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Business Etiquette: Business Dining

Arthur Langton -- In a world of fast-casual dining and prepared foods, you still need to master the fork, knife, and manners for business meals.

The host should not only call with the initial invitation, but he or his secretary should be sure to confirm the meeting a day or two before. What do hosts do? Hosts select the restaurant and make the appropriate reservations, arrange for payment of the meal (whoever profits from the meeting should pay for the meal), and don't draw attention to your own or someone else's etiquette mistake.

Table Settings
For the most part, start your meal with the flatware on the outside first and work your way in. The dessert utensils are supposed to be above the plate. Your cups and glasses are on your upper right while your bread plate is on your upper left and salad plate on your lower left.

Napkin Use
The napkin goes in your lap immediately after sitting down. A luncheon napkin gets completely unfolded while a dinner napkin gets unfolded only half way. And please, ladies, don't wipe your lipstick on a clean napkin. If you're eating something especially messy, such as spaghetti or lobster, you can hold your napkin up to your chest, but don't ever tuck it into your collar. Dirty napkins get put on your chair when leaving in the middle of a meal, but on the table at the end of a meal.

Important Things to Do
Spoon your soup toward the rear of the bowl, not the front. Cut and eat one bite at a time. Break off and butter one bite of bread at a time. Remove your utensils when passing your plate for seconds. Only lipstick may be applied at the table, but it must be done discreetly. Empty sugar and butter wrappers get put on the bread and butter plate or under the edge of your dinner plate.

Important Things to Not Do
Never begin eating until the guest of honour takes his first bite. Don't look across the rim of your glass or cup while drinking. Don't lean over your food, but instead bring the food up to your mouth. Don't put your briefcase, pocketbook, files, or anything else onto the table when they are not in use, but instead put them on the floor out of the server's way. Don't sprinkle salt or pepper on the food before tasting it. Don't turn your coffee cup upside down if you don't want any, just politely refuse.

At a business meal, order what you know you like. Try to avoid dishes with bones, sloppy pasta portions like spaghetti, and something with too strong of a scent, like French Onion soup. Guests order first, but if the host recommends something and you don't like it, order something around the same price instead.

Feel free to have small talk over drinks or appetizers. If the host orders soup or salad, make sure you order one or the other too. Don't put off discussing business until the end. You just might end up losing the business.

Source: Ezinearticles

© 2019 Arthur Langton

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