New book helps diners ‘close the deal’ with proper etiquette

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 Lynne Grote Breil is the president and founder of The Professional Edge which develops people skills for professionals. Her new pocket-sized book is called

Lynne Grote Breil is the president and founder of The Professional Edge which develops people skills for professionals. Her new pocket-sized book is called "Share a Meal. Close a Deal." (Photo courtesy of Lynne Breil)

Lynne Grote Breil has written a guide called “Share a Meal. Close a Deal.” She’s the president and founder of the Pennsylvania-based company called The Professional Edge which develops people skills for professionals.

If you’re getting together for a meal with business associates or clients over the holidays — whether it’s to relax or network or to close that important deal, don’t forget your table manners.

Lynne Grote Breil has written a snappy little guide called “Share a Meal. Close a Deal.” She’s the president and founder of the Pennsylvania-based company called The Professional Edge which develops people skills for professionals.

She comes bearing messages of personal polish and politeness and says it all begins with punctuality.

“It means getting there a little earlier,” Breil said. “It means maybe waiting for your guests to arrive in the waiting area of the restaurant. It also means that if you want to go to the table before your guests, that you’re not munching on your bread sticks or drinking your iced tea before they get there.”

The book gives insight into such things as shaking hands, waiting until soups and  drinks have cooled off, and even where to hold drinks and food in general interaction. One of the touchier issues when business dining is drinking alcohol. Briel says that drinking during a business function is fine in moderation.

“What I tell people is that you need to be aware of what their protocol may be on alcohol consumption,” she said. “If you order a second drink and people are usually OK with that. Ordering a third? The eybrows start to raise, no matter what your tolerance might be.”

Briel also says that beer should be poured in a glass as opposed to carrying the bottle.

“It’s about first impressions,” she said. “Walking around with a beer bottle in your hand is OK for the client outing at a ballgame or a picnic. But when you’re in a nice venue with everything else being served in glassware, stick to that.”

To hear more of Jennifer Lynn’s interview with Lynne Grote Breil, including how to handle being on your phone in business functions, click play above.

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