Business lunch etiquette is undoubtedly one of the most talked about topics in business. Business lunches are becoming more popular than office meetings, and much tastier, but they require a lot more effort! Before arriving to your next business lunch, be sure to go over these tips:

Business Lunch Etiquette Tip #1: Arrive Early

You always want to arrive about fifteen minutes early to a business lunch. You don’t want to be “That Guy.”

Business Lunch Etiquette Tip #2: Focus

Restaurants are a very busy place and it is tempting to take a look around. You can look, just make sure it isn’t when someone else is speaking. Your focus, at all times, should be directed to the speaker!

Business Lunch Etiquette Tip #3: Turn off Your Cell Phone

There is nothing more embarrassing than your cell phone going off during a meeting and there is nothing more annoying that the person you have having lunch to be chatting away on the phone. Turn your cell phone off before your business lunch and you won’t be tempted to look at it or pick it up!

Business Lunch Etiquette Tip #4: Additional Dinner Guest

If more than one individual will be meeting you for a business lunch, be sure to stand up when they approach the table. After they have approached the table, firmly shake their hand then take a seat.

Business Lunch Etiquette Tip #5: Napkin Placement

Before you grab a piece of bread or start digging into your soup, make sure your napkin is unfolded and laid neatly on your lap. At the end of your mean, place your napkin next to your lunch plate.

Business Lunch Etiquette Tip #6: Utensils

This can be confusing when you are staring at several utensils. One hint to remember: Work from the outside in. When you are done using a utensil, lay it across a dinner plate. Never, and I repeat never lay your utensils on the table!

Business Lunch Etiquette Tip #7: What to Drink

Let the individual who invited you to lunch order their drink first. Stick to soda and water unless the treating individual ordered an alcoholic beverage. You don’t have to order an alcoholic beverage but out of courtesy, you should order one, and only one, as well.

Business Lunch Etiquette Tip #8: What to Eat

If you are not the individual treating, stay away from appetizers and desserts. Further, try not to order the most expensive, or the least expensive, item on the menu. Too expensive says you are a mooch, too inexpensive says you are cheap!

Business Lunch Etiquette Tip #9: When to Eat

Once everyone at the table has received their meal and their meals are all cooked to perfection, you may begin eating. If you are with only one other person, wait for them to take the first bite.

Business Lunch Etiquette Tip #10: Leaving the Table

Try not to leave the table during a business lunch. If it is an emergency and you absolutely have to, make sure to excuse yourself.

Business Lunch Etiquette Tip #11: Left Over

I know your meal may have been tasty, but don’t take the leftovers home! This is a big no-no!

Business Lunch Etiquette Tip #12: The Tab

The rule of thumb is, “If you ask, you buy!” Certain situations may change this however. If the client suggests you do lunch, you agree but pay!

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Comment by Tanya Willette on July 20, 2008 at 11:00am
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