A business lunch is a meeting between two or more people held over a meal to discuss business matters.
Business lunches are often seen as an opportunity to build relationships and network with potential clients or collaborators. They can also be used to seal deals or make announcements.
When attending a business lunch, it’s important to be aware of etiquette and protocol. For example, you’ll want to dress appropriately for the occasion, order food that is mid-priced and easy to eat, and avoid getting drunk.
The format of a business lunch meeting can vary depending on the purpose. Sometimes, participants will simply order from the menu and chat informally. In other cases, there may be a set agenda with specific topics to discuss.
Why are business lunch meetings important?
There are a number of reasons why lunch meetings are becoming increasingly popular. First and foremost, lunch meetings are a great way to save time.
Rather than taking up an entire afternoon, a meeting that takes place over lunch can be wrapped up in just a couple of hours.
Additionally, lunch meetings offer a more relaxed and informal setting than traditional meetings, which can often lead to more productive discussions.
And finally, having a meeting during lunch allows participants to take advantage of the day’s food offerings, rather than having to bring their own food or go out for lunch.
To get the best out of your business lunch meetings we have prepared a handful of tips to help, Here are 20 tips to help you make the most of your next business lunch meeting:
Book the perfect location
When you’re planning a business lunch meeting, one of the most important things to do is choose the right location. After all, first impressions count! You want to make sure you’re booking a place that’s professional and stylish, but also comfortable and convenient for both you and your clients.
Here are some tips for choosing the perfect location for your business lunch meeting:
1. Make sure the restaurant is centrally located and easy to get to. You don’t want your clients making a long trek just to meet with you!
2. Choose somewhere with good reviews – this shows that other people have had positive experiences there, which is always a good sign.
3. Consider the price point of the restaurant. You don’t want to choose somewhere too expensive, as this could make your clients feel uncomfortable, but you also don’t want to choose somewhere too cheap, as this could make you look penny-pinching.
2. Send Invites in good time
It’s always polite to send invitations in advance for a business lunch meeting. That way, your colleagues can make plans to attend, and they won’t have to worry about last-minute conflicts.
If you’re expecting a colleague to pick up the tab, be sure to let them know in advance. And if you’re going to be picking up the tab, be sure to bring cash or a credit card, so that you can easily pay for your meal.
3. Opt for light meals
There are a few things to keep in mind when ordering from the menu at a business lunch meeting. First, think about what will be easy to eat without making a mess.
Avoiding dishes that require utensils can be helpful so you can focus on the conversation at hand, not fumbling with Eating messy foods. Opt for light meals or menu items that won’t leave you feeling too full or uncomfortable.
Second, be conscientious of any food allergies or sensitivities your colleagues may have. Ordering something they can’t eat will not only make them feel left out, but could also be offensive.
Third, business lunches are typically spent talking shop, so avoid ordering anything that is too personal or could potentially be embarrassing (e.g., ordering a salad when your colleague is getting the burger).
4. Don’t drink too much
While it’s perfectly acceptable to have a drink or two with your business lunch, it’s important to avoid drinking too much alcohol. Not only will this impair your judgment, but it could also make you look unprofessional.
If you do decide to drink alcohol, stick to one or two drinks, and be sure to eat something so you don’t get too intoxicated.
5. Arrive on time
This one should go without saying, but it’s important to arrive on time for your business lunch meeting. If you’re running late, be sure to call or text your colleague to let them know – they’ll appreciate the heads up.
And finally, when you’re ready to leave, be sure to thank your colleague for their time and say that you enjoyed the meeting. This will leave a positive impression and make them more likely to want to meet with you again in the future.
6. Follow up after the meeting
Once the meeting is over, it’s important to follow up with your colleague. This can be as simple as sending a quick email to thank them for their time and to recap what was discussed.
If you made any promises during the meeting (e.g., to send additional information), be sure to follow through on those as well. And if you said you would call or meet with them again, be sure to do that too!
7. Pen down your key points
Before the meeting, pen down the key points you wish to talk about. This will help keep the conversation on track, and ensure that you cover everything you need to.
If possible, jot down a few questions you can ask your colleague as well – this will show that you’re interested in what they have to say, and it will help keep the conversation flowing.
8. Get rid of distractions
When you’re in a meeting, it’s important to be present and focused on the conversation at hand. This means putting away your phone and avoiding any other distractions.
If you can’t help but check your phone, excuse yourself to do so in the restroom or step outside for a quick break. And if you need to take notes, be sure to do so discreetly, so as not to disrupt the flow of the conversation.
9. Be an active listener
In order to have a successful meeting, it’s important that you’re an active listener. This means giving your full attention to the person speaking and avoiding any distractions.
It can also be helpful to paraphrase what the other person is saying, to show that you’re understanding them. And if you’re not sure about something, don’t hesitate to ask for clarification.
10. Respect your colleague’s time
Business lunches are typically scheduled for an hour or less, so it’s important that you respect your colleague’s time. This means keeping the conversation on track, and avoiding any tangents.
If you feel like the meeting is going longer than it should, be sure to wrap up the conversation, and schedule another time to meet if necessary.
11. Avoid cutting in line
If you’re meeting your colleague for lunch, be sure to avoid cutting in line. This is not only rude, but it will also make you look unprofessional.
12. Keep the conversation light
When you’re having a business lunch, it’s important to keep the conversation light. This means avoiding any controversial topics and sticking to safe topics, such as the weather or current events.
You should also avoid talking about sensitive subjects, such as politics or religion. And finally, be sure to avoid Curse words and any other offensive language.
13. Order something modest
When you’re ordering your food, be sure to keep it modest. This means avoiding anything that is too expensive or too messy.
If you’re not sure what to order, it’s always a safe bet to go with a salad or sandwich. And if you’re drinking alcohol, be sure to limit yourself to one drink.
14. Offer to pay the bill
At the end of the meal, it’s polite to offer to pay the bill. However, if your colleague insists on paying, don’t argue with them.
If you’re worried about how much the bill is going to be, it’s always a good idea to bring cash, just in case.
15. Thank your colleague
Finally, be sure to thank your colleague for their time and say that you had a good meeting. This will leave them with a positive impression of you, and it will help build a strong working relationship.
16. Arrive Early
If you’re meeting your colleague for lunch, be sure to arrive early. This will give you time to order your food and get settled in before the conversation starts.
17. Choose a Quiet Restaurant
When you’re choosing a restaurant for your business lunch, be sure to choose one that is quiet and has good service. This will make it easier to have a productive conversation without any distractions.
18. Follow Up After the Meeting
After the meeting, be sure to send your colleague a quick email or text message to thank them for their time. This will show that you’re grateful for the meeting, and it will help build a strong working relationship.
19. Announce menu choices before meeting.
Announcing your menu choice before the meeting will give your colleagues an opportunity to do the same. This way, you can avoid any awkwardness or confusion when ordering your food.
20. Suggest an activity to do together afterward.
21. Make a list of talking points before the meeting.
22. Ask your colleague about their personal life.
23. Dress professionally.
24. Exchange business cards.
25. Set up a meeting time for the future.
If you follow these tips, you’ll be sure to have a successful business lunch meeting. Just remember to be respectful of your colleague’s time, and keep the conversation light and friendly. And if all else fails, just remember to smile and be yourself!