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Business Dinner Etiquette

Business Dinner Etiquette
Business Dinner Etiquette

Much of today’s table etiquette came from the medieval times. At those times, being proficient with table etiquette displays a persona of being sophisticated and educated. In recent times, table etiquette may not be as complicated or intricate when compared to the past. However, business owners and managers still assess your table etiquette unconsciously or consciously.

Observing someone at the dinner table gives a lot of insight on how a person thinks or acts. Thus, knowing the basic of business dinner etiquette can still get you a long way in the business world. To help you with that, this article is going to cover some of the basics when it comes to business dinner etiquette.

  • Homework – Before you even take your seat at the dinner table, it’s critical that you do your research. Research the person who you are dealing with. Research the company, a bit of history and the names of his/her entourage. Research also the company’s shortcomings, success and culture. By doing so, you will have a good idea what topics to touch and what topics to steer clear. Most importantly, sound informative and not authoritative.
  • Arrive Early – Arrive at the restaurant earlier than scheduled. Ask if the other party has arrived. If not, then the lobby is where you should wait. In case that you feel you are going to pay for the dinner or if you are hosting the dinner, inform the staff beforehand. Hand the staff your credit card and inform them that you will be paying in full. Also, tell them not to present a check and not to accept payments from anyone else.
  • First Contact – The moment the other party arrives, approach and project confidence. Confidently extend your hand and look each one of them in the eye.
  • No Cellphone Policy – It may be okay to have dinner with your friends and fiddle with your smartphone during the entire time. However, in a business dinner, no such kind of thing should happen.  This means that even before you arrive at the table, you should turn off or put your smartphone on silent mode. Also, this includes all mobile devices like tablets. Check bags, handbags, briefcases and pockets just to make sure.
  • Pay Attention – Be mindful of your posture. Never put your elbows on the table. Sit up upright and firmly. Be a good listener. Learn to avoid bad topics such as controversial news, religion or politics. When it comes to a business dinner, it’s best that the other party directs the pace and direction of the conversation.

We may not be living in the medieval times, but it doesn’t mean that people stopped paying attention when it comes to table etiquette. Knowing the ABC’s of etiquette is a great way to set a great impression on a possible business partner or client. As a start, make sure you do your homework, arrive early, know the importance of the first contact, no cellphone policy and pay attention.

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