How you present yourself a huge a part of having a successful business. Even in situations that you might not think important, it’s still vital that you keep your wits about you and act professionally. This includes when you are sharing a meal with someone for a business purpose. Even if the meal is casual, there are still certain points of etiquette that you should follow. To help you act appropriately at these events, here are three etiquette tips for going to a business dinner.
Focus More On The People Than The Food
While the main event that will be happening at this meeting will be a meal, it’s important that you don’t let that overshadow that great business opportunity that you’re having. According to Lindsay Kolowich, a contributor to HubSpot.com, it’s much more important to focus on the people than on the food. Knowing this, you should eat a little something before you show up at the restaurant. By doing this, you’ll ensure that you’re not so hungry that you forget to keep the conversation up because you’re so focused on filling your stomach.
Be Careful When Ordering Beverages
Although alcohol may be a part of your normal life, when you’re at a business dinner, this is something you should be wary of. If you’re the host, it’s up to you to decide if you want to order an alcoholic drink or not. However, if you’re the guest, Annie Pilon, a contributor to SmallBizTrends.com, recommends that you don’t order it unless the host orders some as well. Let them set the tone for how causal this dinner will get. And even if they do order it, so you do as well, be sure you keep your drink order to just one. The last thing you want is to have too much to drink in a professional setting.
Know How Customs From Other Countries Differ
Depending on who you’re having dinner with, you may want to brush up on your knowledge of foreign customs. Especially if you’re having dinner with someone from a different country, you want to be sure that you’re not unknowingly doing something that they might find rude or offensive. Additionally, you may find something that will help make them more comfortable and set them at ease in an unfamiliar environment. To help with this, Jacquelyn Smith, a contributor to Business Insider, shares an infographic of multiple countries and what are some of the dinner customs or etiquette that they adhere to.
If you have a business dinner coming up and want to ensure that things go well, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you prepare for a successful evening.