Business and dinner go together. Unfortunately, business school doesn't always prepare you for softer touch situations. So here are three tips to make your business dinner go smoothly.
Generally, the rules for dinner meetings are just glossed over or barely touched on in college. Business meeting strategy is rarely talked about at all. So let's take a few minutes and discuss business dinner strategy basics.
Tip #1 - Location
The most important thing for a business dinner is location. Make sure it's easy to get to, has plenty of parking, or is Uber-friendly. It should be a restaurant that is easy to find for your guests and something with a medium-priced menu. The menu should be simple to understand and meet the needs of a large percentage of your guests.
Tip #2 - Know the Attendees
The first thing to know is twofold: your audience and your goals. Now you need to make these two meet. If you are meeting for the first time, there is probably no reason to have a private room for the intro. Focus on knowing who your guests are, their interests, and how you can make a dining decision that will make them comfortable in the setting. The number one thing you want is for your guests to be comfortable during the dinner.
"The advantages of the business meal abound, but like any skill, must be learned and practiced.." – Deborah Goldstein
Tip #3 - Set Your Expectations
What are your goals? What will make you reasonably happy with the money your company spent? Your goals should be straightforward and simple. Is this dinner meant to close a deal or is it meant to develop a company-client relationship? Decide what you want to accomplish, then decide what metrics you can use to measure it.
Remember These Simple Steps
The most important part of a business dinner is to make sure the restaurant is easy to get to, is appropriate for the type of business occasion you are having, and makes your guests feel comfortable.