Business Etiquette: Should a Senator eat ribs with the President?

Today I had the priv­i­lege of speak­ing to reporter Adriene Hill of the Maket­place on man­ners and the busi­ness meal, along with the audio clip that aired ear­lier today on KCRW  we dis­cussed “Should a Sen­a­tor eat ribs with the Pres­i­dent?  Well… not quite we dis­cussed Busi­ness Meals, she also wrote the fol­low­ing.  Enjoy.

Buesiness Meals dos and donts

*Pres­i­dent Obama isn’t just sit­ting at con­fer­ence tables with Repub­li­cans in Con­gress these days, he’s sit­ting down at the din­ner table. In fact, this week he dined with a group of sen­a­tors for a busi­ness din­ner to dis­cuss the budget.

Now, a busi­ness din­ner is an oppor­tu­nity to get to know each other, to talk busi­ness in a social set­ting, to make an impres­sion. But as any­one who’s sat down for one of these meals knows, there’s all that food on the table. How do you avoid botch­ing lunch? Marketplace’s Adriene Hill met up with Jules Hirst of Eti­quette Con­sult­ing, Inc. for a one-on-one lesson.

  1. Always fol­low your host’s lead.  Put your nap­kin in your lap after they put their nap­kin in their lap.  Order food in the same price range as the food that they order.
  2. The fold of your nap­kin should go toward you.
  3. Order a food that is easy to eat.  Ribs are a bad choice.
  4. Eat before you go out to lunch.  You don’t want to scarf your food dur­ing the inter­view or meet­ing.  You want the focus to be on the con­ver­sa­tion, not the food.
  5. If your host orders alco­hol, you may order alco­hol.  But know your­self well enough to know whether or not it’s a good idea to drink it.
  6. Wait until your host starts to eat before you start to eat.
  7. If your host asks a ques­tion just as you take a bite of food, politely indi­cate with your fin­gers that you will talk as soon as you have swallowed.
  8. Don’t cor­rect some­one else’s man­ners at the table.
  9. If you have called the meet­ing, you should pay.  Instead of wait­ing for the bill to come to the table, step away to the restroom, hand your credit card to the wait­staff and ask them to add a 20 per­cent tip.
  10. Write a thank you note.

About the author

Adriene Hill is a mul­ti­me­dia reporter for the Mar­ket­place sus­tain­abil­ity desk, with a focus on con­sumer issues and the indi­vid­ual rela­tion­ship to sus­tain­abil­ity and the environment.
*source: marketplace.org
*written by: Adriene Hill