Swearing or talking on the phone during a business lunch was considered bad form once.

But according to a business etiquette survey by consultancy The Aziz Corporation, taking mobile phone calls during a business lunch is considered more acceptable than smoking after a meal. Half of managers believe companies should ban smoking on their entire grounds.

Only slightly more than a third have a problem with colourful language. Conversely, in the tradition of Sir Alan Sugar, two thirds consider 'bullshitting' unacceptable.

Those last two points will be relevant to those participating in buyer-supplier meetings.