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Beaumont Etiquette offers classes to improve people's manners, and Gen Yers are taking up most of the spots. In a digital world, young people are taking it upon themselves to avoid descending into a detached and mannerless society, boosting employment prospects while they're at it. We explore the insights behind a behavioural shift that’s turned contemporary etiquette into a commodity in itself.

Launched in late 2016, Beaumont Etiquette teaches people how to behave properly at formal dinners and events – from how to hold cutlery to introducing yourself and holding conversation. “A majority of our clients are [Gen Yers],” says founder Myka Meier. "At the end of the day, they understand the importance of etiquette, and how it can help increase their progression both socially and professionally." The classes are in tune with modern cultural practices and progressive ideals, with Meier rejecting the longheld tradition that the man must pay on a date – a nod to gender equality.

Etiquette classes are far from outdated Etiquette classes are far from outdated
Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan (2014) ©

The rules of etiquette have evolved considerably over the past 50 years, with digital influences thought to have played a key role. And with 92% of young Americans believing that social media is making society less civil, etiquette coaching gives them an opportunity to learn how to interact with real humans again. “This generation is lacking in social skills because they’re so used to computers and communicating via text and apps,” says Meier. As young people pay more attention to etiquette, brands are taking note to ensure they’re meeting Gen Y's renewed high standards.


Charles Pickering is a researcher at Canvas8, which specialises in behavioural insights and consumer research. He previously completed a Master’s degree in cognitive and evolutionary anthropology at Oxford, and loves a good dataset


24 Mar 17
2 min read

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