They say, First impression is the last impression. Going out for your first company dinner or going out on a date at a fine dining restaurant, or enjoying a feast at a grand wedding, all call for the need to learn common dining etiquette. What is fine dining? In simple words, fine dining is a restaurant experience that is, unlike average restaurants, expensive, unique, and more sophisticated. The food served in these restaurants is prepared with luxurious ingredients of the highest quality.Even though the dining standards have loosened over the years, formal dining still makes a newbie or a professional nervous. That is why it is better to learn and practice beforehand.Whyare Dining Etiquettes Important?Food and conversations are said to make most situations better and light. However, the same food, when served in a professional environment, among hundreds of other people requires the lead of good table manners. Whether or not the company clients may offer the contract or the date will turn out to be successful, revolve around this one factor - etiquette - the proper manners and behaviours shown in formal dining.In a dining workshop organised by the Protocol School of Washington, Dubai, the participants were told that dining etiquette could have a big effect on ones social standing. They can make or break deals and even influence the employers decisions. The trainer, Ghassan Hajjaj added, When one is well aware of formal etiquettes, the focus can be laid on more important things like a conversation. Business dinners are an opportunity to exchange knowledge and establish a network. Sitting there confused about cutlery or where to place the napkin, can bring a lot of loss and damage to ones impression.5 Essential Dining Etiquettes You Must KnowFrom the introduction to leaving the table, there are a lot of things that need to be learned for professional dine-ins. This section comprises eating manners, plate manners and table etiquette, which play a huge role to grow from a position.1. The Host Should Always LeadThe first essential rule of formal dining is the host being the lead in dining with an important client. They shall make all the necessary arrangements and restaurant reservations ahead of time. The transportation and time to reach the destination (the time shall suit both parties) should also be decided by the host.Upon reaching the destination, it would be considered polite to hold out the door for the guests, directing them towards their seats and explaining the menu with the restaurants specialties. (The host needs to check the menu and the price ranges with the staff or on the official website, to confirm whether it suits the guests taste or not)2. Know the Proper Position of the CutleryThere is a trick to knowing where the cutlery goes on a table. Remember that four goes to the left and five goes to the right. Here is the explanation as given by American Express.The fork consists of four letters hence it is placed on the left side of the plate. Whereas the knife and spoon consist of five letters, hence they are placed on the right side of the plate.The same trick works for food and drinks. Food consists of four letters hence it goes on the left side of the table. The table is set properly if appetisers, desserts or main courses are placed left on the plate. Similarly, drink and glass consist of five letters, hence all the beverages go right to the plate.3. Do Not Push Away or Stack the DishesIt is the restaurant staffs job to handle the dirty dishes, so neither the guest nor the host needs to worry about handling the dirty dishes. If it makes the table look messy, call for the wait staff.Do not push the dishes away or stack one above the other. In fine dining restaurants, before serving the new course, the plates from the previous course are picked up, to maintain enough space on the table for the new items.4. Eat With Your Mouth ClosedOne of the most important eating etiquette is keeping the mouth closed while eating. Nobody wants to see the food after it has been chewed up, it might be disturbing for the guests. When one chews their food with their mouth open, a lot of the content is likely to fall out of the mouth. It puts off the appetite.Also, eating with your mouth closed delivers the flavour of the food to the taste buds. The content remains on the tongue and does not fall out.5. Know Your CutleryEach course served on the table has a utensil dedicated solely to that course. These are either set before the arrival or served with the dish itself.Once again, the table is set properly if the cutlery go from small to large on both sides of the plate. To show good dining etiquette, begin with the utensils on the ends and move in as the course is served.Generally, the largest fork is for the main course, the smaller one is reserved for salad and the largest spoon is the soup spoon. If there is a course with steak or fish, the staff will set a different knife and a fork. The fork or spoon for dessert is placed above the plate. They are generally smaller in size.Other Important Dining EtiquettesThe above-mentioned five dining etiquettes are said to be the impression-setters. However, the dining experts follow some other manners and behaviors that are considered to be important.1. The host shall always payThe host is the person who did the inviting and they are responsible for paying the bill regardless of their gender. If the client insists on paying, let them know that the company is handling it.2. Be polite to the wait staffAs a guest, try not to complain about the food as it might be insulting to the host. Say thank you to the staff when they serve the meal and please when something additional is required.3. Never ask for the leftoversBoth parties are there for a deal, it would be inappropriate to ask the staff to pack the leftovers.4. Know the rest and the finished positionsIn the rest position, the knife is placed on the top of the plate, and the fork is placed in the middle. In the finished position, the knife rests above the fork in a diagonal position.5. Break the bread with your handsUsing a knife to cut the bread into pieces might make the plate messy. Use your hands to break one piece at a time.6. Dress appropriatelyDuring a business meeting, it is recommended to follow the companys dress code to show respect and professionalism. Wear suits or casual dresses and keep it minimal.During a date, keep it simple as guests in these restaurants are spotted in many casual attires.7. Never say you need to use the restroomIf there is a need to use the restroom, excuse yourself without briefing the reason.8. Know how to use the napkinFold the napkin in half and place it on the lap with the crease facing towards themselves.Never wipe the stains, instead dab them to clean them. Use the napkin to clean the corners of your mouth.9. Place the napkin on the left of the plate before leavingThis is a common table etiquette that indicates that both parties are ready to leave.10. Lead the guest while leavingWhile leaving, lead the guest toward the transport that was organised for them and greet them to show politeness.ConclusionFollowing these dining etiquettes and table manners may ensure the first impression is a positive one. Keep a smile on your face and make sure to be kind to the staff.FAQsHow do I know if I should pay for the meal?The host is responsible for paying the bill. If you have done the invitation, take responsibility to pay for the meal.What does salt and pepper are married means?This statement means that salt and pepper go together. Even if someone asks only for salt, one shall pass the pepper along to indicate their knowledge of the rules.Where is the glass placed?The water glass and every other drink are placed on the right side of the plate.Where to put the napkin while leaving the table temporarily?While leaving the table temporarily, place the loosely folded napkin on the chair and push it back. Say Id like to excuse myself before leaving.What do I do if I drop my fork?A dropped piece of cutlery, whether it is a fork or a spoon, stays on the floor. Request the wait staff to provide another fork.