Swiss Table Manners

5. When toasting, chink your glass with everybody at the table and look each person in the eyes before drinking.

This list of 13 table manners ruled my life as a kid growing up in Switzerland. I agree, Swiss table manners matter.

6 Comments leave a comment below

  1. This is great! My Austrian co-worker recently taught me:

    12. When finished, put your knife and fork parallel to one another on your place as if they were hands on a clock indicating 5:25. If you don’t do this, your host will serve you more food.

    She said that she never had any idea if we were actually still wanting more food or just “lazy Americans.” It would be awesome if American’s had table manners. Eek!

  2. Also: greet each person upon arrival, remember everyone’s name, and shake everyone’s hand goodbye. Those are the absolute hardest Swiss rules for me!!!!! I can’t remember names, and I just hate saying hello and goodbye to each person individually. I’m sure I’ve been branded a lazy American by now!

  3. Thank you for promoting savoir-vivre!
    Most, if not all, of the rules in “Swiss table manners matter” are actually universal across european countries, not particularly specific to Switzerland. They used to be called good manners, decent behaviour at the table, etc. Anyway, it is encouraging to see that in the era of “whatever” someone still cares.
    Thank you!

  4. Sounds like every rule I was taught by my London-born mother.

    You know, I’ve always practiced #12, and have always been frustrated by waitstaff wanting to remove my plate when the knife and fork are at rest–but at 8 o’clock and 4 o’clock. No, I’m not done. Thank you.

    Good rules. Basic manners that show respect for others. Not fussy manners–which I do not care for, and are really just a way to flaunt status.

  5. These rules are good for the continent of Europe and not the UK where food is pushed onto upside down forks. As for our American manners, young people handle forks in their fists and cut up all their food as if they were feeding babies. Have you ever seen an American actually look at you when toasts are going round the table?

  6. I was brought up with these too. Some of these are an absolute must when dining.