Professional lunch series offers real-life dining skills, etiquette to teens

Hadas Kuznits
November 29, 2019 - 12:39 pm
Dining etiquette series for Philadelphia High School students

Hadas Kuznits/KYW Newsradio

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A group of Philadelphia culinary high school students this month went to lunch at an upscale restaurant to learn the rules of dining out. 

Ben Fileccia with the Pennsylvania Restaurant and Lodging Association describes the class as a professional lunch series. It's essencially an etiquette class for dining out.

"A lot of these kids are going to be going to networking events soon or networking dinners. They may be having a college interview over coffee or over lunch. We have Prom coming up," he said.

Dining at The Love in Rittenhouse was the first time 17-year-old Brenda Estevez experienced a multi-course meal. 

"This professional lunch setting is really nice to get everyone together and get to know each other and just know what it's like to be in a restaurant in general," Estevez said.

Fileccia says these dining rules can be implemented anywhere the students sit down for a meal.

"There's nothing that you should be doing out of the restaurant that you can't also do at home," he said. "And that means: wait until mom sits down to start eating dinner; pushing your chair in when you get up from the table."

Daniel Allen Adams, 17, was struck by the place settings.

"The whole diagram, like the different types of utensils and all that," he said. "I didn't know."

Lindsay Miller with the National Restaurant Association said, "For me, it's less about 'Do you know how to properly hold a fork?' and 'Are you comfortable in diverse settings?'"

Fileccia says these days the biggest faux pas is using your smartphone at the table.

"The restaurant atmosphere is one place where you can kind of get away from that, and there's still human interraction," Fileccia said.

For more professional dining tips, rules and explanations, listen to the KYW Newsradio original podcast What’s Cooking below or on the RADIO.COM app.