set it down on the table.
  • If you want to receive server’s attention, just wave them and utter “s’il vous plait”. Never snap your fingers. This is considered as offensive hand gesture.
  • Before you place an order, it is customary that you greet that person before you start speaking to them. It is considered rude if you do not greet someone.
  • If your eating is not complete and you stop eating for a while or leave your plate for short period of time, place the knife and fork on the plate in such a way that it is ready to be picked up again. Each handles must point towards hand holding.
  • Once you are done, you should ask for cheque.
  • If you visit restaurant with French people, it is better not to talk about money. Whoever has invited you will pay the bill. The subject of money is considered quite personal for the French people, therefore it is better you should avoid it.
  • The tip is generally included but then too you should pay a little amount of tip, if you appreciate the service of the people serving you.

The above tips will help you to feel comfortable and confident at mealtime whenever you visit your French friends or visit any French restaurant.


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