Impress Them, 10 Tips For A Successful Business Lunch

2012062907530150A business lunch no longer refers only to a meeting during a meal at lunchtime. Business meetings now may be conducted at lunch, but they may also be conducted at breakfast, or over coffee, or even at dinner.

When you attend one of these meetings the most important aspect is not the food. It is the exchange of ideas, the setting of goals or maybe it is an interview for a job or a promotion.

  1. You will need to engage in some small talk, but you do not want to engage in personal discussions or revelations. The only exception is if some personal information is relevant to the reason for the meeting. Remember this is a business meeting, not a social event.
  2. Before the meeting prepare yourself so you can intelligently respond to any questions and engage in a conversation on the relevant business topics.
  3. It is a good idea to check out the menu ahead of time and decide on several items from which to choose. You don’t want to attempt to eat something that can get messy. Spaghetti or a big fat sandwich can make a mess. You want to avoid having any food accidents. This is not the time to try something new and foreign to your palate. You could have an unpleasant reaction to the unfamiliar food.
  4. If you have allergies or are on a special diet don’t make a big deal about it. Simply choose something you can eat. If you need to ask for a change in food preparation do so quietly.
  5. You do not want to order the most expensive item on the menu either. Moderation is a better choice.

2A32082D00000578-3238280-image-a-2_14425017398816. Drinking is not a good idea. Follow the lead of your host. If he orders a drink and you want one be sure ONE is all you do drink. You need to have a clear head for your meeting. It is prudent not to indulge in any alcoholic beverages at a business meeting.

7. Your table manners are very important, If you make a gross mistake in exhibiting proper manners it can negatively influence your chances of getting that job or promotion or getting that new customer account. No talking with food in your mouth. No shoveling food into your mouth while you hunch over the table. No elbows on the table. Be sure you know which fork is the proper one to use.

If you are concerned about your manners when eating out ask a trusted friend or colleague to join you for a meal and have him evaluate your performance.

  1. You don’t want to be super hungry when you go to your meeting. Being very hungry may cause you to forget about your manners. Instead be sure you have eaten something beforehand to take the edge off your appetite.
  2. Do not monopolize the conversation. Learn to be a good listener.
  3. Usually the person who initiates the business luncheon is the one who picks up the check. If you initiated the meeting, as soon as the check arrives, put down your credit care. If someone else is paying the check be sure to thank them for the lunch.