The business lunch or dinner is something that has been going on for years. Despite this, there still are plenty of businesspeople who do not know proper business dining etiquette. Not knowing this actually can say a lot of about you and your company, even if you think it is just dinner. Because nearly half of all business meetings today are conducted over a meal, it is important for anyone in the business world to familiarize themselves with the proper etiquette. If you are the one hosting the dinner meeting, you need to make sure you are working with everyone's schedules that will be at the meeting. This also includes the location for the dinner. If it is really out of the way for everyone but yourself, you should find a new location.
Business dining etiquette also includes meeting the dietary requirements of everyone at the dinner. If someone is a vegetarian, you probably should not set up the meeting in a steakhouse. You do not want to come off as rude before the meeting even starts. Also, some people cannot eat specific foods because of their diet or religion. You will make those people feel good by asking ahead of time if anyone has any restrictions. As the host, you will want to be at the restaurant at least 10 minutes before the meeting is scheduled, unless you are arriving together.
It also is proper business dining etiquette not to order or eat anything until everyone has arrived at the table. Even if someone is late, you do not want to make them feel as if they held up the meeting. You also should let your guests order their food first, that way they can get appetizers if they want to do so. You do not want to make them feel as if they can't order them because you didn't. When it comes to the actual food, you want to stay away from anything that is difficult to eat, as well as anything you have to eat with your hands. For example, do not order the crab legs or a sandwich.
Another proper etiquette is turning off your cell phone. A good tip is to turn it off in front of everyone so they can see that you are giving them your full attention. Even though it is a business meeting, you want to make sure not to bring too much work clutter with you - only bring what is necessary. For example, do not bring an entire stack of documents - instead, maybe bring a laptop with everything needed. Above all else, just make sure your business guests feel comfortable.