Dining Etiquette Around the world

Culture, customs, and traditions vary from one place to another and so is the dining etiquette of a place. From Europe and the Americas to the Middle East and South Asia, have a look at some of the interesting dos and don’ts binding the food culture of these regions.

Dining Etiquette Around the world

Dining Etiquettes around the World


  • The UK


To follow good table manners is an indispensable segment of the UK’s food tradition.

$No the slurping of soups as well as raising the soup bowls. While eating, be sure to maneuver the fork with your left hand and knife with your right.

$Avoid any kind of conversations when you chew or mouth is full.

Before start dining, you should wait until all the guests at your table have been served.

$Elbows should be kept off the table.

If peas to be smashed, do it with your fork’s back.$When invited to tea, wear a formal dress.

$Use of proper eating utensils is a must while dining, though you can use your hands for eating foods like sandwiches, fruits, chips, etc.


  • Tipping is encouraged if the service is satisfactory.
  • No tipping in pubs.
  • France


Once you take your seat, spread your napkin on a lap while placing your hands on the table.

$Though your hands should be visible, don’t keep your elbows on the table.

Wait until the host says ‘Bon appetit’ to start eating.

$Be sure not to cut lettuce with your fork or knife. Instead, fold it with your fork.

A knife should be held in your right hand and fork in your left.

$Do not leave your plate unfinished.

Instead of biting from the whole piece of bread, tear it into a bite-sized piece before consuming it.$


  • Though not necessary, tipping is hugely appreciated.
  • This is usually 1% to 5% of the meal price.
  • Spain


Your hands should be visible while eating. It is acceptable to place your wrist on the table’s edge.

$Do not start your meal until the host says ‘Buen apetito.’

Spanish consider bread as the third essential cutlery, after knife and fork.

$Even if you’re the first to finish the meal, do not move till the guest of honor does.


  • The practice of tipping is voluntary in Spain.
  • A modest amount of 5% to 10% of the meal is offered as a tip.

2. North America

  • Canada


American-style table manner is followed in all regions except for Quebec, where it’s Continental style.

$Elbows should be kept off the table.

Start your meal when your host gives the first toast.

$It is polite to start the meal after the host begins.

Before you begin, make sure that everyone is served food and wine.$


  • 12% to 20% is usually given as a tip.
  • US


Start by unfolding the napkin placed on the table. Then lay it across your lap.

$Don’t start eating unless everyone at your table has been served.

The hostess usually gives the signal to start the dinner.

$It is impolite to talk when your mouth is full.

Though the handling of fork and knife is almost akin to Continental style, a fork is held like a pencil in American style dining.$


  • In the US, tipping is an integral part of food culture.
  • 10% to 15% is given as a tip, if the meal is satisfactory.
  • It may go up to 20% to 25% if the meal is outstanding.

3. South America

  • Brazil


Use flatware to eat everything, from pizza to fruits and vegetables.

$Be sure to keep your elbows away from the table.

Continental style dining etiquette is followed.

$It is not acceptable to consume drinks directly from a can or jug.

$Indulging in conversation when your mouth is full is considered rude.


  • A nominal 10% included as service fee in the bill amount, although it’s not mandatory to pay.
  • Argentina


Take your seat as directed by the host.$A definite no-no when it comes to placing your elbows on the table.

Begin your meal when the host says ‘iBuen Provecho.’

$Don’t switch fork and knife while eating.

Hands should be visible while eating.

$ Leaving a small amount of meal on your plate is considered a symbol of politeness.


  • The standard tip is generally 10% of the bill amount.

4. Asia

  • India


Indians traditionally sans the use of cutlery, as they believe food is divine and should be best enjoyed with hands.

$Do not let the outside of your hand or fingers stain while eating.

Thorough washing of hands is a must before eating.

$It is considered impolite to touch the food of others, so use forks and spoons in such circumstances.

Spoons can be used to intake watery items like soups as well as deals.


  • 10% to 20% of the bill amount is hugely appreciated.
  • China

do’s$dont’s The use of chopstick is an inseparable part of the Chinese food culture.$Don’t use your chopsticks for stirring the food. An important characteristic of Chinese dining is to order an even number of foods.$A big no when it comes to licking chopsticks. $Don’t smoke when you dine.


  • Though not customary, 10% to 15% of the meal amount is expected.

  • Japan


An incredible characteristic of Japanese dining is to empty your plates.

$Do not start eating unless all at your table is served.

Before you pour your own drink, serve it to others at your table.$No burping or blowing your nose while eating.

$Do not point your chopsticks at other people during a conversation.


  • Tipping is acceptable. However, it should be placed within an envelope before handing it over.

5. Africa

  • Egypt


Eat with your right hand.$Do not begin your meal unless the oldest member at the table is served.

It is considered polite to leave a small quantity of food after you finish your eating.

$Do not expect alcohol or pork to be served.

Compliment the host at the end of the meal.$Do not use your left hand while eating.


  • 10% of the bill amount is acceptable as a tip.

Rezmin is passionate about traveling and curating content about history, traditions and other intriguing aspects that make a place attractive. In her spare time, she enjoys reading fictional books sprinkled with inspiration, humor and enthusiasm.

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