Posted in Business Etiquette, Manners, Meetings, Uncategorized

6 Tips To Consider When Planning A Business Luncheon

business-lunchI want to share with you what I’ve learned from being a Meeting Service Concierge in the past when it comes to Business Luncheon Meetings. I am no Emily Post, but I know a thing or two about what makes an outstanding luncheon meeting.

Business luncheons are the perfect way to conduct less formal client meetings. Sharing a meal gives you a chance to get to know one another on a more personal level. Though client lunches may be a bit-less informal meeting, you’re still discussing business. . . Right? As such, you want to make sure you bring your best “game plan”.

A poorly-planned business lunch that ignores the rules of etiquette will leave a lasting impression – and not a good one. Think about some of the business luncheons you have attended. Was there an awkward moment when the bill came? Have you ever sat waiting for the host of the meeting? Did the host drink a bit too much? Make sure you’re ready to ace your next business luncheon and make a positive impression with these planning tips:

1. Consider the Setting

Where you decide to host your business lunch isn’t always up to you. It depends on your clients, their availability, and everyone’s time commitments. If you’re planning a lunch at a restaurant, select a few options in an area convenient to everyone. Choose places you know well, and ask your guests their preferred venue.

Similar rules apply when planning an in-office lunch. If you’re bringing lunch into your office, though, you’ll take the lead in planning. Reserve a private space in your office (preferably a conference room) and choose a reliable caterer to serve an array of foods. Don’t be afraid to lean on the caterer for advice. They’re the food experts, after all. Your office manager or coordinator can lead you in the right direction if you don’t know where to start. Ask your guests if they have any food preferences, dietary restrictions and food allergies in advance. This will prevent the embarrassment of someone sitting out while the rest of you are eating.

2. Be Respectful of Time

No matter the meeting place, you want to respect your guests’ time. Arrive early and check the small details, especially if you’re having an in-office lunch catered. Do you have plates and utensils? Is there a comfortable place to sit and eat? Business lunches are a casual way to conduct business, but don’t let the informality distract from your purpose of the meeting. Prepare for your meeting in advance by drafting an itinerary of the meeting to keep yourself focused. It’s your job to politely keep the conversation on-topic throughout the meal. As a rule of thumb, don’t launch into business conversation until after drinks have been served and meals ordered. Instead, prepare some topics in advance to engage your client in small talk.

3. Order Smart

If you’re hosting your client at a restaurant, there are a few rules of etiquette to keep in mind. Let your guest order a drink first, so they don’t feel inhibited by your choice of non-alcoholic drink. If you’re meeting during business hours, you might want to  play it safe and steer clear of alcohol. But this doesn’t mean your guests should, too. You want them to feel comfortable.

When ordering your meal, follow your guests’ lead. If your guest orders something light, you’ll want to follow suit. Messy foods that are difficult to eat can distract from the business topic at hand, like someone licking their fingers from eating buffalo wings is certainly a distraction.

4. Talk Less Listen More

As the host, you want to do more listening than talking, apart from facilitating the meeting itinerary. Keep your phone off and out of sight throughout the meeting, and resist any urge to peek at messages or answering the phone – unless it’s of importance and has to do with the business luncheon.

5. Keep Lunch Etiquette in Mind

If ever there was a time to be on your best manners, a business lunch is one of them. Keep your napkin in your lap, and wait until everyone is served to begin eating. Ask your guests to pass items like salt and pepper, bread and butter to you, rather than reaching across the table. When finished, don’t push your plate away or stack it. Lay your utensils down on your plate so that your server knows to clear your plate.

*Here is a list of 10 etiquette tips for business luncheon 

6. Pick up the Check

As the host, it’s your responsibility to pay for the meal. An easy way to handle the check is to give your server your credit card when you arrive to the restaurant or meeting event space. This way the bill won’t arrive at the table and awkwardly interrupt your discussion. If you’re hosting an in-office lunch, you should order and pay for everything well in advance. This is also the time for you to access your meeting with your itinerary. Have you covered everything you intended? If not, try to find a way to cover remaining items and conclude the meeting with a positive message.

A lot of great deals have been made over a great meal.

Peace & Harmony ~ Cheryl

Blog end post Contact me if you need help with your next business event.
Posted in Business Owner, Clean and Organize, Cooking, Energy Designer, Event Planning, Holiday decorating, Holiday Parties, Home Concierge, office cleaning, office organization, Office Party, Small Business Concierge, southeastern ct, Uncategorized, women business owners

Quick Guide: Planning The Awesome Holiday Office Party

Office-Christmas-Party8 Simple Secrets to planning an Awesome Holiday Office Party

If the thought of planning the holiday office party has you hoping that the Grinch DOES steal Christmas – Just hang on, I can help you out along with taking away all the stress of planning.

 

  1. Get Organized – Recruit a couple of Elves (your teammates) No one should do it all on own! You can create a list of tasks and then delegate to your Elves (teammates)..
  2. Get Ideas – First, you need to get ideas for the party from the employees. There are two ways I have done this, that’s by setting up an online questionnaire, I use Survey Monkey . The setup is easy, but since you are delegating task this is a good one to give to your Tech Department Elves. The other way of collecting ideas is a simple Suggestion Box (they still are the best)!
  3. Choose a Theme – After, you have collected all the ideas, now choose a theme for the party. If you usually are partying around all your daily equipment-desks, computers,xerox machine, it’s kind of hard to get into the Festive Holiday Spirit. Think of unique and different options – Here is a short list of suggestions: Art Galleries, Museums, Wineries, Country Inns, Community Barns are fun, you can create a New England Christmas in Connecticut feeling!
  4. Donation Area – Tis’ The Season For Giving. Employees love to give – set up an area for your employees to bring a non-perishable food and/or Toy. Choose 2 charities, arrange to have items picked up the night of the party by a certain time. Announce that the items need to be in the boxes by 7:30 pm for example. What a great way to spread some Holiday Spirit and Magic!
  5. Hire Music – Hire a live local band that you know does a Unique Christmas Repertoire or hire a DJ that will keep the party in a positive party vibes.
  6. Make it Night-Time – Make the party an evening event, this way the employees can invite a guest, their spouse, or family.
  7. Designated Driver – Set up with Uber night of party, if anyone needs a ride home (paid for or discount) or with your Employees, create a designated driver program, they can earn merchandise or money.
  8. Give Real Gifts – As a meeting service concierge I have cleaned up after many of company Christmas parties – I had observed my first year that employees would leave behind the box or bag with the certificate and card. You know, the one you have to go online and order your gift for a certain value. I have seen employees leave certificates worth $1000 and over. They want the Real Stuff – The gift they can take home and share with their family.The gift that when they look at it makes them feel good that their management took the time to think of them.

Enjoy!

Peace & Harmony ~ Cheryl

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Posted in consultant, Home Stager, Interior Redesigner, Life Coaching, Life Management, Organizational Consultant, Professional Organizer, self employed, Uncategorized, women business owners, Writers

Business Book List for 2017

These books are on my wish list at Amazon – I hoping they will make it to my Christmas list! Damn, that means I have to be good …..

What are your favorite business books? Are you reading one right now?