Curious about work lunch etiquette? At some point in life you will attend a work lunch. It is best to know proper work lunch etiquette so you do not embarrass yourself in front of your colleagues. Knowing how to conduct yourself amongst your peers during a work lunch can prove invaluable to your career.
- Choose your work lunch location carefully. It should not be so noisy as to provide distractions or so quiet as to enable eavesdroppers. Either can ruin your lunch.
- Dress appropriately. A business lunch may not be formal, but that doesn't mean your lunch date needs or wants to see you in tennis shoes. You will appear unkempt as well as uncouth, not the impression you want to make.
- Arrive to the lunch a few minutes early. Do not keep colleagues or clients waiting. There has not been an excuse invented yet that will allow you to recover smoothly. Tardiness is seen as rude and unprofessional.
Mind your manners when addressing the wait staff. You want to appear as sophisticated, not like a disrespectful ogre. Keeping a pleasant tone with service workers shows you have a likeable character.
- Consider your fellow diners' customs. It is typically not acceptable to rush into work talk as soon as you are seated for your lunch.
Utilize proper table etiquette. If you are rusty, brush up on etiquette beforehand. Know where to place your utensils and drinking glasses as well as napkins. Use a knife to cut your food into bite-sized pieces before attempting to place them in your mouth.
- Focus your attention on the diners at your lunch table. Do not appear distracted or uninterested in your lunch guests. Put away your electronic devices and all disruptive material.
- Tip your server. Know the proper minimum tip for the area you are having the work lunch in. Some states and countries have tip requirements that vary, and you do not want to appear uncultured. Tipping is a rule of basic dining etiquette.
- Show appreciation for the work lunch. Many people are busy and have a hard time making the time for a social business lunch. Saying thank you displays proper etiquette.