The Business Lunch : How To Plan It and Survive It

September 19, 2014 11:47 pm1 commentViews: 190

By : Andrea Hudson

businesslunchSo, here’s the picture: You and your client, sitting in an office and talking business. Such a common situation these days, don’t you think? While business people seem to have lost the will to take some time and relax, having a business lunch with your client is one way to close a business deal successfully. When you have a good meal followed up with a great atmosphere, things are really unlikely to fail.

Before organizing a business lunch, there are certain things that you should note and consider. Bear in mind that your business client, being your guest, should be treated with respect and politeness. Before scheduling a lunch with a (potential) business client, contact him to coordinate what time you should meet for lunch so that both of you can fit it in your schedule. Plan the business lunch agenda carefully so you have enough time to talk about business while having your meal.  But remember to leave some time for small conversation.  An informal talk is good to loosen up the atmosphere.

Choosing the right location is very important. It is advisable that you choose a restaurant you have already been to, so there will be no surprises. The fact that you are familiar with the price and quality of the meals gives you the chance to recommend to client the meal you believe to be tasteful. Ensure that the chosen restaurant has assorted range of meals that could satisfy your client’s taste or eating habits. Since you have business talk to do, it would be inappropriate to choose a crowded place. Both you and your client will not benefit from “yelling” at each other when closing a business deal. Thus, be smart about your choice.

bus-lunchGood meals are always accompanied by a proper drink. Even though it’s not recommended, one or two alcoholic beverages won’t be inconvenient. A piece of advice: forget about the beer. Beer is a beverage you drink while watching sports on TV with your buddies or having a fun night out. Instead, take a bottle of wine. Sweet red wine is recommended because it goes well with wide range of meals. It even goes well with desserts.  If your client isn’t drinking any alcohol, you shouldn’t drink it, either.

Everything else regarding your business lunch discussion with the client depends on your planned meeting agenda.  However, during your lunch discussion, you should also pay attention to your table manners and the way you treat the restaurant staff. Be polite and patient with the waiter or attendant.  Leaving him a tip after the lunch is a nice gesture.  When ordering food and drinks, restrain yourself from any sort of bragging. Act politely, in a manner that will show your client how hospitable you are.

A restaurant meeting does not have to be your first choice for a business lunch. You can organize the meeting in your office conference room especially if you have a product presentation.  In such case, cocktail and finger foods are the best choices to serve so that the client’s attention can be more focused on your product presentation.

On end note, going on a business lunch should not be just about the meal. Even if it is called business lunch, remember that the goal of the lunch is to discuss business, not only to eat.

 

Andrea Hudson is a business coach and a part time writer interested in topics related to business productivity and marketing. She enjoys seeing her readers getting useful information from her articles.

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1 Comment

  • This is an interesting article. I didn’t realize that one’s choice of beverage at a business lunch is an important factor to consider when conducting business. It can pay off, in the long run, to pay attention to details!

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