This will be my first time trying to land consulting work. The person I'm meeting has a high position and more than likely has a lot more money than I do. We used to work for the same company so he knows that I'm just starting out. I do want to be polite though.

What do you guys think I should do?

closed as off-topic by Chris E, IDrinkandIKnowThings, mcknz, Masked Man, gnat Jan 26 '17 at 6:25

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  • 2
    If you asked him to meet at a restaurant, it's probably your buy. You don't court someone (for dates or business) and then make it dutch. That's why if you don't want to make it a full "business lunch or dinner" then you ask "you want to meet for drinks or coffee?". Honestly, a lot has to do with the person who said "you want to grab a bite?" if it was him, he should pay himself. But if you invited him, you should at least offer to pay. – Chris E Jan 25 '17 at 22:44
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    Note that sometimes, eg when dealing with the government, it may be illegal to give even "normal and customary" gifts. – keshlam Jan 26 '17 at 23:41

If you made the invitation, you offer to pay. If he invited you, he will probably pay, but you should be prepared to pay for yourself, just in case.

If he has a lot more money, he might end up paying, but if you invited him, you must offer and be ready to pay.

This is basic etiquette, however, and is not limited to work situations.

  • Well, it wasn't straightforward for me because he reached out to me asking for a meeting, but then I offered to meet him around the lunch hour. My intention was just to come around his office at 11:30 or 12:00, but he suggested a restaurant. Then, I suggested which restaurant to meet at. I was preparing myself to pay, but in the end, he ended up paying anyway without giving me the option. Thanks for your advice! – arjabbar Jan 26 '17 at 20:15
  • @arjabbar, when it's not clear who actually made the invitation, like in this case, you did the right thing - be prepared to pay, offer to pay if you have the chance, accept when the other pays. – thursdaysgeek Jan 26 '17 at 20:58

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