What Does Your Dining Etiquette Say About You?

Woman In Business etiquette dinner
May 13, 2015

Business dining etiquette is important in conveying your professional image. Knowing what to do and what not to do will help you score points with the boss, prospective boss, or clients.

Business dining etiquette is important in conveying your professional image. Knowing what to do and what not to do will help you score points with the boss, prospective boss, or clients. Did you know you are to

  • Enter the chair from the left and exit right?
  • Pass the salt and pepper together, even if only one is asked for?
  • Eat soup taking the spoon away from you, toward the back of the bowl?
  • Place your knife and fork across the plate in a 9 and 3 o'clock position after you are finished eating?

These are the types of things taught at the Second Annual Etiquette Dinner presented by the Women in Business student organization this past spring in the Kirby Ballroom. Approximately 90 people attended the 2 1/2 hour event that began with socializing, hors d'oeuvres, and refreshments.

Insight was provided by guest speaker Kathy Pykkonen on networking, handing out business cards, and entering and exiting conversations. Pykkonen is the Corporate Learning and Development Manager for Cirrus Aircraft where she is responsible for building a leadership development pipeline across the company and an environment that encourages cooperation and collaboration in achieving company goals. She previously owned Progressive Image Pro and spoke on etiquette throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The evening progressed through a delicious five-course meal. Students chose their seating according to their interests after being introduced to the two business professionals at each table.

Pykkonen continued to provide guidance about appropriate behavior during this kind of dinner including no dipping bread in the soup, what utensils and glasses to use, and that you should pass water, bread, and other condiments to your right around the table. Three important takeaways were emphasized—bread on your left and drinks on your right, name tag always goes on your right, and you must RSVP whether you are coming or not to an event within 48 hours.

The Women in Business Club, which completed its second year of existence although the four women who founded it graduated in 2014, embraces the mission of providing members the opportunity to connect with each other and industry professionals in order to improve communication, instill confidence, and strengthen business etiquette. Women in Business is open to all genders and all majors.

Next academic year, the club will meet on Mondays planning for a year filled with professional speakers, volunteering opportunities, and semester socials.

Contact duluthwomeninbusiness@gmail.com for more information on joining.