209 - 9 to 5
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.
- 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!
- In the invitation to the lunch ask if any of the guests have
food allergies. It really shows that you care and are thinking
- 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.