Find Your Bearings At A Formal Dinner Table With The ‘B And D’ Rule

Find Your Bearings At A Formal Dinner Table With The ‘B And D’ Rule

If you’re not accustomed to fancy dinners, it can be tough to know what’s what. Plates and glasses will be all over the place, but this simple rule will help you know what’s yours.

Picture: Michael Lehet

Whether it’s a business dinner, a formal party or a family gathering, a fancy dinner entails more utensils than you’ll usually use in an entire week. It can get confusing, and if you don’t attend formal dinners regularly, you’ll probably forget most of the basics. If you sit down at the table and you don’t remember which plates and glasses are yours, Jim Schleckser at Inc shares a simple rule:

…take your index or pointer finger and touch it to your thumb on each hand so that you make two circles. Make sure to stretch out the fingers on both hands as well, kind of like you’re making the “OK” sign with each hand. But what else do you see when you look down at your hands? How about the letter “b” in your left hand and the letter “d” in your right? …The “b” stands for bread, which means your bread plate is on your left. The “d” stands for drink, which means your water glass is on right.

Now there’s no more confusion. It only takes a second, and you can do it under the table if you’re worried people will notice. If they do, you now have a great icebreaker! There are a lot of rules and other etiquette nuances that go along with formal dining, but they’re easy to learn.

The Best Advice You’ll Ever Get for Dining Out [Inc]


    • D is for drink! Which means there’s a bottle of coke on the right!
      O is for orange, which means there is a juicer on both sides!
      C is for cookie, that’s good enough for me.

  • Absolutely awful.
    The table is not laid out correctly, the glasses are not in the right place and the table Is too cramped.

  • A table should be laid so it’s obvious which plates and glasses are yours … i.e. the closest ones.

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