Along with this season come lots of opportunities to show that you know what to do and say in social situations. Here are a few tips taken from my book: Corporate Protocol.
TIPS FOR THE GOOD GUEST
- Your actions are being observed, so use your best manners at all times. It’s just not cool to drink too much and say or do something that could be harmful to your brand.
- As a guest during social dinners, table hopping is not appropriate during a business meal. And as a guest, never complain about anything at a meal, even if there is mold growing on your ice cold steak. As a guest, graciously accept your meal rather than complain, for example, that your steak is either too rare or well done.
- Loud conversations and laughter can disturb other people in the restaurant. Have a good time, but do it quietly.
- Meal time is not cell phone time. Turn it off. Period.
TIPS FOR THE GOOD HOST
- When taking a client to a restaurant, be sure you select one that is conducive to your entertaining needs. If you want to discuss business, make sure that it has a quiet setting. And go either before or just after peak meal times.
- Decide the seating arrangement before you arrive at the restaurant. (The guest of honor sits to the right of the host…you).
- When you are escorted to the table, have your guest(s) follow the maître d’hôtel. Guest of honor first, then the rest of the group, first the women, then the men. However, if you have a large number of guests, you should follow the maître d’hôtel, so you can conveniently see that all of your guests are seated according to your plan.
- Give your guest(s) a cue regarding the courses your budget will allow. If price is not a problem, you could say, “let’s try something special today.” If you need to keep the price moderate, you could mention some options on the menu within the price range you have to spend.
- Wait until your guests are served before you begin eating.
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Until next time,