You are poised to close an important business deal when, suddenly, raucous laughter erupts, a crash is heard, and a baby starts squealing.
These could be situations that you find yourself in when you choose the wrong restaurant for a business meeting. Avoid sticky situations like this by reading on and finding out fail-proof ways to choose the best setting for your business meal.
Business meetings can happen outside the boardroom. In this scenario, these meetings are usually held at restaurants where good food and good conversations can often lead to rewarding consequences. In fact, it’s a useful strategy used by entrepreneurs and business people to subtly (or not so subtly) massage the message they want to convey and reap productive results.
Fine dining restaurants in Abu Dhabi (or anywhere in the world, really) are a popular choice for these business get-togethers. Aside from first-class fare and excellent service, these establishments also offer a private event experience. Some even offer special deals or multi-course meals for business lunch meetings. More casual get-togethers such as a team dinner or after-work drinks can be held at a cozy steakhouse, a hotel bar, or a poolside lounge.
The key to a successful business meeting in these dining establishments is proper preparation. When it’s your job to choose a venue for such an important gathering, you have to consider some key factorsthat will make or break the deal. Whether you opt forauthentic Japanese cuisineor mouthwatering surf and turf selections, here are some valuable tips for choosing a restaurant that truly rocks:
First on your plate is to discern the reason for your meeting. What is the purpose behind the appointment? What are your objectives?
You need to know what your goals are so you can choose the appropriate venue. If it’s a business lunch where you need to close a deal, then you may need to go somewhere private. If it’s a team-building session, then you may need some space to move around.
Networking sessions, one-on-one talks, and other business-related meals are best held in venues that fit the specific purpose of the meeting. Generally, though, it is best to hold business meetings in a quiet placelike a secluded corner or a private room. This way, you can focus on what you’re all saying and hopefully come up with a mutually beneficial business relationship.
You also need to consider the locationof the dining establishment where you are meeting. If you are inviting guests from outside the company, then it is ideal to choose a restaurant that is closer to their place.For convenience on both your ends, meeting halfway is also a good idea.
Try to avoid choosing a restaurant that is situated in a location where you are sure to encounter heavy trafficon your way there. Also, steer clear from choosing one that caters to huge crowds. If it is unavoidable, then make sure that you make a reservation ahead of time. This way, you can already secure a table for your party and avoid queuing up.
Setting an ambience that is conducive to businesstalks is key when choosing a restaurant. Choose one that will put your guests at ease so they can eat and converse at their own leisure.
You also need to take note of the time you are meeting. If you are meeting during peak meal hours, pencil in a restaurant booking in advance. This shows your business guests that you are mindful of their comforts. It also clues them into how particular you are when doing business. If possible, schedule your business lunch or meeting at least 30 minutes ahead of the peak hours. This gives you enough time to settle in and get some peace and quiet before other diners come in.
Also, mind your manners. Make sure to arrive on time if you’re the invited guest. If you are the host, it is best to come at least five minutes earlyso you can make arrangements with the maître d’ regarding the bill. Give instructions for when it’s time to settle the bill, to give it directly to you; alternatively, you can leave them your credit card before the meal so the bill never reaches the table. If you were the one who requested the meeting, then it is only proper that you foot the bill.
Another crucial tip is to do some research. If you can, get some insider information on what your business partner prefers in terms of food. For example, if you’re inviting the CEO of a company that you are planning to do business with, then you can make a call to his or her secretary. You can inquire about any dietary restrictions, food allergies, or specific preferenceswhen you do so.
Be careful, however, not to overstep boundaries. Be polite and respectfulwhen asking for this information. If you are unable to do so, then it is best to err on the side of caution and wait until you can ask them what they prefer before you place your order.
Business can be made much more pleasant when there is delectable fare tickling your taste buds. If you want to sate both the appetite for successful ventures as well as the sophisticated palates of your guests, choose a restaurant wisely. Heed the pieces of advice mentioned above and you can look forward to an enjoyable and, ideally, profitable meal
Chiara Bisignani is the F&B Marketing Executive at Saadiyat Beach Club. She oversees website maintenance, PR requests, marketing initiatives and all general guests’ enquiries for the company’s destinations of KOI Restaurant & Lounge, Boa Steakhouse and Caramel Restaurant and Lounge in Abu Dhabi.