They call it a Power Lunch for a good reason. Business meals are business meetings.

Dining with established or prospective clients is an effective and enjoyable way to build and develop relationships.

Because people do business with people they know, like and trust, use this time to connect on a personal level.


Question: When do I start talking business?

Assuming the purpose of the meal is business, it is appropriate to start talking about business after a few pleasantries have been exchanged and the meal has been ordered.

Question: Do I have to order dessert if my client does?

Answer: Yes. Consider it an investment in the relationship. Never let your guest eat or drink alone.

The Business Meal

Conduct Business and Develop Relationships
at the Dining Table

An ability to manage the social and entertainment aspects of business conducted outside the office environment is a key business competency.

From extending the invitation to paying the bill, this comprehensive dining tutorial will teach you the practical aspects of planning and conducting business during a meal.

Topics include:

  • Effective business entertaining 
  • Extending the invitation 
  • Selecting a restaurant 
  • Host and guest duties 
  • Seating arrangements 
  • Toasting tips 
  • Table manners 
  • Two styles of dining 
  • How and when to order 
  • Napkin and silverware savvy 
  • When to talk business 
  • Dining dos and don’ts 
  • Paying the bill
  • Thank you note

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