Meals centered on business are very common today in the work world, but many people are unaware of the unwritten rules that can lead to a successful business meal.
The first rule is punctuality. Being late to any sort of business function sends a message that the other person’s time is not as valuable as your time. This can set an undesirable tone for the remainder of the dinner. If tardiness is unavoidable, attempt to call and alert the person you are meeting, and apologize sincerely.
The next rule is table manners. The standard rules apply, such as chewing with your mouth closed, not putting your elbows on the table, and don’t reach across the table, but there are a few other rules that convey good manners as well, especially during a business meal; For instance, if you are a guest, it is not polite to bring up business matters before the host does and using both your knife and fork to cut your food, not just cutting the entire meal up at once.
Some general rules of business dining are as simple as turning off your cell phone before the meal, keeping elbows off the table, and having good posture are all subtle signs of respect and good manners. Also, taking small bites, pacing yourself while eating and not chewing with your mouth full are respectful and polite as well.
There are many more tips to a succesful business meal, UWGB students should look into attending the annual etiquette dinner. Information is as follows: Thursday April 1st 12:30-2:00pm, Phoenix Room B, University Union. Click here for more information: http://www.uwgb.edu/careers/Etiquette_Registration2010.htm