The Do’s and Don’ts of Dining Etiquette Around the World [Infographic]

portugal-dining-ettiquete

If you’re any sort of mister manners when it comes to dining etiquette, you know the basics of American restaurant behavior. Splitting the check – usually OK. Letting out an impressive burp at a fine dining establishment – not so much. These unspoken rules are pretty clear-cut. However, things get tricky when you’re traveling to other countries, as the do’s and don’t of table manners begin to change.

This helpful infographic navigates curious eaters through etiquette around the world. Let’s say you’re at a restaurant in Japan and you’ve got a tiny bit of sticky rice left on your chopsticks. Whatever you do — don’t lick the chopstick. It’s rude, man! Dining out with a group of friends? In this situation, splitting a check would be considered terrible etiquette, same goes for China and France.

Thailand Etiquette Italy Etiquette Japan Etiquette China Etiquette France Etiquette India Etiquette

Picthx The Restaurant ChoiceVisual.ly



Cameron is a Philadelphia native who is borderline obsessed with chocolate, coffee and sushi. She writes for TheFW and The Daily Meal, and making a mean chocolate chip cookie is her specialty. She also tries pizza everywhere she travels in hopes someday she'll become one of those cool pizza snobs.



  • Anonymous

    As a Chinese person, I’m pretty sure belching is an uncommon form of letting someone know your appreciation.

    • Tom

      I’m a Chinese person, and this is wrong. Belching very much IS a form of respect, as is farting. The louder and smellier the fart, the better. I suggest you study up on your Chinese culture and history.

  • Gigi

    No offense but the China one is so inaccurate.

  • Charli

    The belching thing is not a thing… We do not do this.

  • Alex Lewicki

    Im laughing at all this traditional etiquette stuff. Have they not heard of human progression? The rest of the world is leaving them behind.

  • Ben IncaHutz

    I’d like to know where ripping a massive fart after a meal is considered good form. With 8 billion people in the world I’m sure someone somewhere appreciates a satisfying fart.

    • Gaz

      *7 billion.

  • كيمو نور
    • Maggiemay

      Wrong, wrong, completely wrong.

  • كيمو نور
    • Steve Borchard

      What this guy said.

  • Paulo

    The Portugal and italy one are total lies. You do not tip in either country, and the salt thing is not true. Most restaurants have, olive oil salt & pepper available at all times. Its only you crazy americans who tip because you just cant get enough of blowing your money.

    • Anonymous

      You tell them. :)

    • Anonymous

      That’s ok but the one about milk beverages is totally right. When I hear about foreign people having cappuccino after pizza… oh, god. That really grosses me out.

    • Linda Lovelush

      No, we tip because the servers RELY on those tips as part of their salary and it is considered a common courtesy.

      • Gaz

        Servers get a paycheque like every other employee in existence. I don’t tip a cashier, I don’t tip a car mechanic, I don’t tip a fishmonger so I’m certainly not going to tip a server for DOING THEIR JOB that they are PAID to do. It’s an absolutely ridiculous concept.

        • Dr.DRB

          In the US, servers are typically paid a wage equivalent to 25-50% the “minimum” wage for all other positions, even for menial labor. What is ridiculous is that you’re so vehemently opposed to something without understanding the basic facts at hand.

        • Anonymous

          Wrong sweetie. The minimum wage for tipped employees (servers) here in the US is $2.13 an hour. Once payroll taxes are taken out, often their “paycheque” will come to $0.00.

          Tipping is required to bring their compensation up to minimum wage. But, If tips fall shy of meeting the federal minimum wage of $7.25/hr then the restaurant owner is legally required to pay them the difference.

          Servers here in the US literally rely on their tips to survive. Please do a little research before you speak out of your bum next time.

          http://www.dol.gov/elaws/faq/esa/flsa/002.htm

          • Paulo

            I understand its a reality, but the financial issues a waitress / waiter is not my responsibility. I dont eat out to be charitable or take on the financial responsibility of someone else. This is a ridiculous system that puts the consumer and the worker under unnecessary financial pressure. I would have no issue if the bill was higher to pay the waiter / waitress a better salary. But that is the employers responsibility, not the consumer.

