You’ve planned that all-important power lunch. The ask has been made, but that’s just the beginning. Here are some questions and answers to make it a success.
When is it okay to start talking business?
If business has not been discussed by dessert, by all means, bring it up. If you run out of time, follow up by phone or email.
Who gets the check?
Whoever initiates the lunch pays. It’s not a bad idea to give the server your credit card ahead of time so there’s no confusion or awkwardness.
What should I order?
The host always makes suggestions to the guest or guests in all categories so they feel comfortable ordering what they like. Suggest dishes in all price ranges, from a caesar salad to lasagna.
How many courses should I order?
Order as many courses as your guest does so there is balance at the table. No one should be eating alone during the meal.
Where do we go?
When you make the ask, choose a place that’s convenient for your guest, not you.
Where do we sit?
If it’s a restaurant that you frequent, try to reserve the best seat in the house. Avoid tables by mirrors, the kitchen, or the restroom.
Are cell phones allowed on the table?
It may be a power lunch, but only items meant for the meal should be on the table. Thus, no phones, tablets, sunglasses, purses, hats, or other personal belongings.
Is it okay to be late?
Make every effort to be on time, or even better, early. If you are unavoidably detained, make sure to call or text that you’re on your way.
Is it okay to talk to table visitors?
It’s always okay to say hello if someone you know stops by the table but don’t engage in a conversation. However, it’s not necessary to introduce your guest to a visitor.
What if I have to cancel?
Life happens, so make sure you call (not text) or email your guest immediately.