Learn the Main Rules of Business Lunch Etiquette

Any organization is full of opportunities; you just need to get noticed for your individuality. For instance, when you start to make everyone around you feel comfortable, you will surely get positive attention. Apart from doing regular official work, following basic manners can also help you to shine among others. 

A business lunch or a dinner is an opportunity to reach out to higher officials on a good note. Because it’s quite a difficult task to interact with them in the office, as they are usually occupied. Remember that dining out with team members reveals everyone’s character, so it helps to navigate some basic etiquette.

How you fit in socially, or how good you are at presenting yourself, are some of the valuable parts of etiquette. A business lunch is far different than a casual one because you are getting noticed for each conversation and move you make. With this being said, here are some basic yet important business lunch etiquette rules you can follow next time!

Learn the Main Rules of Business Lunch Etiquette

Dress Suitably 

Whether you wear a business suit or just dress up casually, it’s quite normal to get confused about your options. 

The basic rule of dining out with team members is wearing the same dress you wear in office hours. 

However, showing up in jeans and a casual t-shirt to a formal lunch is not a good idea because you are going to meet your seniors. It’s always better to ask your host what to wear to lunch to be on the safe side. 

When you take charge of little things, you will sound more self-assured and comfortable to higher authorities. Know that if the location of the lunch is in a good restaurant, you can dress up a bit more. But if it’s just a client meeting, you can stick with your usual standard and pair up a decent shirt with trousers.

Arrive Before the Given Time 

Whether you are planning lunch, or someone else from your team is, always arrive early to avoid a rush. 

It’s better to stand outside the gate for some minutes and wait for the rest of the people to accompany them. In this way, you can also greet them formally about the place, their choices, and if they faced any issues while parking. 

If in any urgency, you are not able to catch up with the members on time, give them a call for the reason of the delay and provide your arrival time

Try not to ghost anyone by not answering their call or message, as it can give a bad impact on your personality. Punctuality matters a lot in any business event, and as an employee, you should take be timely

Stay Distant from Your Phone for a While 

Try keeping your cell phone in your pocket throughout the lunch or keep it switched off. If you stay on your phone texting or answering calls, other people on your table will feel insulted and ignored.  

Staying busy on the phone doesn’t mean you are an occupied person facing important issues; instead, it shows your lack of interest

Some attendees may even find you to be an incapable person who is not able to manage life and business all at once. 

Hence, to avoid all these negative reactions, it’s better to keep your phone on silent mode in your pocket or in your bag. If there’s something really urgent, just hint to everyone about the issue and take the call in private if you can get a moment alone.

Start Eating When Everyone Else Begins 

If you are hosting the lunch, ask everyone to take a seat for themselves and then follow. And if you are the guest, wait for the host to invite you to sit. 

Let everyone give their orders before you do.

When everyone’s meal arrives, wait for the host to take the first bite, and then you can start. 

If all the orders aren’t arriving together, wait for the host to invite everyone to begin. There isn’t any kind of competition going at a business lunch or dinner; hence, take small bites and take your time eating. 

Keep Your Elbows Off the Dining Table 

Whether it’s an informal setting or a formal one, you must know how to sit at the table and where to position your hands. This is an important part of etiquette.

While eating, don’t lean on the table, and keep your back straight. Avoid moving your elbows on the table, and sit comfortably yet professionally. 

Moving body parts while eating can disturb those around you.

Learn the Main Rules of Business Lunch Etiquette


Lastly, if you are the boss hosting the party, you must take care of the bill and tip, as it’s fully your responsibility. Remember that a business lunch is an excellent opportunity to build long-term connections with your professionalism. 

While some etiquette rules may vary depending on the country, always follow the basic rule of staying professional, practicing good manners, and remember to keep a gentle smile on!