To fold or not to fold, that is the question.

What do you do with a napkin when you go to a restaurant?

Do you stare it down until your meal is over while being frustrated that you don’t know how to use it?


Do you wait until someone grabs it first and do whatever that person does with it?

Some of you may think ‘who doesn’t know how to use napkins these days?’ but I know many of you out there apply to either or both statements above to avoid embarrassment. If it makes you feel any better, I’ve been there.

But thanks to the Culture and Manners Institute (, here are 5 things and the ONLY tips you need to know about handling napkins.

  • A dinner napkins is large – fold it in half, a rectangle in your lap. Even if it comes in a triangle-shape, fold it into a rectangle on your lap.
  • A luncheon napkin is half the size of a dinner napkin – unfold it all the way, making a square on your lap.
  • At the end of the meal when you get up to leave the table, do not refold your napkin (even if you do know how to make one of those fancy cranes or roses). Place it slightly crumbled to the left/right of your place setting.
  • The same rule applies when you have to temporarily leave the table as if you are finished with the meal. Gently place the napkin on the left of your place setting.
  • Never place the napkin on the chair.

Now you can confidently have your meal without getting stressed out about the napkin when you need to be enjoying your food.

Have your funny moments with napkin? Share it with us!