Be on Time:
First and the foremost thing you need to do is to be on time or well before time if you are a host. Business meal is no less than a business meeting so be professional and arrive on right time. Moreover, this extra time will help you in checking out the settings and ultimately you will be more comfortable.
Capture an appropriate seat:
Next thing you should do is to sit where you can engage everyone and reach everything without any trouble. It is possible only if you will arrive well before the time of meeting. However, you must pick a seat according to your status in this group.
Now, when all of you have settled down, call the waiter to take orders. If you are hosting this lunch or dinner then you can hold the menu card and order for the whole group. However, you must ask your guests for their likes and dislikes. In other case, wait for your turn as waiter will ask the ladies first and then come to you.
Engage your guests in conversation:
While waiting for the food, you should engage your guests in light conversation. Talk about the food, culture, their likes and dislikes etc. Do not start business conversation immediately rather give them time to open up.
You may order drinks but make sure that you are consuming just appropriate quantity of alcohol. Normally, two glasses of wine are enough during a meal.
Mind your manners:
Though it is obvious but still it’s very important to follow the table manners. It is not considered good if you are chewing food with open mouth, stretching your arms to get something, having an inappropriate posture, talking with your mouth full etc.
Ask for the cheque discreetly:
Last but not the least, if you are going to pay for the food then ask the waiter for cheque discreetly. Just give him a signal instead of calling in loud voice.