Thursday, February 20, 2020

Etiquette Luncheon Gives Students the Tools to Stand Out

Philadelphia’s Capital Grille is no stranger to executive business meetings where high net worth deals are made and employees are hired. Whether you are an entrepreneur, seeking a job or proving you deserve a promotion, you may find yourself selling yourself in a fine dining setting.

On Wednesday, February 19th, the Capital Grille, located at Broad & Chestnut Streets, was the elite backdrop of a gathering of Peirce College students and alumni for the Annual Etiquette Luncheon.

The Luncheon is a partnership between Peirce College’s Center for Career & Professional Development and the Capital Grille offering a presentation on how to conduct a power lunch meeting.

Business deals and job interviews typically occur in boardrooms and offices; however, a potential business partner or a hiring manager may invite you to join them for lunch or dinner. Part of the evaluation is how to conduct yourself throughout the professional lunch or dinner, which signals your awareness of respect and making a positive impression.

Alexis Lundeen, Director of Operations for the Capital Grille, facilitated an in-depth and engaging presentation instructing students on the unspoken rules of the business world, which govern these professional interactions.

Alexis reminded attendees that small subtle things are clues. Something as simple as how you butter your bread can say a lot about you and your work ethic.

She demonstrated that your plate is to the left but you pass the bread to the right. You take butter onto your butter knife; smear it on the plate with the bread. Then, you take off a piece of bread, cover it in a pat of butter and eat it.

Alexis also discussed how to use your utensils and napkin to signal to the dining staff when you are finished with the course and ready for the next course. By communicating wordlessly, it helps the staff to respond to your needs without disrupting your business meeting.

The overall message conveyed was that presentation matters and as a prospective employee or business associate, you set the tone of how you are perceived based on how you represent yourself. The goal of a professional lunch or dinner is not to eat. It is an opportunity to show your best self in a situation where others may fold because they don’t know the rules of engagement.

To hear even more about this event, CBS News, Channel 3, covered the event on their nightly newscast. Reporter, Vittoria Woodill, not only observed the interactions, but also participated and added her perspective when requested. To check it out, please visit the CBS News, Channel 3 website.

For more career and professional development workshops, events, and advice, please contact Peirce’s Center for Career & Professional Development at 215.670.9202 or