Manner Monday: Business Luncheons and Soup

I’m currently in the middle of hosting an executive success series. We dig in deep and cover details about the strategy of the business meal and other topics like office politics, dealing with people you don’t like, and networking.

Manner Monday: Business Luncheons and Soup


Quite often, many of the questions I receive during presentations and workshops circle back to the business meal. The attendees of this series specifically asked if they could tackle soup during one of our lunch meetings. So this month, our group is going to learn how to eat soup when at a business function and I thought I would share my favorite soup slurping (just kidding, no slurping) tip with you! Yes, at home, some of us may pick up our bowl like a coffee mug and slurp (hand raised)… but we obviously (hopefully) wouldn’t think about doing that in front of a client!

The Columbus Day holiday leads us perfectly into todays tip. Do you remember learning the legendary poem as a child in history class? If not, here’s a reminder…

In fourteen hundred ninety-two
     Columbus sailed the ocean blue.
He had three ships and left from Spain;
     He sailed through sunshine, wind and rain…

Ok, ok, I’ll stop there… sorry to get that stuck in your head.

Thinking about the poem is very handy when you are trying to navigate soup somewhat gracefully in the presence of others…

    As a ship sails out to sea, I sail my spoon away from me.

By “sailing your spoon away,” any precarious drips will drip away from you, instead of on your shirt or tie. And if your soup is SO delicious you’re trying to figure out how to get the last few scoops (without picking it up like a coffee cup), keep the same poem in mind and tilt your bowl away from you. If you fumble your soup bowl while tilting, the soup will sail away from you and not end up in your lap.

If you have any business etiquette questions, I’d love to hear from you! My goal is to give you tips and tools to make you feel more confident and comfortable as you navigate the professional and social seas of life (sorry for the pun).

For more tips on navigating the business meal, here is great advice on hosting a successful lunch meetingunderstanding the different dining styles, and we’ve also got you covered if the event is after hours or has a buffet.

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CareySue Vega

Carey Sue Vega is a business and youth etiquette expert. For ten years, she honed her skills with an international audience as Cruise Director for the Norwegian Cruise Line. Vega has been featured in numerous radio and television shows and magazine articles, sharing her etiquette expertise.  She’s also social savvy with social media. Connect with CareySue.


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