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Susan Friend
Susan Friend is Owner/Operator of Between Friends, a specialty gift boutique for 4 years. After graduating from WSU with a major in Sociology, Susan worked for Senior Services in Wichita with the Meals on Wheels program. Susan and her husband, Jason Stuhlsatz share their home with their "kids", two Collies; Jenny Lee and Cleo. You can contact Susan @ (316) 685-2240 or @ 8336 E 21st St. Siute 600.
Specialty Gifts
2004-07-01 10:05:00
Conducting a business lunch
ANSWER:  This is one of the areas in business that is not always black and white. Business lunches have a lot of grey! As long as you are familiar with the basics you will be able to handle each individual situation accordingly. A business lunch is an informal way to handle a meeting but there is a list of rules that cannot be broken for it to be a success. First of all, a business meal is an opportunity to showcase your culinary know-how or expose your bad taste in restaurants. Keep this rule in mind, the number one No-No is to degrade or disrespect a restaurant employee. There are many more to follow but that is the biggest!Next, choosing the wrong restaurant. Know your client even if you are heading into unfamiliar territory. How embarrassing would it be to invite a client to a seafood restaurant only to find out they are severely allergic to shellfish or asking a vegetarian to a steak house! This could require spending more time apologizing and less time closing the deal.Again, the most important factor in a business lunch is your ability to know the right restaurant. You may be most comfortable at the neighborhood deli. But is this the proper place to discuss confidential information? By choosing a restaurant with several booths where conversations can neither be seen nor heard is one way to ensure both parties involved will be most comfortable.Don't take it upon yourself to invite others to your lunch meeting. For example, it is improper to bring your intern or your spouse to a business lunch. If you are the one inviting the client, be sure and send an e-mail confirming your reservations, time, day and the number in your party. If this is done, it is less likely the guest will take it upon himself or herself to include others.Obviously you feel comfortable including a restaurant in your meeting plans but be careful to hold off on the business conversation until after the menus have been handed to the guests and the wait staff is at bay. The easiest way to lose control of the conversation is continuously being interrupted by the waiter and this in return, can lead to the biggest No-No of business lunch 101…showing disrespect to a restaurant employee!One last bit of advice, don't forget about the client once the meeting is over. A follow up thank you card is a great way to reinforce that you appreciate the time and conversation the client allowed you, (not to mention the opportunity to send another business card).
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