Dining For Profit: From Styles of Eating to Finishing With A Flourish

Business Business Communication Essential Business Etiquette Dining For Profit: Is That Your Bread and Butter Plate Or Mind?
20 minutes
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There are two acceptable styles of eating. There are actually more than two styles of eating and you will see all kinds of styles when you are out at restaurants having a meal. But the two acceptable styles are the American or the zigzag style, the Continental or the European style of eating. Now the American, which is referred to often as zigzag style, is the one we spoke of earlier that we saw demonstrated where you're holding your fork in your left hand and the knife in your right hand, cutting your food. And then once you have cut that one bite that you're going to put in your mouth and use your butter, like right there, you switch the fork over to your right hand if you're right handed, if you're left handed, it can stay in your left hand. But the difference here what differentiates this style from the Continental is not only switching hands, but it's also the times the times of the fork are facing up.

If you're eating American style, whether Right hand or left hand, you take the food to your mouth with the times. If you're eating continental style cutting is done the same way. But instead of turning the fork over, you turn your wrist slightly and take the food to your mouth with the tines down, and you may continue in the continental style then to hold the knife in your right hand and then go back, cut another piece, hold the knife, put that second piece in your mouth. At some point, you may want to rest the knife and put the knife down. And so in that case, you do the same thing that you did with a salad course you place it at the top of the plate with a blade facing it. And the same with the American style.

When you switch over to the right hand. The blade of the knife is always facing in the cutting edge is facing you. Very often people feel comforted Trouble cutting their food continental style, taking a piece of meat or a piece of potato or a large or overly large piece of vegetable, but a piece of vegetable to their math in the continental style. And so at that point they they believe they're eating continental style. But then when they run into something like rice that they can't figure out how to get on the back of their fork or peas if they can't figure out how to get on the back of the fork, and they can only get you know one or two on the end of the times. When they run into that situation.

They flip the fork over. Sometimes they take it back to the right hand and then eat those difficult food items with the fork in the other hand and with the Times up. If you're truly eating continental style, you do not switch you do not turn the fork over in order to eat those difficult items. You learn how to eat them and one of the nice things about the Continental style is because you're allowed to keep this knife in your hand. While you're using your fork. You can use the knife to help the food onto the back of the fork but you're not Truly eating continental style.

If you switch the times over when you run into the difficult to eat foods, Bob has ordered the wine for the table as the host that's his responsibility to do that. Next is that Bob is tasting the wine that he's ordered for his guests. He's approving the wine and you're he's approving the wine in the sense that he's making sure that the wine is good. Not that it's his favorite one or it's as good as the one he thought he was ordering. If there's anything that is wrong with the wine if it's then agree or something like that, then he would send it back but you don't send the wine back because you think Gee, I'd like another one instead. I think this is not as good as the one I had last night.

You finish this bottle of wine that's perfectly fine and then order a different one. If you're not satisfied with this particular one. The diners are having filling in yo and soft shell crab. And so they will choose whether they want to have the white wine or the red wine. There is no Rule anymore that you have to have the red one with the red meat and the white wine with white meats and fish, you can have whichever wine you choose. However, those who are having the filet have chosen to have the red wine and those who are having a soft shell crab, have decided on the white wine.

There is a correct way to hold the glass of wine. If you're having red wine as Stephanie is then you hold the glass by the bow so that your hand is actually keeping the wine at the room temperature. And as I said earlier, there there are always reasons for all of these things. And the reason for holding the red wine by the bow is because when people first started drinking wine, which was as soon as they discovered the grape, they didn't have central heat, so the castle might be cold and the red wine would chill. So they would hold it with their hand to keep it warm and it room temperature. You hold the white wine glass By the stem and that's because white wine is sort of chilled.

And you don't want the warmth from your hand to warm your white wine. This meal is so delicious Lee presented so beautifully presented with garnish. You have Rosemary over there with your Philemon Yo and you have the onion ring on the top here we have all the cilantro. And very often people wonder, can I eat the garnish? Can I eat all those things, everything on your plate should be edible. And if you like it and you want to eat it, you go ahead and eat it.

Now the rosemary is more of a challenge to pick up that herb and eat that. cilantro, of course does not provide the same challenge. But you know, even when you find things like fresh flowers on your plate, those are edible or they should not be on your plate. That's all part of the course. So you may eat every bit of the garnish. A question that arises very often is can I eat all of one thing first and then move on to the next or how should I eat things.

