Very famous in the corporate world, the BMW rule is usually practiced during longer meetings that include meals. BMW means Bread- Meal- Wine: The position in which it is placed on the table in front of you. People in the corporate world are observed more than they think they are being observed. Not only how you walk, talk, shake hands or share your business cards, even the way you eat matters a lot. The meal usually starts with the bread and followed by the main course and the wine/water/aerated drink. Did you know many people believe the right etiquette is to wipe your mouth/lips with the table napkin before you sip in the drink? Even if it is just water, the assumed rule is to prevent the glass rim from getting stained and to avoid tiny food particles to mix with the drink which when happens is supposed to be ill-mannered. Did you also know there are tall cylindrical glasses that are only meant for water? We often use them at banquets to fill up juices and no one really notices or cares. The same would be seen as an offense to the host if done at capital corporate events and overseas. If there is a huge spread of cutlery while sitting for a corporate meal, remember the BMW rule and more importantly remember which glassware you pour your water and which glass for wine/aerated drink. Whether you are a righty or left hand user, the bread platter stays on the left, the meal plate in centre and the water glasses on the right of the centre plate.
Kunj Ganatra, Assistant Professor, Unitedworld School of Business (UWSB)
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