Manner Monday®: Bread and Butter

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A friend recently asked me about bread and butter at formal events.  She mentioned how when at home, she loves to spread butter all over her roll letting the butter melt and get all gooey and soak in.  I was shaking my head in unison, salivating, wondering where the closest bakery was to pick up a loaf on the way home to devour that evening.  I think it’s safe to say, when we eat at home, we tend to be a bit more casual.  Sometimes we need to brush up on some of our more ‘formal’ manners before heading out to a big event.

Bread – For formal events, and at nicer restaurants, wait staff may serve the bread where it would be placed directly onto your bread plate.  Or it may be placed in a basket on the table to be passed family style.  Either way, if you have a bread plate, the plate should remain in its position throughout the meal until the wait staff removes it.  In case you’re drawing a blank on where your bread plate should be stationed, you can refer to the fun ‘b’ and ‘d’ trick, or the ‘BMW’ analogy.  As much as we love our bread, you don’t get to bring it down, front and center – it’s an accessory to the meal not the main course.

If you don’t have an individual bread plate at your place setting, you can rest your roll on the edge of your dinner plate.

Butter – The Butter may be preset on your personal bread and butter plate, on a communal plate to be passed for sharing, or individual foil packets may be placed in a container on the table.  If you’re faced with butter in foil packets, gently open your packet, gently scoop your serving of butter onto your plate, and gently fold your foil trash and place it in your virtual trashcan.

Your Virtual Trashcan – To find your virtual trashcan, picture a clock on your dinner plate.  Where the five falls on the clock, your trashcan will be on the table just under the right lip of your dinner plate.  This is helpful to the wait staff.  When they clear your plate from the right, they can easily empty your trash instead of having to reach all of the way in to the middle of the table.  Your trashcan can be used for sweetener packets and any other small pieces of ‘trash’.

Butter knife – If you have an individual butter knife, it stays at home resting on it’s own plate in between workouts.  Its sole purpose is to get the butter onto the bread – one bite at a time.  No working overtime on any other item.  If you do not have a butter knife, your dinner knife will work a double shift and step pinch hit for the job.  Either way, just don’t lick it spotless – you can gently wipe it on your piece of bread to clean it if need be.

One Bite at a time – When you’re ready for a bite of bread, take your fingers and tear a small piece away from your roll and butter that one individual portion.  We don’t get to cut our roll in half and slather butter all over it when we’re at a formal event and high-end restaurant, save that for home with close family.

Dipping and Sopping – If you have olive oil, gravy, or soup, you can ‘gently’ dip or sop with your individual bite size piece of bread.  Refrain from using the piece of bread as a shovel to clean your plate, and be extra careful to keep anything from dripping onto your shirt.

Now pass the bread basket please – all this talk about bread, I’m starving!

Special Announcements:

Registration is in full swing for our 5-8th grade programs that begin this Fall and classes are fulling up quickly.
Don’t forget to register now and save $50 with the ‘Summer Special’ rate.
And yes, a deposit can still be made to secure their spot!
For more information, visit the registration page on the website:

The highest compliment you can give us is a referral to your friends and coworkers. Please share our registration and contact information with any families you think might be interested in participating in our program.

Each year we build on the previous year as we add to the curriculum.  We have many students who continue with us each season, from our Level 5 (5th grade) program through our Passport (High School) Program.  Our goal with the continuous exposure, and gentle reminders, of the courtesies we teach over consecutive years – is to assist you in raising well-mannered young adults.

  • Continued Exposure:  Just as continued exposure to athletics and school homework reaps rewards; continued exposure to the social skills taught in our program will provide lifelong lessons that will benefit your child throughout the classroom and into the boardroom.
  • Benefits and Rewards:  One of the biggest rewards of our students returning year after year, is the virtual ‘light bulb’ that seems to turn on and stay on; the students are really starting to get it and they are very proud of themselves.  Their confidence is building.  We’ve highlighted some of our graduating seniors on my blog at

5-8th Grade Levels:  We encourage you to register early to take advantage of the ‘Summer Special’ discount.  Regular tuition for the 2014-2015 season will be $425.

  • All Families, ‘Summer Special’ $375 by July 31
  • 5-8th Grade registration online via:

9-12th Grade Levels:  Registration is open and will continue with the Early Bird discount into the fall.  Register early to avoid the waiting list.

  • 9-12th Grade registration online via:

Business Etiquette Training and other Workshops
Would you like to schedule a workshop or presentation?

I’m busy booking projects and working on presentations for clients and am already scheduling well into the Fall!  Thank you so much for your continued support for this part of my business!

I have a variety of workshops that can be customized to fit your needs and would love to work with your organization, please call or email for more information, 405-721-1467 or

Here are just a few of the workshop topics:

  • Etiquette and the Generations – understanding ‘those guys’
  • Creating a Great Customer Service Experience
  • Business Etiquette and Professionalism – Navigating Lunch and Networking Events
  • First and Lasting Impressions
  • Professional Dress

As always, thanks for reading!
– Carey Sue

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