How to behave at a business dinner: basic rules of etiquette
A business dinner is as important a part of the work process as working in the office. However, it requires a more careful approach to the rules of behavior, because in an informal setting it is easier to break the chain of command or inadvertently go beyond someone's personal boundaries.
OBOZREVATEL collected ten tips that will help to make the right impression during a business dinner. Here is what experts in refined manners recommend for such situations.
Come on time
Although a business dinner is an informal event, being late is just as unacceptable as any other business meeting. Show the invitees that you respect them and value their time. Don't show up too early either. And don't forget to introduce yourself before you sit down at the table if there are strangers in the company.
Be polite to the staff
Your behavior with the restaurant staff will tell the other diners a lot about you as a person. So try to show your best behavior. Say "please" and "thank you" to waiters and hostesses as you would to any other person. And try not to complain about the service, even if the service is really mediocre. This can give an impression of you as a person who looks for faults in everything.
Don't answer the phone during the meal
A business dinner needs your full attention, because it is an informal but still a work event. So it's rude to be distracted by phone calls and messengers - you might miss something important. Put your gadget where no one will see it and where it won't bother you with vibrations and lights. Give all your attention to your colleagues and partners.
If you don't know what to wear to a business dinner, choose the clothes you usually wear to the office. And make sure they are clean and ironed. There's no need to dress very formal unless it's specified in the invitation. Also do not choose very relaxed clothes (jeans, t-shirts, hoodies) - it is still a business conversation, not a friendly conversation.
Remember the rules of behavior at the table
Everything that suggests restaurant etiquette, during a business dinner becomes doubly relevant. Do not pick your teeth at the table, do not blow your nose in a napkin, chew with your mouth closed and in any case do not talk until you have chewed the dish.
Drink in moderation
You don't have to give up alcohol altogether, but don't forget about moderation. Drink slowly, in small sips and remember to drink a glass of water after each glass or shot.
Always offer to serve others
If you want to pour some water into your glass or put a dish on your plate, always offer it to others first. Respond to a request to pass the salt or help move something around. This will also be a big plus to your first impression.
Take your time
Rushing will look bad either way - no matter what you do. So, unless you're the host of the event, don't sit at the table first and don't order your food before the host. If the maitre d' or chef is in charge of the dinner, move on to the next course only after his or her signal. And don't rush through your food, even if you're really hungry. Grab your utensils at the same time as everyone else.
Don't experiment with the dishes
A business dinner is not the time for culinary discoveries, so choose something familiar and understandable to you. A dish that you know how to eat. Food should not distract you from discussing business topics. Also, don't ask to pack leftovers with you, even if you haven't finished - you don't want to give the impression of someone who only came to dinner for a free meal.
Offer to pay for yourself
Usually, a business dinner is paid for by the person who invited you to it - that's the golden rule. But it is polite to offer to split the check or give a tip. If you get a refusal, don't insist. You have already made your move in this game of mutual politeness.
Earlier OBOZREVATEL told about the rules of etiquette associated with alcohol, which will be appropriate and during a business dinner.