Business Luncheon Manners Always Matter – Ten Tips From Your Strategic Thinking Business Coach

Every business day of the year, there are business lunches taking place. And every business day there are bad business luncheon manners being displayed and observed. Inexperienced staff members to experienced business executives commit these business manner blunders because too many people forget their manners at the business luncheon table. And these business lunch manner faux pas result in a negative image of the person committing them and the company they represent.

All business manners are essential to building relationships in today’s business world. People, who present themselves very favorably, will maximize their business potential. I am very passionate about business manners and believe very strongly in the results that follow the use of good business manners in every type of business setting you encounter. The potential for negative impacts is considerable in any business meeting and business luncheons are no exception. Improve your business luncheon meeting etiquette and you will witness positive results in such forms as attentiveness, comfort, clear communications, and trust.

Your Strategic Thinking Business Coach would like to offer the following ten (10) tips to ensure good business manners at your business luncheon meetings.

Business Luncheon Manners Tip #1: Use strategic thinking in planning your business luncheon meeting location. Think very carefully about choosing the right restaurant because your choice says a lot about you and about how you feel toward your guest(s). If you select a restaurant that is too casual or inexpensive the guest(s) may not feel valued. On the other hand, if you select one that is too extravagant and expensive they may perceive you as wasteful and wonder how prudent you will be with their money if you win their business. The strategic thinking approach is to suggest that your guest(s) select the place. Their choice will tell you a lot about them, too.

Business Luncheon Manners Tip #2: Know your guest’s business. Do your “homework” and learn everything you can about their business and current trends in their industry. The most strategic tool to do the homework is to do a Google search. The more you know about the guest’s company the more impressed they will be with you.

Business Luncheon Manners Tip #3: Whenever possible, meet at the other party’s office and accompany him or her to the restaurant. Suggesting that you will meet them at the selected restaurant may save a little time and may be okay only if the other party is someone you have met before and will easily recognize. This will help avoid any potential awkward or embarrassing moments such as each of you waiting for the other to arrive when each of you has already been seated.

Business Luncheon Manners Tip #4: Never assume your business guest is looking for a social encounter. Although people in a business setting can sometimes appear extremely friendly or open that doesn’t mean they have the slightest interest in meeting up with you after hours.

Business Luncheon Manners Tip #5: Always be prepared to engage in some well-informed small talk. Avoid awkward silences by having a few casual, non-business topics in mind. Ask your guest(s) interesting questions and let them know that you would like to know what they think. People enjoy giving their thoughts on things that interest them.

Business Luncheon Manners Tip #6: Don’t “bad mouth” the competition. A business meal gives you the chance to talk about the benefits and value you bring to your clients and customers. Saying negative things about your competition always is in bad taste. Commit to building solid business relationships by outperforming the competition, not by putting them down.

Business Luncheon Manners Tip #7: Never, ever talk with your mouth full! Unfortunately there are far too many otherwise successful executives who never learned that they should not talk with food in their mouths. Instead of talking with your mouth full, take small bites, so that you can quickly swallow if somebody asks you a question.

Business Luncheon Manners Tip #8: Drinking alcohol will impact your judgment; so unless your business guest(s) takes the lead, don’t suggest ordering any alcoholic beverages. If you are in a situation where the guest(s) take the initiative and orders alcohol, you can avoid an awkward situation by ordering something light like a wine spritzer. And then simply do not finish drinking it.

Business Luncheon Manners Tip #9: Always be kind to the wait staff. “Anyone who is nice to you but nasty to their server is not a nice person. Be polite to restaurant staff, no matter what happens. This can be tough but it will provide an opportunity to form a favorable impression upon your guest(s).

Business Luncheon Manners Tip #10: Never ever ask your guests to help you figure out the tip. It is hard to imagine anything tackier at a business luncheon meeting than showing someone how much you just spent on them. Anyone who can read a menu will already have a pretty good idea anyway. If you can’t read the check without your glasses, then have them with you at all times.

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