Whether you are hosting an important client, networking with colleagues, or discussing company strategies with your own employees, selecting the appropriate restaurant is imperative when you are hosting a business lunch. Having a meal together in the right restaurant provides a congenial ambiance that you can’t find in a staid, formal office. The casual and intimate atmosphere allows your guests to relax, open up, and enjoy themselves, providing fond memories later when it’s time to make significant decisions or work with you on matters of business importance. Here are some tips on finding the right business lunch places so you can successfully achieve your objectives.

Choose a Place You Know

It is of crucial importance that the restaurant you choose is in the right location, has an acceptable noise level, and provides satisfactory service. The best way to approve these details is to select a place that you’ve already been to at least a few times before. This also gives you the advantage of familiarity. You are aware that the restaurant is situated in a location that makes it convenient for your guest, you know the layout of the dining area so that you can request an appropriate table, and you have a rapport with the staff that helps them provide the proper conviviality. However, if circumstances force you to select from among unfamiliar restaurants, be sure to scout them out, first online and then in person. Peruse the website of the restaurant as well as ratings sites where customers have posted comments. Pass by the restaurant, step inside, and check out the clientele, the noise level, and the atmosphere.

Have the Restaurant Fit the Occasion

 The best business lunch places may vary depending upon who you are inviting to dine with you. For instance, if you are having lunch with an important client to close a deal or negotiate the terms of an agreement, the best setting is quiet and intimate, with the tables set widely enough apart so that you have no inhibitions about being honest with each other. You also want a place with subtle yet superlative service and a meal that’s drawn out enough to allow you to successfully go over all the ramifications of your negotiations and reach a consensus. On the other hand, if you are networking with colleagues, you can choose a moderately-priced restaurant with a more casual atmosphere that can put you at ease and enable a conversational tone. If you’re team building with employees, select a place with a convivial ambiance and even some activities you can enjoy together.

Pay Attention to Details

If you are meeting a client for the first time and are unaware of their personal tastes, steer clear of ethnic or exotic business lunch places, and instead opt for steak houses or bistros with standard menus. In case your guest doesn’t eat meat, check that the menu has options for vegetarians. Always pay attention to a restaurant’s hygiene levels, as almost any guests would be turned off by filthy floors, stained tablecloths, and unpleasant odors. Finally, if at all possible, make reservations in advance to avoid the inconvenience of having to wait for a table.