Perfect Placement: Where does my Napkin go when I use the Ladies Room?

Q: When going to the ladies room, while eating at a restaurant, where do you place your napkin? On your chair or on the table?

A: You place it on the table, in loose folds, if there is room to do so. If there isn’t, without putting it on top of food, for example, then you may leave it on your chair.


  1. Click chick

    I’ve always understood that you leave your napkin on the seat of your chair if you intend to return, and on the table when you are leaving.
    If you’re returning, prompt waitstaff will have your napkin folded neatly on the back of your chair, or next to your plate.

  2. Peggy

    I would not place my napkin in the seat of a chair. Decided never to do that when asked “What comes into contact with the seat of a chair?” (Fannys!) Chair seats can also be exposed to a previous diner’s napkin which could contain elements from their mouth, hands, discarded food bits, etc. People can and sometimes do stand on a chair and I’d rather not expose my napkin to whatever might be on the bottom of their shoes. So, for me, there are sanitation issues.
    I suggest napkin to the left of the plate, where it will come into contact with the fresh, clean tablecloth. Silverware in the open position to signal the wait staff of the return. When finished with the meal napkin to the left – silverware in closed position.

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