Let’s Do Lunch!

One of the best ways to break the ice and formulate great relationships is over lunch. Most of us feel comfortable when it comes to conducting business in the office but are nervous wrecks when its’ conducted over a dining table.  Here are some tips that will make any venture over a meal something to look forward to besides winning the account.  Many of these you might already know and do but it’s always good to hear it again

  • Don’t talk with your mouth full or chew with your mouth open.  It is truly not a pleasant site to see.
  • Sit comfortably erect with your napkin in your lap, not stuffed in your collar or blouse.
  • Elbows on the table are appropriate after the meal but for comfort you can put your wrist and forearm on it while eating.
  • Please don’t stack the dishes when done eating.  It’s really not cool either when the waiter does it, but it’s their job to clear the table.
  • If at a luncheon or dinner function, wait until your host starts to eat.  If a large banquet wait until everyone at your table has been served.
  • Don’t reach across the table for the salt, pepper or other condiments; ask for them to be passed to you.
  • Turn off your cell phone during the business meal or a banquet.  Unless your wife is expecting a baby or you have a sitter at home, turn the phone off.  It is not cool to take calls while dining.  If you are expecting a call, put it on vibrator mode and inform your client, then call them back away from the table.
  • Don’t feel the need to eat everything on your plate.  If you are full, stop.
  • If you need to excuse yourself during the meal, put your napkin in the chair and pick it up when you return.  When you are finished put your napkin next to your plate.
  • When finished eating put the utensils at diagonal positions on the clock of 10 and 4 or if you’re left handed 8 and 2.  This makes it easier for the server to take your plate.
  • As far as which utensils to use, a formal setting that has several forks, knives and spoons, you work from the outside in.  For example, your salad normally comes first and you eat it with the fork that is on the outside.  Use your knife to cut large pieces to something your mouth can handle.
  • Use bread or a cracker to push your food onto the fork, not your finger.
  • Remember a finger bowl is for your fingers not for a bath.
  • If at a private dinner party or banquet and they serve you something that you cannot eat, just don’t eat it.  Please don’t give your host a list of things you won’t eat, it is not their job to cater to your needs.  Just pass it on and don’t make an issue of it.
  • Don’t fix your hair or do your lipstick at the table.  Go to the restroom to freshen up.
  • When done don’t lean back and push away from the table and say I’m done.
  • Hold your utensils appropriately not as props or as tools to grab.  For example, the fork should rest across your middle finger with your index finger and thumb over the top.
  • Don’t wash food down with a liquid.  Chew and swallow before you take a drink.
  • Wait until you leave before using a toothpick, and finally,
  • If you did the inviting remember you are the buyer and so the check comes to you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About vseitz

Marketing Professor at California State University, San Bernardino and author of "I Don't Wear A Suit."

One response to “Let’s Do Lunch!”

  1. M B NEACE says :

    An excellent beginning. Keep the tips coming.

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