Business meeting — and even dinners — are frequent in the business world. These meals are often used as a time to discuss potential business investments or even future business decisions. As an entrepreneur, these mealtimes should not be taken lightly. It’s actually deeper than having a chat to catch up with a colleague.
In the business world, business meals are seen as sacred in a sense that it can make or break a business deal, or the business itself. Messing up lunch can mean messing up your image as a business; definitely, no one will get impressed.
As an entrepreneur, here are the tips on how to impress and make productive lunch meetings.
Tip #1: Giving invitations
Going on business lunches is not the same as going out with friends that each member can pay their own respective bills. In the business world, the inviter is responsible for footing the bill, which also includes tips.
In making invitations, make sure to pay attention to different dietary needs, food allergies or sensitivities, and other strict dietary disciplines, such as kosher, halal, gluten-free, sugar-free and dairy-free diets. Inviters can ask guests beforehand or allow them to RSVP with specific dietary concerns.
Tip #2: Understanding silverware and service signals
Manners are important everywhere, especially during mealtime, as people see your etiquette.
When using silverware, make sure to avoid its handles to touch the ground when already being used. Silverware should be placed on top of the plate when speaking or not eating anything at the moment —the position of the fork should be near the top of your plate, with the tines in an upward position.
On the other hand, when finished eating, place your fork and knife in the middle of the plate. This should be placed in a 5 o’clock position in order to signal the waiter that you’re finished eating.
In terms of service signals, close your menu when you’re ready to order. If you’re still browsing the menu, waiters will have the impression you’re not still ready to order.
Tip #3: Ordering food
When ordering food, especially when you’re not the inviter, is a struggle since you have to be cautious in knowing what can be or not be ordered.
As a fellow entrepreneur, you can ask the inviter to know their recommendations. Usually, they provide dishes at different price points. With this, base the highest and lowest price on the said recommendations and pick the price point in between the dishes they recommended.
Tip #4: Drinking during business lunches
When the host orders alcohol, it’s not your responsibility to also drink. If you’re not up to drinking a glass of wine or champagne, just simply order the drink of your preference without any further explanation while further browsing the menu.
Frequently, polite dining companions will not ask questions. But, when they do, simply respond with “Pardon me?” and look at them in order for them to realize their question.
Tip #5: Being polite during conversations
Usually, hosts are responsible for the conversations. And with this, guests should follow up and contribute to the conversation with politeness and courtesy. If you’re participating, don’t hog every topic the host throws to the table.
You can also ask questions about topics that are anything under the sun except sensitive topics that can cause a difference in views and commotion.
Inviting fellow entrepreneurs for lunch or being invited to one requires courtesy and etiquette. This is an opportunity to make a good impression in front of the higher-ups or colleagues who are looking for investors or making an important business decision.
But, there are also business lunches when in the inviter is selling a business to a potential buyer who wants to talk about the business over a cup of coffee or a bite. In getting leads and selling the business, getting the help of business brokers victoria is a wise decision since they have experience in the field.