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Asked by Tanya on August 27, 2015

Is it ok to have a drink at a business lunch?

Answered by Emily, Hiring Expert at Praxair, Inc., on August 28, 2015

This is a great question, and the answer depends largely on the company’s culture.  At some companies, beer and wine is served openly for employees to enjoy responsibly while at others it is very much frowned upon.  Until you get a good sense of the culture, I think it is always a good idea to play it safe and stick to non-alcholic beverages.  The rules are a little more relaxed at corporate dinners and evening activities but for a lunch I would suggest you stick to water or iced tea.

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Answered by Courtney, Hiring Expert at ADP, on August 28, 2015

Good question!  I recommend a conservative decision until you understand the culture of your organization and your manager/peers.  I would stick to ordering non-alcoholic beverages at a lunch function.  After hour events (dinners, happy hours) are a little different.  If the majority are enjoying a drink, you should feel comfortable doing so but never over indulge.  I would stick to a 1-2 drink rule and you should feel confident about your level of professionalism. 

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Answered by Nell, Hiring Expert at Pitney Bowes, on August 28, 2015

No. I would always error on the side of caution. It may be allowed in your company and you may have co-workers/supervisors doing it. However, think of yourself as a brand. You wouldn’t want to do anything to compromise your brand and image. Plus there could be many more consequences to drinking on the job. You may let your guard down and make a very large blunder by spilling private information, or just making yourself look incompetent. Play it safe and order a Soda.
Best wishes!
-Nell

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