Did you know that when you fold your cutlery in one way or another, you give the waiter different signs? Probably, you have had cases when, after leaving for a while and returning to the table, you found that the plate with the half-eaten dish was no longer there. Just do not immediately present a complaint to the waiter. Perhaps you yourself accidentally let him know that your lunch is over and it is time to take away the dishes. If you don't want to find yourself in such situations, you need to master the sign language that is used in restaurants. Depending on the host country, these signs may differ.
If during a meal you want to rest a little, talk to a neighbor, put the fork and knife so that their handles rest on the table, and with opposite ends, slightly turning them away from you, on the edge of the plate, the fork is on the left, the knife is on the right. If you are not using a knife, place the fork in the same way on the right side. The waiter will not ask you if the dishes can be taken away. If you need to move away for a longer time, you need to use another sign. Place the knife and fork on a plate, crossing them. The blade of the knife looks to the left, and the tines of the fork to the right. This arrangement of the cutlery on the plate will inform the waiter that the meal is not over and there is no need to take away the dishes.
In European countries, such rules are followed very scrupulously. If you accidentally put cutlery in this way, you can delay the change of dishes on the table. If you want to signal to the waiter that the meal is over and the dishes need to be removed, do not dump the used napkins into the plates. Fold the fork and knife parallel to each other, handles to the right. The blade of the knife should be facing you and the tines of the fork should be facing up. Do the same with a fork and spoon after dessert. First courses are served in deep bowls on a shallow one. While in a Russian restaurant, a spoon, after the soup has been eaten, can be left in a deep plate. Leave it there until you are finished eating. But watch your plate yourself, so as not to part with it ahead of time. In Europe, when the soup is eaten, the spoon must be removed and placed on the lower plate.
They do the same when eating salads and desserts, served in small, deep bowls or bowls placed on a shallow dish. If your meal continues, place your knife and fork with the tips on the edge of the shallow dish. After finishing the meal, put the cutlery on it in parallel. The spoon can be left in the vase. To give a sign to the waiter in a Chinese restaurant that it is time to remove the dishes, you need to put the chopsticks across the plate with the sharp ends to the left. But you can't do that in a Japanese restaurant. Sticks, both during the meal and after its completion, are placed on a special rectangular stand with the ends up. Signals can be given with a cloth.
If you need to move away from the table for a while, put it on a chair, and after returning, fold it in half and place it on your lap again. And when you leave the restaurant, place the napkin to the left of the plate, with the used side facing inward. This will let you know that you are leaving completely, and you can clear everything from the table. Just do not put cloth napkins in dirty dishes and do not try to give them their original appearance by constructing figures from them.