One of the important aspects of personality development and personal grooming is dining etiquette. When it comes to business meetings and conferences, you do not want to have poor dining etiquettes especially when there is a risk of losing a potential client. Unfortunately, there are many people that do not pay attention to dining etiquettes but sometimes, it is these impressive manners that can win you a client and/or a contract. Here are some of the dining etiquette tips that can help you to make a better impression the next time you are asked to a formal dinner.
Take small bites and do not open your mouth and chew your food. Often when attending a business dinner, you will be talking to those around you. Make sure that you do not talk with food in the mouth. . No one wants to see an individual who chews with his or her mouth open. Finish you morsel, swallow it, and pat your table napkin on your mouth and then talk. Smaller bites allow you to chew through your food faster, allowing you to talk to anyone quickly.
Also, do not eat with your hands. For some reason, people still pick food items with their hands. This should be avoided especially when you are in a business setting. Try and pick those food items that so not require you to use your hands. Choose items that you can easily cut with your knife and pick with a fork. Even when you are using a finger bowl, do not put both your hands in it. Only dip one hand at a time. Gently pick up your table napkin and wipe your hands with it.
In case you need to pick an emergency call while dining, please take permission from people sitting with you and excuse yourself to go out of the restaurant to talk. When you come back after the call, do apologize to people that you are dining with and then get involved with the discussion in the meeting again.
Don’t put your elbows on the dinner table. There are so many business professionals that do that! The act of resting your elbows on the table is generally a sign that you are tired and/or bored. This is surely not the impression you want to give others while you are attending a formal dinner. Hence remember to not rest your elbows on the table the next time you go for a formal dinner! As far as drinking is concerned, at most you should have two drinks during a business function because you are still accountable for your words and actions and you have to remain decent and professional. You should drink less or avoid drinking especially when conducting business over a meal. For people who do not consume alcohol, order some juice to give company to people who are drinking. Not ordering anything is a sign that you are not comfortable in that setting and gives an impression that you do not mingle with people that easily. All said and done, dining etiquette should not restrict you from enjoying your meal and relaxing!