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How to Act During a Business Lunch

Business lunches can be intimidating to a new employee. You may not be sure how to react when you are out to lunch for the first time with your boss.

Here are some steps on how to fit in during a business lunch.


Things You’ll Need

  • Confidence
  • Manners
  • Good listening skills
  • Patience


Guide to Participating in a Team Business Lunch

During a Business Lunch


One of the biggest mistakes new employees make is thinking they need to entertain their boss and colleagues at their first team lunch in a business setting. It is far better to observe the conversation at the table before jumping in.

Note how other employees refer to the boss and how they converse with her. If they are very relaxed and casual, you can take that as a hint, but as a new employee you should refrain from being overly casual when addressing your direct surpervisor.

Pay attention to the clues that your supervisor gives you. Is her supervisor at the lunch? If so, pay attention to how your supervisor interacts with her boss.

When ordering food, pay attention to what your team members order. You can start a conversation by asking your coworkers what is good at the restaurant.

If your boss offers to let you order first and you aren’t sure what is appropriate to order, offer to go after the others because you need another minute to decide.


Modesty is Important

Even if your colleagues are discussing a topic about which you consider yourself an authority, limit how much you contribute to the conversation unless others encourage you to share more. As a new employee, you don’t want to give your coworkers a reason to judge you as someone who thinks they know more than they do.


Try Not to Finish Your Meal First Or Last

Eat at a casual pace and keep paying attention to how others on your team interact. Some conversations will almost cease entirely during a business lunch after the food arrives, while other business environments encourage eating slowly so you can continue your conversation.

If others order dessert, you can assume this is acceptable, but don’t be the only one having a sweet treat while everyone else is waiting.


Tips & Warnings

  • An coworker assigned to be your office mentor is a great resource to ask what you should expect from a business lunch.
  • Even though it might be a casual setting outside of the office, you are still dining with your coworkers and boss. Do not become too relaxed or uninhibited.


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