Dining time is supposed to be a time where you enjoy your food and enjoy the company of those you are dining with. There are certain table manners that we as women unknowingly violate when we are dining out with friends that could possibly diminish the experience.

Being mindful of these dining tips would help show that you are appreciative and respectful of the company you are with.

Here are five table manners that women should be mindful of when dining with people in a formal or semi-formal setting.

1. No cell phones

We often get away with our devices but it is poor table manners to even bring your cell phone to the table, talk more of operating it while eating with people.

It is rude to use your phone when you are dining with people because it comes across like you do not value their company. Switch off your phone or mute it before dining. You can practice by keeping your phone away while eating alone.

2. Mind your drinking

If you are being served any alcoholic beverages, know your limits and stick to it. If you do not know, ask for the alcoholic content or simply do not drink that beverage, ask for a substitute. You would not want to be tipsy or drunk while dining people.

3. Don’t start eating before your host

When you are served, wait for your host to reach for their cutlery before you start eating. If there is no host, wait until everyone has been served, or has gotten their food and is settled before you begin to eat your food. It shows your consideration and care and respect for the people you are dining with.

4. Elbows off

Make sure your elbows are off the table when you are dining. Especially if the table is covered with a cloth. Putting your elbows on the table can risk the tablecloth and food being dragged off the table.

Also, keeping your elbows on the table can cause you to hit your drinking glass or another person’s drinking glass.

Placing your elbows on the table also bends your upper spine and this can inhibit digestion because your stomach will be squeezed between your ribs and spine.

5. Ask for food to be passed to you

When you are at the table, make sure you ask for something to be passed to you. Don’t lean over someone’s food in order to get to what you want. You don’t want to risk dropping a serving dish on someone’s plate or worse, push their food off the table.