Business Lunch 101: How to Pick the Perfect Restaurant


If there is one thing more stress-inducing than a business lunch with a prospective client, it is making a bad choice when selecting the restaurant. A good meal, ambience and standard of service could set the tone for a positive working relationship. At the same time, it also reflects well on your organization and yourself. This week, we share with you some pointers from on how to pick the venue for a business lunch or dinner.

Dietary Restrictions

The first and most important thing is to know your guest’s dietary habits, preferences, and recent dining history. If you are taking a vegetarian out to lunch, choose something with a suitable range of options for that lifestyle. Similarly, if your guests consume halal or kosher diets, it would be helpful to find out if the restaurant you selected provides a suitable menu. Furthermore, find out if your guests have food allergies or intolerance and pick a restaurant with ample choices that are safe for their consumption.

Tastes & Preferences

In addition to dietary restrictions, your guest may have some individual tastes that you should account for in choosing a restaurant. Some people do not like spicy food, others prefer to avoid fish at all costs, and so on. Since it is likely that you may not know what your guests like, do propose two or three options and invite them to make a decision. Otherwise, you can play safe by again, picking a restaurant with a wide enough selection of dishes to cater to different palates.

Branch Out

If you are eating out with someone who has been on the road for quite some time, or with someone who has dined with others in your company in the past week, it’s a good idea to try to find out what they have eaten recently. For example, if your guest has gone out with your coworkers to Chinese restaurants three times in the last week, it might be a good idea to propose a different cuisine for a change. This demonstrates your sensitivity in interpersonal relations and strategic thinking.

Avoid the Big-Name Chains, Be Unique

Chain restaurants are sometimes associated with substandard, unimpressive food options. Chances are, your guests might have tried them on their previous trip to your town. It is always a good idea to choose somewhere unique and well-liked by the local folks. A restaurant that serves fusion or has perfected their own renditions of local cultural cuisine might leave a lasting impression on your guests. At the same time, you can be a good ambassador for your country and expand your lunch conversation to topics about culture.

This post was originally published here on in August 2016. takes no credit for the work of the author.


About Author'

Xin Ni is a final year Sociology student at the National University of Singapore. As an intern at Digne Consult, she manages the Young Professional page and writes for its blog. She enjoys reading up on intercultural communication and baking in her free time.

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