Business lunches are a great opportunity to meet with employees, clients, and potential business partners to discuss important projects, ongoing work, or comparable topics in a more informal environment. Whether you’re trying to bring new clients on board, or get to know your colleagues better, here are some tips for a successful business lunch.
Dress the Part
When conducting a business lunch, you need to look the part. As the one in charge, if you turn up in casual clothes, this won’t create the best first impression, especially with potential clients. While you may not be keen on wearing a smart suit or dress in a casual restaurant, you should never turn up in a pair of trainers and ripped jeans. If you’re not sure what to wear, it’s wise to call the restaurant to check what their dress code is.
Pick a Suitable Location
If you are hosting a corporate lunch, it’s vital you pick a location that’s accessible for your clients or colleagues. For example, if you work in central London, establishments like Cafe Luca are suitable for working lunches, and it is within touching distance of Liverpool Street station. Wherever you decide on hosting your business lunch, it’s best to pick a location that’s near a tube station, meaning clients and employees can easily commute back and forth.
There is nothing worse than arriving late to the business lunch to find clients and colleagues stood outside waiting. As the host, it’s your responsibility to be there 5-10 minutes beforehand, so you can get prepared for what lies ahead. The last thing you want is to be running up to greet your guests out of breath. If you are running late, you must call ahead and let your guests know.
Master Small Talk
Networking is a huge part of business, as it helps to solidify relationships and attract clients. This means when you sit down for a business lunch, you need to master the art of small talk to make everyone feel comfortable and at ease. While the purpose of the lunch will be to discuss serious topics, it also serves as a chance to get to know your clients and employees. Once you learn their likes, dislikes, and hobbies, this can strengthen bonds and create long-lasting working relationships. Remember, your business reputation is on the line, so you must be confident in what you say and know how to carry a conversation.
Mind Your Body Language
In addition to networking with clients and employees, you need to mind your body language throughout your business lunch. Your posture will show whether you’re engaged in the conversation or not, so make sure you sit up straight and have eye contact with the guest you’re conversing with. Should you slouch or let your eyes wander, this may signal to guests that you’re not fully focused on what is being said.
Whatever the reason for your business lunch, referring to the tips above and putting them into practice will help employees and clients feel at ease from start to finish.