A business lunch with a client or partner can be a great way to strengthen relationships with key stakeholders. They provide a more informal and relaxed setting than an office that can allow for more candid and open conversations, while also providing you with the chance to impress and enjoy one another’s company. So, what are a few tips for planning a business lunch?
Choose a Suitable Setting
Deciding on the venue is key. You do not want somewhere that is too formal and could make people feel uncomfortable, but also you don’t exactly want to be sat in a fast-food place. Additionally, you don’t want to pick somewhere that is hard to reach. If you are unfamiliar with restaurants in the area, such as London, you should spend some time researching online and asking around to find somewhere that is appropriate.
Book an Appropriate Time
You also need to consider the time and avoid a booking that is too early or late. You should always confer with the person that you are having lunch with to agree on a suitable time frame for the lunch. Remember that if you are hosting international clients or partners, there may be cultural differences that you need to be aware of with regards to meal times.
Consider Cultural & Dietary Requirements
You should also always ask about any dietary requirements and consider cultural differences when choosing a lunch provider. If they are vegan, for example, then taking them to a steak house will not get you off to a good start! Accommodating personal and dietary needs will help to foster a relationship of trust and acceptance.
When you invite someone for a business lunch, you should always arrive early so you are there to welcome them and to prepare the setting before they arrive. It may appear more professional if you arrange payment for lunch before your guests arrive, so you can focus on the meeting. If you are travelling down to the capital, you could stay in a serviced apartment in London to ensure that you are timely and prepared.
Plan What to Discuss
You do not want to have any awkward silences during the lunch or forget to bring up any important topics. This is why you should have a plan of what to discuss but also be happy to let the conversation flow – you should both enjoy the lunch but make sure that key objectives are worked towards.
Don’t Forget Lunch Etiquette
Of course, there is basic lunch etiquette to remember. This will include things like not using your phone while at the table, not starting until everyone’s food has arrived and by showing respect to service staff. Additionally, dressing appropriately is important to present yourself in a professional manner.
Hopefully, these tips will come in handy and help you to plan a productive and enjoyable business lunch. Taking a client or partner out for lunch can be a great way to create a stronger bond and impress, but you also need to make sure that it is well planned and thought out to ensure that it is a success.