Navigate Through Fine Dining PlacementBy Rita Gangwani on Mar 24, 2023
We live in a world where people are compared and judged all the time, and we are always looking to create the right impression. Business dinner or formal gathering, is an opportunity to network, exchange knowledge and you want to focus on that. But if you are sitting there and going, ‘oh!which fork do I use now?’ or ‘Am I going for the right glass?’ You become so conscious that you are unable to focus on the important things.
As for the place setting, remember the luxury car “BMW” .When we go out dining, we have lots of plates, the silverware, glasses, which can be confusing. The important thing to remember is bread is always on the left (B), your meal is in the centre(M) and your water is on your right(M)- BMW. If you remember this you know which bread plate and glass of water is yours.
The following guide provides tips on perfect table setting for informal dining, formal dining.
- Utensils are placed in the order of use from farthest from the dinner plate, to closest to the dinner plate. This means that utensils that will be used first are closest to the plate and utensils being used last are farthest, in an “outside-in” order.
- Another rule is that forks go to the left of the plate while knives and spoons go to the right.
Informal Place Setting
- The dinner plate is the first thing to be set on the table, with a napkin placed on top of the plate.
- The dinner Fork is usually placed to the left of the plate. Since it is used for the main course; it will be usually be used last.
- The Salad Fork, which is the smaller fork, is placed to the left of dinner fork and is used to eat salad or appetizers.
- The napkin is folded or put in a napkin ring and can be placed to the left of the forks or on the center of the dinner plate.
- The dinner knife is set to the right of the dinner plate, with the cutting blade placed facing inward. If the main course is meat, a steak knife may replace the dinner knife.
- The spoons are placed to the right of the knife. When soup is served first, the soup spoon will be placed to the far right of the dinner knife. The teaspoon or dessert spoon, (which will be used last) goes to the left of the soup spoon, next to the dinner knife.
- Any type of drinking glass is placed at the top right of the dinner plate, above the knives and spoons.
- If using a salad plate, it is placed to the left of the forks. A salad plate may be omitted if the salad is to be eaten with the meal, and it can be served directly on the dinner plate. However it is more acceptable to serve the salad on a separate plate to keep things neater.
- The bread plate goes above the forks, with the butter knife placed diagonally across the edge of the plate, with the handle on the right side and the blade facing down.
- If using a dessert spoon and fork, then these utensils can be placed either horizontally above the dinner plate, with the spoon on top and its handle facing right and the fork below with its handle facing left; or beside the plate. If placed beside the plate, the fork goes on the left side, closest to the plate (because it will be the last fork used) and the spoon goes on the right side of the plate, to the right of the dinner knife and to the left of the soup spoon for the same reason.
- When a Coffee cup and saucer are used, then the coffee cup and saucer are placed above and to the right of the knife and spoons.
Formal Place Setting
- The placement of utensils is guided by the menu, so the utensils are placed in the order of how the meal will be served, with the utensil to be used by the first menu item being placed on the outside, and so on as the menu dictates in an “outside-in” order.
- The Charger Plate is the largest plate on your table setting. It is known by a few different names such as buffet plate, cover plate and service plate. This plate serves as a base on which to lay the plate for the appetizer course or soup course and is cleared from the table after the first or second course is finished.
- When the first course is cleared, the charger plate remains on the table until the plate holding the entree is served, at which point the two plates are exchanged. The charger plate can also serve as the base for several courses served after the entree.
- The butter plate is a small plate that is placed above the forks, above and to the left of the charger plate.
- The dinner fork is largest of the forks and used for the main course so it is placed to the left of the dinner plate.
- The position of the salad fork varies according to when the salad is being served. If the salad is served after the entree, then the salad fork is placed to the right of the dinner fork, next to the plate. If the salad is to be served first and the fish second, then the salad fork would be first, then the fish fork, and finally the dinner fork, closest to the dinner plate.
- When fish is served as a first course, the small fish fork is placed farthest to the left of the dinner fork as it will be used first. If shellfish are to be served, the Oyster fork goes to the right of the spoons. It is the only fork that will be placed on the right of the plate.
- The Large dinner knife is placed to the right of the dinner plate.
- The fish knife is placed to the right of the dinner knife.
- If soup or fruit is served as a first course, then the appropriate spoon is placed to the right of the knives.
- The butter knife or butter spreader is placed diagonally on top of the butter plate, with the handle on the right and the blade facing down.
- The dessert spoon, dessert fork and dessert knife, depending on what is being served, is placed horizontally above the charger plate as shown above.
- There can be up to five glasses on a formal dining setting and they are placed so that the smaller ones are up front. The water goblet is placed directly above the knives. Just to the right goes a champagne flute; in front of these are a red or white wine glass and a sherry glass.
- The napkin is usually placed on top of the charger plate, or instead of one in a formal dining setting.
- The cup and saucer are placed to the far right of the soup spoon.
Dining skills say a lot about a person and not knowing it can be more damaging than you would think, especially for people in high positions.