Regular office meetings are passé. A power lunch is more constructive, not to mention immensely gratifying, when it comes to networking and building business relationships. Business may have always been conducted in an office, but today a lunch can lead to far better results than any other meeting. While hosts must ensure that guests have a delightful experience the meal, the latter must be at their best too. Here are a few tips to keep in mind while hosting—and attending—a power lunch:
Set the Table
- Confirm the venue and place as per your guest’s preference. For guests who may be unfamiliar with the location, pay heed to transport.
- Arrive early—it’s not only polite but gives you time to check the table arrangement. Tip: Avoid seats directly facing the sun or mirrors.
- Give your credit card ahead of the meal. For any issues you face during the meeting, speak to the manager once your guests leave.
- Set an agenda for the discussion. Await your guests in the reception and remember, a smile is a deal clincher.
Mind your Etiquette
Brushing up on your table manners is a social confidence booster whether you are host or guest. Your companions may not recall what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel.
- Sit up straight and be clear in your speech.
- Mirror your client to build a personal connection. Follow their steps, from what they order to how they eat. Choose items that don’t leave you munching long after the others have finished.
- Your belongings stay off the table. Particularly your cell phone, which must be silent. In case of an important call, excuse yourself and finish the conversation elsewhere.
- Do not start with a business pitch. Starting with a general conversation will put everyone on the table at ease.
- Let your guest choose and place their order first.
- If you are the guest make sure you don’t order the expensive items on the menu unless your host specifies that it is okay.
- Avoid alcohol and any conduct that may negatively impact your business goals.
- Wait till your client starts eating, take manageable bites, eat slowly and quietly, and do not chew with your mouth open.
- Avoid reaching across someone else’s table to get something.
- If you are a clumsy eater, take off your jacket and wrap it over the back of your chair before you sit down and also roll up your sleeves with one or two rolls.
- In case of a burp, hiccup, or spillage, apologize quietly but to nobody in particular.
- Leave your plate as it is after you have finished.
- If the client insists on paying in full or part of the bill, let them.
- Once you are done, thank your companions for their time.
Follow these guidelines and keep yourself out from making unnecessary blunders. If you have more questions, leave a comment and I will be delighted to answer.