Table Settings For Dinning | Table Settings Guide | Place Setting | Types Of Place Setting | How To Arrange Eating Tools On Dinning Table | How To Use Eating Tools | Sitting Positions


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Setting up the table (laying a table) or setting a place refers to how to set up a table with crockery, such as cutlery to eat and to serve and eat. The layout for a single restaurant is called the place setting. The practice of dictating the precise arrangement of tableware has varied between cultures and historical periods.

Kinds Of Table Setting For Dinner

  • Basic Table Setting

Basic place setting

For a basic table setting, here are two great tips to help you – or your children. Remember the order of dishes and utensils:

Imagine the word “FORKS”. The order, from left to right, is: F for Fork, O for the Plate (the shape!), K for Knives and S for Spoons. (All right, you have to forget the R, but you get the idea!)

Holding your hands in front of you, touch the tips of the thumbs on the index fingers to make a tiny “b” with your left hand and a tiny “d” with your right hand. This reminds you that “bread and butter” go to the left of the environment and “drinks” go to the right. Some people often get confused about where to place and what bread and butter they belong to.

Other Things To Know:

The blades of the knives are always pointing towards the plate
The napkin goes to the left of the fork or onto the plate
The bread knife and butter is optional

  • Informal Table

When an informal three-course dinner is served, the setting of the typical place includes these utensils and dishes:


Our illustration shows how a table would be set for the following menu:

  • Soup course
  • Salad or first course
  • entry
  • Sweet

(a) Dinner Plate:

This is the “wheel hub” and is usually the first thing to set on the table. In our illustration, the dinner plate will be placed where the napkin is, with the napkin over the plate.

(b) Two forks:

The forks are positioned to the left of the plate. The dinner fork, the largest of the two forks, is used for the main course; the smaller fork is used for a salad or an aperitif. The forks are arranged according to when it is necessary to use them, following an “external” order. If the fork is necessary for an aperitif or a salad served before the main course, it is positioned on the left (outside) of the fork; if the salad is served after the main course, the small fork is placed on the right (inside) of the fork, next to the dish.

(c) Napkin:

The napkin is folded or placed in a napkin ring and placed to the left of the forks or in the center of the serving dish. Sometimes, a folded napkin is placed under the forks.

(d) Table knife:

The dinner knife is immediately to the right of the plate, with the edge facing inwards. (If the main dish is meat, a steak knife can take the place of the table knife.) In an informal meal, the kitchen knife can be used for all courses, but a dirty knife should never be placed on the table. or tablecloth.

(e) Spoons:

The spoons go to the right of the knife. In our illustration, the soup is served first, then the soup spoon goes to the far (outside) to the right of the kitchen knife; the teaspoon or dessert spoon, which will be used last, goes to the left (inside) of the soup spoon, next to the kitchen knife.

(f) Glasses:

Glasses of any kind – water, wine, fruit juice, iced tea – are placed at the top right of the dinner plate, above the knives and spoons.

Other dishes and utensils are optional, depending on what is served, but may include:

(g) Salad plate:

This is placed to the left of the forks. If the salad is to be consumed with the meal, you can renounce the salad dish and serve it directly on the dinner plate. However, if the starter contains gravy or anything runny, it is best to serve the salad on a separate plate to keep things tidier.

(h) Bread plate with butter knife:

If used, the bread plate goes over the forks, with the butter knife placed diagonally on the edge of the plate, the handle on the right side and the blade facing down.

(i) Dessert spoon and fork:

Can be placed horizontally above the dinner plate (the spoon above with the handle pointing to the right, the fork below with the handle facing left); or next to the plate. If placed next to the plate, the fork goes to the left side, closer to the plate (because it will be the last used fork) and the spoon goes to the right side of the plate, to the right of the dinner knife and to the left of the soup spoon .

(j) Coffee cup and saucer:

Our illustration shows a common table setting in a restaurant. However, it serving a large number of people at once, with coffee being served during the meal. The coffee cup and saucer are placed above and to the right of the knife and spoons. At home, most people serve coffee after the meal. In that case the cups and saucers are brought to the table and placed above and to the right of the knives and spoons.

