*Please note examples provided are Vancouver-based
After being involved in a few forays of mid-day culinary delight under the guise of the ‘work-related lunch’, there are a few key elements that we think young professionals might draw some insight from as far as the art of hosting a successful business lunch is concerned.
The pre-meet (or, as we call it, the 5 Ws)
Who should be there?
Where are you meeting?
When is this taking place?
What is the purpose? Perhaps it’s a one-on-one meeting, or maybe there is space required for additional people to ‘drop by casually’ to join the dining and discussion? You’ve got to take all of this into consideration when planning. The “where” is extremely important; choose somewhere you’ve been or are familiar with via a trusted recommendation. Look for something moderately priced – so as not to have your company feel over/under-whelmed. Opt for a locale with tasteful music played at suitable volume in order to ensure that you’ll be able to host a proper conversation. Also be sure it’s still the sort of location where in your guests are comfortable. Regardless of chosen attire, it is the west coast, after all.
Most importantly, though, be sure to select a restaurant that truly understands how to host a business lunch and the power of first impressions, right down to the last little detail.
Select a restaurant that you can anticipate a personalized greeting upon arrival and high level of personalized service from. Your guests will ultimately be impressed if the servers know your first or last name upon arrival, can make initial suggestions from the menu, or perhaps are so well-versed in the norms of a business lunch that they can anticipate when another round of cocktails are needed or privacy required just by eye contact.
Once such Notable example in Vancouver has to be either the iconic Hy’s Steakhouse and Cocktail Bar or Gotham, which has been hosting the business community for over a decade and is one of our top-picks (not just because of their cheese bread). Both are steeped in history (Hy’s has been around since 1955), and collectively serve as intimate, up-scale spots for lingering lunches ‘a deux’ or for larger groups looking to woo-in a big client or project. Regardless of choice, don’t be surprised if you bump into a newly appointed consulate representative, Member of Parliament, Mayor Gregor himself, and then some…
Suggest a couple venues for your guest to choose from and be clear with your invitation that he/she/they will be your guest. Also, be clear with the purpose. When discussing your rendezvous, mention what you would like to chat about or review in advance so there is no grey area for miscommunication on expectations.
If the business luncheon is new for you, here are a few more of our preferred, Vancouver-based locations that seriously deliver:
Joe Fortes (a constant hub of business action, and we especially love their gorgeous patio come late spring/summer); Black and Blue (note: this can become Black and blur if you’re not careful and order up one too many of their cocktails); and both the Terminal City and Vancouver Club (though you do need a membership in order to access, it is well worth it).