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Four Dining Do’s and Don’ts

October 13, 2009

200569602-007Savvy dining skills play a major role in business. Forty-nine percent of executives surveyed said their most important meetings outside of the office were conducted at a restaurant. More than half of all business deals are finalized over a meal. Business meals are often used to conduct job interviews, get to know a client or consultant, network with a colleague, or sign a contract.

What you order, how you eat and what you discuss demonstrate your courtesy, poise and respect. Turns out your mother was right: Table manners do count.

Have you ever had a lunch or dinner meeting with a business associate whose manners were objectionable? Perhaps she pulled out a mirror to fix her makeup at the table, or he failed to cover his mouth while coughing. Such rudeness can destroy a colleague’s impression, not to mention kill a deal. Here are some practical suggestions to avoid shooting oneself in the foot at the table.


Don’t…talk with food in your mouth. Chew with your mouth closed. Swallow before speaking.
Do… turn off your cell phone. This sends a message to your dining companions that the meeting at hand is your top priority.If you must make or take a call, excuse yourself from the table.
Don’t… keep your dining companions waiting for more than a few minutes. Before you get up from the table, say, “Please excuse me for a moment.”

Do… steer clear of inappropriate discussions. Don’t complain or gossip about others, use profanity, tell inappropriate jokes, or reveal any information that’s too personal.
Your professional polish is on display. Never assume people won’t notice or will tolerate poor manners. Like it or not, people equate good manners with competence in business and poor manners with incompetence.
Host a workshop with your associates on Finessing the Business Meal. Let’s discuss which restaurant and how many courses you would like to (eat) cover.
Set your lunch date with us today by emailing us at:

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Emma permalink
    October 13, 2009 7:06 PM

    I find lunch meetings difficult to maneuver. I’m not one to skip meals, so I eat on a regular schedule. When I’m in a lunch meeting, I usually concentrate on what’s being said and don’t eat much. Needless to say, it really throws my day off. Any advice?


    • October 13, 2009 11:43 PM

      Thank you Emma,

      Good to hear from you Emma! Remember a business meal is not about eating. May I suggest you have your regularly scheduled meal before or after your business lunch. Then at lunch you can eat lightly concentrateon what is being said. Thank you for a great question.

  2. Precious permalink
    November 10, 2010 8:25 PM

    I’m extremely impressed with this treated as an issue

    • November 10, 2010 10:59 PM

      Precious, good to hear from you and thank you for your cooments. We try really hard to be impressive and to bring you pertinent and relevant information. What else would youlike tp see us address or discuss


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