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RESTAURANT MANNERS AND ETIQUETTES
Think people are not watching how you handle yourself at the dinner table?
Even if you do not practice impeccable table manners at home, it is important to know how to behave for those important occasions.
Dining etiquettes and general manners are like rules in a game.
Whether you are dining with a recruiter, prospective business partner or your boss of several years, you should always follow the rules of proper etiquettes. There is a reason people conduct business over a meal. It is a strategic way to get to know someone. How you behave, before, during and after the meal tells you a lot about your character, your professionalism and your social awareness.
Proper etiquette is essential for making a favorable impression at lunch/dinner interviews as well as in social business situations. Although common sense is often your best guide, some of the following suggestions will help you stand out as a polished professional.
Brushing up your table manners is a good way when you have been invited or when you are going to eat. Having table manners can leave a great impression on our fellow guests and colleagues.
Dining etiquette is more than just table manners. Greet everyone with a firm handshake and a good eye contact. Introduce yourself to everyone and concentrate on remembering the person’s name. Depending on the context dress appropriately. As with any work event, he culture of the company or industry hosting the dinner should be your first clue. Always arrive on time. And if you going to be late always call ahead. Make sure your hands are clean before you start eating. Before you set down go to the restroom and wash your hands thoroughly. The cell phone should be a no brainer. Keep in mind a vibrating phone is as bad as a ringing on. Keep your phone off the table while you are eating. Before sitting on the table put your phone on silent. If you have to attend an important call, excuse yourself from the table to take it, so you do not disturb the others. Do not place any bags, purses, cell phones or briefcases on the table. Wait 15 minutes before calling to check on the arrival status of your dinner partners. Always wait for everyone to be seated. Always enter and leave the dining chair from the right. Before doing so, help the lady beside you by pulling the chair back and pushing it back when she starts sitting. The napkin is the very first thing you want to touch when sitting down. Follow your hosts lead and place your napkin on your lap folded in half with the fold towards your waist soon after sitting down on the table. The napkin should remain on your lap throughout the entire meal. If you leave the table, place the napkin on the chair or to the left of the plate as a signal to the server that you will be returning. Do not order the most expensive item from the menu. It’s best not to order alcohol even if the interviewer does, or else even if ordered it should be in moderation. Avoid ordering items that are messy and difficult to eat. Always pass food dishes to the right. If you need to take some more food try not to reach over anyone, instead ask for them to pass it politely. Always say please and thank you when you ask for something to be passed on the table.
Fine dining has more than one set of utensils. If you are not sure which to use, a good thumb rule is to use from outside in. Keep your elbow off the table. Tuck them on your side while you eat. Always wait for everyone to be served before beginning to eat. Eat slowly and cut only a few small bites of your normal meal at a time. Pick up your utensils if you drop them and ask for a new one. Chew with your mouth closed and never talk with food in your mouth. When you finish leave plates in the same position. Do not push them aside or stack them. Lay your fork and knife diagonally across the plate side by side, pointing at 10.00 and 4.00 on a clock face. This signifies to the staff that you have finished.
A dinner party is just more than just food. Be sure to talk to other guests and join in the topic of conversation. If you do not know the person sitting next to you, introduce yourself to get a lively conversation going.
Business dinner etiquette is important because it shows that you have manners. The way you act can give others insight into your personality and level of professionalism.