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  • Formal Table Setting

The setting of the formal place is used at home for a meal of more than three courses, for example a dinner or a holiday meal.

It is simply the informal place setting taken to the next level, adding glasses, plates and utensils for the foods and drinks served with the additional courses. It is also used in high-end restaurants that serve multiple courses.
In general:

The knife blades are always positioned with the cutting edge towards the plate.

Not more than three tools are placed on the table, except when using an oyster fork as well as three other forks. If more than three dishes are served before dessert, the tools for the fourth course are brought with food; in the same way the fork and the knife can be brought when the salad course is served.
Dessert spoons and forks are brought to the dessert plate just before dessert is served.


The positioning of the tools is guided by the menu, the idea is that tools are used in an “external to” order. For setting the place shown here, the menu order is:

  • Appetizer: crustaceans
  • First course: soup or fruit
  • Fish course
  • entrée
  • salad

(a) Service Plate:

This large plate, also called a magazine, acts as a saucepan for the plate containing the first plate, which will be brought to the table. When the first course is canceled, the serving dish remains in place for all other courses, such as a soup course, until the plate containing the starter is served, at which point the two plates are exchanged. The loader can serve as a sub-plate for several courses that precede the entrée.

(b) Butter Dish:

The small butter dish is placed above the forks to the left of the place setting.

(c) Dinner Fork:

The largest fork, also called fork, is positioned to the left of the plate. Other smaller forks for other courses are placed on the left or right of the fork, depending on when they will be used.

(d) Fish Fork:

If there is a fish course, this fork is positioned to the left of the fork because it is the first fork used.

(e) Salad fork:

If the salad is served after the appetizer, the fork is placed to the right of the fork, next to the dish. If the salad is to be served first, and the fish second, then the forks should be placed (from left to right): salad fork, fish fork, dinner fork.

(f) Dinner Knife:

The large kitchen knife is placed to the right of the dinner plate.

(g) Fish knife:

The special-shaped fish knife goes to the right of the kitchen knife.

(h) Salad knife (Note: there is no salad knife in the illustration):

If used, according to the menu above, it will be placed to the left of the dinner knife, next to the dinner plate. If the salad is to be served first, and the second fish, then the knives will be arranged (from left to right): dinner knife, fish knife, salad knife.

(i) soup spoon or fruit spoon:

However, if soup or fruit is served as a first course, the accompanying spoon goes to the right of the knives.

(j) Oyster fork:

If the molluscs are to be served, the oyster fork is to the right of the spoons. Also note: it is the only fork ever positioned on the right of the plate.

(k) Butter knife:

The small diffuser runs diagonally across the top of the butter dish, handle to the right and blade to the bottom.

(l) Glasses:

These are positioned on the right, above the knives and spoons. Therefore, can be numbered up to five and entered in the order in which they will be used. When there are more than three glasses, they can be arranged with the smaller glasses in the front. The goblet of water (la) is placed directly above the knives. Just to the right, a red (lc) or white (ld) wine glass is placed. However, a glass of sherry or a flute of champagne (le), to accompany a first course or an initial toast, go to the right of the wine glasses. The glasses used for a particular course are removed at the end of the course.

(m) Napkin:

The napkin is placed above the magazine (if used) or in the space for the plate. It can also go to the left of the forks or under the forks if space is tight.

Everything on your table should be fresh and sparkling. The white sheets are still considered the most formal, but colorful tablecloths or placemats with geometric patterns, and the napkins can be just as elegant. However, other possible elements include candles, centerpieces or multiple floral arrangements and placeholders. The placemats (if used) are placed in front of each chair, about 1-2 inches from the edge of the table.

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A tablecloth spreads to hang it evenly on each end and sides. The average drop is from 12 to 18 inches, but do not worry if it’s a bit long or short, just do not make it too low, or it will end in the rounds of the diners.

The most formal table is strictly symmetrical: centerpiece in the exact center, an even number of candlesticks, pitches arranged evenly around the table, aligned silver and at the same distance from the edge of the table. However, the space not occupied by the place settings is your available property. Therefore, feel free to vary the floral arrangements and decorations as you like, creating a balanced and pleasant table space. Also, be careful not to overcrow the table and organize your decorations so that the diners sitting in front can see each other.

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