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College of Human Ecology

HDM workshop to teach students dining etiquette

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Kansas State University students who are unsure of whether to answer their cell phone or order an alcoholic drink at dinner with a prospective employer can get answers to those questions and more at the K-State Dining Etiquette Workshop.

The event, at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6, in the Gold Room at Derby Dining Center, is jointly sponsored by K-State's career and employment services and department of hospitality management and dietetics.

Pat Pesci, director of K-State's hotel and restaurant management program, teaches the workshop and said its goal is to show students what isn't appropriate during business dinners, as well as build up their confidence.

Pesci, who has been teaching the workshop for about 20 years, said it isn't that students today don't have table manners, but that they rarely have the opportunity to practice them.

"Because of our lifestyle, we don't sit down and go over the particulars of dining," Pesci said. "There's so much food on the go that families don't usually sit down together, except for Thanksgiving and Christmas."

Pesci will cover a lot of ground during the workshop, from how to order a meal to being aware of international customs. He also teaches students how to problem solve.

"Often, there's more than one correct thing to do in a situation," he said. "Students have to be able to discern what's appropriate and what's not."

To challenge students, Pesci said "controversial food" will be on the menu. Students can expect to find a mix of food that is difficult to eat or to serve.

Ultimately, Pesci said, the hope is that a student's social graces will be one more thing setting K-Staters apart from the rest of the job candidates.

The workshop costs $7.50, or one meal exchange with the K-State meal plan. Reservations must be made by 5 p.m., Friday, Oct. 31, by calling 785-532-6506 or dropping by career and employment services at 100 Holtz Hall. Dress is business professional.

Sources: Patrick Pesci, 785-532-2210, patpesci@k-state.edu; and Holly Smith, 785-532-6506, has7879@k-state.edu

News release prepared by: Katie Mayes, 785-532-6415, kmayes@k-state.edu

This article was posted on Tuesday, October 28, 2008, and is filed under Hospitality Management.