Lisa Vanderpump may be best known as a reality TV star on Bravo's "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills," but she is also a savvy business woman.
Over her career, Vanderpump has opened over two dozen restaurants and bars, launched sangria and rosé brands, become an executive producer on her own spin off show, "Vanderpump Rules," and landed a role as an editor of Beverly Hills Lifestyle magazine. Today, she runs three California restaurants, Villa Blanca, SUR and PUMP along with her husband Ken Todd.
Through those roles and her eight seasons on "Real Housewives," Vanderpump has had countless dinners, cocktail hours and lunches with colleagues. And when it comes to business meetings over a meal or drink, the English entrepreneur is a stickler for etiquette.
One rule she follows: Don't squabble about who will pay the check.
"If someone invites you, then that person should pick it up," Vanderpump tells The Hollywood Reporter. "I firmly believe it."
Peter Post, an etiquette expert and the managing director of The Emily Post Institute, agrees with that rule. "The person who did the asking does the paying," Post writes.
So if you're the one who arranged the lunch, then it's your turn to offer to pay. If that offer is rebuffed, "be firm but kind," he suggests. After all, that's "a good business trait to display anyway."
Say something like, "Sorry Jim, this one's on me. Next time, you can treat," Post explains.
If you feel compelled to pay (even though you didn't do the inviting), Vanderpump suggests taking care of the bill upfront to avoid any awkwardness at the table.
"As you walk in you give the card so that it's done and there's no struggle," she says.
And, take care to send the appropriate message while you're sharing the meal, Vanderpump says. Put your phone away, don't be late and avoid chit chatting too much with other people at the restaurant.
Above all else, avoid potentially disastrous foods.
"You never want to order spaghetti Bolognese," she advises. "Absolutely no-no. Positively hazardous with the long spaghetti noodle flying. I want to look at the end of the lunch the same way that I started and not like I've been wrestling with a spaghetti Bolognese."
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Disclosure: CNBC parent NBCUniversal owns Bravo.