          • Anonymous

            “Tipping is required to bring their compensation up to minimum wage.
            But, If tips fall shy of meeting the federal minimum wage of $7.25/hr
            then the restaurant owner is legally required to pay them the
            difference.”

            Exactly let the owner pay then!

            The tipping system is retarded.

        • Linda Lovelush

          Depending on your state, minimum wage for servers can go as low as $2.13 an hour. Many servers get paid less per hour than a fast food worker. Cashiers, mechanics, etc, all make more per hour than servers do.

          You say it’s ridiculous? You’re damn right it is. And let’s add to that the fact that some restaurants require their servers to give up a percentage of their earned tips to pay the bus boys. Is that ridiculous enough for you?

          Then I’ll go back BASIC COMMON COURTESY. You have every right to eat in a restaurant and walk out without leaving a tip. Nobody is forcing you to lay your money down (unless you eat in one of those places that tacks on gratuities to your bill as a standard practice) but I’ve worked in restaurants and I know what the servers have to put up with and that includes people like you.

          Then you have your moron who stiffs the servers because their food sucked or it took too long to come out of the kitchen. The food sucking is NOT the server’s fault. They are there to wait on you hand and foot, but they don’t cook the food. Yeah, you get the occasional server who really sucks at their job. But when that happens, I take into consideration that, hey, maybe they’re having a bad day. Maybe they just got yelled at by the boss and they’re using all of their strength to fight back tears as they listen to you bitch that your steak isn’t cooked right. Maybe he or she just lost a loved one to cancer.

          Life happens. People have bad days. I still tip anyway.

          • Ace Mann

            Tipping is a scam by the employer.While I can understand the concept,you need to ask why Macdonalds can pay $15 to $22 an yr in australia with no problems.
            Corperate america is turning the rest of you into slaves.

          • Anonymous

            Australia have higher taxes and cost of living.

            Read up before you speak.

          • Ace Mann

            Im a road maintenance worker.112k a yr before tax,82k in the hand after tax.
            Same job in usa is around 40k before tax.
            Higher tax and cost of living is more than compensated for.

          • Linda Lovelush

            Again, a McDonald’s employee is paid differently than a server in a restaurant. And the reason Australians (how the hell Australia got into this discussion is beyond me, but whatever…) make more per hour is… well, see MrMer’s answer below.

            Thank you and have a nice day.

          • Ace Mann

            Not true, the minimum award wage for an entry level restaurant or tearoom worker is $17 an hr.
            The highest level is $21.20.Weekends are time and a half.
            Casual workers start on $21.25 up to $26.50.
            These are minimum,many places pay above award.
            This is from theRestaurant, Tearoom and Catering Workers’ WA Award

          • Linda Lovelush

            Again, I believe it depends on where you live, what your employer is willing to pay you, whether or not you have to give up a percentage of your tips for the bussers, etc.

            Whatever the case, I tip because I want to. That’s my personal bottom line. It’s a choice. Nobody is saying you HAVE to tip. But some of us do.

      • Ace Mann

        No. You tip because adults in the usa food industry get paid less than you can legally pay CHILDREN ,in a genuine first world country like Australia.

        • Linda Lovelush

          Um… isn’t that pretty much, in so many words, what I just said?

          LOL

          • Ace Mann

            We agree to agree.

          • Linda Lovelush

            No doubt you made their night, LOL

      • Anonymous

        Say Linda are you receiving the Foodbeast update e-mails? I dont seem to be getting them for some reason. Not sure if they still send them out…

        • Linda Lovelush

          I don’t get updates from Foodbeast itself, but I do get email notifications from Discuss.

