Good manners turn into good business! It is important to feel confident about your dining and business etiquette, so you can focus on the business at hand and not on which fork to use. Follow these five tips and you will be able to sit back and enjoy!
If You Need To Get Up From Your Seat When you are at a restaurant and need to leave the table for a few minutes, you should place your napkin on your chair. There is also no reason to share where you are going (i.e. the restroom). When you return, the fold of the napkin goes towards your stomach. When you are leaving the restaurant, place your napkin on the table to the left of your plate.
How To Make The Right Introductions When talking with a business peer and a senior executive joins you from your firm, you should introduce the peer to the executive (i.e. “Mr. Sr. Executive, I would like to introduce, Mr. Jr. Executive”). Avoid saying, I want to introduce “you to”, because it changes the order of importance. If you cannot remember someone’s name, simply be honest and say “please refresh my memory, I cannot recall your name”. It is always nice for the person making the introduction, to say a little something about each person (i.e.” John has worked in our accounting department for three years.”)
When To Cut And When To Tear When eating a slice of bread or roll, break the bread into small pieces and butter each piece before eating. When eating your meal, only cut a few bite size pieces at a time, vs. cutting up the entire portion. If you are at a business lunch or dinner, order an entree that is easy to eat. This is not the time to order a big juicy hamburger, or spaghetti that will end up splattering on your shirt or tie.
When To Pass And Not To Pass. At a formal dinner, you are asked to pass the bread. You should pass the bread to the right and take a roll when the basket comes back around to you. Although, when you pass the butter, it is perfectly acceptable to take a pat of butter, and then pass it on to your right. Ever get confused about which bread plate is yours? Simply remember “solids to the left; liquids to the right”. So, your bread plate is the one on the left. If you are asked to pass the salt, always pass both the salt and pepper together, they are a pair and should stay together.
Drinks And Drinking. When you want to squeeze the juice from a lemon into your drink, you should use your spoon to shield others from being squirted. If your guest or client orders a drink, you should do the same. Know one should eat or drink alone. This being said, always drink in moderation, as this is a business function. If champagne or wine is being served, and you don’t drink, etiquette dictates you should allow the drink to be poured. Lastly, if the wine is cold, hold the glass by the stem. If you are drinking red wine, it is acceptable to hold the glass by the bowl and stem, since the heat from your hand will not affect the taste of the wine.