When meeting with clients, it is important to maintain a professional and respectful demeanour. This extends to the way you speak and behave while eating with them. Here are some tips on how to talk with clients while eating:
Avoid speaking with your mouth full. It is not only unprofessional, but it can also be unpleasant for your clients to see and hear you chewing your food.
Take small bites and chew slowly. This will help you avoid any awkward pauses in the conversation while you finish eating.
Use your napkin often. Wiping your mouth or hands with a napkin shows that you are aware of your appearance and hygiene.
Avoid ordering messy or difficult-to-eat foods. Stick to dishes that are easy to eat with a fork and spoon, and that won't require you to use your hands or get sauce all over your face.
Be aware of your volume. Talking too loudly or too softly can be difficult for your clients to hear or can be distracting to other diners in the restaurant.
Avoid talking about sensitive or controversial topics. The dinner table is not the place to discuss politics, religion, or other topics that could potentially offend your clients.
Take cues from your client. If they are more relaxed and informal, you can adjust your tone and language to match theirs. However, if they are more reserved or formal, it is best to maintain a more professional demeanour.
Be respectful of your clients' dietary restrictions or preferences. If they do not eat meat or have other restrictions, be sure to choose a restaurant that can accommodate them or check with them in advance to ensure they will have options they can enjoy.
Remember, the goal of the meeting is to build a positive and professional relationship with your clients. By being aware of your behaviour and speech while eating with them, you can make a positive impression and strengthen that relationship.