Group of four business diners out to lunch, clinking wine glasses
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For Business Diners

Mastering the Art of Business Dining: Tips for Success

Business dining is more than just a meal—it’s a strategic opportunity to build relationships, make a lasting impression, and conduct business in a relaxed and social setting. Whether you’re a seasoned executive or a young professional, knowing the ins and outs of business dining etiquette can make a significant difference.

In this blog post, we’ll explore essential tips to help you navigate the world of business dining with confidence and finesse.

1. Choose the Right Restaurant

Selecting an appropriate restaurant or venue is crucial for a successful business dining experience. Opt for a restaurant that aligns with the formality of the occasion and caters to a variety of dietary preferences. Check the menu in advance to ensure it accommodates everyone’s tastes and dietary restrictions. The Dinova business dining program helps you find the best restaurant for your needs, and meals earn points in your myDinova account!

2. Make Reservations

Avoid unnecessary delays and ensure a smooth experience by making reservations ahead of time. This not only demonstrates your organizational skills but also minimizes the risk of waiting for a table, allowing you to focus on the business at hand. Assuring punctuality shows respect for your guests and sets a positive tone for the meeting. If you’re running late, communicate promptly and courteously. (Don’t forget, we make it easy to book reservations in the Restaurant Marketplace app.)

3. Master the Art of Small Talk

Engage in light conversation before diving into business matters. Small talk helps create a relaxed atmosphere and builds rapport. Discuss neutral topics like travel, industry news, or local events to find common ground.

4. Start Strong, Finish Strong

To make sure your business meal is complete, consider starting with appetizers and ending with desserts. This ensures plenty of time for business conversations and that all guests are happy with the whole meal from beginning to end. Happy guests help make business meals as successful as possible!

5. Sipping or Skipping

It’s advisable to follow your host’s lead regarding whether to order alcohol and how much to drink. If you’re the host, make sure to know your company’s policy regarding alcohol before the meal begins. If alcohol is part of the dining experience, consume it in moderation.

6. Handle the Bill with Grace

Navigating the bill can sometimes be delicate. If you initiated the meeting, it’s courteous to pick up the tab. However, if your guest insists on splitting the bill or covering it themselves, gracefully accept their decision. Express gratitude and be ready to reciprocate in the future.

7. Express Gratitude

Show appreciation for your guests’ time and company. A simple thank-you at the end of the meal goes a long way. Consider sending a follow-up email expressing your gratitude for the meeting and reiterating the key points discussed. And don’t forget to follow up with your guests promptly with a personalized thank you email, summarizing key takeaways from the meeting and expressing your interest in future collaborations. This reinforces your professionalism and keeps the lines of communication open.

Key Takeaways

Mastering the art of business dining is a valuable skill that can enhance your professional relationships and contribute to your overall success. By paying attention to details, practicing good etiquette, and being mindful of your guests’ comfort, you can turn a simple meal into a strategic opportunity for networking and collaboration.

Whether you’re entertaining clients, meeting with colleagues, or building new partnerships, these tips will help you navigate business dining with confidence and finesse. Don’t forget to use our handy Restaurant Marketplace app to find options on the go and register for myDinova to earn rewards on every business meal!

Dinova business dining Program

Dine Smart, Earn Rewards

MyDinova Rewards and the Restaurant Marketplace app help you navigate business dining confidently while earning rewards for every meal.