Photo: Clover_1 on flickr
Your image matters, especially when you’re in a business environment.Whether you’re going to a business lunch with your peers, recruiters, clients or partners, you need to make sure you behave appropriately. Yet many businessfolk don’t know proper dining etiquette.
We’ve put together this handy guide, with tips gathered from the business etiquette experts at Pachter & Associates, to help make sure that someone doesn’t call you out at your next business meal.
BEFORE THE MEAL: Shake hands with all present at the table. If necessary, introduce yourself. Concentrate on remembering your host/hostess' name.
Place your napkin on your lap after everyone is seated and after your host has moved his/her napkin.
Don't ask the waiter to explain everything on the menu; you will annoy others and appear indecisive.
Let the host take the lead when ordering; this will give you an idea of what to eat. If they order an appetizer, order one. If the host isn't first in line to order, then ask for his/her recommendation.
Order foods that are easy to eat such as chicken, fish, or salads. Avoid sloppy hard to eat foods like spaghetti or ribs.
Don't drink alcohol; if you choose to drink, limit it to one beer or glass of wine. Ordering iced tea is dignified and won't raise the risk of you babbling about last weekend's party.
DURING THE MEAL: If your place is set with more than one fork, begin from the outside and work your way in.
When looking at the place setting in front of you, remember: solids on your left (bread plate), liquids on your right (water, ice tea, coffee).
Cut your meat or meal one piece at a time; avoid dicing it into bite-sized pieces all at once. Cut your salad into bite-sized pieces.
Hold your knife or fork with the thumb and three fingers, keeping the index finger extended on the handle.
With dinner rolls, break off and butter one small piece of bread at a time on the plate; avoid making a sandwich.
Also don't forego the meal; what message do you send by eating a piece of lettuce or cheese from the buffet table?
Don't argue over that check or offer to pay the tip; the host who invited you must take care of both.
Make sure you thank the host for the meal. Shake hands before you leave and maintain good eye contact.
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