By Rhonda Campbell
Wine and dine prospective business clients at top local restaurants, and you might find yourself closing more business deals, including business deals you’ve worked hard to close for several months. Taking potential customers to fine restaurants may work, in part, because people love to feel special, cared for, valued.
To get the most out of restaurant business meetings, take the time to source for local restaurants that provide top service and unforgettable food choices, including healthy food options. You can also impress potential clients by taking a few additional steps.
Business clients deserve healthy meals at top local restaurants
Sounds simple, but to impress clients you have to want (and I mean really want) to impress them. First class meals, especially healthy cuisine, served at world class local restaurants can help you hit this bulls-eye. It can also help you win staff discussions and retain top employees as people you dine with take in the restaurant’s decor, vibe, service, entertainment and atmosphere.
Restaurants like Michael’s in New York City are known for their atmosphere. Philadelphia’s Morimoto Restaurant, owned by Iron Chef Massaharu Morimoto, is known for its décor and contemporary cuisines. If you’re an entrepreneur who’s headquartered in Chicago, you might want to treat prospective clients to local restaurants like NoMi, Sixteen or Shanghai Terrace. Each of these East Coast restaurants is famous for its view and cuisine.
Out West in Los Angeles, there are restaurants like the Bistro Provence, Beso Hollywood and Dakota. To shorten the time its takes you to find a quality local restaurant to hold critical business meetings at, consider checking out websites like Zagat, local magazines and digital and print local dining guides. You can also ask administrative assistants, colleagues and friends to give you a heads up about area restaurants that consistently gift their customers with a first class dining experience.
Setup for business meetings at fine local restaurants
Although every winning local restaurant isn’t designed with private meeting rooms, having access to private space is an option you might want, especially if you’re discussing confidential business agreements. If you haven’t been to the restaurant you’re thinking about holding an upcoming business meeting at, pay the establishment an in-person visit. Get a feel for the service, friendliness of the staff, and, of course the atmosphere, décor and view. Look over the wine list. Also, check to see if the restaurant prepares health food or vegetarian dishes. This might come in handy if your prospective business clients turn out to abide by a strict healthy food or vegetarian diet.
You’ll also want to find out the different forms of payment the restaurant accepts. Some fine local restaurants only accept certain major credit cards. Found this out the hard way. Fortunately, was able to cover the meal using another payment method.
This might not be a biggie to you, but for others the lighting is crucial, as some local restaurants have dim lighting, while other local restaurants are designed to offer plenty of light, including lots of natural sunlight. If you’re treating out-of-town clients to a meal, it might work in your favor if you make reservations at a fine restaurant that’s close to the hotel the clients are staying at.
That or you can make the restaurant reservations at a dining establishment that’s only a few minutes from a major airport or train station, depending on how the clients traveled to meet with you. That said, keep in mind that classy hotels also have fine restaurants. Of course, if you choose a restaurant that has lots of rich history, dating back half a century or longer, you may have a wealth of intriguing topics to fall back on during your business meeting. Oh, and . . . make your reservations well in advance. Fine dining establishments fill up fast.
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