Meeting someone over lunch is a great way to talk business and seal the deal. Today, a business lunch might happen over breakfast or dinner, even coffee. The business etiquette doesn’t change, regardless of what meal you’re meeting over. Here are some tips to help you master the business lunch.

Relax, But Don’t Get Too Personal

The business meal is still business. Don’t get so comfortable that you reveal too much personal information to someone who is your “business partner.” Chit chat is fine. Steer clear of politics and religion.

Have an Agenda

Your business lunch is a meeting with a purpose. Don’t forget that you have a reason for meeting this person. Don’t get so involved in the food or talking that you lose track of your goals. A good part of business etiquette is respecting other people’s time.

Use Your Best Manners

At a business meeting, you should mind your manners. Use small bites. Don’t order something that might be messy to eat, such as spaghetti, ribs or even a hamburger. Don’t talk while chewing. You don’t have to act like you’re having tea with the queen, but you should be more careful than if you were out with friends.

Don’t Drink

Alcohol and business don’t mix. It’s tempting to have just one glass of wine, but you shouldn’t chance it. Keep your wits about you during your business meeting.

Handling the Bill

The person who sought out the meeting should pick up the check. Don’t make a big deal out of it or jokingly refer to it. You don’t want the other person to be beholden to you. Let the check be a reminder to you to finish up your meeting and get to your goals.

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