Diva-fied: The Takeaway from our Strategic Dining Workshop

CIMG1868There is a theory that the most organized people are always buying books on organization. Last Thursday’s Dining Divas participants might have given this theory legs. These women have oodles of emotional intelligence and are rising stars in their fields, yet they came to learn how to best leverage an expected exercise in traditional professional development: the business meal.

My Strategic Dining℠ program has been summarized as ‘”Peter Drucker meets Anthony Bourdain meets Miss Manners”. The results are rich: organic business development, brainstorming, and network development in the demanding setting of a fine restaurant.

Eliminating the Guesswork

Women face unique challenges at the business meal, especially when hosting.  With the rise of a cuisine culture in America, we’re now expected to have a broader familiarity with food and wine in the restaurant setting. Obviously, this does not come naturally to all of us.

After Thursday’s workshop, these women walked out armed with tips & tools to make the most of the business meal, along with bellies full of healthy snacks and wine. Get a load of some specifics discovered:


  • How to best prepare for the business meal, down to what to wear (hint: don’t wear bangles or perfume!)
  • How a drafty dining room can be responsible for sending the vibe that you’re defensive
  • What you’re actually looking for when the server presents you with the bottle of wine you’ve ordered
  • What to do when your wine glasses are empty and the server is nowhere to be found
  • What to do when you’re almost finished with your meal, and your guest hasn’t been able to eat because he’s talking so much
  • How to navigate a family-style dining experience
  • The Good, The Bad and The Ugly in ordering food
  • How you should communicate with someone who has spinach in the teeth
  • The ONE dessert you shouldn’t order at a business meal

Lessons Ahead

The conversation after the session’s close was classic WAC energized networking in full effect. The women left with parting gifts, including a Wellspring brand flipcase, which is something everyone should use to protect their credit cards… and their identities.

WAC plans to offer many Strategic Dining-related workshops this year. Perhaps you should help us decide if the next one should be “Wine List Navigation”, “When Things Go Wrong”, or “The Ultimate Host”. The floor is yours.

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