In this article, we uncover the nation’s worst dining habits and how to resolve them with a little help from some of TikTok’s etiquette experts! It's apparent that many people are wanting to brush up on their table etiquette, as these TikTok accounts have hit thousands of views with their tips and tricks - but what is the nation's worst dining habit?
After surveying our customers about their least favourite table manners, we've uncovered which habits are definite no-nos and what habits don't seem to bother a lot of people.
46% of People Think Speaking Whilst Eating is a Bad Dining Habit
Coming in first with a whopping 46% of people agreeing that this is a horrible trait, is talking with your mouth full. I’m sure many of us have countless telling offs when we were younger to not speak with a full mouth of food, but it seems some people are still guilty of doing this at the dinner table.
The age group that found this habit the most offensive were the over 45s age group, coming in with a majority over the younger generations. This goes to show that talking with your mouth full may not be as offensive for millennials and Gen Zs as much as it is for older generations - so perhaps younger generations have more tolerance over bad table manners in this case. Still, we recommend aiming to avoid this habit, especially on a first date...
36% of Our Audience Agree that Eating Loudly is a Rude Move
Second in the running is eating loudly. This is many people’s pet peeve and a habit that is a definite no-no as far as we're concerned, so we’re not too surprised that this response came in at position 2. @thesifactor on TikTok has given out a few tips on how to combat this habit, and what to do in the dreaded situation when somebody asks you a question whilst you're eating! It may be stating the obvious, but nonetheless the video has gained over 8,500 views, with many members of the public agreeing about this point in the comments.
Contrary to this belief, searches for food ASMR have risen in popularity in recent years and actually peaked in 2020, so it appears that some people actually enjoy watching people eat loudly!
22% of People Agree that Licking Your Fingers is a Horrible Habit
Only 22% of our audience agreed that licking one’s fingers is a bad table manner. This can be a difficult habit to conquer as some meals require you to eat with your fingers, think: pizza, seafood, nachos etc. However, the solution to this is easy - simply use a napkin or take a trip to the bathroom to avoid making a scene.
You'll even find that some restaurants will have a bowl of water nearby to wash your hands in if the meal is notoriously messy, which is definitely a better outcome than licking fingers, (which is enough to put anyone off their dinner).
21% of the People Asked Think Eating too Eagerly is a Bad Table Manner
A fifth of the people we asked agreed that eating before everybody has received their food is rude table etiquette. It’s a constant debate whether to wait for everyone to be served, or to start eating before your food gets cold, but @theeleganceadvisor on TikTok suggests that one should wait until everyone has their meal and the host has invited you to start.
This habit is fairly far down on the list so it would seem that this isn’t as big of an issue to most as some of the more offensive table habits. Of the people that voted for this dining habit, the over 45s age group made up the majority of these votes, so it could be argued that this form of table etiquette is also dying out in younger generations.
17% of People Think Double Dipping is a Bad Habit
Double dipping usually occurs with sharing plates and dips, but it seems our audience don't perceive this to be a too offensive as only 17% of people deemed it as negative. Double dipping may not have been as big of a problem before the rise of Covid-19, but since spreading germs and personal hygiene has become ever more important, it can be argued that the pandemic could make people more aware of sharing food. The TikTok video below from @sofia.marbella reveals a simple solution to this in order to prevent spreading germs around the table, and the video has over 73,000 likes with other users sharing their own tips in the comments.
Of the people who voted for this habit, twice as many people over the age of 65 (20%) thought that double dipping is a bad habit compared to 18-25 year olds, with only 9% of this age bracket deeming it an issue.
16% of People Think Elbows on the Table is an Unacceptable Table Manner
Not surprisingly, elbows on the table came in last for the worst table manner, with only 16% of our customers voting for this option. This habit seems to be a little outdated in this day and age, with a lot of people questioning why exactly are elbows on the table is seen as a negative trait. This TikTok below from @thesifactor explains all, including the reasons behind why elbows on the table is an unsatisfactory habit and the situations when it's deemed acceptable.
30% of People Thought None of These Dining Habits were Bad
30% of the people we surveyed don’t think any of these habits are too bad! Of these 30%, the majority of answers (25%) were from people aged 25-34, whereas only a small proportion (6%) of over 65+s agreed that none of the manners were bad.
Is table etiquette dying out in younger generations? It can be argued that older generations may have been taught more traditional manners when growing up, with younger generations having few qualms about table etiquette and a more relaxed approach to the goings on at the dinner table.
Polly Shearer, kitchen expert at Tap Warehouse had this to say, "I'm sure we're all guilty of carrying out at least one of these table manners, but results show that not everybody finds bad table etiquette off-putting, and some of these seem a little out-dated in this day and age.
Results show that eating loudly and talking whilst eating came out at the top of Brits' least favourable manners, so if you're looking to brush up on your table etiquette, correcting these two manners is a definite place to start!"
So there you have it, the nation's worst table manners and some useful TikTok tips for how to combat them! Check out our article on Brits' unhygienic cooking habits, which has some handy tips for how to prevent the spread of germs and food poisoning.
*Data was carried with Google Surveys with a pool of 1000 people.