Dining Etiquette in social situations can be uncomfortable, and even more when conducting business. In the professional world, meals are often an essential element to conducting certain kinds of business and knowing how to navigate gracefully around the maze of menus, manners and maître d’s can make the difference in how you conduct yourself. There are some things to consider when asking colleagues, business partners and clients out to lunch either as the host or the guest.
When you are the host
- Consider your guests preferences when choosing a location. Make it mutually accessible.
- Take into consideration any dietary restrictions of your guest
- Provide directions and phone number to the restaurant and confirm appointment.
- Allow guests to order first.
- Open up business discussions after food is ordered. Be aware certain cultures are particular about conducting business during meals – take into consideration your guests’ customs.
When you are the guest
- Arrive on time. If you are running late, contact the host immediately.
- Be courteous during meal and discussions – remember you are the guest.
- Follow up with a verbal or written thank you to host.
Dining out is a great way to build rapport and conduct certain kind of business. Remember to mind your manners and enjoy your meal.
By: Lisa Punter, Professional Development Institute Coordinator