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Keep in mind that your image matters, especially when you're in a business environment. Thinking about it, I prepared this post to help you in your next Business Meal.


1- Shake hands with all present at the table. If necessary, introduce yourself. Concentrate on remembering your host/hostess’ name.


2- Remain standing until host sits.


3- Place your napkin on your lap after everyone is seated and after your host has moved his/her napkin.


4- Don’t ask the waiter to explain everything on the menu; you will annoy others and appear indecisive.


5- Let the host take the lead when ordering; this will give you an idea of what to eat. If he/she orders an appetizer, order one. If the host isn't first in line to order, then you can ask for his/her recommendation.


6- Don’t order the most expensive item on the menu and don’t order any unfamiliar food. Avoid sloppy hard to eat foods like spaghetti or ribs.


7- Don’t drink alcohol; if you choose to drink, limit it to one beer or glass of wine. Ordering iced tea is dignified and won’t raise the risk of you babbling about last weekend’s party.


8- If your place is set with more than one fork, begin from the outside and work your way in. And, please: Fork is in the left hand and knife in the right hand!


9- When looking at the place setting in front of you, remember: solids on your left (bread plate), liquids on your right (water, ice tea, coffee).


10- With dinner rolls, break off and butter one small piece of bread at a time on the plate; avoid making a sandwich.


11- Do keep your elbows off the table. Don’t use toothpicks in the presence of other.


12- Don’t over indulge; this is not your last meal.


13- When you are finished eating, place the knife and fork prongs down side by side on the plate with the handles at 4 o’clock; the waiter will understand this as the “I am finished” position.


14- Don’t argue over that check or offer to pay the tip; the host who invited you must take care of both. Remember: It’s a business meal.


15- Make sure you thank the host for the meal. Shake hands before you leave and maintain good eye contact.

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