All of us know how to eat, but do we know how to dine? I also know you are thinking of people right now that have terrible table manners, and the impression it leaves you is “priceless.”
When I owned our catering and event business, we served food for a lot of different types of events and meetings. These included casual or formal business luncheons, weddings, fundraisers, Black tie galas and more. Regardless of the event, I could easily tell the difference between the events where the guests were there to eat and when they were there to dine.
So what is the difference?
Dining is part of an “experience” and it is more than just food. It’s about creating a memorable atmosphere and energy. Of course, a host’s menu and venue selection will set a certain tone, but a guest who comes to dine is prepared to converse on a number of appropriate topics, understands table manners and can build a relationship around a meal. In other words, a dining guest uses proper etiquette, and they are prepared to accomplish more than simply eating a meal. Or it could be this…
Eating, on the other hand, is the opposite of an experience. Just go into any restaurant on any given day and look around. You will see many people gnawing on a sandwich, texting or using some other form of technology, and above all, ignoring standard manners. They arrive, they eat and they leave. (Unfortunately, we see this type of behavior, even at galas, business events, meetings, etc.)
I believe we are becoming a more casual society, especially when it comes to “dining.” How many times do you go out to eat and all you see are people with their “smart phones” on the table and not even talking to their guests?
If people think they can get away without manners simply because they aren’t on a corporate stage, they are wrong. I’m not saying you can’t enjoy yourself when you go out to dinner with friends, but I am saying that your actions are still a reflection of your etiquette and your brand. In fact, I was just at a nice upscale restaurant seated near a table of 6 people where one guest informed everyone within earshot that he was already drunk! And they hadn’t even ordered their food yet! It was a Monday.
We all have been taught to “eat”, but do you really know how to “Dine”?
Are you or someone from your team a little less confident in dining and social settings? We can help. Please email us any of your questions and we would be happy to answer them for you.
Bob Pacanovsky is a Keynote Speaker and Trainer who works with companies and organizations to develop the Black Tie Experience- creating an impression that LASTS through Selfless Leadership, Memorable Customer Experiences and Impeccable actions and behaviors.
To learn more, and to book Bob contact him:
Call (330) 352-6084 or
Speaker/Facilitator- The Black Tie Experience; (330) 352-6084