How to use a napkin in a restaurant: etiquette rules

Yulia PoteriankoLife
Proper use of napkins will help you maintain a tidy dining experience

A well-mannered person at the table should use not only the right utensils, but also place the napkin appropriately so that it does not disturb anyone. Not only does it help maintain neatness, but it also looks appropriate.

OBOZREVATEL investigated the etiquette rules that specifically apply to napkins, including both textile and paper ones.

If cloth napkins are used for table setting, before beginning the meal, you should take the one in front of you, fold it in half, and place it on your lap. This signals to the restaurant staff that you are ready to start eating.

Use only the inside, facing you, of the napkin. This way, other diners won't see any stains you may have left on it. After the meal, the napkin should also be folded with the clean side out.

You should wipe your mouth with a napkin not only if you get dirty but also before taking a drink. This helps prevent leaving marks on the glass.

If you need to leave the table temporarily, do not place the napkin on the chair. Instead, gently fold it and place it to the left of the plate. Avoid placing the napkin on the right side of the plate as it may interfere with waiters bringing dishes and is more likely to accidentally brush against the floor.

Only paper napkins should be placed in the plate, as they are disposable and should be discarded immediately after use. Fabric napkins should not be placed in this manner as they will become heavily stained with food residue.

If a napkin falls on the floor, you do not need to bend down to pick it up. Waiters should monitor such situations and offer a replacement promptly. If they overlook the incident, feel free to request a replacement yourself.

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