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My company has sponsored tables at several upcoming winter galas and formal fundraising banquets. Would you share some key dining etiquette tips so that I can represent my organization and myself in the best light.
‘Tis the season for winter galas to raise money for worthy non-profit causes. I applaud your initiative to learn how you can be your employer’s finest ambassadors. You will be in the company of influential leaders and clients where your dining etiquette skills will be closely observed. Here are three strategies to set you apart:
1) First Impressions Count
As guests arrive, remain standing behind your chair to greet or introduce yourself with a firm handshake to other table guests. Wait until at least 3 other table guests are present before sitting down. It is appropriate to sip your water after everyone is seated and after you have placed your napkin in your lap. Wait to begin eating until everyone is served and, if there is a table host, wait for the host to begin.
2) Dinner Is Served
Visualize the luxury car logo for BMW when looking at your table setting to decide which bread plate and drink are yours. This is an easy way to remember:
B = Bread (left side of plate), M = Meal (middle of table setting), and W = Water/Wine glass (right side of plate). What happens if your neighbor unknowingly commandeers your bread plate, beverage, or napkin? Quietly ask the wait staff for a replacement.
3) Goodnight To All
Shake hands with all table guests as you bid farewell. Don’t forget to mention their first name as you do so. Research shows that hearing our name spoken stimulates our brain and makes us feel good that we were remembered. Before or after the meal are the appropriate times when business cards may be exchanged…never during the meal.
Kudos to you for supporting our community’s wonderful charities and enjoy your evening!