At this point you are building a rapport and going over your prepared agenda and the waiter comes to take your order. Do you indulge and order a drink? Survey says: absolutely no booze, especially if you are taking your supervisor or a senior level person out. According to Curi, it sets the wrong tone and sends a negative message. Keep in mind there are exceptions. For example, if you’re taking out el jefe and he orders alcohol you should only order whatever drink he’s having. That said if he gets a plain iced tea but you’re craving one of the Long-Island-variety, suck it up and say: “I’ll have whatever you’re having.”
You are probably thinking who’s footing the bill? There’s no going dutch when you’re doing business. “If it’s a lunch and you are the doing the inviting, the proper etiquette is that you should [pay],” Curi affirms. Most important, keep your lunch hour, a lunch hour — not an hour and a half. In other words, keep track of the time. However long you’ve agreed to meet for, you should stick to the schedule and respect that person’s time.
Wrapping It Up
So you’ve made it through the meeting without any major snafus. Seal the deal with a prompt follow-up. Curi recommends sending both a handwritten thank you note and email if you can. You want to stick out in their mind. With all the preparation and knowledge of proper etiquette that lunch hour you have invested in could yield just the opportunity you have been looking for.