Festive Food



he weeks leading up to Christmas and

Hogmanay are undoubtedly some of the busiest of the year. Office parties, as well as family gatherings, do their very best to get you into the spirit of the season.

A few years ago, a survey conducted by Office Angels revealed that about 40% see the office get-together as an opportunity to network with senior management and raise their profile. A majority, however, actually dread the event. Come on, lighten up.

These groups of employees. wondering if their Christmas dinner will be the full extent of any year-end bonus, pose one of the biggest challenges to the restauranteur and staff. Nick Nairn has called them ‘beasts full of inertia’. David Ramsden, owner of Rogue restaurant in Edinburgh, has other choice words but acknowledges that a table of twenty must receive the same care and attention that a party of four gets.

To ensure all have an enjoyable experience. here are a few timely ‘dos and donts’ for the office meal out:

1) Don’t blow it out without a good excuse. Not going to the office party might be interpreted as a sign of disloyalty. But maybe that’s your point.

2) Do check in advance whether the company

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One solution to the ‘beasts full of inertia’

is covering drinks as well as the meal. Plan accordingly. The last thing you want to discover is that you’ve driven the motor to an event from which you’re sure to stagger away.

3) Don’t forget that the handbook of modern management means senior staff are watching

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you like Big Brother, waiting for you to embarrass yourself by guzzling three Bacardi Breezers simultaneously. They may not know your name but they may remember your face. Play it safe: don’t do Breezers.

4) Do give the boss your undivided attention during his first toast. Cheer heartily at its conclusion.

5) Don’t heckle or snigger. At some point take him or her aside. offering your profuse thanks and unending gratitude. Avoid mentioning money. Remember: decisions about year-end bonus may still yet be made.

7) Do watch what you wear. As one agony aunt puts it: ‘Ensure you look ready to party; but not tarty.’

8) Don’t pull just anyone. Be selective and seduce a superior or at least an equal. Otherwise you’ll run the risk of sexual harassment allegations. Some say office hanky panky is history. Our experience differs.

9) Do hang on for as long as you possibly can. There’s nothing worse than finding out you’ve missed the fisticuffs in the foyer.

10) Don’t be the last one to leave. It only reinforces your loner status among your peers. Judge the situation, anticipate momentum and ease yourself away before the mad dash to escape.



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