    • Anonymous

      ‘You just can’t get enough of blowing your money’

      Do you watch the news at all? Have you read a newspaper or any website with articles beside Foodbeast? America is in a recession, a pretty bad one at that. Do you think Americans just walk into a restaurant and throw money around and jack off after it? No, its because servers are paid a pittance of the mininum wage to do what is hard work. Servers rely on tips to get by because based on wage alone, they’re looking at ending a shift with something like 8-10 dollars for a days work after taxes.

      • Paulo

        I understand its a reality, but the financial issues a waitress / waiter is not my responsibility. I dont eat out to be charitable or take on the financial responsibility of someone else. This is a ridiculous system that puts the consumer and the worker under unnecessary financial pressure. I would have no issue if the bill was higher to pay the waiter / waitress a better salary. But that is the employers responsibility, not the consumer..

        Iv lived in the US for 8 years and I currently spend 4-5 months of the year there on business. Yes I can confidently say Americans blow their money like its going out of style. When there is something to buy they go and spend it.
        Explain why so many americans buy go to Starbucks and other coffee shops on a regular basis when they could just make one at home or in the office. Thats just one tiny example of how much Americans blow cash when they can.

        Dont get me wrong, because of social etiquette I tip in the US, 15-20% but only because I have to. People I am with will not respect me if I dont regardless of how I feel like its not my responsibility. Thats my money I work hard for and I shouldn’t have to part with it due to social pressures.

        • musicnotmoney

          While nobody can argue that Starbucks isn’t a profitable business, I’d be curious to walk into a Starbucks and see how many people frequent it every morning, twice a week, occasionally, et al – and why. I go to Starbucks a couple of times a week, and for a multitude of reasons that usually go back to the fact that when I’m running out the house to get ready, waiting for a full pot of coffee to drip when I only want one cup is a time waster, and just wasteful in general. Paying for a service and/or a product is also not ‘blowing money’.

          And ‘unnecessary financial pressure?’ Its under ten dollars unless you’re eating foie gras and Dom Perignon, and if you can’t afford to tip, you shouldn’t be eating out. But yet you say you have no problem with the bill being higher…if the restaurant charged it instead. Your points are about as linear as a Jackson Pollock painting.

    • Sentry Virginia

      We have money because our work day extends beyond 4 hours. And Paulo, your entire existence revolves around America financial whims. No one smiles past 40 in Europe, because you have bad hips riding bikes all over the place, bad eating habits that destroy your digestive systems, and huge amount of liver disease because of your boozing. These major health issues get solved with pain pills because your healthcare stinks unless your upper middle class and pay for it out of pocket. Don’t forget about your old who die alone because its too hard for their relatives to take a 5 hour train ride to see them. That’s real life in Europe, lazy youth, hurting middle age, grumpy seniors who hate everyone.

      • Hedda

        This is utter Bullshit.. You can’t say “Europe” as one country as you can with the USA (I do know that there are big differences from state to state in US as well, but The USA actually IS one country), Europe is a continent. It’s a humongous differences between countries like Poland and Norway for example or Ireland and Russia. Healthcare, happiness, economy is completely different in all of these countries. I live in Norway, and we been selected as the best country in the world to live in time after time.. At least the skandinavien countries have (by my political belives) the best healthcare in the world, you are talking about having to pay out of “Their own pocket” – that’s not us, that’s the USA! We have free healthcare for everybody, everybody get treated the same no matter how much you earn. We have the most generous social democratic welfare state in the world, so frankly it pisses me of when people come with this kind of statements when they apparently don’t know much about what they are talking about, or can’t se the distinctions in the examples they are making. And lazy youth? Please give me an valid argument and empirical exsamples that shows how European youths are so much more lazy than the rest of the world!

    • Mark Daniel Johansen

      I don’t understand why people resent giving a waitress a tip. If waitresses did not get tips, the restaurant owner would have to pay them more. That money would have to come from somewhere, and realistically, that means the cost of the meal would be higher. It’s not like it’s costing you more because you’re expected to pay a tip. It just means that it’s up to you to decide how much you want to pay. And in what other industry does the customer decide the cost of the product, AFTER he has consumed it? I think it would be great if every industry relied on tipping. Like, buy a car, drive it around for a few months, then pay the dealer whatever you think it’s worth. That would be great!

