February 26, 2019
Category: DT Advantage Spring 2019
Lunch and Learn
Seven rules to a successful business lunch that everyone should know - by Breanna Mroczek
Get a reservation, please
Sorry but you’re not Anthony Bourdain. As soon as you confirm lunch, even if it’s last minute, take the time to reserve a table. This guarantees that you won’t be wasting time waiting and avoids the possibility of picking a different restaurant literally in the eleventh hour.
Talk the talk
It may be lunch, but it’s still business. Make it clear whether it’s a working lunch or a casual gettogether. If it is the former, send out an agenda or brief email in advance so that your conversation stays on point and you can accomplish the business you set out to do, advises Nella Mirante, concierge at Fairmont Hotel MacDonald.
Don’t be tardy to the party
Be punctual. Don’t assume that the person you’re meeting has unlimited time to sit with you at lunch. Being even five or ten minutes late wastes valuable face-to-face time.
Ask and you shall receive
Guests should inform their host if they need to be seated in a private area, recommends Serge Cornet, manager of Sabor restaurant. Also inform the server how much time you have. “Lots of business lunches are on a time crunch and if the server is aware of your needs, he or she can accommodate you accordingly,” says Cornet. “Communication is key. There are no stupid questions or requests. The more information we have, the more we can help you have a better experience.”
Accommodate dietary needs
Let the restaurant know if there are any dietary restrictions, such as gluten-free and vegetarian. “Hosts need to be sensitive to guests that have food diversions or allergies,” says Mirante.
Arrange for a set menu
“Set menus facilitate efficiency, help keep things on-time, on-budget, and allow you to spend more time talking about business than on ordering,” Cornet says. Most restaurants can customize their menu to even accommodate dietary restrictions.
Time to pay up
Avoid that awkward moment when the bills arrives. The general rule of thumb is that the person who called the meeting should take care of the bill. You can also arrange for prepayment so that no bill is brought to the table, says Mirante. If your dining guests need to drive to the restaurant, consider covering their parking fees. Just remember to let them know ahead of time.