Randall Williams Serves Etiquette Dinner

An etiquette dinner was held at the Student Union central ballroom on Feb. 17 from 5:45 to 7:30. The etiquette dinner was hosted by the Diversity Center as a part of Black History Month.
The dinner itself was hosted by Randall E. Williams, UIS’s Food Service Administrator, to teach students and alumni how to eat properly at business dinners or more personal dinners.
During each course of the meal, Williams demonstrated how to properly conduct oneself at a formal meal. Demonstrations included how to hold cups or eating utensils, which utensils to use, how to excuse oneself at the table, and basic table manners. During the main course of the meal, attendees were taught how to eat colonial-style and American-style in addition to learning how to serve wine.
Throughout the dinner, Williams called out people who were eating or holding something wrong while also encouraging others to do the same. Attendees were encouraged to ask questions about more nuanced etiquette during the dinner, which Williams answered promptly.
Being that the dinner was part of Black History Month, traditional soul food was served during the dinner, but many people had dietary restrictions. Williams used this as an opportunity to tell attendees with dietary restrictions that they should let the business or host know before they attend the dinner to make it easier to accommodate to those restrictions.
The dinner was also meant to be a time for attendees to network. Before the dinner began, a bingo chart was given to people who attended to help get to know one another. The bingo chart contained questions that needed to be answered by other people by having them fill out their contact information. People were encouraged to share their information to network and learn more about one another to use as contacts in the future.
Other business tips were taught to those that attended to help them better prepare themselves in the workforce. People attending were taught what an elevator pitch was and also how to communicate with one another during a formal dinner.
Overall, the dinner was a success, and it taught attendees how to properly behave at professional dinners and how to better market and network themselves in the professional world.