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Business Etiquette. Barbara Jean Bruin, CHE The Collins School Of Hospitality Management Cal Poly University, Pomona A grateful thanks to Dr. Ben Dewald. Let’s Be Seated. It is customary for the young man to help the young lady on his right to be seated

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Business etiquette

Business Etiquette

Barbara Jean Bruin, CHE

The Collins School Of Hospitality Management

Cal Poly University, Pomona

A grateful thanks to Dr. Ben Dewald

Let s be seated
Let’s Be Seated

  • It is customary for the young man to help the young lady on his right to be seated

  • If business cards were handed out prior- put in your coat or purse

  • If presented at table place to left of fork until dessert

  • Start talking to the person at your right

  • Purses under chair


  • The place for the napkin is on your lap

  • The server might do this for you

  • Place on chair when you leave

  • Dab corner of mouth

  • Sneezing and coughing NOT in napkin

Which knife fork to use
Which Knife & Fork To Use

  • For most set-meals and banquet functions the silverware is placed in the order of use.

  • You take the piece on the outside first.

  • For a-la-carte orders the server should re-adjust your silverware after your order, again use from the outside in.

  • Fish Silver, fork left hand with tines down.






Some don ts don t

  • Stick your elbows out like a butterfly.

  • Try to eat with your elbows on the table.

  • Put too much in your mouth at once.

  • Chew with your mouth open.

  • Talk with your mouth full.

  • Try to eat leaning back.

  • Slouch. Sit erect.

  • Throw your arm over the back of your chair.

Bread butter b d
Bread & Butter-----B & D

  • The butter knife is placed on the bread and butter plate.

  • Always break the bread with your fingers

  • Do not cut the bread with the butter knife;

  • Just butter the bread with it.

When reaching for
When Reaching For:

  • The bread basket

  • Salad dressing

  • Salt & pepper

  • Etc.

    Offer them to your guest(s) first BEFORE using them yourself.

Buffet dining
Buffet Dining

  • The Approach

    Look at tables and station. One line or two.

    Gender and status factors, groups.

  • Placing food on your plate

    Not too much. Where is more? The spoon?

  • Seating or standing?

Coursed meals
Coursed Meals

  • The soup spoon is tipped slightly away from you and is filled by moving it away from you, not toward you.

  • Sip the soup from the side of the spoon, the spoon should be placed on the saucer not in the bowl.

  • Salad should be eaten with the fork in your right hand

  • Fish silver. Fish fork used with tines down in left hand.

Food you can not swallow
Food You Can Not Swallow

  • Don’t spit it out

  • Chew it into as small a piece as possible

  • Then place it on the prongs of your fork (or into your spoon if the course calls for a spoon).

  • Then place it on the rim of your plate

    Note: Olive pits or fish bones should be removed with your fingers.

Hold wine glass by stem
Hold Wine Glass by Stem

  • Toast to your health!

  • The host should toast first

  • Never drink if the toast is to you

  • Do not stand if the toast is to you

  • Second is always to the host

  • May our house always be too small to hold all our friends

  • Drink in moderation.

  • Dab your mouth before drinking.

Which hand to eat with
Which hand to eat with?

  • Continental, knife is held in right hand, hold fork in left hand prongs down, spear the meat with your fork and cut it off with your knife. Cut only one piece at a time. Fork is conveyed to the mouth by twisting your wrist and raising your forearm slightly.

  • American, after cutting meat place knife on plate. Move fork from left to right hand. Take food to mouth and eat. Change back fork to left hand, pick up knife with right hand cut and repeat.

Resting vs finished
Resting vs. Finished

  • Cross your silverware on your plate while resting (8:20)

  • When the course is finished place both knife and fork at 4:20 this tell the waiter your are finished.

  • Coffee spoon rested on side of saucer not in cup.

Good conversation

  • Don’t air your views in a loud voice

  • Be more interested in hearing the other person’s views than in expressing your own

  • While at the table, knife should never be raised more than an inch or two off table.

  • Remember the Carnegie “3 C’s”

  • Look for uncomfortable people

  • Talk business after entrée is cleared

  • Excusing yourself


  • Arrive early enough to refresh yourself

  • Don’t go starving!

  • First impressions really count

  • Handshakes

  • Introductions

    Name, what you do, a hint to help remember your name, body language, office seniority & age, younger to older

Business cards
Business Cards

  • “In” pocket- left, “out” pocket- right.

  • CLEAN!!!

  • Read and acknowledge

  • No cards to senior execs unless requested

  • Given at beginning of event

  • Not at beginning of conversation

  • Never write on the face of the card


  • The answer to

    Thank You is:

    My Pleasure!

  • Questions?