There seems to be a lot of confusion surrounding which fork to use...This is the first question that students will ask when learning about dining etiquette. The choice of which fork to use depends on the dining situation and the etiquette you wish to follow. Here are some general guidelines for choosing the right fork:
Main Fork - This fork is typically used for the main course in a formal dining setting. It's larger and has a broader shape than other forks. When in doubt, it's often safe to use the dinner fork for your main course.
Entrée Fork - If there are multiple courses, and an entrée or small dish is served before the main course, use the the smaller fork which will be placed next to the (large) dinner fork to it's left.
Fish Fork - In a formal setting where fish is served, you might find a fish fork. It's designed with a special shape for flaking fish. This fork is placed to the left of the dinner fork.
The correct way of setting the table with forks: entrée fork is set first, then the main fork is second.
Dessert Fork - Dessert forks are usually the size of an entrée fork. These are used for eating desserts and are often brought out with the dessert or pudding course.
Fruit Fork - In some formal settings, you might come across a small fork specifically for eating fruit. It's usually placed on the table with the dessert utensils and is smaller in size, smaller than an entrée fork.
Cake Fork - A cake fork is similar in size and shape to a dessert fork, but it might have a wider edge for cutting through cake. It's often used for British afternoon tea or French pâtisserie.
Oyster Fork - This small fork is designed for eating oysters and can be recognised by its unique shape. It's usually placed to the right of the dinner fork in a formal setting where oysters are served.
I hope this has helped you! Remember that table settings can vary depending on the country and the formality of the event. If you're unsure which fork to use, observe what others are doing, and follow suit.
Fish fork and knife
“The word protocol conjures up the idea of tedious rules. Conversely, protocol is so important as it allows all parts of lives proceed with clarity, consistency and order.” - Elizabeth Soós
“There is a diplomat in all of us; we are all communicators, we are all nurturers, we all create relationships and negotiate daily. We don’t all have to be Winston Churchill to be the ultimate diplomat.” - Elizabeth Soós
“Intercultural communication is like the Mona Lisa. Today we have become a globally connected than ever before in human history. Now it’s imperative to read between the lines, take a deep breath, research a little as communicating internationally is a fine art.” - Elizabeth Soós
“Practising etiquette could be likened to searching for buried treasure. There will be twists and turns, heartache and failure. When you are persistent and self-aware, you will be rewarded. - Elizabeth Soós
“Etiquette is for everyone. It is easy, repeatable, and never goes old. Here are three tips you can use every day: Smile, Acknowledge, Talk.” - Elizabeth Soós
“Make it your business to use etiquette.” - Elizabeth Soós
“Business has always been about people doing business with people (although we are in the digital age). People will do business with those they know, like, trust. Part of using the know, like, trust principle is business etiquette. Why not take a course in business etiquette? Remind and re-fresh your etiquette skills continually.” - Elizabeth Soós
Dressing appropriately for a business meeting is essential to make a positive impression. Your outfit should make sure you understand professionalism, confidence, and respect for the occasion. Here's a general guideline for dressing for a business meeting:
Know the Dress Code: Research or inquire about the dress code for the meeting. Different industries and companies might have varying levels of formality. If unsure, it's better to be slightly overdressed than underdressed.
Choose a Well-Fitting Outfit: Opt for a suit in a neutral colour like navy, grey, or black. Pair it with a dress shirt, a conservative tie, and polished dress shoes. Ensure that the suit is tailored to fit you properly.
Colours and Patterns: Stick to classic and subdued colours such as navy, grey, black, and white. These colours are universally considered professional. If you choose to wear patterns, keep them subtle. Avoid loud or flashy designs that might distract. If you want to add a splash of colour...why not wear a pair of coloured socks - a dash of personality.
“Looking good isn’t self-importance; it’s self-respect.” – Charles Hix
Grooming and Hygiene: Ensure your hair is neat and well-groomed. Maintain good personal hygiene, including clean nails and fresh breath. Avoid heavy perfumes or colognes. Strong scents may set off allergies.
Accessories: Keep accessories minimal and tasteful. A watch, simple jewellery, and a belt can add a touch of sophistication. Avoid excessive jewellery or large colourful accessories.
Footwear: Choose closed-toe dress shoes that are clean and polished, and/or lace-up oxfords are a classic choice. Brown footwear or belts are for country-based businesses rather than city-based businesses.
Appropriate Bag or Briefcase: Carry a professional bag or briefcase to hold your documents and any necessary materials. Ensure your bag is in good condition and complements your overall look.
Avoid Casual Wear: Jeans, sneakers, t-shirts, and overly casual attire should be avoided unless explicitly mentioned in the dress code.
Confidence and Comfort: Choose an outfit that makes you feel confident and comfortable. Your comfort will contribute to your overall demeanour during the meeting. Remember, the goal is to present yourself as a professional who takes the meeting seriously.
While these guidelines provide a general direction, adapting your outfit to your industry and company's specific culture and expectations is critical. When in doubt, err on the side of professionalism.
“Dressing well is a form of good manners.” – Tom Ford