Business meetings over breakfast, lunch or dinner are common place. Here are six etiquette tips when dining with customers, coworkers or the boss.
- Shut off your cell phone. Leaving it on “Vibrate” will still be disruptive.
- Always pass the salt and pepper shakers together, even if someone specifically asks for only one of them.
- Avoid ordering food that is typically eaten with the fingers but can be a bit messy such as fried chicken, ribs or corn-on-the cob.
- If you’re nervous, don’t order alcohol to calm your nerves. Instead, take a few deep breaths and exhale slowly.
- If you need to leave the table, simply say “Excuse me” and place your napkin on your chair. This will signal to the wait staff that you will be returning to the table. As you leave, there’s no need to give an explanation as to where you’re going.
- When you are finished with your meal, place your napkin to the left of your plate and place your knife and fork side-by-side across your plate diagonally at the 10 o’clock and 4 o’clock positions.
Finally, if you are curious as to who pays, that responsibility falls on the individual who initiated the meeting.