Chinese Dining Etiquette

(Last Updated on March 28, 2024 by Amiee)

China is a state of etiquette, and dining etiquette is also part of the food culture. Here are some basic etiquette for Chinese banquets or meals.

  • Ordering rules

For hosts or diners, there are generally three rules when dining in a restaurant.

1. Personnel composition. Generally speaking, one dish per guest is a more general rule. If it’s a dinner party with more male guests. The number of dishes should be increased appropriately. Consideration should also be given to guests dietary taboos, such as religious beliefs.

2. Combination of dishes. Generally speaking,  table dishes should include meat and vegetable, cold and hot. If there are more men on the table, you can order more meat, and if there are more women, you can order more light vegetables.

3. Don’t ask the price of the dish in front of the guests, this is not polite.

If you are a feast, you should not be too active when ordering food. Try to let the owner order the food. If you are asked by the hospitality, you can order a dish that is not too expensive and is not taboo for everyone.

  • About seating

1. Please invite the guests to sit down. If it is a  family dinner, the elderly will be seated first. When entering the seat, enter from the left side of the chair.

2. The person facing the door is the master. The person whose back facing the door is the second master. The first seat on the right hand of the master is for honor. The seat on the left hand of the master is for the second guest of honor.

  • Toasting etiquette.

1. Toasting in clockwise order, while your cup is lower than others is to show respect.

2. If you are drinking with a leader or elder, start with the leader or elder.

3. If there are leaders or elders on the table, they can toast with more than one person.

  • As a host or banquet for dining etiquette

1. When eating, the owner should personally give the guests a dish and toast to show respect for the guests.

2. During the banquet, the owner always stays with him and avoids leaving in advance to avoid the discomfort of the guests.

3. Don’t take away the empty dishes or wipe the table If you have not finished eating,
It represents driving away guests and being impolite.

4. Avoid the teapot when the banquet, the jug of the jug

  • Dining etiquette shared by the host and guest

1. Avoid using chopsticks to knock on the bowl.

2. Don’t make a sound when you eat or drink soup.

3. Avoiding chopsticks placed vertically in the rice is considered unlucky.

4. Avoid chopsticks separate, chopsticks should be put together

5. Don’t use chopsticks to point at others or play with chopsticks.

6. When you eat, first invite the guests who were elder to eat first. Follow the principle of less and close when picking dishes.

7. Avoid leftovers when eating. This is applicable all over the world, and food cannot be wasted.

8. It is best not to pick your teeth at the table. If you want to pick your teeth, use your napkin or hand to block your mouth.

Although present Chinese people do not care about this in particular, no matter what kind of etiquette, only when you can consider others and notice their inconvenience, can you become a real etiquette person.

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