Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Etiquette, Part Two

How to write an Invitation:

Dr. Joyce Knudsen (If both people in a relationship are Doctors, you would address them as Drs. Knudsen. (Host Name.) Requests the pleasure of your company (invitation phrase) at a dinner (type of party) in honor of Sharon Williams (who the party is for.) on Saturday, the second of July (day two thousand six (year) at eight o'clock (time) 2711 Sumnar Road. (location) RSVP Rpondez s'il vous plat("reply, please") Formal Attire (special -000-0000 (where to reply) instructions)

In a perfect world, your invitation should arrive three to four weeks prior to a lunch, dinner, or party. If the invitation is for an event lasting longer than a day, you should allow six months, especially if hotel and travel reservations need to be made. When replying to an invitation, you should respond as requested within a week (in our example, by calling the number listed) Sometimes, the invitation will include a response card which you will mail back to the host within a weeks time. If you cannot attend, it is customary to include an explanation. You don't have to give details, but simply write, "I'm sorry that a previous engagement will prevent us from joining your luncheon. Thank you for thinking of us." If you accept an invitation and at the last minute find that you are unable to attend, you must inform your host. If your conflict occurs on the day of and you can't reach your host at the number listed on the invitation, you should call the restaurant and have the maitre d' deliver your apology.

Thank you letters: Dear Sue, Thank you so much for dinner last night. Your table looked beautiful with the flowers from your garden. It was such a pleasure to meet your guest from France, John Patton. Your meal was as satisfying as the conversation. Sincerely, Mark and Ann Newsome Your thank you should be handwritten and mailed within 24 hours of the eventThree or four lines are all you need. Thank you letters are sent when you have attended a luncheon, dinner, party or other event. They are also appropriate when you have received a favor, gift or had an interview.

When you are the host: Careful planning is essential for a successful dining experience. Many fine restaurants offer assistance with event planning. Until you become very experienced with planning dining events, it is suggested you use this expertise.

Luncheons: Make sure you know the restaurant or have had a trusted individual suggest it. Some finer establishments will take reservations over the lunch hour, but most others will not. If possible, book your luncheon before or after the rush. Check with your chosen restaurant for rush hour periods. Once you have chosen a site and time. Send your invitations. If informal, it is acceptable to invite by phone as far ahead as possible to give invitees time to arrange their schedule. Arrive at least ten minutes early to make sure everything is set. You will be paying for the meal, so you can leave your credit card with the maitre d' and instruct them to include a 20% tip in the final bill. When the bill comes to your table, all you have to do is sign it and take your card and your copy. Leave your coat with coat check and either wait for your party in the lobby or at your table. If you wait at your table, be sure to maintain its set up. Do not "move in." You should not eat or drink until your guests arrive. Your site is your home away from home. You would not invite guests into your home to an unkempt dining table. Give the guest of honor the choice seat which is usually facing into the crowd away from swinging doors and heavy traffic areas. You will take the least desirable position at the table. You will set the tone for the event by your actions. Your guests will follow your lead. You might suggest specials that the restaurant is know for. You will always start the order. It is not appropriate to have alcohol at a business lunch. Once everyone has ordered, small talk begins and continues through the main course. A guest should tell you if something needs attention. You should then communicate their concerns/requests to the wait staff. You will start the business discussion once the plates are cleared. If a guest starts talking business, suggest that you wait until everyone has enjoyed their lunch. You may walk your guests to their cars afterwards. If in a mixed crowd, the entire group might accompany the ladies to their cars first. If you have a complaint, you will write a complaint letter to the manager. (Be sure to get their card before leaving the restaurant.)

DINING: Whether in your home or out, the host and co-host will sit at each end of the table with the most honored guest to the hosts right. Their spouse will sit to the right of the co-host. The next honored guest will sit to the left of the host and their spouse to the left of the co-host. It is desirable to have a mixed seating arrangement rather than all men and women together. Separate spouses to give others an opportunity to converse with them. If you are entertaining friends, seat them next to those you know they will enjoy conversing with. If you are dining outside your home, you as the host will pay for the meal and lead in the ordering. After everyone has placed their dinner orders, you may choose to order a bottle of wine. Ask for the sommelier if one is available or your waiter. Once the wine is brought to you, the bottle will be shown to you. You nod your acceptance. The bottle will be opened and the cork presented to you.

DO NOT SMELL IT. It smells like cork. Very little else can be told by smelli What you want to note is if the cork is spongy. If it is dry, the wine has not been stored properly and you may have wine vinegar in your bottle. Ask for another bottle in this case. Once you determine the cork us uniformly moist, nod to the server. They will pour you a sip and after swirling your glass to open its bouquet, sip it while quietly sucking in a good amount of air so you can both smell and taste the wine. If it is acceptable, again nod to your server and they will serve your guests, then you. If you want to make a toast, you may do so at this time or wait until dinner is over.

As the meal proceeds, rolls may be brought. You will pass the basket to the guest on your right; take one for yourself before passing it to the guest on your left. They will continue passing the basket until the last person serves themselves and puts the basket on the table. You will pass the butter in the same manner. If there are other items that will be passed around the table, you will always pass to your right so your guest can accept the container with their left hand, leaving their right hand free to serve themselves. If the container is heavy, you may want to assist them until they have served themselves. Make sure the serving utensil handle is facing them. Wait staff will serve guests on their left side as well for the same reason. Salt and pepper are always passed together. If something is out of your reach, ask the person nearest the item to pass it to you. You may eat in the American style or the Continental style when in America. Try eating in the Continental style, when in another country. It is really the most silent and practical way to dine. (It is thought that when the first people came to America from Europe, they changed the style to reflect independence.)

No comments:

Post a Comment