4 Tips For Proper Business Lunch Etiquette
Avoid making any business (or social) faux pas by keeping these tips in mind.
Check out the menu online before you go so you can order relatively quickly and get down to business. This tactic can also save you some embarrassment if the restaurant features obscure dishes and ingredients. You don’t want to discover that “squab” is actually pigeon while trying to woo a client.
Keep it in your pants
Put your phone away – it’s rude to the people you’re dining with to look at it, and your “Ride of the Valkyries” ringtone is distracting. You may think that having it on the table makes you look like a big shot, but, really, it just makes you look like you can’t manage your business for the time you’re at lunch.
Whoever does the inviting pays, unless you’re the boss and then you pay. If you’re lower down the food chain than the person you’ve invited to lunch, but you’re trying to get them to invest in your start-up or pick their brain about their business, you’re still expected to pay, even though they’ll probably offer, so choose a spot that won’t break the bank.
Follow up your lunch meeting with an e-mail thanking your host. This is basic good manners, but it also serves as an opportunity to confirm any decisions that were made or give a reminder of any next steps that have to be taken. The host should reply to the guest with a “you’re welcome” and a recap of any other pertinent business details that were discussed.