The company boardroom isn’t always the best venue to hold a meeting. Whether it’s between clients, prospects, co-workers, or colleagues, the business lunch can be a comfortable, but professional environment to discuss important business matters.
Here are a few quick tips to remember when hosting your next business lunch.
Clearly define the purpose of the meeting
Don’t blindside your guests with business. Make sure they understand you intend to talk shop and let them know ahead of time what topics you will be discussing.
General rule of thumb – as the host, you should be the first to arrive and the last to leave. You want to greet your guests at the door with a handshake and a smile. Let them know you truly appreciate their time. And, be sure to formally introduce your guests to each other if they aren’t already acquainted.
Put your guests at ease
Don’t just jump into business the minute you sit down at the table. Keep the conversation casual and non-business related at least until after the lunch order has been taken. Once you feel your guests are relaxed and comfortable, then you can begin to steer the conversation toward more pressing topics.
Take care of the check discretely
As the host, it’s generally accepted that you will be responsible for picking up the tab. When the check is dropped, take care of it quickly and quietly. You may even consider slipping your credit card to your server ahead of time so the check never even hits the table.
Individually thank each guest for attending
No matter what the purpose of your business lunch may be, when it’s time to leave don’t forget to thank each one of your guests individually for taking time out of their busy day to meet. It shows once again that you appreciate them and that you are serious about your business relationship.
Thank your wait staff
Last, but not least, show your appreciation for your wait staff – especially if you plan on hosting future lunches in the same restaurant. Servers will remember you as a customer who treated them well and they will go out of their way to ensure you have an even more pleasant experience next time.