The Disadvantages of a Business Lunch

Before you plan your next business lunch, there are some potential drawbacks that you might want to consider. Here are a few reasons why the lunchtime rush at a restaurant may not be the best venue for doing business.

Even Though You Know You’re Working, Your Superiors and Coworkers May Have Other Ideas

Business lunches sometimes require taking more time for lunch than you ordinarily would. While you know that your expedition away from the office has a business purpose, the rest of your office may not. Unless you’ve put it on a shared calendar that everyone has seen, your coworkers and supervisors may think that you’re just out for an extra-long leisurely lunch!

You Can’t Always Control of the Flow of the Conversation

Sometimes when you’re at a busy restaurant, noise, commotion, and even just table service can disrupt the flow of your conversation. When you’re talking about something important, you’d rather be in a setting where you can direct the dialog without any unnecessary distractions.

You May Not Have Access to the Materials that You Need

When you’re discussing a business mater with a prospective client or associate, you want to be able to review any written materials that are relevant to the discussion. If you’re at a restaurant, you may not have the opportunity or space to look at materials that you’ll need in order to answer important questions or explain key points.

You Don’t Want to Talk Business with Your Mouth Full

When you’re having a conversation and having your lunch at the same time, you realistically need to stop talking to chew and swallow your food. Eating will invariably slow down the tempo of your conversation. Even worse, you may be too eager to keep up with the conversation and end up talking with your mouth full!

You May Be Giving Away Too Much of Your Time

You may find out just five minutes into one of your business lunches that the collaboration you were hoping for won’t come to fruition. Now you’re in an unfortunate situation where you’ve lost your lead, but you can’t move on to tackle the next item on your day’s agenda.

It’s good to be able to have interactions with your business contacts that are personal and memorable. But in the context of business relationships, it’s generally best form and build relationships in professional settings where you’ll be in the best possible position to stay in control of the environment, your discussion, and your time.