Today I am going to explain to you how to set the table correctly according to the protocol, so that it is perfect and you surprise your guests. Follow these simple steps and you will set the table as if a label decoration professional had come to your house. It is not necessary to have all the cutlery, plates and glasses that are described in the image at the end. Simply put the elements you need for that meal and leave the spaces in the dishes that you are not going to put free.
1- Steps to place a table with protocol
There are two essential steps to position the table correctly as indicated in the protocol.
- The first is the placement of plates and cutlery.
- The second is the placement of the glasses and the napkin following the first step.
2- Table setting protocol
When setting the table, the elements must have a uniform separation and must be visually balanced. You don’t need to measure every inch, just make it look good.
But what you want to know is how the cutlery is placed on the table, the plates, the glasses, the bread. So here are the rules and protocol that Michelin star restaurants and Royal Houses all over the world follow.
3- How to place the dishes
The first thing to do is put the plates in their place, because they will serve as a guide or base to place the rest of the elements.
The separation between the plates has to be enough so that each diner can eat without touching the arm of the next person. A separation of about 60 centimeters is recommended, although if the guests are large it is advisable to leave more space.
4- How to put the cutlery according to the protocol
Cutlery is arranged in order of use, from outside to inside. The ones that will be used first from the plate, and the last ones that will be used closer to the plate.
The forks are placed on the left of the plate, while the knives and spoons on the right . The only exception to this rule is a small cocktail fork, which goes in the outer right part of the plate, since they are usually served as a starter.
5- How to put the cutlery on the table with protocol
Getting an idea is difficult, so at the end of this guide there is an image with a complete table.
6- Where to put the dessert cutlery
The dessert cutlery is placed on top of the plate, with the fork handle to the left and the spoon handle to the right, both face up.
If you do not have space you can take them out at the same time as the dessert, it is not necessary to place them from the beginning.
7- Where the bread is placed on the table
The bread is served on a small plate, and should be placed to the left above the forks.
If there is going to be butter, patés or any spreadable food, it is advisable to add a spreader and place it on the bread plate. There has to be space for both the bread and the spreader to fit, so as not to have to leave it on the tablecloth and get it stained.
8- How to place the glasses on the table
The glasses and glasses are placed on the right side of the plate, diagonally upward starting just above the knives and spoons. First the smallest glass, and from there increasing in size.
9- Where to put the coffee cup
If you are going to serve coffee during the meal, you have to place the cup and plate to the right of the smaller cup, which is the one just above the knives and spoons.
If you are only going to serve coffee with dessert, it is not necessary to put the cup in from the beginning.
10- Where to put the napkin
The napkin is placed to the left of the plate and forks, and it has to be made of cloth.
You can make decorative pleats to give it a more beautiful touch. If you like the idea, do not miss the guide on how to fold napkins with the step by step in the most complicated ways.
Below you have an image with all the elements placed so that it is easier for you to learn how to set a table correctly.
- Salad fork
- Normal fork
- Dessert spoon and fork
- Bread plate with spread knife
- Normal knife
- Small spoon
- Soup spoon
- Cocktail fork
- Glass of water
- Wine glass (red wine)
- Wine glass (white wine)
- Coffee cup and saucer