29 Rules Of Etiquette For Your Next Business Lunch

stuffed dinner

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.

Tips gathered from the business etiquette experts at Pachter & Associates

Remain standing until host sits

Tips gathered from the business etiquette experts at Pachter & Associates

Place your napkin on your lap after everyone is seated and after your host has moved his/her napkin.

Tips gathered from the business etiquette experts at Pachter & Associates

Sit up straight and don't tip your chair back.

Tips gathered from the business etiquette experts at Pachter & Associates

Don't ask the waiter to explain everything on the menu; you will annoy others and appear indecisive.

Tips gathered from the business etiquette experts at Pachter & Associates

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.

Tips gathered from the business etiquette experts at Pachter & Associates

Order foods that are easy to eat such as chicken, fish, or salads. Avoid sloppy hard to eat foods like spaghetti or ribs.

Tips gathered from the business etiquette experts at Pachter & Associates

Don't order the most expensive item on the menu and don't order any unfamiliar food

Tips gathered from the business etiquette experts at Pachter & Associates

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.

Tips gathered from the business etiquette experts at Pachter & Associates

DURING THE MEAL: If your place is set with more than one fork, begin from the outside and work your way in.

Tips gathered from the business etiquette experts at Pachter & Associates

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).

Tips gathered from the business etiquette experts at Pachter & Associates

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.

Tips gathered from the business etiquette experts at Pachter & Associates

Hold your knife or fork with the thumb and three fingers, keeping the index finger extended on the handle.

Tips gathered from the business etiquette experts at Pachter & Associates

With dinner rolls, break off and butter one small piece of bread at a time on the plate; avoid making a sandwich.

Tips gathered from the business etiquette experts at Pachter & Associates

When sharing a sauce with others, spoon some of it onto your plate; don't dip your food into it.

Tips gathered from the business etiquette experts at Pachter & Associates

Do keep your elbows off the table.

Tips gathered from the business etiquette experts at Pachter & Associates

When you speak, put your silverware on your plate, not on the table.

Tips gathered from the business etiquette experts at Pachter & Associates

Don't speak with your mouth full.

Tips gathered from the business etiquette experts at Pachter & Associates

Avoid talking about religion, politics and other controversial topics

Tips gathered from the business etiquette experts at Pachter & Associates

Maintain good eye contact.

Tips gathered from the business etiquette experts at Pachter & Associates

Do take your time eating, talking and especially listening to everyone at the table.

Tips gathered from the business etiquette experts at Pachter & Associates

Don't over indulge; this is not your last meal. And don't ask to finish anyone else's food.

Tips gathered from the business etiquette experts at Pachter & Associates

Don't lick your utensils or fingers.

Tips gathered from the business etiquette experts at Pachter & Associates

Also don't forego the meal; what message do you send by eating a piece of lettuce or cheese from the buffet table?

Tips gathered from the business etiquette experts at Pachter & Associates

Tips gathered from the business etiquette experts at Pachter & Associates

Tips gathered from the business etiquette experts at Pachter & Associates

Don't argue over that check or offer to pay the tip; the host who invited you must take care of both.

Tips gathered from the business etiquette experts at Pachter & Associates

Don't use toothpicks in the presence of the recruiter.

Tips gathered from the business etiquette experts at Pachter & Associates

Make sure you thank the host for the meal. Shake hands before you leave and maintain good eye contact.

Tips gathered from the business etiquette experts at Pachter & Associates

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