The banquet is the most effective way to do anything in China. There is a saying that the right “business” is doing outside of the boardroom. In America, if you want to talk business, the game of golf will be your solution. The same theory holds in China, and if you want anything done, banquet can be your remedy.
A banquet will always be in a private room within the restaurant. The simple reason is to keep privacy. Once you have step foot into the custom of Chinese banquet (it is also known as “ประเพณีของงานเลี้ยงจีน“ in the Thai language), the first rule will is the seat’s position.
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A seat can tell a lot about a person status. The guest of honor will sit with their back facing the wall, the host most of the time will expose their return to the front door, or he/she will seat on the left of the guest of honor.
When coming into a banquet, do not think there is a three courses meal. Traditionally, the host has to offer more not less than the guest can consume. With that has said, you should expect to receive twenty-plus courses during the banquet.
The food will serve in a traditional family setting, meaning the food will set in the middle of the table on a ‘Lazy Susan,’ which a plate that spins around. Because you can turn the plate to get the food that you want, please, do not pass the dish around.
There is a difference between reaching the food that you want and dig for the food that you want. For example, if a piece of chicken that you want, but it at the bottom of the dish. The rule is picking something on top or closest to you.