An employee, while attending the business meetings and various other gatherings needs to follow certain ethics. It is on these occasions that they are expected highly to comply with the formal etiquettes, utmost from formal wearing to eating during the lunch.
No matter how nervous or uneasy, you might feel during a business lunch, still, you are expected to behave properly, in a good manner. When you are at a business lunch, etiquettes are what, that count most.
Hence, it is always good to know few of the important business lunch tips.
Do Not Depend Too Much On Luck:
Dressing professionally is very important in a corporate business lunch. You should be well prepared for the meet-up and have your clothes pressed the night before to avoid any confusion at the last minute. Make sure that you know about the dress code as sometimes, the corporate lunches follow an informal theme. If you are not sure what to wear at the venue, take advices from your colleagues, they can help you greatly.
Apart from what you are wearing, being there on time is probably the most important thing, as it is counted as one of primary responses to the invitation. Do not take a toll on your career by appearing late. Be specific about the timings, you are expected to be there and try to be 15 minutes earlier than the expected time. However, reaching there an hour earlier may make you look desperate. The key is being on time.
In a business lunch, it is important to know how to make a good conversation if you really want to stand-out. Be informed about the guests that are coming to the lunch and have a brief background research on them in advance, so that you could have a few questions for them to get the conversation going.
If the lunch is about reaching a particular business incentive with another company, then, do not just start talking about the business straight away, as it might seem a bit unethical. Focus others in your conversation, you might also choose to be mildly personal by talking a little about the family affairs, depending on the situation. Just provide people with a good comfort level while you are communicating with them.
Do not be offensive or rude and do not bring up controversial topics if you think that your surrounding does not allow it.
Let others order in first and then make a choice of your order accordingly. In most cases, it is recommended to mimic the order types, for example, if your boss has ordered a minimally priced salad, do not choose to order an overpriced meal. Some business lunches include 5 course meals which include appetizers, entrée, main meal, dessert and coffee. So, you really have to know the “type” of lunch that you will be having and make choices accordingly.
It is recommended to skip ordering the most cheapest or expensive item on the menu, because it might signal your guest that you are focusing on the price too much. Skip ordering anything which will look messy to eat, for instance, choosing to order pizza on a business lunch should be ignored.
Do not order anything that requires you to eat with your hands. Also, do not order greasy food as it speckles ties and smears lipstick. Ignore ordering spaghetti as it will run off from your fork. The bottom line is that you should order clean, easy to eat meals like fish, steak or a salad.
Also refrain from ordering the alcohol, if no one else is having it.
Do not under any circumstance put your fingers in your mouth, blow nose into the napkin or chew with your mouth open during a business lunch.
Following are the table etiquette disasters that you should avoid:
- If you want to excuse yourself during the lunch, do not place your napkin on your table. Put it on your chair.
- The glass of water should be placed on your right; the bread plate should be placed on the left and the main plate in the middle.
- Do not put the utensils on the table while eating. Always put them on the plate.
- You should never eat off from someone else’s plate.
- Do not talk while you are eating. If someone is making a conversation with you during the meal, pause for some time and speak, after you have finished your bite.
- While talking during the meal, do not hold your utensils in your hands, neither talk with gestures, as such acts cast very unethical and unprofessional attitude, and the person talking to you, will get the clue that you lack the table manners.
- Slice your meal into small pieces when eating.