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Do or Don't: Putting Your Napkin on the Plate?

Do or Don't: Putting Your Napkin on the Plate?

Yesterday DearSugar and I got into a debate about what you should do with your napkin when finished eating a meal. She said it was tacky and rude to put your napkin on the plate, but I told her I've done it before. What do you think? Is it bad manners to put your napkin on the plate when finished eating?

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Vaadsfweytes Vaadsfweytes 7 years
You should always nicely fold your napkin and put it on the table. I find it to be extremely rude to put napkins on a plate. I might sound a little extreme, but I can never dine with a person if I know that they don't have decent table manners.
MsMO MsMO 7 years
I don't think it matters and I don't put that much energy into where my napkin is when I sit down. I have a tad more important things to worry about.
rickimc rickimc 7 years
I always thought it was to signal the waiter that your plate can be cleared. I never put mine on the plate because I don't want to mix the napkin with food bits.
wtf-kas wtf-kas 7 years
if it's a paper napkin at some burger place or somewhere of that calibur, where your food probably came to you in a basket, why not toss your napkin in there? but if it's linen, NO, tuck it under the right side of your plate. how upset would a host be to see her linens covered in what was left on your plate?
lexichloe lexichloe 7 years
Unfortunately I have adapted this habit. I've done it out of need due to over-eager waiters who grab my plate before I'm done. Maybe if the service were better I wouldn't place my napkin on the plate, but oh, how I dare to dream...
kneenuh87 kneenuh87 7 years
I was brought up knowing that you place your napkin nicely on your plate when you are done. If it is Denny's I just toss it on there, but if I am at a more upscale place I will place the napkin on my plate, but away from any food that may still be on there. I was told it signifies when you have completed your meal and the waiter knows to remove your plate.
daniwani114 daniwani114 7 years
I think that if its a paper napkin and the meal and your dining partner(s) are casual then the napkin on the plate is perfectly acceptable and even makes for an easier clean up, but if nice linen napkins are used then putting that napkin on the plate is rude and just plain messy/gross.
popcorn19 popcorn19 7 years
It honestly skeeves me out for the napkin to be on the plate. Especially if there's still sauce or other foodstuffs on the plate. Ew.
danielle854 danielle854 7 years
I agree with those who said cloth napkin on the plate afterwards is rude, but paper napkins are acceptable.
katysoup katysoup 7 years
I don't necessarily think it's rude, but it's easier for the wait staff to clean it up if you leave a cloth napkin beside your plate. If it's a paper napkin, it's easier for them if you put it on your plate. I always make it a point to make clean up as easy as possible for the staff. I've been through it and it's not fun.
vitisva vitisva 7 years
I had a bf that would always put his napkin in his plate at home after we ate. Usually he hadn't even used it. It drove me nuts and seems really rude and careless.
FactCheckinCuz FactCheckinCuz 7 years
my boyfriend puts his cloth serviette on his plate when done a meal and it makes me cringe!!!! i hate it so much! Odd enough, when I was serving tables in a restaurant, I really didn't care what people did as the cloth napkins went straight into the laundry bin.
Marci Marci 7 years
I've never really thought about this, but I was taught to keep the napkin in my lap until I'm leaving the table - and at that time to put the napkin next to the plate.
Marci Marci 7 years
I've never really thought about this, but I was taught to keep the napkin in my lap until I'm leaving the table - and at that time to put the napkin next to the plate.
nevadamtnbear nevadamtnbear 7 years
I'm with the crowd that distinguishes between paper vs. cloth. Paper, on the plate it goes. It just gets scraped into the garbage with everything else. Cloth, it's yucky to put it on the plate, proper or not, to me.
corcar86 corcar86 7 years
I voted yes but not because it's tacky and rude it just grosses me out for some reason...I think about the person having to clean it after you do it and it just makes me feel bad for some reason...It's more of a personal choice though, I wouldn't think anything bad about a person for doing it after all I am known to lean my elbows on the table during a meal which is supposedly "rude" or bad manners. I usually just place my napkin next to my plate when I am done
DarlingDA DarlingDA 7 years
Depending on what I've just had, I think it is kay to put your napkin on your plate in certain circumstances. Not if you have a plate full of sauce though, or if it'll make more of a mess. I think it's a good signal to the waiter that you are finished, but placing it next to your plate is just as easy most of the time.
emileigh emileigh 7 years
Paper napkins get thrown away, so I think it's fine to put them on your plate. I try to make things as easy on the busboy as possible, so that's what I do in a more casual restaurant. If the napkin is cloth, it should go on the table so no one has to pick it up with food or sauce on it. As someone else said--traditional etiquette is to put it to the left of your plate, if you want to be really proper about it.
ayyeung18 ayyeung18 7 years
I generally put my napkin on the plate too, but I'm usually trying to hide the mess I made of my plate :) I only do that if they're disposable napkins, though. If they're linen, I usually tuck it next to my plate when I'm finished. Generally, I think it depends on where you are and who you're eating with. If it's Miss Manners, then you should probably wait and just follow her example :Phttp://foodieandfork.wordpress.com
ayyeung18 ayyeung18 7 years
I generally put my napkin on the plate too, but I'm usually trying to hide the mess I made of my plate :) I only do that if they're disposable napkins, though. If they're linen, I usually tuck it next to my plate when I'm finished. Generally, I think it depends on where you are and who you're eating with. If it's Miss Manners, then you should probably wait and just follow her example :P http://foodieandfork.wordpress.com
wren1 wren1 7 years
I tuck mine under the edge of my plate.
sugar_me_sweet sugar_me_sweet 7 years
I don't put the napkin on the plate just in case i want to sneak another bite.
mtiger mtiger 7 years
If it's a paper napkin, I crumble it up and put it on my plate. If it's a cloth napkin, I usually keep it in my lap until it's time to go. Then I set it beside my plate.
shmoo15 shmoo15 7 years
I probably wouldn't put a cloth napkin on the plate, because it makes a bigger mess for whoever is going to be cleaning it. But I ALWAYS put paper napkins on the plate. It helps me from over-eating. I put the napkin down, and voila! I'm done.
kiwitwist kiwitwist 7 years
I think it is rude when it is a cloth napkin.
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