Should You Order Wine at a Business Dinner?

Business meals can be a tricky space to navigate. You are at an out of office setting, there might be alcohol involved and you are attempting to mix business with a night out. What you need to do is remember that you are still on the clock. You might have left the office but you are still at work.

Wine Not
- Always let your client or superior make the first move here. If they order a drink, follow suit. If they don't stick to an ice tea. Do not have more than two drinks at a work dinner.

Check Please - Whomever arranged the inner traditionally picks up the check. Although, if it is a dinner with your client then you should. Otherwise, if you are out on a team dinner or with your boss - the lead on the projects traditionally pick it up and expense it.

Places to Go
- Every business operates differently in terms of where they head for client dinners. Work within your budget and scan menus beforehand. Feel free to suggest new places or classic standbys for people coming to town to visit you who are most likely looking at this dinner as a night out in the big city.

I'll have what she's having - This is not the time to order ribs or another messy food. In fact if it requires using your fingers at all - avoid it. Also, no need to order the most expensive thing on the menu since someone else is paying for it. Use your fellow dinners and follow suit. Are they ordering appetizers? Order one. If not, skip it. Word of advice, avoid squid ink. It stains your teeth.

Dress Up - You are most likely coming straight from the office so I'd stick to the office dress code here. Maybe switch out your office flats for pumps, freshen your makeup but otherwise stick to what you traditionally wear.

Chit Chat
- Keep the conversation light. Avoid politics (especially in this political campaign) and any other hot button topics. You never know which way people's opinions shift. You don't need to lose a client over a business dinner. And while it might be a work dinner you should not only talk about work. In fact, try your best not to. Business dinners are your chance to build up a relationship. Get to know your clients and fellow team members.