2.24.2009

Lunch Etiquette

When I find information this helpful, I just have to pass it on. Ashley Brooke Designs posted this to pertain to a business lunch. I think it's great etiquette to have for any restaurant meal, whether you will be with colleagues, friends or a date.

"I know a lot of your are going through the job interviewing process and I thought that this post on business lunch etiquette might help a bit! Every company interviews differently, but if it involves a lunch... you will be set! Here are 10 tips to get you through a business lunch:
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1. Be in the present moment with whoever you are with. Limit glancing around the room. It’s a sign that you are looking for something better. There is nothing worse than having a conversation with someone who is half there.

2. Being on time. This sounds so commonsensical. The percentage of people being late is over 65 percent.

3. Turn off your cell phone before entering the restaurant. No one around you wants to hear your conversation. Even if you let it ring, pick it up and then take it outside.

4. If you are woman and this is business, it’s appropriate now to stand up and shake the hand of a male.

5. Offer your hand and give a firm handshake. Sometimes, people who don't like to shake hands will not meet yours. Don't think anything of it if they don't, this is just their preference.

6. Think of an opening statement to make as you are shaking hands. This is part of your first impression, so make it good. Always use the guest’s first name either at the beginning or at the end of the statement. For example, "Thank you for taking the time to get together today, Catherine." When needing to complete a group of introductions, highest rank rules over gender.

7. Small talk is important--don't leave it out.

8. Aha, who picks up the tab? If you did the inviting, you are responsible for the check. No matter how more well-off they are. If a joint meeting, ask at the beginning or when scheduling the lunch on check splitting. Waiting until the check arrives to state the check splitting is a sign of professional weakness. If you are meeting with someone who is giving you valuable advice, you must pick up the tab. A personal handwritten follow-up note is also appropriate.

9. Where does the napkin go? Immediately after sitting, place the napkin in your lap. If you notice the napkin is in the goblet, this is usually a signal from the restaurant that the server will place the napkin into your lap. If you excuse yourself during the meal, place the napkin on the left hand side of your plate or on the chair. This signals the server that you aren't done. When done, place napkin on the right of the plate and your fork and knife horizontally across the plate to signal the server.

10. What to eat and use first? Which glass or which fork can be confusing. Bread and salad plates always to the left, drinking glasses to the right. Utensils start from the outside in and the dessert fork is by the dessert plate. Lay your fork and knife across your plate to signal the server you're finished. "

{Original article located here}

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