Taking a client out for lunch gives you the opportunity to have a relaxed conversation and research shows that messages can be more persuasive when accompanied by food. With 91% of meeting attendees saying that they drift into a daydream and 73% do other work, it’s important to plan meetings that fulfill a purpose and are engaging throughout.
London has an abundance of restaurants, which can make it difficult when deciding the most suitable venue for a meeting. Perhaps you have a tricky client that you’ve been trying to win over for a while? Read through our guide for the top tips on meeting etiquette and the best London venues to visit on your next business meeting.
Tips for a successful client meeting
When meeting someone for the first time, be sure to ask them what their preference is; do they want lunch or simply want to grab a quick coffee? It’s also important to check whether or not they have dietary requirements; taking a vegan to Flat Iron wouldn’t be the best idea.
- Don’t forget business
Do your research on the company and individual prior to the meeting as this will save time and increase your creditability. The saying goes ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’; how will you win business if you don’t know anything about them? Plan questions in advance, but also remember to build a relationship with the client and get to know them on a personal level.
Remember the basics when it comes to manners, don’t start eating until they do and don’t assume they drink alcohol. This is a business lunch so it’s important to be mindful and respectful of who you are with. Do you really want to impair their opinion of you by projecting the image that you are returning to the office to work on their important matters after consuming a few?
- The bill
If you planned the business meeting then it is polite in most cases to pick up the bill and then expense it on behalf of your business. If the client insists on paying or splitting however, don’t deny their request and let them.
Timing is everything, especially in London. Londoner’s are said to work an additional two hours a week compared with the average UK worker so it’s important to set a time frame and don’t overrun. Some companies have adopted practices from the US and Japan by restricting meetings to a very brief time frame to ensure all attendees stay focused on what needs to be discussed. It’s always beneficial to check with your client how much time they have available beforehand.
Where to go on a client meeting
- Bellanger, Angel
A traditional French brasserie and café, which boasts a relaxed and informal dining area serving food inspired by classics with a French and German influence. It has an authentic Parisian atmosphere, offering the choice of sitting within the bustling restaurant or intimate booths perfect for client meetings.
- Timmy Green, Victoria
Situated in Nova, Victoria’s newest development, Timmy Green is a casual coffee shop by day and electric evening bar by night. Inspired by all things Australia, Timmy Green offers bottomless brunch, prime grass fed meats and sharing plates, alongside local craft beers, Australian wine list and cocktails. Set over two floors, the interior is a calm oasis created by reclaimed wood, marble worktops and oversized art paintings and if you wish to enjoy good weather, you can dine alfresco on the terrace.
- Brigadiers, Bank
Inspired by the army mess bars of India, Brigadiers offers a swanky interior and super slick service with a smile. It’s made up of a collection of smaller rooms, each with their own identity and that offer the perfect environment for a relaxed yet intimate client meeting. The menu comprises of Indian barbeque food, utilising tandoors, charcoal grills and wood ovens to produce truly authentic food. The music flows smoothly from hip-hip to laid back funk, creating a relaxed buzz that’s the ideal spot for a comfortable yet professional lunch meeting.
- The Folly, City of London
Head to this botanically inspired haven for a relaxing vibe and situated closely to Monument and Bank. It offers a garden inspired lounge to promote a sense of tranquility amongst the hustle and bustle of the City of London, several dining rooms and a number of private vaults, making The Folly the perfect retreat for all occasions, whatever the business meeting type. 10am is said to be the most suitable time to arrange a business meeting, so head to The Folly for a productive brunch.
- The Ivy Market Grill, Covent Garden
In the heart of Covent Garden, The Ivy Market Grill offers a relaxed yet sophisticated restaurant that overlooking the bustling piazza. It has a main restaurant area, terrace and two private dining rooms, providing the perfect setting for any meeting occasion. Boasting speedy service and an extensive range of quality food and cocktails, it’s a crowd pleaser for all taste buds.
- The Hub Cafe, Regents Park
Positioned in the centre of Regents Park, The Hub Café boasts stunning 360-degree panoramic views from its terrace. A great venue for a quick coffee or bite to eat, The Hub Café offers light lunch and refreshments. Another option could be a simply walk around the park to talk business over amongst the majestic greenery.