Meals are an important part of our everyday life both at home and at work. Moreover, they often become an irreplaceable part of working with clients in the business sphere.
However, many people tend to make etiquette mistakes that may not seem to be crucial or very eye-catching at first, but still, such boners create not the best opinion about us among our partners and colleagues. And we don’t only mean being in time for the brunch you were invited.
In order not to look nerdy and ill-behaved, consider several business etiquette hints that will most likely become handy in your daily life, as well.
How to Behave Politely At the Table
If you ever visited a business dinner or any event with the dress code and invitations being sent in advance, you probably know how everything is going on there. And yes, if you are new to such arrangements, everything may seem too complicated at first.
How to behave, what actions will be considered suitable, and what will not, what you should better talk about… These questions are just the minor part of all a person might bother about.
However, if you learn the basic rules of etiquette, joining the business lunch or dinner will never become an issue anymore.
- When to be seated
Finding your place might be a bit tricky, but we can help you out with that.
- If you are invited, wait for the signal to sit.
- In case it is you who invited others, simply point out the chairs for the guests.
- If you or someone else at the table is left-handed, it will be much better if you or he/she sits at the left end of the table.
Like that, such an arrangement will help to ensure that every guest has adequate space for their elbows to eat.
- Always sit up straight at the table. Do not lean on it and of course, never sprawl on a chair!
- How to behave when eating
Behaving correctly when dining is the same essential as when being seated. To do your best, check out whether you follow the rules below:
- Wait for the host to begin to eat.
- If you are at the table served for eight to ten people, wait until everyone has been served, and only then start eating.
- However, if there are more people than 10, it is fine to start eating if some guests already began even if the host has not started yet.
- Seasoning the food even before you tasted it is not polite.
- Used silverware must never touch the table. Place them on your plate instead.
- If you need to leave for a while when the meal is not finished, place your napkin onto your chair. Like that, you will show you are coming back soon, and you will mark your seat.
- The dirty napkin must be placed to the left of your plate only if all the guests finished and ready to leave.
- When not eating, keep your hands on your lap or let them rest on the table keeping the wrists on its edge.
- Never make loud noises when eating, and of course, never chew with your mouth open!
- Never talk when your mouth is filled with food. However, it is acceptable to talk with a small piece of food you are chewing as long as it’s not too noticeable.
- If you accidentally dropped a piece of your silverware, pick it up if it can be reached, and ask the server for a clean one.
If you can’t reach the item, better ask the server to give you the new one, and let him know you dropped yours.
- Eat at a moderate pace and try not to make others wait for you to finish. Eventually, you are here for business, not for stuffing your gob.
- Do not slurp the soup from the spoon! Instead, sip it accurately from its side. If the dish is too hot, first let it cool down a bit but don’t blow on it to speed up the process.
Also, as a general rule, ordering alcohol or smoking is nor welcome at the business dinner. To look well-mannered, have several general topics for conversation ready and be yourself.