A friend recently shared an interview experience with a person who was applying to work at his law firm. The employment offer was off the table after having lunch with the applicant. The person completely blew eating their French Onion soup! (Details left to the reader’s imagination.)
It’s interesting how one little bowl of soup can bring about the level of anxiety this one does. Although steeped in tradition, served in French market cafés primarily as late-night fare, the bread and cheese hooding the fragrant broth and onions creates confusion for those hoping to eat it with some semblance of decorum.
So, how DO you eat French Onion Soup with confidence and fewer drips? Etiquette experts, Emily Post and daughter, Peggy, have shared, “With such a soup, a knife is your friend, not your enemy.” That’s right, it is acceptable to use a knife when eating this soup, especially when it helps avoid your wearing strings of cheese on your face.
If your business includes working with clients, the business lunch is a perfect social occasion with a goal that is professional. On a very small scale it is like a networking event with food and drink involved. And, if you are being interviewed over lunch, know that the potential employer will be imagining how you will interact with their clients. Having good dining skills is paramount.
When you are dining with a potential employer, it’s no time to be adventurous with food. Make sure your meal is within your skill level comfort zone. If you order soup, make sure that it is creamy or a broth and that can easily be eaten with a soup spoon alone, never requiring the use of any other utensil or bread.
When you order soup at a business lunch or dinner:
A business or working lunch, like any meal, is meant to nourish you and be enjoyed. But primarily, it is intended to make doing business more convenient and in a social context.
In most gatherings where people are eating, we tend to make food the primary subject. But when business is being conducted during mealtime, business should be the primary subject. Which makes knowing how to eat French onion soup, and many other foods that require special knowledge, worth the time and practice.