When going out on a business meal, it is essential to know how to conduct yourself properly in order to forge strong, long-lasting business relationships. With an endless variety of top restaurants to wine and dine in Southern California, it is important to have these 7 simple tips to keep in mind when dining with business associates.

Tip #1: Find Out About the Agenda

Even business meals are likely to come with an agenda, so find out if there is an agenda for your meal and come prepared to work with it. This way, you don’t get caught unaware and unprepared for what is to be discussed at this informal meeting.

Tip #2: Make a Good Impression

A business meal provides you with the opportunity to make a good impression on those who are present, some of whom may be meeting you for the first time. Make sure you stand out from the others by giving a firm handshake, making eye contact and maintaining good posture. Also, be sure to dress appropriately for the occasion.

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Tip #3: Modern Day Chivalry

In the business world, there is no chivalry in terms of how to treat women. This means you are not required to pull out the chair for a businesswoman or to stand when she approaches or leaves the table. In addition, regardless of who reaches the door first, that person should open it for the rest to follow.

Tip #4: Follow Proper Bread Etiquette

There are many etiquette rules to keep in mind while enjoying a business meal. For example, if bread is served, you should break off bite-sized pieces and butter them individually before you eat them. It is also proper etiquette to transfer butter from the butter dish to your bread plate before using it on your bread. If soup is served, you should never dunk your bread in the soup. Similarly, you should not use your bread to wipe up the juices on your plate. If you absolutely must eat the sauces on your plate, break off a bite-sized piece of bread and maneuver it on your plate with your fork.

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Tip #5: Pass the Salt and Pepper Properly

If someone asks for the salt or pepper, always pass the two of them together. When passing to someone at your table, place them in front of the receiver and allow that person to pick them back up. Not only is this proper etiquette, but some cultures actually consider it to be bad luck when salt and pepper are passed from hand to hand.

Tip #6: What Falls on the Floor Stays on the Floor

If you drop a piece of silverware or your napkin to the floor, you should not bend over to pick it up. Rather, ask the server to bring you new items to replace the ones that have fallen. The only time you should pick up a fallen item is if you are dining at someone’s home.

Tip #7:  Use Your Napkin Properly

When dining with others, your napkin should be placed on your lap after the hostess removes his or her napkin from the table. The napkin should never be placed in your collar or used as a handkerchief. If you need to get up, place your napkin on your chair. Once you have finished eating, place it to the left of your plate.

Southern California has many excellent restaurants where you can conduct business. If you are interested in learning more about what the area has to offer, including Southern California real estate opportunities, contact our team of professionals. We specialize in luxury real estate in Southern California’s most exclusive neighborhoods.

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