Mind Your Manners: 6 Rules for a Successful Business Lunch


Kimberly Palmer is the author of Generation Earn: The Young Professional’s Guide to Spending, Investing, and Giving Back, which was published by Ten Speed Press this week. The below tips have been adapted from the book.

Let’s face it, going out to lunch with a prospective new boss or business partner can be awkward. Who pays? What do you order? How much small talk do you make?

The key, it turns out, lies in accepting one basic concept: It’s not about the food. That means you might need to skip your favorite dish if it’s too messy or too expensive (or too cheap, for that matter).

You also need to get a sense of the menu ahead of time, so you can order relatively quickly. And if you’re the one who’s hosting—look through our slide show for an easy tip on how to figure that out—consider giving the restaurant your credit card in advance to avoid all the confusion over who’s going to pay. It can ruin an otherwise smooth meal.

Click through for six more rules for a successful business lunch:


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    Tell us in the comments: What is your best advice for a successful business lunch? On the flip side, have you ever had a business lunch go terribly wrong?