7 Dining Etiquette Tips During Business Travel


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It’s a no-brainer that your image matters in the workplace. It also matters when you’re in a professional dining environment. Whether you’re going to a business lunch with clients or at a dinner with your supervisors, knowing proper dining etiquette is crucial. Before you head out, here are the 7 business dinner etiquette rules  you need to know:

Follow the leader

As a guest, follow the lead of the invitee. Ordering too little sends the message that you’re nervous and ordering the best on the menu sends the message that you’re taking advantage of the free meal. In this case, order something similar to what the invitee orders.

To each their own

Do not make the mistake of drinking from your client’s water glass or eating from their bread plate. Your drink will always be placed on your right side, above your knife and soupspoon, and your bread plate will always be placed on your left side, above your forks.

Salt & pepper, always

When someone asks for salt, pass both salt and pepper. This small gesture shows you are extending a courtesy to guests.

Don’t knock it ‘til you try it

Try a little of everything on your plate (unless if you have a food allergy). You’ll come off as unsophisticated if you only eat some things off your plate rather than a little of everything.

Accidents happen

If an accident happens at the table, handle it, and move on. Ask for assistance from a server and don’t make the situation a scene or distraction from the dinner.

The invitee rules all

Everything from selecting the restaurant to paying the bill falls on the invitee. However, as a guest, you must not assume this. If the server hands the bill directly to the guest, the host should take control. If the invitee delays, put your card in the leather bill holder and continue conversation.

Enjoy your company

A professional dinner is a great opportunity to showcase your professional knowledge, communication skills, and personality. Take the time and make an effort to perfect your knowledge of the dining etiquette– it’s a great asset in your business success and professional relationships. Bon appetite!

Looking for Other Tips on (International) Business Etiquette?

Check out the corporate travel section of our blog and feel confident in any professional situation, especially when your work involves a lot of business traveling!  And if you ever need a short-term stay solution on your next business trip, take a look at our corporate housing solutions! Or for more information, call Furnished Quarters today at 800.871.3446!