A little bit of advice about business dining (by DJB)...
It’s hard to imagine that something as basic as eating a meal is such an important part of business culture. Countless deals have been negotiated, jobs landed, and careers changed over the course of a “power” lunch, breakfast, or supper. For something that can be so important, it really sucks when you look down at a ridiculous looking utensil (and we’ve all been there) and think “what the hell am I supposed to do with that”. If you find yourself at some overpriced (but who cares because you’re not paying for it) and overrated restaurant discussing your potential future with a company you probably don’t want to work for, just remember these few things and save the career limiting moves for next years’ Christmas party.
Sitting down: When you take your seat, do not place any objects (phones, bags, glasses, etc.) on the table.
The Napkin: As soon as you sit down, unfold it and place it on your lap. Keep it there until the end of the meal and only use it to wipe your face if you absolutely need to. When you you’re finished, leave the half folded napkin on the table.
Utensils: Eat from the outside in by starting with the utensils furthest away from you. Once you use a utensil, it should never touch the table again.
Glasses: Usually your water glass is the largest, followed by the red wine glass, followed by the white wine glass. Your glasses will be positioned to the right of your plate.
Ordering: Try to avoid ordering finger foods or foods that are difficult to eat (spaghetti). Make sure to order a reasonable portion, eating too much or leaving a bunch on your plate can look bad. Skip the alcohol unless you are 100% certain it is appropriate. If you are drinking, make sure to limit the amount of alcohol you drink, two is a good rule of thumb.
Eating: There are two types of eating styles. American style is when you hold your knife in your right hand to cut and switch your fork to the right hand when you eat. Continental is when you keep your knife in your right hand and your fork in your left without switching. Flintstone is when you eat an extremely large piece of meat attached to a bone with your hands.
Finishing: Signal to the waiter you are finished by placing both your fork and knife at the 4 o’clock position in your plate. If the person offers to pay, then let them. Make sure to thank them and all that basic stuff.
There is a plethora of rules which can easily be found online. These are the most basic ones and, in general, should be followed. Bon Appetit!