A business lunch may very well be the place that can make or break your career which is why you need to act accordingly. There are so many things that can happen during the eat and greet, but at that moment you won’t have the opportunity to reflect on it or Google what you should do next. This is why, you need to be prepared in advance, and have all of these answers already in your sleeve.
Using Business Lunch Etiquette
Study menu ahead
First of all, this is 21st century and almost every restaurant out there has an online menu. Use this opportunity to study it before you go to a business lunch. However, this doesn’t mean that you should order right away. Take some time to study it and then make the right decision. You don’t want to seem too well prepared, because this ruins the aura of spontaneity you are trying to create, but you don’t want to seem too hesitant in front of your future boss or partners, either. Because of this, always plan ahead.
Organize the discussion accordingly
Now, here again you will have to walk the thin line. While you have an agenda for the lunch, you still need to create a personal ambience, which means that you will have to take conversation to a personal level. Do not allow yourself to get sidetracked; it might be a good idea to start with a bit of personal one-on-one chat before the meal is served and then continue with the business talk afterwards. This, of course, is not a rule but more of a guideline. So, if on spot you make judgment that doing otherwise is more efficient, feel free to do so. It might even be a good idea to have some topics or anecdotes prepared in advance, but you must make sure that this is not noticeable.
Mind your manners
Finally, when in a business lunch, you need to impress someone so much that they decide to do business with you and this is not an easy task. Not only will they listen to what you say but also look at what you do at the table, which is why you must always mind your manners. Use utensils in a proper way and even if you are absolutely starving, do not show that. Order a moderate portion, eat moderately and behave adequately to situation. Of course, this may be taking place in a different country where you are unfamiliar with customs. Although some will let this slide because you are foreigner, this may be your way of impressing everyone at the table.
Easy on the bottle
When it comes to alcohol, things are not less complicated. For example, it is more than obvious that you don’t want to get wasted in front of your future boss or business partner. Another thing you don’t want is to look prude. Even though this may seem a bit paradoxical, there is quite an easy way out. Simply try to substitute quantity with quality. What this means is that maybe your should think on ordering one of the red wine specials. Now, this step is a deal breaker and not only will it help other people at the table relax but it will also make them quite impressed. Needless to say, both of these effects are something that you are aiming for.
Acting accordingly on a business lunch is no short of an art. However, it is an art that you must master if you aim to succeed in this cold and relentless business world. This being said, remember to be moderate in your food and drink, always keep manners in mind and most importantly of all, remember to come completely prepared.