It is very common in European or American countries to have place cards for people to know where they are supposed to sit at a dinner party or a wedding party. However, in countries like India, it could be taken in an absolutely wrong way. While, we in India, do not follow such protocol, there surely exist a basic way of sitting at the dinner table, especially at a formal dinner. These protocols are a must to know when attending a formal dinner party at work or anywhere else.
Art of Sitting Arrangement
Although at a formal corporate dinner parties, there are place cards to guide you your chair, but if there isn’t, the hostess makes sure to guide you to your seat. The chair where the guest of honor is supposed to sit is known as Place of Honor and that is to the right of the host for most people are right handed. If you have a round dinner table, it’s the host who has to guide the guest of honor where to sit and then the rest follow. In case of a rectangle dinner table,
* The host always sits at the head seat i.e. at the end of the table.
* The guest of honor or the main guest of the event occupies the right-hand seat of the host. If there are 2 main guest of the event they take the seats next to the hosts as shown in the image below.
Serving and Clearing Etiquette
Whenever hosting a formal dinner, it is important to guide your helping team about the right serving and cleaning etiquettes. If you are hosting a dinner at a restaurant, the staff already knows the right way, but if it’s a house dinner, guide the server the right way out.
Whenever serving a dish, the right way to do it is from the left. Always present the food from the diner’s left (as shown in the image) and clear the table from the left.
The serving of the food always starts with the guest of honor or the main guest of the evening and then goes in the anti-clockwise direction. The serving staff should always be guided in this manner. Right serving technique creates an unforgettable impression of the host on the mind of the guests. A well prepared home for guest is always appreciated.