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5 Moves to Make When Hosting a Business Lunch

Interior Lounge

Business lunch meetings offer a way for you to expand the reach of your business. It gives you a chance to get to know your business partners more, and a means to flaunt your expertise and professionalism to potential clients and investors.

This should be more than enough reason for you to make thorough preparations when hosting a business lunch. Doing some early planning would help you avoid rushing into a meeting without knowing anything about the restaurant or the person you’re going to meet.

To help you out, we at BOA gathered some information about the crucial moves you must make in order to become a great business lunch host:

1. Make a Proper Invitation

A proper invitation is an important part of hosting a business lunch. However, the first thing you must do is to determine whether scheduling one is even necessary.

You see, there are people who are not in it for the free meal. Some of them – mostly folks with prominent positions – may even resent getting an invitation because they already have plenty of engagements to deal with.

Others feel wary of people who seem like they’re attempting to “buy” their favor. This is why you must always let them know that you’re open to meeting them at their office instead. Of course, when an invitation is indeed needed, you have to do it properly. A good invitation should be worded carefully. This would help you avoid offending the receiver or putting him in a difficult position.

Below are some of the things your invitation must accomplish:

Clearly state the reason for the meeting

Don’t attempt to invite someone for a business lunch in the guise of a social get-together. Remember that many people won’t take it too kindly if you make it seem like the lunch is to show gratitude or to get to know them, only to throw in a business pitch once the food arrives.

Establish your role as the host

The invitation also serves as a way to establish yourself as the host of the lunch meeting. This can remove the awkward wrangling of the restaurant bill. It all boils down to how you word your invite.

Make it clear that lunch is on you or your company, whichever the case may be. You can say, “Be my guest for lunch” or “I’ll take you to lunch.” You can also replace the first person preposition with your company name to make it clear that it is a business meeting.

Don’t use vague statements like, “Let’s have lunch.” This particular statement still leaves room for the other person to think that it’s a Dutch treat (a gathering where all parties eating pay for their share of the expenses).

Leave room for the invitee to decline

Your invitation should also make it easy for the person you’re inviting to lunch to decline graciously. It would be best not to make him too uncomfortable to the point that he’ll lie about a fully booked lunch schedule in the coming months.

2. Select a Venue Ahead of Time

Since you’re the host, it is also your prerogative to pick out the venue for your lunch meeting. Remember to factor in convenience and accessibility for both you and your guest.

Also, make sure that there’s a degree of privacy in the venue you choose to allow conversations to go smoothly. This means you should avoid places that are packed with diners at the time and day of your meeting.

It would also be in your best interest to pick a place you have visited before or have enough knowledge about. If you’re not sure what restaurant to choose, have your business lunch with us. BOA Steakhouse offers not only the best steak in Abu Dhabi but also exemplary service for an overall wonderful dining experience.

Just remember to ask your guest for any food preferences or dietary restrictions. To avoid awkward situations that may result from bringing a strict vegetarian to a steakhouse, you can recommend our vegetarian options to your guest.

3. Arrive Early

Punctuality is vital in showing your professionalism, so make sure that you don’t arrive late. You are the host, after all.

In fact, it is strongly recommended that you arrive earlier than the scheduled time of the meeting. Ten minutes prior to the expected arrival of your guest should give you an opportunity to do some last-minute preparations.

This may include informing the waiter of the purpose of your lunch so that they can keep the interruptions to a minimum. You can also let him know that you’re paying the bill and that the check should be handed over to you immediately after the meals in case your guest is in a hurry.

That is, unless you…

4. Pay for Your Meals Before the Meeting

When arriving early, you can also choose to pay for the meal before you even start eating. To do so, you can give your credit card to the waiter and have him run it through for pre-approval. This way, the bill will never arrive at the table, which means there will be no confusion over who’s paying.

5. Bring Up Business Talk at the Right Time

There’s always a perfect time for everything, and bringing up business talk is no exception.

Never start your business pitch as soon as you and your guest take your seats.

Once you’re seated, it would be better to have a bit of casual conversation first. This will let you build rapport and learn about your guest. This inadvertently improves the probability of you getting positive feedback.

However, you must remember to avoid making it too personal to the point that your guest becomes uncomfortable.

You shouldn’t start talking business until after all orders have been placed. Consider timing your segue to your business proposal after the soup or salad and before the entrée arrives. When the time is right, remember to tailor your pitch to his taste.

Be A Gracious Host

Being a gracious business lunch host while achieving your goals takes a lot of preparation. Follow the tips we have listed and consider having your business meetings at our steakhouse. We at BOA are ready to offer valuable help when you need it for a successful business lunch.