Business Lunches or Dinners: Who Pays?

May 28, 2012  |     |   0 Comment

Many business relationships are formed or nurtured over a lunch or dinner meeting.  A restaurant for many business people is an extension of their office and can form a major part of how business is conducted.

If you entertain clients at a lunch or dinner frequently, it pays to cultivate relationships with certain select restaurants.  By doing so, you will know what to expect from them, and they will know your specific needs. It positions you to have more control over the process and to ensure that you are able to focus your attention on your client or potential business prospect rather than worrying about whether or not your order will be taken in a timely manner, the food is hot enough, or service is professional.

Proper business etiquette dictates that whoever asked for the lunch or dinner meeting pays for the meal.  A sophisticated method of handling the cheque being used by savvy business people worldwide is to pay the bill in advance.  Arrive early and ask the maitre d’ to take your credit card and hold the cheque at his or her station where you will go to sign it as the meal draws to a close. This method ensures that your cheque is never presented at the table and the question of who pays become moot.  Moreover, your client or potential business prospect will be impressed and appreciative of your attention to detail, which naturally increases your opportunity to build a stronger relationship with them based on trust, credibility and respect.


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