11 Mistakes to Avoid when Eating Out with a Client or the Boss

DinnerOne of my favorite newsletters I receive is from Bottomline Publications. It arrives in my inbox twice a week with two interesting and informative (usually) stories written by guest authors. Today’s was titled “Three Words Never to Say When You’re Eating Out with a Client or the Boss” and was written by Barbara Pachter, a business communications and etiquette consultant, coach, and author of New Rules @ Work: 79 Etiquette Tips, Tools, and Techniques to Get Ahead and Stay Ahead (Prentice Hall).

I thought the title was off but the information spot on, that’s why I changed the title and gave it a new one: 11 Mistakes to Avoid when Eating Out with a Client or the Boss.

Here’s some highlights of her advice:

  • Don’t order food that’s challenging to eat like spaghetti, since a single splatter could make you look like a slob. Or order something like lobster where your attention might be more focused on cracking it open. She advises to order something simple that won’t upset your stomach.
  • Mirror your guest’s order. If your dining companion orders an appetizer, you should too. The same goes for dessert, otherwise there will be an awkward time when one of you is eating and the other is not. You don’t have to eat it all.
  • Don’t be like Sally (From When Harry Met Sally). Avoid ordering items not on the menu, or saying things such as “hold this” or “put that on the side”.  This can make you seem difficult to please.
  • Eat at the same pace: Matching your table mate’s eating pace will make them feel more comfortable and in tune with you.
  • She goes on to mention many more potential mistakes including don’t order one of the most expensive dishes on the menu. For the full list visit Bottomlinepublications.com.

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