The Secrets of Mastering

Business and Professional Dining Etiquette

A Workshop In Two Sessions

In this context, "business" refers to any industry in which you come into contact with people; that covers just about all of them. And, the Million Dollar Meal is not about Julia Child’s boeuf bourguignon, Mario Batali’s Bucatini all'Amatriciana, or even Aunt May’s incomparable chicken & dumplings! Rather, it's the interview lunch where you can be hired or rejected, or the business dinner in which you will win or lose a multi-million dollar deal. 

In many cases, winning or losing a job or business opportunity depend in large part on your table manners. Your dining etiquette prowess -- or lack of it -- can be a deal maker or breaker. In nearly any business situation where you find yourself breaking bread, the goal is usually to seal the deal over a meal.

Often the primary reason that candidates are taken to lunch or dinner during the interview process is to allow the interviewer to evaluate their dining and other social skills and to determine whether they can conduct themselves with aplomb under pressure.  Employers want to know if candidates will be able to handle themselves with decorum, style and confidence when dining with clients and other important business associates. There's a good reason for this approach; cases have been cited of candidates losing job opportunities or professionals losing business simply by failing to demonstrate proper table manners, maintaining decorum or following protocol.   

“Nothing irks your boss more than displaying poor table manners during a luncheon meeting with a client. It's embarrassing and it reflects poorly on the quality of people at your company,” claims John Putzier, author, HR specialist and former recruiter.

With interviews over a meal becoming increasingly commonplace and professionals in all fields continuing to conduct business over the power lunch, it behooves everyone across all industries to ensure that his or her dining etiquette is as polished as the silverware and as sparkling as the crystal on the most elegant table in the finest dining room.

Workshop Structure

The Workshops are small, each consisting of a maximum of six participants.  This allows for interactive participation and appropriate attention to each member. Workshops are appropriate for adults 18 and older.

In two sessions that run two hours each, some of the secrets that will be revealed include:

  • The basics of formal dining, including the proper placement and handling of dinnerware
  • Dining etiquette and protocol
  • The differences between business and social dining
  • How to prepare for business and social events
  • The proper way to eat certain foods, including foods you may eat with your fingers
  • Foods to avoid and how to handle them if you must
  • How to address awkward situations (fly in your soup, gristle in your mouth, etc. )
  • The importance of small talk and the art of conversation
  • How to maneuver breakfast meetings, buffets and increasingly popular afternoon teas


Workshops will be held at my home in Croton-on-Hudson, NY, unless otherwise advised.   


The cost per person is $99 for the Million Dollar Meal two-session Workshop.  

For groups that register six people together for the same Workshop, the discounted group rate is $480, or $80 per person for the two sessions.


Group Registration provides for six friends, colleagues, neighbors, club or community group members to register together for the same Workshop sessions at a reduced rate, with no waiting for a Workshop to fill up. 

Individual Registration will place your name on a pending list until five additional participants have registered, after which you will be notified so that dates can be coordinated and scheduled. Note: Couples, friends and others may attend together, but if the total count is less than six each participant must register individually and the regular rate of $99 per person will apply.


Once Workshop session dates have been scheduled, payment by check will be due and received no later than one week prior to the first session.

Please send your registration request and any questions to me via email to or contact me through the site.

I hope to see you soon at one of my Workshops, and believe you will find the sessions informative, welcoming, inclusive and fun.  Learning the rules and skills of dining etiquette can be a game-changer in your career -- and life!

Until we meet,