Go North

students in Business Etiquette Dinner

Are you confused over which fork to use when? Do you  want to impress a potential employer? Come to the Business Etiquette Dinner!

The popular Business Etiquette Dinner will be taking place on October 27, 2011, from 5pm to 7pm at Commons Cafe, Pierpont Commons. Be sure to sign up quickly because space is running out!

Cost is $15.00/ticket. Contact uuap@umich.edu for more information.

In an innovative use of experience and resources, Keith Soster,  Director of Food Services for University Unions, University of  Michigan, conducts business dining etiquette seminars for students using actual table set ups and food service for hands-on  (and elbows off) real life experience.

The importance of etiquette in business is older than the fork.  Around 2500 BC, an Egyptian etiquette manuscript gave the  advice to young men on the fast track, “When sitting with one’s superior, laugh when he laughs.” Soster’s etiquette session is  designed to ensure that students aren’t laughed at during a business meal. Business Dining Etiquette for Students covers the do’s and don’ts of introductions, what silverware to use and when, what to order and how to eat it, to help students impress others and maintain professionalism.

Always well attended, the sessions are held in various University  Unions banquet rooms with formally set tables and complete luncheons served. Through an animated and humorous presentation using real props, Soster demonstrates all the important need-to-know advice for future business interactions. Whether it’s learning when to take the first bite or how to make the proper introduction, or even how to eat peas, the sessions provide a fun way for students to gain the knowledge necessary for making a good impression in the workplace,says Soster. It is my goal that when the students leave the meal they’ll feel a little less nervous when they encounter any business functions that involve food. Students who are preparing to work in the University Unions catering department are encouraged to attend as well.

Specific topics covered in the presentation include a review of a  formal place setting and what each item is used for, proper techniques for eating soup, salad, meat, pasta, buttering rolls, and where to leave your silverware when you’re finished eating. In addition, how to pass condiments, proper use of the napkin, and appropriate meal conversations are discussed. Proper attire for men and women is also covered including what the terms black tie, white tie, formal, semi-formal and business casual really mean.

Keith Soster is Director of Food Services for the University Unions at the University of Michigan. He has been a past speaker at National ACUI conferences and has taught various aspects of etiquette and customer service, including training sessions on proper business etiquette and table manners for the LEAD program at the Ross School of Business and the Lunch and Learn program for staff at the University of Michigan. Keith has over 26 years in the hospitality industry serving in various capacities such as catering, restaurant general management, kitchen management and corporate field training.

Contact uuap@umich.edu for more information.