  • Anonymous

    Speaking for Portugal here, I have to say… what!??

    Asking for salt is one of the most common things (particularly salt). It’s so common, that most restaurants actually have cute sets of small ceramic pots with both condiments.

    As for tip, double what? Tipping is uncommon, seeing as waiters are generally properly employed and part of staff. If you’re having lunch or a quick dinner with a per-person cost of under 15-20€, you’ll often leave no tip. If you do feel generous, you won’t normally measure tips by % – often people will leave 1-2€ per person.

    But in any case, due to the nature of proper employment, not tipping is considered normal. You wouldn’t normally tip nor the girl at the shoe store, so there’s often no reason to tip a waiter either, unless they make your night memorable. Often they do, just by being nice, because they’re nice people – not because they’re looking for a tip (unlike in the US).

  • http://www.ayellis.com a.yellis

    Oh, the China one. No no no. Source: State dinners nonstop for my job.

  • Rouhaan

    Speaking for India… You are WAYYY OFF!!!!

    I don’t know of one restaurant that does not offer cutlery… Even the guys in villages give cutlery… It is a different thing that Indian food is rather eaten with your hands than with forks and spoons.

    Also, noone cares if you eat too fast or slow

  • Josefa

    The Portuguese one is pure lie…

  • Gerard

    Splitting the bill in France is not rude : it’s done all the time by colleagues lunching in Paris. Perhaps its a bit much for dinner, though.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t know where your information is coming from or if you are making a lot of this up. I’ve spotted 5 inaccuracies, as has the rest of the thread.

  • Gaz

    Pretty much all of these are inaccurate or just entirely incorrect in either some or all aspects. Whoever made these up as zero knowledge about ANY of the cultures written about other than what they probably heard in passing with no research done in regards to any of the cultures.

  • Steve Borchard

    So if I get this right from reading the comments…this entire article is a bunch of BS.

  • Jim

    In regards to China, belching is very rude. However many people I dined food with in China chose to quietly pass gas and pretend nothing happened while at the dinner table. The air would fill with a sulferic aroma for several minutes then pass. Quite disconcerting to say the least.

    • Maggiemay

      They do that in other places too.

  • BotanyCameos

    A lot of these are common sense (washing your hands) but some of them are stereotypical and inaccurate.
    I can’t say for all countries, but for the two I know best there are issues.

    The bread pushing the food to the fork in France will be viewed as bad manners. Yes, some people do it, just how some people burp at the table in any countries, and you will still be looked down on if you do it.
    So if you are among friends and don’t care, ok, but if you want to impress your future in-laws or look good, well… use the knife. That’s what it’s for. (Use the knife also to push stuff onto your little piece of bread while you hold it with the other hand, when you eat bread. The rest of the time, eat your food with fork and knife. One is never to touch any food other than bread with anything but fork and knife, in France.)
    The rest of the tips for France were accurate though.

    Similarly, the slurping as loud as you can in Japan, will get people to think you’re either making fun of them (especially if it’s really too loud) or just have bad manners.
    That’s a persistent stereotype you see repeated in so many places, because it is something people do a lot, but it’s still viewed as bad manners.
    In some restaurants (ramen ones in particular), it’s ok to slurp your noodles, but you should try to not make it too loud and definitely not do it at a nice restaurant (ramen restaurants are not fancy restaurants. It’s somewhat like fast food).
    The slurping is due to the noodles being served so hot, but people of good manners try not to make as much noise. Hence, the louder you are, the more you are marking yourself as someone from a background with less manners.

    It’s things people do, but just how in any country, some people will pick their teeth with a toothpick letting everyone see what they are taking from between their teeth, or will clean their nails at the table etc… yes, it’s physically possible to do it, and you will see people do it in any country, but that does’t mean it’s ok or should be imitated. It results in people viewing you as bad mannered, not as ‘one of the locals’. You may look like a local with bad manners…

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