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15 Etiquette
Tips For Business Dining

Written by Joelle Bailey, 8 years ago, 0 Comments

 You never get a second chance to make the first impression

Did you know that 67% of business in the world takes place over a meal? Many of today’s business meetings, sales meetings, and job interviews take place over the lunch or dinner table. Sometimes these meetings are at a restaurant, and other times they are in a corporate dining hall. Remember, you are not invited for breakfast, lunch or dinner because someone thinks you need to be fed. It's business, not personal.

You are invited for one of several reasons: someone wants to hire you, thank you for your business, give you more business, or someone thinks you have something to contribute to their business. You may be thinking. Why do I need to learn dinner table etiquette? Let me tell you: Learning etiquette at the table can help you excel in business and also in landing the job of your dreams.

Quick Review:

1. Arrive on time for your appointment.

2. Eat something first. before you head out. My beloved mother used to say...."You don't want people to think you don't have food at your house"

3. Reminder, the correct way to be seated: Enter and exit at the chair’s right hand side. Gentlemen please remember to help your lady colleagues with their chair.~ please remember to stand when ladies excuse from and return to the table – the “half-seat” will do.

4. Remove your napkin from the table and place it on your lap.  Open corners and unfold only once on your lap.

5. Don't order the most expensive entree. Be mindful of the cost/price of your entree.

6. Start eating from the outside.  When dining just remember your BMW automobile. Yes, BMW also stands for "Bread, Meal, Wine/Water."   Look down at your table setting, Bread is on your left, Meal plate in the middle, Water and Wine glasses on your right.

7. Taste everything on your plate before you add salt or pepper.  Pass the salt and pepper shakers together when ask to past the salt.

8. Allow your food to cool on its own, never blow on anything.

9. Cutting Your Food. Always use both your knife and fork together.

10. Eating Soup. When eating soup, push your spoon away from you starting to the farthest edge of the soup bowl. Bring the spoon to your mouth and drink the soup from the edge of the spoon and not by putting the whole spoon in your mouth. And, of course, do not slurp!!!! Quick reminder for soup etiquette: Like little ships gone out to sea, I push my spoon away from me.

11. Never order a cocktail at a business meeting. No bloody Mary's in the morning, Sexy on the Beach cocktails in the afternoon orLong Islandice-teas in evening. Just our advice, it's your future and your business deal.  If your host is having wine with lunch or dinner, please have ONE glass.... just one, not two or three.

12. Ladies, if you wear lipstick, keep it off your plate and napkin by blotting it as soon as you apply it. Never apply lipstick at the lunch\dinner table.

13. Keep your elbows off the table at all times.

14. Don't put your cell phone, I-pad, purse, keys, sunglasses, or eyeglasses on the table.

15. Leave your plate where it is when you are finished with your meal-don't push it away from you.

Bon appetite and good luck!



About Joelle Bailey

Do you have etiquette/manner questions? Just Ask Joelle at: or For more information visit Joelle's website:, Follow & Share your thoughts on Etiquette Divas ~ Face Book Page or join Etiquette and Manners are still in Style ~ Facebook Group