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Episode 209 - 9 to 5
Making It!
Very important stuff...
Congratulations, you’ve made it to the executive boardroom! The next luncheon could mean the launch of a big contract. So better be on your guard, regardless of whether you are a guest or are staging the event. Here are some easy etiquette suggestions for both.

Guest:
  • Upon being seated, place the napkin in your lap.
  • Time to investigate. Look at your place setting; the number of forks and knives will help you determine how many courses and what types of food are being served.
  • Upon service of each course, wait for the person hosting the luncheon to start before you do. When eating, try to finish at roughly the same time as the other guests. Pace yourself.
  • Cutlery placed diagonally side by side along the rim of the plate signals that you are finished and that the server may clear your setting.
  • An oldie but a goodie for the guys: Always stand when a woman approaches or leaves the table. What a gentleman!

Host:
  • In the invitation to the lunch ask if any of the guests have food allergies. It really shows that you care and are thinking of everything.
  • Place cards help to jog your guests memory and avoid the embarrassment of forgetting someone’s name.
  • Serve breads free of sesame or poppy seeds which can become lodged in your guests’ teeth.
  • First course, salad. Best to keep it simple. You may wish to offer tossed greens with a light vinaigrette. Avoid garlic and other strong flavours.
  • It’s best to serve food that is well-presented but not too extravagant. Chicken, poached salmon, veal, lamb and pork tenderloin are good choices. Lobster and exotic foods show excess and could be objectionable to some.
  • If serving alcohol or wine, do so in moderation. Always keep the water glasses filled. You may want to offer sparkling water as an alternative to alcoholic beverages.
  • Desserts should be simple like a fresh fruit cup.