What is proper etiquette for paper napkins?
- Jul 14, 2018 -

What is proper etiquette for paper napkins? 


Most paper napkins will waft away if you try to place them on your lap. 

What I do, is keep the paper napkin handy at the left side of my place, to wipe my lips with if necessary. 

I usually have a bandanna somewhere in my purse. They're very handy for many purposes. I use that for a lap napkin if I need one. 

Etiquette is different in modest restaurants from what it would be at home. 

— At home, it's unmannerly to tuck your napkin into your waistband or anywhere else in your clothes. At a restaurant, that's often the only way a paper napkin will stay in place. 

— At home you unfold your napkin right away and place it on your lap. At a restaurant, you may leave your silverware wrapped in the paper napkin until the food comes, when you can put your silverware on a plate. Also, it's OK to request additional paper napkins. At the end of the meal, fold your paper napkin so that it's apparent that it's been used -- but don't crumple it up. 

— When you're seated in a booth, it's considerate to move your empty plates and dishes to where the server can more easily reach them to remove them. 

— Many little items, such as crackers, tea bags, and sugar packets, come in wrappings. Try to fold the wrappings flat and tuck them somewhere neatly -- don't create a big trash pile on the table.


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