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A Traveling Feast: What to order not order during a business lunch/dinner

I never liked business lunch meetings – especially if it was with a senior person.  One tomato stain on your shirt and you look sloppy.  One dot of balsamic vinegar on your tie and you look more junior than you ever wanted to be.  Well, here is a way to relax during your lunch meetings.  Let’s first start with the dos & don’ts of what foods to order: 

Don’t order…

1.      Pasta – forget it – sauce everywhere – and the long noodles are way too long

2.      Balsamic Vinegar – duck because those dark spots fly

3.      Spinach – nothing is worth having green between your teeth

4.      Sandwiches – they can come pretty thick & you don’t have a jaw like a snake

5.      Soup – you need to spoon out versus spooning in and who is comfortable doing that?!  Plus, the slurping is beyond tolerable!

Do order…

1.      Chicken breast:  you can’t go wrong here

2.      Any type of fish other than lobster:  Fish fillets, Shrimp, Salmon

3.      Baked or mashed potato

4.      Mixed vegetables

5.      Salad with any light colored dressing

The aim here is to be comfortable and relaxed enough to concentrate on the business conversation, and not worry about dodging any flying stains that are coming at you faster than heat seeking missils.

What to wear…

If all else fails, a dark stain on a dark jacket is much less noticeable.  So dark clothing is a way to go.  If you don’t want to look like Johnny Cash, a dark jacket & a lighter shade of pants/skirt are always sharp looking.

If all goes wrong…

A smile will soften the blow of any dish of pasta landing on your lap – so you can deal with this.  Self deprecating humor usually lightens the mood and let’s face it … it’s happened to just about all of us.

So now that you have a better idea of what to order, what to wear, and what to do should something go wrong, there is just one piece of advice to share:

Bon appetite!!

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