Q: I was recently invited to lunch with a business associate. I arrived before he did and had the restaurant staff seat me. Should I have waited for my host?
A: In business settings, it’s best to wait for the host in the lobby or waiting area rather than at the table. That will allow him to take the lead when he arrives. If you’re the host, wait for your guest in the lobby rather than at the table, if you can. However, if the restaurant is filling up and the staff tells you that you need to be seated in order to hold your table, it’s okay to do so. This applies whether you’re the guest or the host. For a social meeting with friends, it’s fine to be seated if you arrive first – regardless of how full the restaurant is getting.