Business Etiquette

  10 Din


and How

To Avoid Them

by Huda Baak

These days, more business is conducted over a meal than in any office setting. It's a more casual environment that makes both you and your prospect more comfortable. So whether you're going to a power breakfast, a business lunch or an evening affair, how do you rate yourself at the business meal? Take this quiz and rate yourself...

1) You are sitting at a large round table with 8 place settings. On which side of your plate is your bread & butter plate and which is your water glass? Your liquids are always on the right side of your plate.

2) When buttering your bread, you slice it in half and butter the entire half. False; you would tear it with your fingers and butter a piece large enough for two bites only.

3) As you are seated in an elegant restaurant, you notice about half a dozen pieces of silverware on either side of your plate. Where do you begin? Always begin using the silverware farthest from the plate and work your way in.

4) Someone just proposed a toast in your honor. After you say thank you, you take a sip from your drink. It is considered rude to "toast" yourself, so you would wait for the others to drink and then sip.

5) At a banquet, the waiters are pouring wine for the guests. Since you don't care for any, you turn your wine glass upside-down. Never! Allow the waiter to pour the wine and just leave it untouched.

6) It's okay to re- touch your lipstick at the table after the meal, as long as you are discreet. Big faux pas! Feel free to excuse yourself and go to the ladies' room.

7) As soon as the plates are cleared, you put your napkin on the table and continue your conversation. The napkin is to go on your lap soon after you sit down until you are ready to leave.

8) Paying for a meal with cash is the best way. It's more polished and less of a hassle to use a credit card.

And remember, if you're absolutely at a loss, take a moment to observe others around you and hope they are doing it right!