A business lunch or dinner can be an excellent way to connect with prospective clients, bosses and colleagues. In fact, nearly fifty percent of business dealings these days are accomplished over a meal. Dining with clientele gives you a chance to network, away from the chaotic ambience of an office. You can build associations and find out about your clients needs, to help you turn prospects into long-standing customers. If, as an employee you are attending the meet, you would be recognized, and that in turn can prove to be a feather in your cap for your future growth in the same company. If you really do not know how to behave, eat, what and how to talk at such business dinners, you run a real chance of being the butt of many jokes. Therefore, it is imperative for you to know how to behave and fit yourself into such a situation. By following the tips mentioned below, you will be in a better position to ably conduct yourself. Read on to learn more.
Business Dining Etiquette Tips
- Remember to promptly respond to the invitation letting the host know whether you will be present on the occasion or not.
- If you are the host, wait near the entrance to greet guests and see that all are well accommodated.
- If you are hosting a dinner and it is has to get cancelled due to some reason, make it a point to call all the guests personally to inform them about the change in itinerary. It is not a good idea to inform them through your secretary.
- Do not rush through, but keep pace with everyone. If you have to leave due to an urgent situation, make sure you excuse yourself and never forget to thank the host.
- When you sit down at the table, make sure you place your napkin on your lap. It should never be inserted into the neck of the shirt. Sit straight and make sure that your elbows are not intruding into your neighbor’s space. Never place your elbows on the table or lean on it.
- Never make the mistake of drinking from your guest’s glass, even accidently. Remember that your glass will be placed at the right side of the table and the bread plate to your left. If bread is served from the same bowl; make sure to pass the bowl towards your right to others too.
- Use the cheese knife to cut cheese that has been placed on a common board. Cheese that is round needs to be treated just like a cake: cut into triangular portions or slivers if you wish to have some.
- On no account blow on your food to cool it down. Allow it to cool down and then eat.
- Blot your lipstick with a tissue, before the dinner starts, so that the mark is not left on the drinking glass.
- Avoid talking with food in your mouth as it leaves a bad impression about you. Answer questions with an empty mouth. Make sure you talk business at the table and avoid discussing sensitive subjects like political affairs, religion or sex.
- Drink your wine slowly. Easygoingness with your alcohol is not good. Nobody likes a drunken diner in their midst.
- When you are having your soup, tilt the bowl away from you. The soup spoon should be pushed from front to back to have a mouthful. When your soup is over, make it a point to place the soup spoon inside the bowl and not back on the table. Never slurp your soup.
- Salt and Pepper always go together. So, pass both together even if either one is requested for.
- When you have finally finished with your meal, rest your knife and fork together with the tines facing upwards-bottom-center on your plate. When you finally leave the table, keep your napkin, unfolded, beside your plate.
- Never smoke, chew gum, use a toothpick, or apply make-up at the table.
- Never complain about the food in front of your host. If you want to complain write a letter or call the manager and do it the next day. And, if the food is good never forget to compliment the chef.