A business lunch is a very important meeting as many a time how you behave at this lunch is what decides if you will get a business opportunity or the boot. It is an opportunity for your client or partner to be, to see you in a social setting. If you were to conduct yourself in a manner that is less than polite and professional, then you may very well damage the chance to do business with your guests. Business lunch etiquette does not extend only to lunches with clients and possible partners. It also extends to any official social gathering, like an office party or lunch with the boss which you attend. Behaving badly in front of your boss can be a cause for concern when the time comes to appraise your performance. The worst thing that you could do is to fail to follow etiquettes due to ignorance. This article will walk you through some of the etiquettes that you will need to follow when out on a business lunch.
Etiquettes For Business Lunch
Some of the basic courtesies and etiquettes to follow so as to not offend your guests when you go on a business lunch are:
- Pay attention to your guests and keep your mind from wandering. Not paying attention to your guests may give the impression that you are not interested in listening to them and they may feel offended.
- When you are sitting at lunch with your guests or host, make sure that you keep your eyes on your guests. If you keep looking around the room, it will make the guests feel that you would rather be somewhere else or with someone else.
- When out on a business lunch keep your mobile phones off or on silent mode. If they keep ringing in the middle of your meeting or during the lunch, it becomes very distracting.
- Do not keep pulling your phone out to check for calls or messages. It will make your guests feel that you are bored with them and also break everyone’s concentration. If you need to check your missed calls or messages, do so when you excuse yourself to go to the bathroom.
- If you have called for the meeting, make sure that you take the bill. If you are the guest, let the host pay the bill. If the meeting was called by both parties, it is best to settle who will pay the bill when you are deciding on the venue and date. It would be a display of lack of professionalism to wait till the bill arrives and then argue about who will pay it.
The following are the etiquettes that you need to keep in mind when the food arrives and you start eating.
- When it’s time to order the food, do not order for your guest or host without asking them. Order on their behalf only if you are asked to do so and even then do not force any dish on them.
- Before you start eating make sure that you spread the napkin on your lap. If it falls down, do not bend over and try to recover it, just ask for a fresh one.
- When the food is served let your guests serve themselves first, and when you do serve yourself, make sure that you do not pile your plate up with food. Wait for everyone to finish serving before you start eating.
- When eating, the general courtesy is that everyone eats the same way, i.e. if your guests are eating with a fork and spoon, so should you. If you are eating with a fork and spoon then ensure that you don’t keep banging the spoon on the plates.
- If you are having soup, make sure that you bring the spoon close and sip the soup. Do not slurp and do not put the entire spoon in your mouth.
These are just a few simple things that you could do to make sure that you do nothing that might offend your guest or host.