Breaking Bread With Business Associates


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Literally speaking, “breaking bread” means to have a meal with someone.  And, when breaking bread with business associates, important factors (besides just table manners) should be taken into consideration.  Thus, proper business lunch etiquette will ensure your professional image shines! 

Some situations that may involve getting together with business associates outside of the traditional work environment may include lunch interviews, happy hour with co-workers, and business lunches with vendors and/or clients.  Ideally, having lunch or a couple of drinks with business associates are meant to be relaxing.  But, getting too relaxed can hurt your professional image and career.  Consider the following tips: 

At a Lunch Interview 

  • Be on time.  Arrive 10 minutes early so you can greet the interviewer when he or she comes in.
  • Avoid messy foods.  Rather choose foods that can be cut up into bite-sized portions. 
  •  Be polite to everyone.  Being rude to the waiter/waitress is a red flag that you might act the same way to customers. 

Happy Hour with Co-Workers 

  • Follow company policy.  Treat the outing with your co-workers as if you were still at work.
  • Avoid getting drunk.  You do not want to be the talk of the office.
  • Show up.  Even if you do not drink or have other obligations, go for at least a half hour. 

By keeping these simply tips in mind, you can avoid rejection or embarrassment.   

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