Choice of restaurant
The restaurant should be adapted to both the interlocutor you invite and the underlying purpose of the meal. It will be necessary to know, beforehand, if it is the business which prevails or if it is the conviviality and the relaxation. In any case, opt for a quiet place where it will be possible to speak without raising your voice. A place you know, preferably, not to have a bad surprise in terms of comfort, hospitality and service
to be punctual
Be the first to be able to welcome your customers or partners, make them feel comfortable and show your deference to them. Open their path, take things into their own hands and set them up at the table.
Introduce people who do not know each other
If necessary, make the presentations in a courteous manner, taking the time to detail the functions of each and inverting the hierarchical order (from the least important person to the most important person). Introduce your loved ones or associates first to your customers, not the other way around.
Be considerate and gallant
Leave the most comfortable places for women. The bench for example or the place with a clear view of the room or outside. Take care to designate each guest his place around the table alternating men and women, and reserving the place in front of you to your main interlocutor.
Turn off your phone
To avoid being distracted by a ring or a vibration, turn off your smartphone completely. This kind of meal requires total concentration.
To stand correctly
This is taught to children from an early age: do not put your elbows on the table and stand up straight. Do not slouch on your seat, leave your hands visible (do not put it on your lap or under the table) and do not stretch your legs.
Opt for a Menu
By choosing a Menu (rather than a la carte), you are assured that all guests will be served at the same rate and that the meal will not stretch too long. Suggest a Menu, while leaving room for maneuver and approving his choices to make him comfortable. Avoid dishes in sauce and other complicated dishes to eat.
Choose the wine
You invite, it is up to you to choose the wine. Ask, however, beforehand, the agreement of the whole table. It is then up to you to fill the glasses each time they are empty. If you are not a wine lover, ask your guest subtly and accept a small amount of wine in your glass, even if you do not drink it.
Toasting or not?
The custom is that we do not drink during a business meal. You can just raise your glass slightly (20cm maximum above the table) and watch your guests greeting them.
No need to wait too long to start the topic that brought you around this table. After the banalities of use and while waiting the first dishes, engage soberly the conversation or the negotiation. Without being too brutal, always with tact and delicacy, looking at your interlocutor in the eyes, your face relaxed and standing upright.
Be the conductor
Once everyone is served, do not throw a happy “Bon appétit” at the table, but just start your plate.
The towel should stay in your lap or on your chair if you leave the table. It should not appear around the neck or on the table. Also avoid to saucer the plate with bread.
To set the note, the ideal is to leave the table at coffee time to pay the bill discreetly. Another solution: send the note to the office. In any case, avoid it being seen by your guests.
Leave the restaurant
Once the meal and coffee are over, warmly thank your guests for giving you time and getting up slowly from the table. Your guests will follow.
Thank you a second time
Be sure to thank your guests a second time after leaving them. Either by mail, SMS or mail and plan if necessary a next meeting.