When you have to dine with someone whom you haven’t met before in a professional environment things can get a little tricky. You will want to get to know that person, and at the same time, you will be worried about your eating habits. If you are dining with someone in a business environment, you need to understand that you are not there for the food. Your primary goal is to talk to the other professional and do business with him/her. The following are some of the tips which will help you in such situations:
Before the meal you need to make sure that you introduce yourself if you have never met the person before. You can start with a handshake and sit down only after the host sits down. Place the napkin on your lap, and if you have another person arriving at the table, then it is polite to stand and invite them.
Don’t spend too much time in ordering the food:
Do some research about the place you are dining and have a rough idea of what you are going to eat. When the waiter comes, don’t sound too picky as your peers might get annoyed. You should remember that you are there to do business and not eat your best meal there. Try to avoid food items which are messy to eat and order food that is easy to eat.
The position of the glass and forks:
Always remember to drink from your glass of water. Do not by mistake take the glass from your host and drink from that. Your glass will always be placed on the right side, and the fork, soup spoon, and the bread plate will be placed on the left side. The bread plate will be placed above the soup spoon and fork.
Try everything on your plate:
Try to eat everything on the plate. Don’t eat only the meat and fries and avoid the veggies. If you don’t like the food, then try to eat at least a little. Also, do not ask your peers to finish off their meal.
Avoid talking about politics:
Make sure that you avoid talking about controversial topics. It might make someone feel uncomfortable and if someone else is bringing up a topic which makes you feel uncomfortable then politely change the subject.
Leaving the table at the mid of your meal:
If you have to leave the table at the mid of your meal, politely get up and leave the napkin on your chair and you need not tell the others at the table why you are leaving.
Finishing the meal:
Once you are done with your meal, you need to rest your fork and knife inward. The handle must be at the 5’o clock position, and the tips must point at the 10’o clock position. Do not try to take home the leftovers as it is considered unprofessional.