The very nature of dining with someone is an intimate event.
We are sitting close to each other…
…no one can escape being seen or heard…
…what we see and hear helps us form an opinion of our dining partner.
The knowing, understanding and execution of proper dining etiquette isn’t about being perfect or better than everyone else. Instead, it’s about knowing which behaviors represent us well as a business professional. Our behavior at the dinner table quietly speaks to others and it is imperative these behaviors say the right things about us.
- It is best to eat in small bites and at a moderate and smooth pace. Eating rapidly and aggressively is perceived as boorish. The last thing we want is for whomever we are dining with to view us as barbaric because we devoured our meal like a ravenous hyena.
- We should avoid taking a survey of what our dining partners plan to order and then asking the server to allow us to order last as it is often an indicator of indecisiveness. We should also avoid ordering the same exact meal as our dining partner as we may appear submissive. If you would like the same entrée, at least order a different salad dressing, vegetable or dessert.
- When removing our napkin from the table and placing it on our lap, we should not whip it out and shake it open. This behavior is typical of surly or unrefined individuals. This is a quiet activity that should go unnoticed by others.
- One of the most common mistakes we see business professionals make is eating before everyone at the table is served. When we do this, others are likely to view us as disrespectful and egocentric.
- We should never hold our fork like a shovel. This behavior is most commonly associated with cavemen and is another indicator of aggressiveness and a lack of refinement.
- We should never use our fingers to sop up the last bit of sauce or gravy on our plate. And, of course, we should avoid licking our fingers and using them to shovel food onto our fork. These are behaviors most commonly associated with young children. When performed by adults, they are indicators of immaturity.
- Cutting an entire piece of food into bite-size pieces prior to eating it is not necessary. Instead, simply cut a small portion and eat it before cutting the next bite. This is an activity normally performed by parents to prepare food for children. As soon as a child is physically able to cut his or her own food, he or she should be taught to cut only one or two bites at a time. If we do this as an adult, it is likely to be viewed as a sign of immaturity.
- It is always best to taste our food before seasoning it. It is rude and disrespectful to the chef to add salt and pepper before tasting the meal. Begin with the assumption the chef has already seasoned your meal to be perfectly delicious. Then, after a few bites, feel free to add additional seasoning if you feel it requires more. Otherwise, you will be viewed as uncaring and disrespectful.
Are you making any of these dining etiquette mistakes? If so, it is likely your behavior at the dinner table is working against you.
That’s okay, though, because it’s never too late to polish your dining etiquette skills – and we’re going to make it easy for you to do that!
We have a new eBook entitled Dining Etiquette for Today’s Business Professional in which I thoroughly explain the dos and don’ts of professional dining. This must-have for any businessperson can help YOU be more confident – and more successful – at your next business meal.
- The Impact of Poor Table Manners
- Taking a Seat & Ordering Your Meal
- Ordering Alcoholic Beverages & Pairing Wine
- Using Your Napkin
- A Standard 7-Course Meal and its Beverages
- Decoding the Table Setting (formal, informal & casual)
- Using Your Utensils
- Using the Bread Plate & Butter Knife
- Serving and Passing Food
- Navigating the Meal with Confidence
- Handling Mishaps
- A Few Reminders from Your Mother
- Managing Dietary Restrictions
- Eliminating Cell Phone Distractions
- Discussing Business
- Dining Conversation
And like I said, we want to make it easy for you to get your hands on a copy of this eBook that’s why we’re offering an Exclusive Discount of 25% (for our newsletter subscribers only) when you purchase your copy by Wednesday, January 11, 8pm EDT. You don’t want to miss out on this exclusive offer for our valued newsletter subscribers. After Wednesday, this discount will no longer be offered.
We’ve reserved a copy for you so click here to purchase your copy now and remember to use coupon code NEWSLETTERVIP to receive your 25% discount!
Thank you for subscribing to our newsletter. I look forward to sending a copy of our newest eBook Dining Etiquette for Today’s Business Professional to you!