You know you've made it in your career when you finally get to host a business dinner. You also know you really don’t want to blow it. Follow these simple guidelines to hosting a business dinner and you are sure to “wow” your client.
Define the mood.
Your choice of restaurant, and whom you invite, will definitely set the tone for the dinner. A pizza buffet with spouses says something totally different than a penthouse café with other sales personnel.
Go with what you know.
Now is not the time to try the new Indian restaurant across town. Take your client to a place where you know the menu, the quality of the food and the service. The less surprises there are, the better.
It’s all about location, location, location.
No matter how great the neighborhood restaurant across town is, make your client feel comfortable by choosing a place that is easy to get to, in a popular shopping district or an area that’s somewhat well-known.
Skip the jazz.
Theme-style restaurants are great when you are with the kids or on a girls’ night out. But listening to “Happy Birthday” sung to the tune of “The Dukes of Hazzard” theme 20 times isn’t the best atmosphere for a business deal.
Pay attention to price.
Pick a midrange-priced restaurant. The cost of the meal can give clues to either how cheap or how extravagant you are. That is, it can say something about the price you are charging your client. Furthermore, you should also choose two items on the menu of different price points. Allow your guest to order first and then order your choice closest to the price of her dish. That way she won’t feel uncomfortable for ordering the lobster while you order a chef salad, or vice versa.