Ahead of His Majesty’s coronation next month, a London coffee chain has been busy prepping its Baristas in a store just around the corner from Royal residences, to learn the proper etiquette required for service fit for a King.
Enlisting the help of a Royal Butler, Costa Coffee put its Baristas through their paces as they took part in ‘Barista Butler School’.
Completing their uniforms with traditional white Butler gloves, the Baristas learnt all about silver service, formal afternoon tea service and napkin folding should His Majesty stop by for his rumoured favourite toasted lunch choice.
This comes as Costa Coffee, the Nation’s Favourite Coffee Shop*, launches its new Coronation Chicken Toastie, putting its own spin on a classic to celebrate the coronation of His Majesty King Charles III.
When it comes to toastie eating, etiquette expert William Hanson knows a thing or two about the correct way this should be done. As research from Costa Coffee reveals that less than half of us (45%) hold our fork in the left hand when eating, and over three quarters (77%) do not follow the ‘6:30 clock face’ rule when finished, William shares a few home truths when it comes to proper dining etiquette.
Etiquette tips from William Hanson:
- Knife and fork
While cold sandwiches are designed as finger food, it’s perfectly acceptable to use cutlery for toasted morsels (despite etiquette from ancient Rome telling us to never to cut bread!). Spear and cut away to your heart’s content – don’t worry about upsetting our Roman ancestors. They’d relax a bit if they tasted a toastie.
- Getting handsy
If a knife and fork isn’t your vibe and you want to get tactile with your toastie, using your hands is fine too – especially in more relaxed settings. Clean hands, of course, are infinitely preferable to ones you haven’t sanitised or washed before tucking in.
- Triangles are better than rectangles
Should you be in charge of cutting your toastie in two, please note that in etiquette land, cutting diagonally to make triangles (rather than rectangles) is hugely preferred – not to mention it looks much more aesthetically pleasing.
- Napkin on lap
Regardless of how you choose to eat your toastie, please do ensure your lap is covered with a napkin – linen, ideally, but paper napkins are better than nothing, as it is best to have something there to catch any spillages. Regardless of your choice of dining establishment, it’s always correct to have protection in the form of napery. Tucking napkins into collars is fine when you’re 18 months old, but a bit tragic when you’re older.
- Eat the crusts
Since World War II, it’s been the rule to finish all the food on your plate, rather than leaving a little to show you’re full to bursting. This rule still stands – so don’t think you can get away with leaving the crusts. Eat up!
- Finger bowl if using finger food
Hear me out, if you’re eating with your hands, it may be best to have a small cut-glass finger bowl close by so you can gently dab your fingers in cold water to wash away any mess on your fingertips. Add a touch of class to the proceedings, why don’t you?
If using cutlery to devour your toastie, place the cutlery in the ‘6:30 position’ if you imagine your plate as a clock face. This is the British signal that you have finished eating – and something The King will always do when dining.
Naomi Matthew, Food Innovation Director at Costa Coffee commented: “We know how much the nation loves a toasted sandwich and we’re excited to be taking it to the next level with our Coronation Chicken Toastie. Our Baristas are the best of the best and are already experts in creating the perfect cup of handcrafted coffee, but we knew we had to take our training to another level in honour of King Charles’ coronation. We’re thrilled to have been able to have a Royal Butler train our Baristas so we can in turn make our customers feel like Kings and Queens during the exciting coronation period.”