If you're meeting with a client, going out with your boss or attending a group function, the business lunch is probably not what it appears to be. Although being yourself and going into it with a relaxed attitude is the best way to impress others, understand that it's much different from a nice lunch with your spouse. You're being watched and judged based on how you carry yourself which is why you don't want to break these six business lunch rules. (To learn more about networking tips, read 4 Career Networking Tips That Work. )



TUTORIAL: Financial Careers: Introduction



Don't Overdress
Wearing jeans when everybody else is in a suit would be a career nightmare, but the opposite is true as well. Wearing a suit in a business casual environment makes you appear as if you didn't know where or why you were attending the lunch. Ask others you know about it, or call or stop by the restaurant to get a feel for how others dress.

Don't Overdrink
Sure, you don't want to get drunk at a business lunch, but alcohol isn't the subject this time. You don't want to be the person who has to use the restroom when important conversations are taking place. Not only does it look bad, but what if you drink so much water that you have to go to the restroom multiple times? Don't stress drink.

No Phones
This isn't the time to check your email, talk to your wife, text a friend or look at the score from last night's game. In fact, unless your phone has work-related content on it, keep it in the car so you aren't tempted to break the rule. Just because our phones have become an almost permanent extension of our hand, doesn't mean that it's proper to have it out all of the time.

Easy to Eat
What can you order that is not only easy to eat, but also makes you look dignified as you do? Do you want a spaghetti stain on your shirt? How professional do you look when you're trying to wrap your mouth around a monster burger? Also, eat healthy. Don't represent yourself as the person who doesn't take care of themselves. Nobody looks down on somebody who is too health conscious.

Don't be the Lone Eater
Never start eating until the host eats or invites everybody to indulge. A basic rule is that you never want to be the only one eating. If you're the host and are about to talk business, take a bite or two so everybody else at the table knows to begin.

Non-Controversial Topics
Anything that involves a heavy opinion is a topic for another time. Your opinion may not be right or wrong, but it's probably different from at least one other person's at the table. Not only will you make them uncomfortable. but they'll also form an opinion of you that may be less than flattering.

The Bottom Line
See your business lunch for what it is. It's a business function where you have to be on your best behavior and manners. Aim to impress. (For additional reading, check out Social Networking Your Way To More Money.)

Related Articles
  1. Executive Compensation

    How Restricted Stocks and RSUs Are Taxed

    Many firms pay a portion of their employees’ compensation in the form of restricted stock or restricted stock units.
  2. Economics

    What Does Triage Mean?

    The term triage refers to the practice of prioritizing work or customers into different levels so that the most urgent issues are handled first.
  3. Economics

    What Does the Back Office Do?

    A financial services company’s back office provides administrative and personnel support.
  4. Economics

    How Leadership Impacts Investments

    Investors often overlook a company’s leadership when evaluating an opportunity, but it’s an important quality to consider.
  5. Professionals

    The Path To Becoming A CEO

    Think you have what it takes to be chief executive? Find out what those at the top have in common.
  6. Entrepreneurship

    How to be Entrepreneurial at a Large Company

    In order to act as an intrapreneur, you must focus on processes, leverage a network and have the courage to strategically shake things up at the office.
  7. Stock Analysis

    How Yahoo (YHOO) Makes Money (For Now)

    Most of Yahoo’s current business model might sound redundant, but it remains the 5th most popular web site in the world. Here's how it generates revenue.
  8. Economics

    Explaining Quality Control

    Businesses use quality control to ensure their products and services meet a certain standard, as well as any industry regulations.
  9. Professionals

    Consider A Career As A Financial Communications Professional

    Regulators, sales people and clients all look to communications professionals to help them navigate the markets.
  10. Investing Basics

    How Junk Food Earns Mondelēz $35B a Year

    How and why Mondelēz spun off from Kraft. Where the company is going, and how it profits on multiple continents.
RELATED FAQS
  1. How do you conduct effective social responsibility training?

    One way to provide employees with effective social responsibility training is to base training sessions on resources offered ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Why is social responsibility important to a business?

    Social responsibility is important to a business because it demonstrates to both consumers and the media that the company ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How important are business ethics in running a profitable business?

    A number of factors play a part in making a business profitable, including expert management teams, dedicated and productive ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What advice does Howard Schultz offer would-be business moguls?

    Starbucks CEO, billionaire and former sports tycoon Howard Schultz has several pieces of advice for would-be moguls and, ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How does brand image and marketing affect market share?

    A company's marketing efforts have a direct impact on sales and market share, but they are not the only factors that influence ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What is Tim Cook's managerial style? (AAPL)

    Tim Cook's managerial style could be broadly defined as democratic. Rather than standing in complete contrast to former Apple ... Read Full Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Harry Potter Stock Index

    A collection of stocks from companies related to the "Harry Potter" series franchise. Created by StockPickr, this index seeks ...
  2. Liquidation Margin

    Liquidation margin refers to the value of all of the equity positions in a margin account. If an investor or trader holds ...
  3. Black Swan

    An event or occurrence that deviates beyond what is normally expected of a situation and that would be extremely difficult ...
  4. Inverted Yield Curve

    An interest rate environment in which long-term debt instruments have a lower yield than short-term debt instruments of the ...
  5. Socially Responsible Investment - SRI

    An investment that is considered socially responsible because of the nature of the business the company conducts. Common ...
Trading Center