How-to Have a Killer Business Lunch

by Martin

Have you been looking for business lunch ideas?

As you work on business ideas, attempt to start your own business, try to get a new job, or work on moving up in your current company, you’ll find yourself going to many business lunches (or at least trying to).

One of my favorite general personal finance books that I read recently was Generation Earn. The book covers many general topics. One of the side notes that I truly enjoyed was the piece on mastering the business lunch. I took this note in the book, the original book it came from, and spoke with a few friends to come up with a sure-fire way to come up with how you can have an amazing business lunch.

Before the meeting:

Ask the person respectfully. Email or call up the person ahead of time to see if they would be free for a lunch. Make sure that you specify the purpose of the lunch and the approximate amount of time it will take. A busy person might not go in fear of being held up for hours in a rambling conversation.

Leave your credit card with the restaurant. This will avoid any awkward movements towards the bill when it comes. It’s important that you pay for the meal if you’re the one that asked. The bright side is that a typical lunch won’t cost any more than $20. This can be the best $20 investment in your life.

Wait until the other person arrives to be seated. This is just common courtesy.You don’t want to start off on a bad note.

During the lunch:

Don’t talk any real business until the food is ordered. You don’t want to be engaged in a conversation only to have the server come and interrupt.

Don’t order the most expensive or the cheapest item on the menu. Not sure why this is the case but it’s what I’ve been told.

Keep time constraints in mind. This isn’t the last lunch in the world. Use your time wisely but don’t take up too much time.

Avoid messy foods. It’s critical that you try to watch your manners. I’ve made a fool of myself many times at lunch. Thankfully it was while eating chicken wings with friends or a girlfriend that you knew what to expect. You don’t want to embarrass yourself in front of someone you respect (in the business world).

Oh and finally…

SHUT UP AND LISTEN. Enjoy your business lunch.

After the business lunch:

Follow up. In Never Eat Alone, the message is that you need to follow-up or die. This stresses how important follow-up is. You can follow-up by simply thanking the person once again for taking the time to meet with you. You can also email the person to remind them what you spoke about.

You can save money by finding affordable hobbies. Keep the business lunches flowing.

A little funny story. A friend of mine spoke to his professor about starting some assistant work this January. The conversation happened in late-October. There was no follow-up to this discussion. December rolls around and this friend assumes that he still has the job. Right? He goes to ask the professor what his start date. The professor looks dumbfounded and tells him that he’s sorry but he completely forgot about the conversation. Why? Because this guy never followed up!

It doesn’t take much to think of business lunch ideas. Keep it simple and stay sharp.

I hope you enjoyed this piece!

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Edward - If You Can Read, You Can Cook

I think the reason for not ordering the most expensive item on the menu is because you want to look like you value money and don’t just throw it away on something flashy or exciting. If you are trying to get someone to hire you (for a job or a freelance contract), they are not going to want someone who is irresponsible with money.
As far as ordering the cheapest item on the menu, it just makes you look cheap.

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