Business executives are constantly on their toes when dealing with important clients or business partners. Formal dinners can be rather – pressurizing in situations where executives need to demonstrate their best efforts, whether it is proper communication, dress code, or dining etiquettes. A few tips kept in mind will certainly help in tiding over the hardest of situations and securing a business deal for your company.

Dining manners are an important part of business etiquette as most of the deals, interviews and meeting are cracked over the dinner table. Whether dinner is at an elegant restaurant or at a formal corporate dining hall, it does not matter, as long as table manners are meticulously followed. The following tips will certainly mark the boundaries of Dining Etiquette:

1. Arrive on time. If you are going to be late, make sure to inform your client or business partner.
2. Dress conservatively.
3. After sitting down, quietly unfold your napkin and place it on your lap. Fold it in half and place the folded half towards your waist.
4. Before starting with the dinner, wait for all your client or business partners to arrive
5. Turn off cell phones and pagers while dining.
6. Maintain proper upright posture while dining.
7. Keep elbows off the table.
8. If confused about ordering the meal, let the host decide.
9. Order simple menu items eaten with a knife and fork, chopsticks, or other utensils. Avoid finger foods.
10. Start your meal after everyone starts his or hers.
11. Use both knife and fork together to cut your food.
12. Taste your meal before making any additions.
13. Eat in small bites and try to finish your dinner at the same time as everyone else.
14. Stir your soup gently from the farthest edge, instead of blowing it. Drink soup from the edge of the spoon and not putting the whole spoon in your mouth.
15. If bread is in the shape of a loaf, tear it with hands and not a knife.
16. If you have something in your mouth that you cannot swallow, inconspicuously remove it with your fork.
17. If you want to bring a problem to the waiter’s attention, do it discreetly.
18. After finishing your meal, place napkin to the left of the plate. The knife and fork should be placed in the centre of the plate in the five a clock position. The waiter will know that you have finished with your meal.
19. Decide beforehand how the bill is going to be paid
20. Tip 15% for moderate service and 20% for excellent service. Tip charges may differ according to location and country.

1. Do not hurry to know the arrival status of your clients. Wait at least 15 minutes before calling up.
2. Do not put bags, briefcases, and other accessories on the table.
3. Do not change the order of dining utensils placed on the table.
4. Do not reshuffle the order of dining utensils according to your handedness.
5. Do not order expensive menu items or alcohol at business meals.
6. Do not apply make up at the table.
7. Do not bite on ice or talk when mouth is full.
8. Do not slurp soups or drinks or make noises while chewing food.

The competition out there is challenging and if you want to pocket the next business deal, one of the few tips you could follow are adhering to above dining etiquettes.