If you want to meet with a business contact at lunch, it is all about preparation. This is not something that you want to wing. With a business lunch, you want to cement your connection further, discuss business, and of course, enjoy some food together.
#1 Send a Formal Invite
When meeting with someone for a business lunch, don't just send off a quick text message with the words "Lunch?". Instead, send off a formal email. Within your email, purpose a date, time and place. Make sure that you also ask the person to RSVP.
With a formal email invitation, you clearly establish that you are looking to set up a business lunch, and you make the expectation of an RSVP clear as well. This will help set the mood for your lunch.
#2 Choosing the Restaurant
When it comes to choosing a restaurant, you want to choose somewhere where you will be able to sit down and enjoy a meal together without feeling rushed. You don't want to go to your nearest fast food restaurant, drive through, or similar type of restaurant. You want to choose a place where you can sit down and enjoy a meal. It doesn't have to be the fanciest place around, but you want it to be a place where you can sit and enjoy some food together. You want the food to be good, and you want the environment to be conducive to talking as well.
#3 Know Your Goals
You need to know what your goals are for your meeting. You do not need a formal outline, but it can be helpful to sit down and think about what you want to get out of the meeting. Write down your main goals for the meeting and write down a few questions that you may want to ask. You don't have to bring this paperwork with you to your lunch meeting but thinking things out ahead of time may make it easier for you to guide the conversation during lunch.
#4 Know the Menu
Make sure that you choose a restaurant that you have been to before or that you are familiar with. You don't want to spend lots of time looking over the menu. Give your guest a few suggestions if they have not been to that particular restaurant. If you want to enjoy appetizers, provide a few suggestions and get their input before ordering appetizers for the table. This will give your guest some more time to look at the menu.
Make sure that you order food that is not visually unappealing, or really messy. You don't want your business associate focusing on the mess you are making when you are eating. For more information, contact your local casual restaurants.