Business Dining Etiquette tips


Before the meal, shake hands with anyone already sitting at the table. If necessary, introduce yourself. Be sure to remain standing until your host sits. Once you sit down, 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.


When the waiter approaches the table, don’t ask him to explain everything on the menu (one or two items are okay, especially if you have a food allergy or a dietary restriction such as a gluten intolerance and need clarification on a dish). If you appear too picky or indecisive, your peers may become annoyed.


Follow your host’s lead – if they’re first in line to order, choose something similar to what they order. For example, if they opt for a salad, try not to go for the prime rib. If the host isn’t first in line to order, then ask for his/her recommendation. And of course, don’t order the most expensive thing on the menu.


Drink from your own water glass and don’t make the mistake of taking from your colleague or client’s bread plate. Remember that your beverage will always be placed on the right side, above your knife and soup spoon, and your bread plate will always be placed on the left side, above your fork(s).