Going out to a business lunch with a group of colleagues or with just a few business partners after conclusion of a profitable business deal? If you are not aware about table manners that an individual is supposed to display at such times then it is time to brush up some basics so you do not end up feeling embarrassed. Table manners usually differ between countries so if your business meeting is with foreign delegates then find out about their customs and make a confident beginning to a long term business relationship. Display of impeccable table manners along with polite and confident behavior will earn the respect of colleagues and business partners.
In a cosmopolitan city like Singapore that has businessmen from across the globe and restaurants serving local and international cuisine you have to follow a few guidelines to appear as a confident individual with table manners at a business lunch in Singapore .
Topics of discussion
Avoid carrying the business discussions forward to mealtimes unless the other party makes constant references to it during the lunch.
Try to avoid controversial topics that could hurt the sentiments of other people in the group.
Keep conversations flowing around generic topics like sports, families, business environment and current issues etc, until the food is served as then everyone would have to be quite.
Expected behavior during lunch
Eat at a moderate speed and do not hover over the plate between mouthfuls as the guests will think that food is likely to fall off your mouth.
Keep elbows off the table and away from you unsuspecting neighbor’s stomach.
If the lunch is being served at a five star restaurant it is most likely to cutlery that you may rarely use at home. Do not hold them as if you are going on a war but like fingers that will bring the food to your mouth without dripping anything on the table or your outfit.
Though most business lunches in Singapore among locals are noisy affairs try to avoid eating with food in your mouth.
Keep the napkin neatly folded on the lap to occasionally wipe your lips if required between bites.
Post meal etiquette
If you are the person hosting the party then the bill has to be paid by you so ensure that the concierge brings the bill to you instead of putting it on the table for everyone to see the details.
If you are asked to give opinion on wine selection which is a puzzling topic for you, then ask the waiter for recommendations.