You want to have a bite of everything. If, for instance, there is an item on your plate that you don't particularly care for, once again, try to have some of that perhaps the spare goes on to your favorite food, but you want to have a bite or two, if you can, you know, we're all adults. And so we can eat those things. It's not like when we were children, and stomp their feet about what we want to eat and didn't want to eat. So we're old enough now to know that things have different flavors and that we can actually eat something we don't like and survive. While you're you're eating.

You may wonder what is it that I'm supposed to be doing with my hands at the business meal, the new rule is that hands are above the table. Hands are seen at a business meal at a business meeting. You keep your hands above the table, and that's just from the wrist up. It's not elbows, arms or anything else. It's simply with your hand on the table from the wrist up. That is a signal goes back to the idea of openness and trust.

We're doing business internationally these days. So that's the reason that you'll see more and more people eating the business meal with their hands above the table. If your host does not observe the hands above the table, if your host has one hand in his lap, and just one about the table holding the fork while he's eating, then you would follow suit. Another thing you want to be aware of is pacing yourself at the table. You want to keep pace with the other diners. You don't want to be the first one finished and you don't want to be the last one finished.

You particularly you don't want to be the first one finished because that looks like you were absolutely starving to death and you haven't gotten enough to eat. And it's like wow, they're halfway through and your plates clean. You don't want to be the last one to finish because then if you are everybody else has to wait on you and watch you sit into while in fact, it was time for the flights to be cleared and for dessert to be served. So if you notice that you are are lagging behind, maybe you need to speed it up a little, maybe you've been talking a lot, give somebody else a chance to talk, ask questions of other people and then you eat while they answer the questions. On the other hand, if you see that you've almost got a clean plate in front of you and everybody else is halfway through, then you need to slow it down, maybe maybe it's time for you to enter the conversation.

Or if there's not an opportunity to have a conversation, just slow down, stop eating for a few moments and let everybody else catch up with you. If you need to get the attention of the server, perhaps you need something else, there's a some sort of issue you'd like to have some award or whatever it is, there are a number of ways that you can go about doing that. And some of them are appropriate and some of them are not appropriate. One of the inappropriate ways of doing that would be to raise your napkin and wave it around in the air so that you could get his attention. Another inappropriate way would be to put your fingers in your mouth And whistle for the server or you know, all those things get. So over here, none of those are appropriate, all you need to do is to look at the waiter as long as he's in the room and make eye contact with your server.

And then your server Nick knows immediately that you need for him to come to the table. If your server is not in the room, then catch the eye of another server, that person will come to your table and find out what you need and either help you out or get your own server. Also in reference to your server into the waitstaff, when you're served your your entree, your salad, whatever it is, or the server brings you more water. Do you want to say thank you, you want to acknowledge that person for for serving you. You don't have to get into a long conversation about it, but simply say thank you. The only time that you might not say thank you is if you're talking to someone else.

You don't want to break the continuity of the conversation. to say thank you to the server, you can acknowledge the server at that moment or the next time the server comes back. At a business meal like this, there are very few things that you would be eating with your fingers. You eat your bread, of course with your fingers after you've broken it. But very few things would you eat with your fingers, it is acceptable in some places to eat asparagus with your fingers, there are even asparagus tongs that you can use to eat the asparagus so that would be that would be an exception. The only time you would eat food with your fingers is if you've gone to a casual restaurant for your business meal, maybe a business lunch and then you might have hamburger and fries.

If you've got the hamburger and the fries. You can eat your french fries, you would get your french fries with your fingers. However, if you're served steak and fries and you're eating your steak with a knife and fork, then you use the knife and fork for your french fries. Before you go to dinner. If you know that the meal is going to be pre ordered and You have a food allergy, let your host know that. Let the person who is inviting you who has sent the invitation, let that person know that there are particular food items that you cannot have maybe it's a, maybe it's a cultural thing, maybe it's an allergy.

But be sure they know ahead of time, don't arrive and wait to the food comes to the table and then announce that you don't eat certain things or then let your host know that you're a vegetarian. And there's a nice filet sitting on your plate. In the event that you need to be excused from the table at some point, wait and do it between courses. You don't want to leave the table in the middle of a course. So between soup and salad if you need to be excused, you may leave the table at that point or between any other courses. But the only time you would leave the table in the middle of a course is for some sort of emergency or if for instance, you were coughing heavily or something and you'd want to excuse yourself so that you did not do that in front of others.

