July Newsletter                                                   2009


Well it appears that one of our most fascinating couples, the fork and the knife, may be splitting up.  After so many years of being together, it has recently been discovered that more diners are opting for forks only rather than utilizing both forks and knives.  This trend has been prevalent in the U.S. for some time and it has now travelled overseas due to more people eating snack foods, fast foods and other items such as burgers, pizza and pasta which do not require the assistance of a knife.  According to the UK department store chain Debenhams, "Main meal forks have been far outselling knives, with a peak of three forks sold for every knife in London."  For complete story, click here. 
Casual dining coupled with the already declining family meal is contributing to a complete breakdown of the dining experience.  How then do we restore civility to the table?  The answer is: with one fork, knife and spoon at a time.  At Beverly Hills Manners, every single one of our classes incorporates a dining component.  We feel this is crucial whether it's a parent looking to instill better dining habits for their children, a new bride wanting to set a beautiful table for her in-laws or a prospective employee hoping to impress a potential employer over a business lunch. 
Use these next couple of months of summer to practice dining in a more civilized fashion with good food and the company of family and friends. For a little refresher course on table and dining skills, enroll in one of our many classes.  Our new
Fall/Winter Schedule is now available!  
Bon Appetit!! 

Lisa Gaché

treesFall/Winter Calendar of Classes - NEW!
"Let's Dance! Cotillion" - Sept. '09 thru March '10 at the Beverly Hills Women's Club
"The Introductory Course" - Saturday, Aug. 15th & Sept. 26th at McCormick & Schmick's
"Holiday Manners" - Saturday, Oct. 17th and Nov. 14th at McCormick & Schmick's
"Mitzvah Manners" - Sunday, Oct. 18th at A Cow Jumped Over The Moon
"The Business Lunch"- ADULTS ONLY Weds., Sept. 16th, Oct. 28th, Nov. 11th at McCormick's
"Museum Manners" - Saturday, Oct. 3rd at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art
"Stand Out Interviews" - Wednesday, Aug. 19th & Oct. 28th at McCormick & Schmick's
"Leadership Matters" - Saturday, Nov. 7th at McCormick & Schmick's
"Charmed Warriors" TEEN GIRLS ONLY - Saturday, Oct. 24th at McCormick & Schmick's
*Special event with Social Primer at Brooks Brothers in Beverly Hills - EXACT DATE TBD 

