Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Napkin can be a Communication Device

A napkin is seen as a bit of cloth protecting our clothes from the errant food that slips off a fork into our laps. But its purpose is more than protection. It’s a communication tool. The host or hostess tells us to begin a meal when they place their napkin in their lap. (While we often pick up our napkin as soon as we sit down, at a formal dinner guests don’t even touch their napkins until the host makes this move).

Leaving the table during a meal, but coming back? Tell the wait staff by placing you napkin on your chair. They’ll leave your plate in place. Time to go? Place your napkin, loosely folded to the left of your plate. The staff will know they can clear. Napkins protect us and tell a story.

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