Maintaining control over a business meal is critical if you wish to determine the outcome of the meeting. How you greet a host/hostess, how you suggest where your guest might sit, how you guide others to order their meal, and more, will help you maintain control of your business meal!
Generally, if you are the host and you asked, you should be paying. It is important that you set the tone with your team prior to the meal (meeting) so there is no cat and mouse game with the check.
I recommend that you give your business card to the hostess or host when you arrive and let them know that you are getting the check. The server will then come over to you and ask if they can get you and your guest something to drink. This nonverbally tells everyone, this is your party.
You can also ensure that others sit by the right people to ensure conversations flow well. As the leader, you typically want to ensure that you sit at the head of the table. You want to ensure that you keep your back to the wall, facing the audience.
When I was sitting at the table next to Madonna in an Atlanta restaurant, she sat with her back to the open restaurant, as not to have to engage with the patrons. I laughed because Madonna was facing French windows that went to the outside patio and of course, people went outside to stare in at her. How rude!
Maintaining control over a business meal is critical while doing business because, although you are eating, the purpose of the meal is about conducting business. Learn to set-the-tone upfront when dining while doing business and you can accomplish a lot. And don’t forget to have a purpose for the meal and be sure that you accomplished what you set out to do!
Check out this video, can you see the mistakes made during the business meal?
To learn more about CHUVA beyond’s Dining Management program, click here.