With technology at an all time overload, communication has changed, yet face-to-face interactions are still vital. When it comes to dining out on a regular basis, one doesn’t necessarily think of their dining etiquette. However, there may come a time in the near future where you may have to attend a business lunch or meeting that is at a restaurant. It is important to prepare for these meals and be aware of the etiquette that should be presented, so here are a few key tips that will be accommodating for the future.
1. Confirmation: Always call to confirm a meeting to make sure you have the right day and time. Even if you are certain of the day and time, giving a confirmation call shows responsibility. The day of the meeting, make sure to show up reasonably early. You never know if the wait will be long if you did not call ahead or if something unexpected were to happen.
2. Passing of food: When someone requests something to be passed down the table to them, pass complements together. When salt is requested, pass the pepper along with the salt. Similarly, for foods that commonly go together such as bread and butter. When an item is requested from across the table, as it is being passes to the guest, never intercept the pass and grab for yourself.
3. How to use your napkin: Once everyone at the table is seated, unfold napkin and lightly place on your lap. When excusing yourself from the table, the napkin should be placed lightly onto the chair. Once finished eating, the napkin then is placed on to the table, not on your plate.
4. What utensils to use: Outside in is the rule. Begin the meal by using the utensils from the outer position and work inward. Once a utensil has been used, it should not touch the table again. When finished with the meal, the utensils should be placed on the plate.
These are just a few tips that may help you with a future business lunch or even the next time you go out to eat. Having a few of these tips in the back of your mind will portray you as a respectful and responsible adult. Even if your dining out experience isn’t for a job interview or even business related, you never know what may come from networking or whom you might meet in the process.
Final tips for a successful business lunch:
- Do not order anything you are unfamiliar with
- Try and avoid finger food if possible
- Avoid messy and/or expensive foods