How is the protocol to set a table correctly?

When we have attended a formal event many times we look at how the dishes and cutlery are arranged. An order that follow a series of guidelines based on some protocol rules at the table. It is a way of showing education and respect to the rest of the diners when it comes to using the dishes, as well as the rest of the utensils, correctly; as well as the correct organization of a food service.

Protocol guide on the table

The perfect protocol when setting up a more formal table is to place a first plate, a second and a smaller one on one side and which is usually used to put the piece of bread for each diner. This is located in the far left of our site.

Next to the dishes, the correct thing is to place the napkin on the left and cutlery on both sides. Thus, we will have two forks on the left: the one next to the plate is for dinner, while the one further away is reserved for fish or starters. The soup or main dish spoon is placed to the right of the plate, at the far end and together with two knives that are more attached to the dishes: one for meat and another special for fish.

Just in front of the plate and in a smaller format, there will be a spoon and a fork. They flank the bread plate on the left and the glasses to the right: one for white wine, another for red wine and a glass for water.

How is it served?

When it comes to serving, the protocol also sets rules. Thus, women are cared for first. Therefore, starting with the host of the evening, the first woman on his right is served and then the one on the left. The rest of the guests continue to be served counterclockwise.

Cutlery has its language

Diners can address the waiter with a non-verbal communication that is transmitted through the cutlery.

  • We took a pause Between bites: we form a V with the fork and the knife without them touching.
  • Next plate: both cutlery intersect in the shape of a cross.
  • We don’t want to eat anymore: we place the fork and knife vertically equidistant.
  • A delicious food: same as above, but horizontally.
  • We did not like this dish: we put the knife between the tips of the fork to form a V.
Language of the cutlery in the protocol of a table (bigstock)