If you've been entrusted with the task of planning a business dinner, then an authentic Chinese restaurant is a good choice because oriental food bursts with piquancy, zest and flavour –– allowing your colleagues to get to know each other in a different setting. Planning the dinner requires careful thought because you naturally want to impress your bosses and your colleagues. This guide will help you plan the perfect dinner at a Chinese restaurant (such as Han Palace).
Plan The Seating Arrangement Appropriately
Keep in mind that the highest-ranking executive should ideally sit in the centre of the table with the next-most key person seated next. The middle of the table is considered the most honoured seat in Chinese tradition, so that's where you will want to seat your boss. Your youngest or most inexperienced colleagues should be seated at the ends of the table. It's also customary to allow your bosses to lift their chopsticks first before anyone else touches theirs.
Establish A Common Dress Code
Chinese business dinners require for colleagues to dress similarly. You certainly don't want a few colleagues in formal business suits, while others are casually dressed in jeans. Ideally, you should establish a common dress formal or informal dress code to display your exemplary planning skills in recreating customary traditions at the Chinese restaurant.
Avoid Discussing Anything Related To Business Unless Your Boss Does
Traditionally, a Chinese meal is meant for enjoyment, allowing people to take a break from a hard day's work. Avoid discussing anything related to business unless your boss decides to talk shop. The idea is to keep conversations general and light to get to know colleagues better outside the workplace. You'll want to avoid brining up controversial topics like politics and religion because polarising viewpoints will ruin the relaxed atmosphere you've worked so hard to create.
Use Both Hands When Toasting At Dinner
Customarily, as the host, you may have to begin the business dinner with a small welcome toast. If you're initiating the toast with a tea, soft drinks, wine or beer, remember that you should hold the glass with both your hands as a sign of utmost respect for Chinese tradition because single-handed toasts is considered a sign of impudence and disrespect. If you want to make this an authentic Chinese experience for all your colleagues, you can pass out some basic information about dining decorum at the restaurant –– allowing them to immerse themselves in this unique culture.
Follow these tips when planning to recreate traditions at your next Chinese restaurant business dinner.