Business Lunch: Etiquette Rules
These were the disappointing results of the trial course “Business Lunch etiquette.” We all failed at the first dinner. But after all, a lot depends on the business lunch: your image as a business person, the image of the firm that will be judged by your behavior, the success of important negotiations, entering into higher business circles, etc. For this reason, such courses that affect all aspects of a business lunch begin to gain popularity, starting with the fact that there are spaghetti, not dropping them on their shirt, and ending with how to properly open mussels.
I will try briefly to outline the basic rules that I have learned in these courses.
If the invitation to the reception or the dinner is sent in writing, be sure to express your gratitude in writing as well, even if you are not going to go for it.
Think about your suit carefully. Even if the invitation is written “in casual clothing,” it still means “in a jacket and tie” for men and “in a business suit” for women. No jeans! If you wanted to come in jeans, they would write “in sportswear” on the invitation.
If you invite someone to a business lunch, then you should behave in a restaurant as if you were taking guests at home. Therefore, it is best to reserve in advance the best table in the restaurant and get acquainted with the menu.
The invitees have their duties. One of the main tips for the guests – does not come to the restaurant throttled. It’s better to have a snack somewhere before. You go for business lunch not eat, but solve business issues and establish business relationships.
But even if you’re going to eat a bit, you should do it right. And this is a whole science. Do you know how a spoon for mashed soup is different from a regular soup spoon? We did not know. Nobody, even Mary, who was present several times at ambassadorial lunches. Now I know: a spoon for soup puree is a bit more common. But there are also salad forks, second fork forks, fish forks, cake forks and many other relatives. Try to learn the purpose of all these objects in advance. You do not need to think that your mistakes are counted by the surrounding experts on “cute spontaneity.”
Do not also:
Discuss your dietary preferences and health problems even if you have a stomach ulcer or an allergy. It is better to give up the dish without explaining the reasons.
Complain about the service and quality of food.
Call the waiter loudly. Instead, try to meet him with his eyes and nod slightly, calling to herself. Do not try to make friends with a waiter, communicate with him officially.
Waving with a napkin. Gently rotate it under the table and try to eat it so that you do not have to use it too often.
Gather a whole spoon. Soup should be carefully napped off the edge of the spoon, trying not to produce any sounds.
Leave traces of food on a glass. Therefore, every time before you give up, soak your lips with a napkin.
There is after having finished the inviting dinner.
Correct hand shaking before and after lunch or during receptions is a separate topic. The squeeze must be strong, but not strong. Shake hands twice – no more and no less. Serve a cold hand – a bad tone. If on the street is cold, wear gloves. And during the receptions, keep a glass with a drink in the left hand, so that the right one remains free and warm.
In addition, in different countries, there are features of the etiquette of business lunches.
Japan In Japan, business lunch is often accompanied by a small gift. The gift should be in the package, it’s better than paper pastel shades and no ribbons and bows. It is necessary to hand it, holding in both hands. Give four and nine items (no matter what) – unfortunately.
India The answer to the direct refusal to invite is considered here to be very impolite and even offensive. It is better to give a “foggy”, to no binding answer, for example, “I will try, if things do not hold me”.
Arab countries If you are invited to a dinner or reception, it is best to come later than indicated in the invitation time for 15-20 minutes. It is believed that any self-respecting person should force himself to wait. If you arrive on time, the lunch master can decide that you are too interested in the business relationship, and then all the benefits will be on his side during the deal. And never eat anything and do not pass it with your left hand!
China. Hospitality and courtesy are a must-see for the Chinese people. And if the business lunch and the lunch host’s happiness exceed all your expectations, that does not mean that the deal is in your pocket. Rather the opposite! Often this is a method of mitigating failure.
To tell the truth, everyone attending the courses on that day sighed relieved when the lunch was over. I’m still not sure that a visitor who knows how to behave at the table, is better communicative, relaxed, interesting, not familiar with the rules of etiquette. But I know for sure which of them I will invite for an afternoon lunch with an important sponsor, and who on a country barbecue.