Everybody else and ruin their meal, then you would excuse yourself but otherwise wait between courses to do that. a concern that that women have during a meal very often is the lipstick smear on the wineglass or the water goblet, or the fork or another utensil. A way to avoid that we certainly don't want to show up at the table without lipstick. So you apply your lipstick before you go to the table. But carefully blot your lipstick in fact, if you bought it twice, the lipstick will not come off. I've tested that and it works.

Just about 100% of the time. I recommend that you stay away from the heavy duty motor oil type of lipstick that is definitely going to come off no matter what you do. And I also would recommend that you stay away from those lipsticks that say that they are permanent, because the permanent lipstick really will not come off on your glass on your napkin on anything else. It goes on your Left and it stayed on your left so that you can't even remove him during the move. At this point, as we approach the desert, you'll notice as I said earlier, you don't have any utensils left on the table except your dessert fork and your dessert spoon, which are at the top of the place setting. And because they're positioned with the four candle to the left and the spoon handle to the right, the server can put them right down into place for your last course.

Now we're ready to begin the desert. Once again, your host will pick up his fork or spoon whichever one he chooses to use. And actually, with dessert with a dessert fork and spoon you can actually use both of them if you choose. Generally the rule is, if it's served on a plate, you eat it with a fork. If it's served in a bowl, you eat it with a spoon. There are some items that you might need to use both fork and spoon Sometimes it's because you're trying to study it with your fork while you're eating it with your spoon.

And that may be the case you have a beautiful mango as a part of your presentation that may prove a little difficult to eat. So you might need both utensils, you'll just have to see now the coffee is being served and coffee is meant to be served with dessert. It's not the beverage that you drink at any other time during your meal. Although people when they eat casually and very informally, will have coffee possibly before or with the meal. But at this kind of a meal, you want to have coffee only with dessert, and your server has placed the coffee cup and the saucer on the table. If you don't care to have coffee.

This is not the time to take your cup and turn it upside down to indicate that when he asked you if you'd like to have coffee, you simply say yes please or no thank you and you leave your cup in the saucer as it is the only time To turn the cup over is when you're at one of those large banquets, a big luncheon or a big dinner event. And the waitstaff comes around and says, Would you like to have coffee? You say No thank you. And then the server looks at you and says, Please turn your cup over. All right now with your coffee. For those who would like to have some sweetener sweetener, which used to come in your sugar used to show up in a sugar bowl and you're used to sugar spoon and you added it to your beverage.

Sweeteners now all come in packages. And this particular package at Wexford plantation clubhouse is rather unique in its shape. But I think there's still that same temptation with this packet of sweetener that there is with all the other the usual ones we come across. And that is when you pick it up. The first thing most people want to do is to shake the packet, not at the business meal, you pick it up and just make sure that the sweetener is far enough down here you can feel with your fingers where it is. And then you tear off the top and pour it into your coffee without having a lot of fanfare.

Now, if you had the larger square for your sugar, your artificial sweetener, whatever, you would only want to tear about halfway across, and then you would just slide that under your saucer. After you've poured the sugar or the sweetener into your coffee. The male is is over. It's time for the bill to come to the table. And of course, our gracious host here has made it clear to the server that he would like for the bill to be brought directly to him rather than just placed on the table. When he came in, he made it clear that he was the host.

Now he had a choice to have when he walked into the restaurant and you couldn't Be really, really smooth. If you do this, walk into the restaurant, one that you know and where you would certainly feel confident with the maitre D. You can give your credit card to the maitre D when you come in, let the maitre D know how much you want to tip at the end of the meal, ask him to add that to your tab, sign your card, and then a check never comes to the table. And to at private clubs. There is no bill that comes to the table because the the member, they know who the member is and the member has made it clear that they will pay on the way out or sign on the way out. Now that the meal is over and everyone is ready to get up and leave the table, this is the time that once your host picks up his napkin and puts it on the table that you may put yours back on the table, and then you begin to rise.

However, keep in mind that the first thing you're going to do when you get back to your office or you get back home wherever it is, you are going to head straight for the convenient spot where you have put your thank you notes and your thank you cards, and you are going to write a thank you note to your host for this delightful meal that you've had, it will take you only a moment to write that thank you note that will mean so much to your gracious host, and will mean that your host is always going to remember what a gracious guest or what gracious guest you work. Remember, successful business dining means having good table manners. People are watching and good manners are noticed more by their absence

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