French culture - etiquette (2023)

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(Video) What NOT TO DO in France, FRENCH ETIQUETTE and FAUX-PAS | Social and Table Manners

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basic etiquette

  • It's common for employees, servers, or others in the service industry to subtly fire people for poor etiquette or good manners.
  • At a service desk, you are expected to identify the service provider with a short "Good day' ('Hello'), even if you are in a hurry.
  • It is rude to sit with your legs apart unless you are in a relaxed setting. Instead, sit up straight with your legs crossed or knees together.
  • Feet should not be placed on tables or chairs.
  • When someone is invited to a restaurant or business event, it is acceptable for them to show up at a specific time. However, if you are invited to dinner at someone's home, you are expected not to attend.ForTempo(only). It is best to arrive 15-20 minutes after the scheduled time.


  • The French don't usually come unannounced or uninvited. This is considered rude.
  • When invited to a dinner party, it is common for guests to ask their hosts if they need to bring anything. Guests can also bring a bottle of wine or a dessert.
  • Some French people are quite reluctant to invite new people into their homes. An invitation is considered an honor.
  • Guests are generally expected to dress well.
  • It is considered rude not to greet everyone upon entering and exiting, no matter how many people are present.


  • Table manners are very important in France. As such, there are a number of practices to keep in mind when dating a fellow Frenchman.
  • You are expected to pass out plates and hold a plate for your neighbor to get some of the food.
  • At the beginning of a meal, it is customary to say: "Enjoy"(Enjoy).
  • Dinner guests should not open their mouths or talk while eating and should clean their mouths carefully after drinking.
  • When someone has finished eating, the fork and knife are placed next to each other on the plate to the right or in the middle of the plate.
  • In a restaurant, customers are generally not expected to split the bill.
  • There are three main meals throughout the day:Breakfast(Breakfast),Lunch(lunch) andHave lunch(Have lunch). The biggest meal of the day is dinner, which is usually eaten as a family.
  • Meals consist of different dishes, usually a starter, a main course, some cheese and a dessert. The French take their time with each course of their food.
  • Another type of food that is commonly enjoyed is called "Aperitif' (Also know as 'UE'Aperitif“), an appetizer with portions and lots of conversation. The duration varies from a short 30 minute meal to a 3 hour event. If you are invited to an aperitif, it is best to bring something gourmet (instead of a bag of chips). For example, tapenade, olives, fresh bread or cheese would be appropriate. Also, in an appetizer, the last bit of food is usually left for a while before someone politely asks if they can eat it.
  • Wine plays an important role in French cuisine. It is often served with meals and people tend to comment on the taste and quality of the wine they drink. Typically, you'll start by smelling the wine, then take a sip and taste the flavors for a few seconds before swallowing. Wine-related practices become more important the higher the quality of the wine. If you run out of wine, leave your glass nearly full to let your host know. Disrespecting wine etiquette is considered impolite.
  • It is generally frowned upon to leave food on a plate, especially when someone is home. Preparing each course of a meal usually takes some time. This is how you show appreciation for the cooker's efforts through enjoyment and completion of the meal.

gift donation

  • If you are invited to someone's home, try to bring a quality small gift for the host. You usually bring a bottle of wine with you. Everyone puts the bottles of wine on the table and drinks what they want.
  • If you're giving wine as a gift, make sure it's the highest quality you can offer. The French appreciate their wines.
  • Gifts are usually opened when they are received.
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