A proper business lunch: People become nicer after eating well
White tablecloths, low prices, good food and even better service – these are four things that Lithuanians expect from a good business lunch. What makes a good business lunch? How can you know that a restaurant’s kitchen is clean? Why shouldn’t you hurry to leave your table? “Hurry slowly” is a Latin saying that has survived to the present day. Jolanta and Dalius Šlapelis, the owners of the Skonio Slėnis restaurant being opened at the BOD high-tech centre, believe in this saying wholeheartedly.
Business lunches can be lunches meant for discussing business matters or the daily lunch selections that most of us are used to. The standard business lunch takes about 1.5 hours. This relaxed lunch, more free with its time and finances than most, is meant for businesspeople. The business lunch is no less important of a ritual than observing which individual first offers their hand for a handshake. It seems insignificant, but it can decide a lot – someone’s mannerisms, the atmosphere, and even what food one orders. Daily lunches, on the other hand, are brief lunches that can be had during one’s break from work.
“The best business lunches are those that are made after they’re ordered. I don’t just mean good food – I’m also talking about the time spent. Business is usually discussed after eating, so each person has 45 minutes to take a breath and have an informal chat with their colleagues or partners. For a very important business lunch, I advise against ordering food that is eaten with the hands, like chicken drumsticks, as well as food that can be complicated to eat even with silverware, like burgers,” – said Jolanta Šlapelienė.
Here’s what’s important to know about daily lunches, in which everyone can quickly eat a lunch that has already been prepared ahead of time: healthy food will be prepared with seasonal ingredients, it will smell good, it will have beautiful colours and it won’t be made using yesterday’s sauces.
“If delicious beets and pumpkins are in season, then these need to be used in dishes. There are excellent raspberries, blackberries and cranberries this time of year that should be used in desserts. Hot dishes should have mushrooms. Of course, marinating saffron milk caps that won’t have dirt grinding in between your teeth is also a serious science. Our restaurant serves fruits and vegetables grown in our own gardens, and we also buy Lithuanian food products, so we know that our clients get fresh, healthy food,” – said Jolanta Šlapelienė.
At Lithuanian business lunches, apple juice often takes the place of alcohol. As for etiquette? The restaurant owner would like to remind you to keep your mobile phones and other devices off the table, not to try food from the other person’s plate, and not to place your used silverware on the table.
“You should eat calmly, so you have time to think about the business and pleasure that still await. If you have the opportunity after eating, get up for a brief walk before returning for some cake for dessert. After all, to eat is to rest,” – believes Dalius Šlapelis. – People become nicer after eating well. Isn’t this important when you want to close a deal? Table and food culture is an important factor that we can often forget,” – said the restaurant owner.
Another important criterion that must be taken into account when choosing a restaurant for your business lunch is the appearance of the waiters and barkeeps. Cleanliness, order and aesthetics are mandatory elements of their appearance. Ms Jolanta is convinced that if the chef or waiter looks unkempt, then one can only imagine what goes on in the kitchen. Today, January 15th, the BOD high-tech centre, where daily business lunches at the Skonio Slėnis restaurant will be available, will finally open.