How to Seal that Deal with a Fine Dining Business Lunch

Posted by Chris Vermaak in Uncategorized

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In all our years as providers of the best fine dining Johannesburg has to offer, we’ve definitely seen our share of special occasions, from visits by movie stars and other celebrities, to engagement proposals and anniversaries. There is one particular type of special occasion that is extremely common with fine dining in Johannesburg: the all-important business meeting.

As Africa’s economic powerhouse, Jozi, has more than its share of executives, businessmen and entrepreneurs, and when they need somewhere to entertain a guest, hold a meeting or undertake a negotiation, Pigalle has always been known as the place where deals get done!

Whether it’s fine dining or something a little more casual, sharing food is a fundamental human bonding experience in every culture. How you eat and act during a meal with business peers can make or break your reputation, so it’s time to dust off your grandmother’s old lessons in table manners and put them to good use. Here are a few tips on making a good impression while mixing business with delicious pleasure.

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Image Credit: food-blog.co.za

Arrive Early

If you’re hosting a business dinner, there’s nothing worse than arriving after your guest has already been seated. You should be ready and at your table when all other guests arrive. This will automatically make you appear forward thinking and in-control, and will set the pace for the rest of the evening (and trust us, you want to appear to be in control when the tough business negotiations start).

Put the Phone Away
While constantly being on your phone during a meal is certainly a sign that you are very busy and important, you will also look rude. If you are dealing with a particular client or partner, they should be your sole focus. This demonstrates that you take the issue at hand seriously. A good approach is to simply turn the phone off completely at the beginning of the meal and not turn it back on until it’s over. Keep a small notepad and pen if you need to jot down notes or phone numbers.

Order a meal that is easy to eat
We’re famous for our gigantic prawns, langoustines and lobsters, so we wouldn’t blame you for ordering shellfish. However, if business is the order of the day, the last thing you want is to be constantly looking down into your plate and fiddling with shells and special apparatus. Order something that you can eat easily, such as a fish fillet, steak or salad.

All about chewing
You’ve been chewing food your whole life, so how can you possibly get it wrong? It turns out that bad habits are easy to form and difficult to lose. People generally take mouthfuls that are far larger than they need to be, and this can put you in an awkward situation if you’re asked a question while you’re chewing. Pausing to swallow is acceptable, opening your mouth for ANY reason while there is food in it, is not. To avoid this situation, take small bites and actively try to slow down the rate at which you eat. This way you’ll be ready at a moment’s notice if you are asked to contribute to the conversation, and you’ll come off as sophisticated rather than ravenous.

Main Image Credit: ameliasbalboaisland.com