Best Business Lunch Spots

The business lunch – a great excuse to forgo eating leftovers at your desk, and it could be your best networking tool for closing deals. Picking the perfect setting for a business rendezvous can be the ultimate deal maker or breaker, says Robin Jay, author of The Art of the Business Lunch. By hosting more than 3,000 client lunches, she’s increased sales by 2,000 percent. “A meal offers a bonding opportunity; people let their guards down.”

Here’s where movers and shakers take A-list clients in four major cities across the U.S. (And don’t miss next Thursday’s Little PINK Book, where we’ll suggest restaurants in four more.)

New York City: Tabla
Located at Madison and 25th, “they have a formal dining room upstairs and a ‘Beer Bar’ downstairs for casual meetings,” says Susan Combs, president of Combs & Company. “I recently met a publisher and a printer there for casual networking lunches. Both referred clients to me!”

San Francisco: Palace Hotel
“It’s hard to find restaurants where you can hear each other,” says Karen Newcombe, owner of Write Bank Copywriting and Marketing Consulting. That’s why she enjoys this hotel’s three quieter restaurants – the Garden Court where “the ambience is incredible,” the Pied Piper bar and Kyo-Ya, “arguable the best Japanese food in the city.”

Dallas: Capital Grille
Lisa Price, CEO of Carol’s Daughter, frequents this hot spot, with locations across the U.S., for its consistency and superior service. “I’ve dined here in four different cities, and each time the experience was great. It’s perfect for intimate gatherings.” And a server returned her lost earring to her hotel.

Minneapolis: The Local
Shannon Lambert, founder of Pandora’s Project and L’OREAL’s 2009 Women of Worth winner, suggests this Irish pub for its unique atmosphere and extensive menu (“which includes salads, sandwiches and traditional Irish dishes”).

Minute Mentor: Prefer networking over golf? Former CNN EVP, Gail Evans, weighs in.

By Kristin Smith

“We are indeed much more than what we eat, but what we eat can nevertheless
help us to be much more than what we are.”Adelle Davis

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