FoodHaving a Successful Business Dinner


Having a Successful Business Dinner

Setting up a business dinner is important in so many ways. You want to make a good first impression and be ready for any direction the conversation might go. You want to pick the right restaurant also. You don’t want to go where it is so noisy that you cannot talk. Choose a semi-sweet wine, and let them order their own dinner. Here are a few ideas for having that all-important business dinner.

The Do’s and Don’ts of an Important Business Dinner

Do’s for an important business dinner:

  1. Dress professionally. It’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed for a business dinner.
  2. Be punctual. Arriving on time shows respect for the other person’s time and indicates that you are organized and reliable.
  3. Be polite and courteous. Greet the other person warmly, make small talk, and thank them for the invitation.
  4. Be an active listener. Pay attention to what the other person is saying and respond thoughtfully.
  5. Show interest in the other person and their business. Ask questions and be genuinely interested in what they have to say.
  6. Be prepared. Research the other person’s business and be ready to talk about your own business.
  7. Be mindful of your manners. Use proper table manners, and avoid talking with your mouth full or interrupting the other person.
  8. Show gratitude. Thank the other person for the dinner and the conversation at the end of the meal.

Don’ts for an important business dinner:

  1. Don’t be late. Being late is disrespectful and can make a bad first impression.
  2. Don’t dress casually. A business dinner is not the time for casual clothing.
  3. Don’t be rude or dismissive. Show respect for the other person and their opinions.
  4. Don’t dominate the conversation. Allow the other person to speak and express their thoughts.
  5. Don’t drink too much. It’s okay to have a drink or two, but don’t overdo it. Being drunk can be unprofessional and may make it hard to conduct business.
  6. Don’t talk about controversial or sensitive topics. Stick to safe and neutral topics to avoid offending the other person.
  7. Don’t be too pushy. Don’t try to close a deal or make a hard sell at the dinner. The goal of the dinner is to build a relationship, not to close a deal.
  8. Don’t forget to follow up. After the dinner, send a thank-you note or email to the other person to show your appreciation for the dinner and to keep the conversation going.

In summary, an important business dinner is an opportunity to build relationships and make a good impression. Be polite, be prepared, be an active listener, and be mindful of your manners. Avoid being late, dressed casually, rude, or pushy. And don’t forget to follow up. Remember that the goal is to build a relationship, not to close a deal.

Dressing for Success

It is recommended to dress professionally when attending a business dinner. The attire may vary depending on the company’s dress code, industry and the location of the dinner.

For men, a suit and tie or a blazer and slacks are appropriate. A button-up shirt, dress shoes, and a belt are also recommended. Avoid wearing clothes that are too casual, such as jeans or t-shirts.

For women, a business suit or a blouse and pants or a skirt are appropriate. Dress shoes are recommended, and avoid wearing clothes that are too revealing or casual.

In general, it is always better to be overdressed than underdressed for a business dinner. Avoid wearing anything that could be considered too casual or too provocative. This will show respect for the other person’s time and indicate that you are organized and reliable.

The Right Way to End the Dinner

Ending a business dinner is an important part of the overall experience. Here are some tips on how to wrap up the dinner in a professional and courteous manner:

  • Express gratitude: Thank the other person for the dinner and the conversation. This shows that you appreciate their time and the opportunity to connect.
  • Recap the main points: Summarize the main points of the conversation and any agreements or action items that were discussed. This helps to ensure that both parties are on the same page and that nothing was missed.
  • Schedule a follow-up: Schedule a follow-up meeting or call to continue the conversation and to take the next steps.
  • Pay the bill: If you are the one who invited the other person, take the initiative to pay the bill. If the other person offered to pay, thank them and offer to split the bill or take turns paying in the future.
  • Exchange contact information: Make sure to exchange contact information and connect on LinkedIn or other professional networks.
  • End with a warm farewell: End the dinner on a positive note by saying something like “It was great meeting you and I look forward to working together in the future.”
  • Be punctual: Be punctual for meetings and make sure to leave on time, This is to show respect for the other person’s time and schedule.

In summary, ending a business dinner is an opportunity to reinforce the relationship and move forward with the next steps. Show gratitude, recap the main points, schedule a follow-up, pay the bill, exchange contact information, and end with a warm farewell.

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