Tips for a Great Business Lunch

Tips for a Great Business Lunch

Business lunches are important for corporate networking, hammering out business details in a social setting and meeting prospective clients.

These gatherings mean far more than a free lunch, and your etiquette is of utmost importance–your image, your company’s name and whatever deals are on the agenda are at stake.

Whether hosting or attending a business lunch, you can directly contribute to making the gathering a good one.

To learn how, take this ESL conversation lesson and find out!

Part 1: Let’s Chat About the Photo

Tips for a Business Lunch

1. What’s the relationship between these two men?

2. What are they holding in their hands?

3. How far along are they in their meals?

4. What types of beverages are on the table?

5. Who do you think will pay the bill?

Part II: Take the Survey and Talk About It

1. What time do you usually have lunch?

  • 11:00 am
  • 11:30 am
  • 12:00 pm
  • 12:30 pm
  • 1:00 pm
  • 1:30 pm
  • 2:00 pm
  • After 2:00 pm

2. Why do you have lunch at this time?

  • My day is half over
  • Restaurants are less busy
  • The lunch area is not crowded
  • I don’t get hungry until this time
  • It’s when others can meet me
  • Other

3. How often do you have lunch with your direct manager?

  • Often
  • Sometimes
  • Never

4. How often do you have lunch with your coworkers?

  • Often
  • Sometimes
  • Never

5. How often do you have ‘business’ lunches?

  • Daily
  • Once a week
  • Bi-weekly
  • Monthly
  • Quarterly
  • Yearly
  • Almost never

6. With whom do prefer to have ‘business’ lunches?

  • Customers
  • Coworkers
  • Superiors
  • Subordinates
  • Partners
  • Vendors
  • Other

7. How many alcoholic drinks do you have with your ‘business lunch’, if any?

  • 1 drink
  • 2 or more drinks
  • I never drink at lunch

8. Have you had a ‘business lunch’ in a different city in your country? With whom?

  • Yes
  • No

9. Have you had a ‘business’ lunch in a foreign city? With whom?

  • Yes
  • No

10. What’s so special about ‘business’ lunches?

  • They build relationships
  • Someone gets a free meal
  • They’re productive meetings
  • Other

Part III: Share Your Opinions

ESL Conversation Lesson The Business Luch

 Discuss the Photo

1. What would a typical lunch menu consist of for these businessmen in their own countries?

2. Why aren’t their mobile phones visible on the table?

3. If the Asian man arrived at the restaurant first, should he wait for the other man in the restaurant lobby, or go directly to the table?

More Discussion

4. How soon should business be discussed once you sit down at the table?

5. What foods should one avoid during a business lunch and why?

6. Is it okay to drink alcohol during a business lunch?

7. Who should pay for the business lunch – you or your boss?

8. What’s an appropriate tip (%) to leave the server after a business lunch?

9. Under what circumstances is it okay to ask for a “to go” box for your unfinished meal?

10. How is business lunches etiquette in your country different than in western countries like the US?

Did you enjoy this ESL Lesson? 

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