Lets Dance Cotillion"Let's Dance" Cotillion - Beginning Sept. '09!
"Dancing with the Stars" meets Cotillion!  Beverly Hills Manners  is proud to present a modernized version of the traditional cotillion aligned to meet the needs and desires of children today.   For children entering grades 3 thru 7.  The six (6) month program will take place at the Beverly Hills Women's Club beginning this Fall 2009 and ending in Spring 2010.  Each of the 6 sessions includes 45 minutes of dance instruction and a 45 minute etiquette lesson. Dances such as the Waltz, the Swing, the Tango and the Cha Cha will be explored along with etiquette topics including positive first impressions, the art of introductions, table and dining manners, communication and social skills and party etiquette.  Enroll now and receive a 10X10 custom vinyl name or word provided by Logan & Blue.  Click here to register and receive your free gift!
Introductory Course"Introductory Course"- August 15th 11-2pm
The "Introductory Course" provides an overview into the world of manners and is full of interaction and practice for your child.  Children are instructed in all aspects of etiquette and protocol while developing fundamental character-building traits such as respect, compassion and common   courtesies.  Through acquiring and practicing these indispensable life skills, children gain more confidence and increase self-esteem.  In addition to the instruction, a formal dining tutorial portion is taught covering all rules of table and dining etiquette.  Children learn how to set a basic table, the proper way to use their utensils, how to manage specific types of foods and beverages, and how to initiate and participate in conversation during an actual 5-course meal.  For children ages 6-12.  Enroll now.  Only a few spaces left!
Stand Out Interviews"Stand Out Interviews" - August 19th 4-6pm
To get into top schools, children must ace the interview.  They should be civilized and even likable.  An awareness of proper etiquette and good manners before the formal interview process begins provides candidates with that extra edge in the increasingly competitive admissions game.  Program highlights include: Interview Preparation, Grooming & Wardrobe Suggestions, Positive First Impressions, Making Introductions (Handshaking & Eye Contact), Listening & Conversation Skills, Preparing List of Pertinent and Intelligent Questions to Ask, Graceful Goodbyes and Thank You Notes.  For children ages 11-14.  Click here to register now!
New Etiquette App for the
iPhone & iTouch
 downloaded for $2.99 at www.itunes.com/appstore/. 
Dear Mothering Heights
Mothering Heights
Mothering Heights is a syndicated column founded by Christine Fugate and answers questions about motherhood, wifedom and where to buy delicious dark chocolate.  She recently consulted with Beverly Hills Manners to help answer a question from a concerned mother regarding a missing birthday invitation.   Click here to read. 
No Subject Line, No Email Etiquette
"More than 90% of Internet users between 18 and 72 said they send and receive email, making it the top online activity just ahead of search engines", according to the non-profit research group Pew Internet and American Life Project (Feb 2009). 
As a user, you may be wondering what exactly are the guidelines for proper email etiquette and questioning whether this tool has actually simplified our lives or made them more complicated.    We have devised a list of the top 15 rules of email etiquette we believe take into consideration OPF's (other people's feelings) as well as protect our own.
1.  Designate time each day to review emails in your In-box.  Since we are inundated with email 24/7, it is important to put aside a couple of times during the day to sit down and go through them in a calm fashion.  The exception, timely business emails which require immediate attention. 
2.  Return emails within 24-48 hours. Similar to a phone message, it is courteous to return all email communications within a one to two day time period. 
3.  Check your Spam or Junk Email Folder.  Unfortunately, email sometimes makes its way into these folders without any rhyme or reason.  It is your duty to check them daily to make sure no emails were inadvertantly misplaced.  This is especially crucial if someone says they are sending something to you and you have not received it.  Please remember to double-check these folders first before requesting that they re-send it.  
4.  Return all emails in-kind.  If someone is pouring their heart out to you in an email, don't respond with a brusque retort.  This is the equivalent of a one word answer in conversations.  Consider the sender's feelings and respond with an email that is reciprocal of the one that was received.
5.  It's okay to respond even if you can't respond.  If someone sends an email that requires a response and you can't get to it right away, at least have the decency to let them know you will be addressing it shortly and will get back to them as soon as possible.  This will prevent hurt feelings and any miscommunications in the future.   
6.  Always include a Subject Line.   A subject line describes the reason for the email, without it, the recipient is lost.  Take the extra second and include a subject line in all communications.  This allows the recipient to determine the relevance of your communication and also to categorize it and refer back to it in the future.
7.  Refrain from sending personal emails with a Request Read Receipt or Request Delivery Receipt.  This is bothersome and puts the recipient on the defense.  Unless you are the IRS or the CIA, your message does not require this extra measure. 
8.  Email addresses are private.  Big corporations go to great lengths to obtain personal email addresses. Refrain from sending mass email communications with the email addresses on display for all to view.  It is much more polite to send mass communications to a group email name or by Blind Copy ("bcc") to protect people's privacy.
9.  Be careful with "Reply", "Reply All" and "Forward".  If you accidentally hit the wrong button, it may come back to haunt you.  A few years ago, I mistakenly hit the "Reply" button when I meant to select the "Forward" button and landed in some pretty hot water.  Trust me, you want to double and triple check yourself before hitting Send.
10.  Email is a permanent record.  These communications are forever embedded on servers so be very careful what you write in an email because everything can be used against you.  If you must vent or say something truly unpleasant, a face to face conversation is always best.
11. All business emails should be printed or kept in online folders on file.  I recently had to access some emails from several years ago to verify a business matter in which I'd been wronged.  These email documents were the proof I needed to win my case.
12. Don't presume everyone has the same sensibility and humor as you.  There is nothing more annoying than having to filter joke emails or chain letter emails when you are busy at work.  Please save these communications for your most intimate friends or spare us and yourself and don't send them at all.
13. Email thank you notes are fine, but if you truly want to make a lasting impression then a handwritten thank you note is much better. 
14. Refrain from emailing in all CAPITAL LETTERS, it is the online equivalent of shouting!
15.  Review all spelling, grammar and punctuation before pressing the send button.  Remember your emails are a reflection of you and you always want to make the best impression whether in person or online. 

Beverly Hills Manners™
310.276.9078 phone / 310.276.9088 fax
310.467.1211 cell