Vincy Workplace
April 30, 2009
Dining 101

With President Obama’s recent visit to the Caribbean and the region’s markets increasingly becoming more attractive to investors, there will be more opportunities for business people to entertain and engage regional and international clients. Since many deals are often brokered over a meal and finalized in the office, it is imperative to project a confident image when dining with clients.{{more}} A simple misstep can cause your potential client to think of you as unprofessional or even unprepared to handle the account. Here’s a few tips to keep in mind:

1. Pace yourself. You don’t want to be the last one eating or the first one done. Try to begin and end each course around the same time with the other guests.

2. When passing food always pass to the right

3. If asked to pass salt always pass salt and the pepper together.

4. NEVER season your food before tasting; it’s considered to be offensive to the chef.

5. Be gracious. NEVER criticize the food.

6. Although burping out loud in some cultures may be considered a complimentto the host, at a business function in America it is NEVER appropriate.

7. If you are served a hot liquid, coffee, tea or hot soup, never blow to cool it, simply wait, make conversation and consume carefully.

8. When you are done eating, place your knife and fork together in the 10:20 position with the tip of the knife and fork at 10 and the handles at 20.

9. If you are taking a break from eating, place your knife and fork in an upside down V formation with the handles pointing towards you.

10. Know that there are two styles of dining, American and Continental, both are appropriate. Practice at home and be consistent in your style.

11. American Style: The knife is used to cut food and then place on the side of plate then the fork is (tines always faced up) moved from the left hand to the right to move food from the plate to be consumed.

12. Continental: The knife stays in the right and fork stays in the left.

In this style the tines are always faced down and the knife is used to help place food on the back of fork.

13. Ladies should NEVER apply make-up, especially lipstick at the table.

14. When deciding what utensil to use, always work from the outside in.

15. if you invite the client, you pay for the meal and never argue of the bill.

Above is a formal table setting. Can you match the utensil to the different courses?

Karen Hinds President/CEO –
Workplace Success Group,
Toll Free: 1-877-902-2775;
Tel: 1-203-757-4103
A CT Winner of the Make Mine a Million Dollar Business award!
[email protected]