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Nov
12

Planning an Off Site Business Luncheon

Posted by Jodi Cirrincione on November 12th, 2012

Organizing a working business luncheon seems, at first blush, to be a fairly simple matter. But there’s more to consider than just what’s on the menu. Location is key, and often business owners make the mistake of holding their gathering at the office, ordering in food from a local restaurant. This may be suitable for smaller businesses, with only two or three employees attending the meeting, but for larger firms it can be disruptive to both the workplace, and the proposed meeting itself. Other business managers prefer to take their employees to a local restaurant. It makes for a nice afternoon away from the office, but restaurant dining rooms can be full of distractions making it difficult to hold a successful business meeting. For a truly successful working luncheon, consider hiring an off-site venue that offers you and your guests privacy, service and a distraction free environment.

Location

The first step in planning a successful working luncheon is to decide on the venue. The benefits of a professional event space for business meetings and luncheons can not be overestimated. It offers privacy, allowing for open and uninterrupted speeches, presentations and conversation. Staging your business luncheon at a hired venue also minimizes distractions, and serves to concentrate everyone’s attention on the work at hand.

When choosing the location for your meeting, it is important to select a venue that is centrally located so all of your employees will have similar traveling times. While the point is to get out of the office for a couple of hours, you don’t want your employees to have to spend too much time on the road. Look for an events venue that is close to the office, easy to find, and that offers ample parking for all of your guests.

Most venues offer their clients a choice of rooms and halls in which to hold their event. For a working luncheon you will most likely want to choose a smaller room. Something that can easily accommodate all of your employees and guests, but not so big that people begin to feel uneasy or uncomfortable. You want to intensify the working camaraderie amongst your guests, and make conversation easy. All good events venues can supply table arrangements and seating for all of your guests. They should also be able to provide any audio/visual equipment you may need, as well as internet access to keep you in touch with the office if you need to double check some facts or refer to a file or report.

The Menu

This is one of the areas where staging your business luncheon at an off-site events venue really pays off. When you hold a working luncheon at a restaurant, it can be difficult to control your food costs, short of telling your guests and employees what they can and can not order. At a corporate events space, you can work with the company’s own catering service to devise a menu that is light and focused, offers tasty but limited choices, and meets all of your budgetary concerns.

As you decide on a menu, let the caterer make suggestions. Let their experience be your guide. You will want to speak with the caterer about any dietary restrictions your guests may have, and work with them to develop a light luncheon that will be appealing to all. Keep it light, and if the meeting is being held earlier in the day you may want to consider a brunch style menu that offers a selection of both breakfast and luncheon favorites.

A venue’s on-site caterer can usually offer a choice between table side service and a buffet. While buffets are more casual, and sometimes less expensive, they can be distracting in a working environment. Opt for table service if it’s available. This allows you and your employees to maintain a steady work flow, while the venue’s staff attends to the refreshments.

Working luncheons offer an opportunity for business managers and their employees to get out of the office and concentrate on brainstorming new ideas and developing new sales strategies. It is also the perfect occasion to discuss new office procedures, and to introduce new technology and techniques to the workplace. By choosing your venue and your menu carefully, you can maximize the working potential of your off-site business luncheon and end the afternoon on a productive, and successful, note.