The modern world has many situations that involve having meetings and conversations in a dining setting. With this in mind, and across almost every hot new company that has to get out of the office, there are a few things you want to keep in mind in order to ‘Dine and Shine’ as you venture out next time.
Firstly, dressing for the occasion is the easiest way to make an initial good impression and win over your guest. Wearing the right pairing of business casual, but still accessible slim jacket and pants with a complimentary shirt will get you far without having to even say a word. Don’t forget nice shoes to have an easy wow factor.
When it comes to ordering, whether you are in an upscale restaurant or simply in the coffee shop outside of the office, it is general dining etiquette to let your guest in question order first. Ranging from their unique beverage or several course entree, they know that you will give them the basic respect and make a better relationship.
Using the proper table manners is also of the upmost importance in displaying proper dining etiquette. When you get through the door looking good and let them go first, you still need to remember that the conversation has just begun. Remember when the food arrives to have your napkin on your lap and ready to avoid potential problems. Have your jacket off and on the chair or somewhere else safe. And remember even if you dress to impress and give them the chance to go first, your success will depend on the conversation. Let your guest tell you what they wanted to originally before pitching them an idea or derailing the conversation over to what you are working on.
When listening to your guest, even if they begin to get off track or on a subject you did not originally find interesting, let them conclude and remain interested before they give you the floor. It is especially important to not talk much when they are and listen intently while they are talking to make a good impression.
Finally, know who is paying ahead of time. Try to avoid an awkward final moment by either letting them get it if they offer, or offering to split it to avoid a negative discussion over who gets what. Keeping those points in mind, you should be able to have a successful public meeting.