Whether you are a hiring manager, recruiter or candidate, it is important to display proper etiquette during business meals. Here are 14 dining etiquette tips to help you get through the business meal, so you can focus on building relationships with your host and the other guests.
- Before you sit down, shake hands with everyone at your table. If you haven’t met before, introduce yourself.
- Don’t sit down until your host sits down.
- After everyone has been seated and your host has moved her napkin, put your napkin in your lap.
- Sit up straight.
- Let the host order first. Take your cue for ordering from your host. If he orders an appetizer, you may too.
- Never order the most expensive item on the menu.
- Skip the adult beverages. If you do order a drink, have only one beer, glass of wine or cocktail.
- Choose foods that are easy to eat, and avoid messy meals like spaghetti, fried chicken and barbecued ribs. Don’t order unfamiliar items or ones that you might have an allergic reaction to.
- If you choose meat or another item that requires cutting, cut off one or two bites at a time. Eat in small bites, and chew slowly.
- Don’t wave or point your silverware, and put your utensils down when talking.
- If you have to leave during the meal, place your napkin on your chair and push the chair back under the table. It isn’t necessary to tell your fellow guests where you’re going.
- Your mom was right: keep your elbows off the table, don’t speak with your mouth full, don’t play with your food, and listen more than you speak.
- When you are finished with your meal, place your knife and fork – prongs side down – side by side on the plate with the handles at 4 o’clock. This is ‘code’ to the waiter that you’re done, and he can clear your plate.
- Do not argue over the check or offer to leave the tip. It is the host’s responsibility to take care of both. After the meal, thank your host and shake hands before leaving.
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Have a great week, and thanks for reading!
Diana Albertson, CEO