Business Dining Tips

Before a meal

  • Shake hands with everyone at the table
  • if necessary introduce yourself
  • Wait for your host to sit before you do
  • place your napkin on your lap only after everyone else is seated and your host has moved his or her napkin
  • If someone arrives to the table after you do, it’s polite to stand up to greet them.

Follow your host’s lead

  • If they're first in line to order, choose something similar to what they order
  • If the host isn't first in line to order, then ask for his/her recommendation
  • Don't order the most expensive thing on the menu.
  • Order foods that are easy to eat, such as chicken, or salads.

Looking Mature

Try a little of everything on your plate unless you have a food allergy. You could come across as unsophisticated (and childish) if you eat only your steak and potatoes and ignore your vegetables. If the food served is not to your liking, it is polite to at least attempt to eat a small amount of it. Additionally, don't over indulge or ask to finish anyone else’s food.

Leaving the table

If you need to leave the table during the meal, place your napkin on your chair and push the chair back under the table. There is no need to announce where you are going, or what you will be doing when you get there.