The Humble Breakfast
Breakfast is not only the starting meal of the day that’s enough to charge your energy until the evening lunch, but it can also be the lynchpin to pulling off a successful business deal, negotiation or meeting.
Business breakfast is one of the more common engagements in the corporate, especially when the day will call for a long and sustained period of activity like a high-importance meeting, negotiation or presentation.
In fact, it won’t be a stretch to say that whoever is responsible for arranging a business breakfast holds the power over the direction of the day. If they pull it off successfully, they will set the day’s proceedings off on a warm note. On the other hand, if they fail, they can derail the momentum and mood for the entire day.
The Business Breakfast Meeting
The corporate world is changing and important work is no longer left to be discussed only in the meeting room or the presentation room. Instead, individuals now opt for business breakfast meetings.
Now that is quite the mouthful but it basically means having a business meeting over breakfast. Two birds with one stone. But why is that? How did the humble breakfast become the best time to discuss business? The answer is simple – it is because early morning is one of the most productive periods for a human being. You are all recharged and refreshed after rest and will get even more so by eating breakfast.
Your senses are sharp, your mind is awake and ready to tackle the day. What better time to hold a business meeting?
You can devote your full energy and attention to the meeting. Furthermore, breaking bread together also creates a more cordial and a warmer environment to hold a business meeting and it is more likely to go over smoothly.
That being said, if you have to pick the venue and location for the business breakfast then here are some tips to consider.
Tips to Pick the Right Venue
Before we get to the other tips we have for you, one important thing to note is the invitation. Generally speaking, you should not be too forceful or imposing in your invitation; particularly with high-value clients and bosses. You should be mindful of others time or preoccupations and offer the invitation more as a consideration instead of locking it down on your end unless you see reciprocity to the idea.
You might not know your guest’s dietary preferences so it is best to pick spots and restaurants which cater to a wide variety of tastes and preferences. You do not want the surprise of finding out your guest is a vegan while taking them to a traditional eggs and bacon breakfast café.
An additional tip in regards to the location is to go only for the tested spots. Stick to the tried and tested cafés or restaurants. Keep in mind that this is not a social engagement or a foodie outing, you plan to win over and convince your guest so pick a place whose layout, schedule, and quality you are familiar with.
3. Purpose and Goals
Keep in mind that this is a business meeting at its core, no different than any other. This means you should prepare a general skeleton and outline for your agenda or whatever you aim to achieve from the breakfast meeting.
You should also think about how you will go about convincing your guest on your point of view. The breakfast meeting is no different than a negotiation.
Also keep in mind that unless it is with a colleague with whom you have a prior rapport or a senior mentor, this is still a professional affair. While it is fine to make small talk and pleasantries, the topics of conversation should never wander off from the task at hand to trivial affairs like personal life matters.
Do not hesitate to frame the conversation around your agenda or the purpose of the meeting once the first few bites have been taken. However, it is important to do so with tact and in a natural conversational yet direct manner.
4. No Drinks
It is the start of the day and also a business meeting. Ordering drinks of the alcoholic variety may give off a very bad and unprofessional impression. So abstain from doing so as a point of personal rules during such an affair. If your guest insists then take a single glass but no more, and even at that discreetly try and take only the smallest of sips.
This point needs no stressing. Manners should be present in every aspect of our lives. No wonder it plays a part in business breakfast meetings as well. While you may be hungry and eager to charge at the food, pace yourself and eat in a restrained and methodical way. Remember, the person in front of you might have future dealings with you so if you give impressions of no manners and tact then that will not bode well for the future.
Lastly, turn off your phone. This is advice may not appropriate for an evening lunch or dinner since no one can account for emergencies but generally, there is a little chance of emergencies in the morning.
Dispel the urge to check your notifications and emails while at the breakfast table and pay your full attention to the person in front of you.
You will find that most of these tips are applicable to almost all types of business meetings. This is because, at their core, the nature of these meetings is the same – breaking bread over negotiating or achieving business goals.
The key here is authenticity. All you need to do is be composed and confident and deal the breakfast meeting like any other meeting to make the most of your unique meeting setting!
Amanda McPhail runs the booking team for IQ SmartCenter—a sleek and modern San Diego Conference Center. Her expertise is in the wedding and event industry, and she enjoys blogging about the latest trends and industry topics.
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