Not everyone needs tips no how to engage and interact on a lunch date, but if you’re like millions of working Americans, you may need help navigating the professional lunch date. A networking opportunity that can spell success or disaster depending on how it goes, here are a few quick tips for acing your next work meeting over soup and salad.
Choose Your Date Wisely
When meeting someone for a working lunch, you want the person you’re dining with to be a connection worth making. If it’s not already someone you know, choose a person who can help navigate you through the workings of your company, or who can teach you something that will help you advance your career. Make it someone you think you’d get along well with too, of course. There’s no sense in taking your office enemy to lunch!
When choosing a place to dine for a networking meal, offer several lunch restaurants as choices to your partner in breaking bread. The best choices are lunch restaurants that are close to your place of employment and which are nice but not too expensive. Your date will appreciate having a choice, and you can still maintain control over your surroundings.
Prepare for Success
Part of being a great lunch date for your guest is giving them someone engaging to talk to, as well as guiding them through the dining experience. Research the Abington area lunch restaurant you intend to visit for tips on drinks and appetizers, or to find out when specific specials are available. Likewise, spend ten to fifteen minutes that morning or afternoon reading both local and national news, so you have something to talk about if your conversation isn’t instantaneous.
Also consider preparing a short list of questions to ask should silence settle over your table for too long. Keeping conversation flowing will make for an enjoyable meal, as well as get you to the point of what you’d like to mention without keeping your lunch mate out for too long. The point of meeting over lunch is casual but productive dialogue and brevity, so keep it short, sweet and to the point. Your date – and your future workplace connections – will thank you!