Ноя 2012 23

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Business Dining Etiquette Starts Before You arrive!

1. Do not be late! Arriving at dinner late implies that you are irresponsible and inconsiderate. No one likes a non-punctual employer/coworker so if you are late to dinner, you are automatically starting off on the wrong foot.

However, if you do anticipate on being late, give the host a courtesy call. In the worst case scenario, make up a funny story about why you were late. Here’s a good one, “On my way here, I got pulled over. Sorry I’m late, but I had to be a good citizen.”2. Do not immediately sit down at any chair. Wait for your boss to sit first, and strategically sit right next to him. This is the best opportunity to get to know him and kiss-up if needed.

3. Be chivalrous, if you’re a guy, escort the ladies (and your female boss) or help them remove their coat.

4. Do not place your cell phone, purse, or makeup on the dining table. Turn off your cell phone and leave it all under the table.


 NB! Don't Order These Foods at a Business Dinner or Lunch

 1. Shellfish

Crab, lobster, clams, and shrimp are difficult to manage. Lobster requires special equipment and a bib. That doesn’t exactly look professional. It is also generally the most expensive item on the menu.

 2. Spaghetti

Any type of noodle dish including angel hair pasta, linguine. It’s difficult to eat this gracefully without having a strand dangle from your fork or mouth. Order another type of pasta, such as penne or bow-tie where you can easily pick it up with the fork.

 3. Finger foods

Don’t order ribs, chicken wings where you have to rely on digging in with your hands. Those items are messy and require you to constantly wipe your hands of the sauce. Bread is okay to eat with your fingers.


5. The basic table setting will include a couple of forks on the left side and knives on the right side. The basic rule here is to start on the outside. That means the fork farthest away from your plate is for the salad, or appetizer that requires use of fork. (Don’t pick the calamari up with your fingers, please.)

6. When you cut your food, use both the knife and fork. Don’t leave the fork halfway on the plate and halfway on the table.

7. When eating soup, don’t slurp! No matter how delicious it is, don’t make any noise! The trick to eating soup gracefully is to dip the spoon in and moving it AWAY from you. You are less likely to spill soup on your lap.

8. Your napkin should be unfolded and placed on your lap, not the table. If you drop it, say “excuse me,” and bend down gracefully and pick it up. No matter how badly you want to protect your new tie, don’t tuck your napkin in to the front of your shirt. Do not blow your nose with the napkin; find a tissue. Better yet, keep a tissue in your purse or pocket.

9. Depending on the formality of the restaurant, there can be up to 4 glasses at the table, situated in a square pattern. The top left glass is for red wine, below that is for white wine. The top right is for champagne, with the remaining glass for water.

10. Do not begin eating your food before everyone is served. If you start with the bread basket, don't forget to pass it to the person on your left.

11. Do not bring these topics up during dinner: politics, religion, sex, or other controversial subjects at the table.

12. Eat naturally. This may seem like a no brainer, but it is after all, a business dinner, so eat! Relax and eat! Don’t talk with your mouth full. A good idea would be to take smaller bites in case you need to talk.

If you barely touch your food, it looks like you are wasteful and inconsiderate. On the other hand, don’t overindulge, no matter how delicious that piece of steak is or how smooth that wine tasted. No matter how starved you are as a newly college graduate, don’t swallow your entire dinner in one bite and do not order the most expensive item on the menu.

13. The type of food that you order may also make it easier for you to survive this business dinner. Do not order the ribs, no matter how tempting it is! It doesn’t matter how neat and experienced you are at eating ribs, it will always be messy and difficult to converse while smacking your BBQ sauce on your lips at the same time. Unless, you’re interviewing with Bobby Flay for a chef position, by all means to for it.

Avoid ordering finger foods or whole chicken, as this can also get messy. The best suggestion is to order penne pasta, where you can simply eat individual “fork-size bites.” There’s no cutting required, and you have more options if you are a vegetarian.

14. In some cases, the food is ordered by the host. How do you eat a whole chicken? Use your fork and knife. To eat a whole fish, start on one side of the spine and eat from top to bottom. When you’re done, gently lift the bones and discard it, instead of attempting to flip the fish over. If you catch a small bone, remove it with your fingers. If sushi is served, share!

And Bon appétit!