Etiquette tip: Business dining made easy

These basic guidelines will allow you to sail through meals will colleagues and clients in a business setting:

Take small bites. You should never talk with your mouth full. If you take small bites, you can swallow quickly if someone asks you a question.

Prepare for casual conversation. If you show up ready to discuss casual topics like travel, sports and movies, you will avoid awkward silences and be an active participant.

Be nice to the wait staff. You can learn a lot about people by the way they treat servers. If you are dismissive, condescending or outright rude to the service staff, your clients or guests may think that eventually you will treat them the same way.

Source: Communication Briefings (2010). Simple guidelines for business dining.