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Montreal Exclusive: Business Lunch To Impress

On the business battlefield, every move matters. From something as insignificant as the choice of a restaurant, for a business lunch it can be the key to your successful negotiation of the deal. As we know, there is always an emotional part in every business deal and even if your business is good, you might not sign that deal if you don’t pay attention to the details that matter and will tell a lot more about the business persons you are dealing with.

Never take that chance, when you don’t have to. Because we’re giving genuine tips on WHERE, WHAT, and HOW to prepare a business lunch to impress.

Regarding HOW TO MASTER A BUSINESS LUNCH,  News.com make the below comment: “deals are sealed over them, careers made, relationships built and, if they go badly, broken as well. That’s why mastering the art of the business lunch can be critical to any ambitious executive’s future.”

Whether you are the secretary, the suppliers or the client, small decision such as the restaurant, the time, the table, the seating, the wine etc., all those can make a big difference.

 

THE INVITATION

Always send a personal invite, it’s always preferable; or, if you are being invited, a personal response. Once a time and date is agreed on, send guests a short agenda. Nowadays a lot of people like doing calendar invites on iCal or Google Calendar. It is also the best time to ask about any food allergies or preferences they may have. You wouldn’t want to bring a Vegan to a Steakhouse.

(P.S. Research shows Tuesdays and Wednesdays are optimum business lunch days.)

 

CHOOSE THE RESTAURANT CAREFULLY

Choose a comfortable place, and make sure it meets your business partner’s tastes. Remember that it is also a moment away from the office, so try to make the best out of it. If you choose a restaurant that’s way too relaxed, they might lose focus on the purpose of this lunch and might not take business as serious as your wish. Make sure the place can offer more than a basic lunch but also an experience. Remember, it is all about “feelings” and “emotions” – make it memorable.

If you can, go for a neat location or a trendy new spot that will impress them.

Just for you, our expert concierges has suggested these places for Montreal:

L’express – Plateau

Address: 3927 Rue Saint-Denis, Montreal

Phone: (514) 845-5333

Milos – Outremont

Address: 5357 Av du Parc, Montreal

Phone: (514) 272-3522

XO – Old Montreal

Address: 355 Rue Saint-Jacques, Montreal

Phone: (514) 841-5000

MKT – downtown

Address: 2044 Metcalfe, Montreal

Phone: 514-849-2044

Le Richmond – Griffintown

Address: 377 Rue Richmond, Montreal

Phone: 1514-508-8749

 

PREPARE THE DISCUSSIONS

It is not all about business. You should always have some conversation fodder. Do some homework on the guests invited to the lunch. Google them, look them up on Linkedin and make sure you are prepared to converse on issues with the people at the table.

 

CHOOSE YOUR SEAT WISELY

First, propose a seat to the guests, and analyse his body language to make sure he likes his spot for real, and not just trying to please you. Make sure you always propose the best view for him.

“The host should face the bathrooms rather than vice versa and separate couples who are from the same firm so they don’t just talk to one another.” Always introduce guests to other guests. It sounds obvious, but these simple tips which make a big difference are always easily forgotten.

 

TIME TO ORDER

Communicate with the waiter if you need to share any additional information with him prior the lunch. You want to make sure that it goes as smooth as possible. The service is a big part of the business lunch experience and you don’t want an unprepared waiter to ruin it all.  First, allow the person to your left to order first, while you order last. Try to adapt your order to them. This doesn’t mean that you have to order something you don’t like, but if the guest orders a three course meal, you might want to do the same as you wouldn’t want him to feel uncomfortable while you watch him eat for the rest of the lunch and vice versa.  

If they want wine to accompany the lunch (you want them to have wine!), do not order the house wine. Depending on the importance of the meeting, you might want to discuss with the waiter prior the meeting. That way you can pretend to ask the waiter or the sommelier his suggestions, when you have already agreed on a maximum price.

 

EATING WITH STYLE

If the food doesn’t arrive all at once, it is alright to start your meal if your guest who doesn’t have theirs insist you to – but wait until the majority of people have a plate in front of them. If everyone else is sitting around with no food, don’t tuck into yours.

 

THE CONVERSATION

Let your guest or guests set the pace. If they enter the business details straight away, simply follow. It could means that they are busy and want to cut to the chase. If they seem more relaxed and want to talk about sport or the news, go with it – but don’t forget your agenda.

 

TIME TO PAY THE BILL

Stay in control of that moment and avoid the awkward moment when wallets are reached for and hands hover over the bill. “As the meal closes, the host should excuse themselves and settle the account out of sight,” says Musson, etiquette expert and founder of The Good Manners Company.

 

CLOSING TIME

Make sure you review what you have talked about, agree on the next steps and determine how and when you should be in touch next.