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Friday, February 18, 2011

Best Food Choices For Busines Meetings: Keep Your Guests Alert, Happy, and Focused

Eat, Drink, And Be Wary

Best Food Choices For Busines Meetings:
Keep Your Guests Alert, Happy, and Focused

“There is no love sincerer than the love of food.” — George Bernard Shaw
Food is love. It is a powerful way to show that you care. But even love can go wrong. Whether you are setting up the meeting, assigning it to someone else, or hiring a meeting planner, make sure the food choices reflect the depth of caring and attention to detail that your business guests deserve.
This is not just good manners; it's good business. The right food at a business event can make the difference between focused, appreciative, alert participants and angry, bloated, and drowsy ones.
Many factors affect these results. They range from personal nutritional preferences to allergies and religious restrictions. Other factors include how messy a dish is and the time and dexterity required to consume it. Also, certain foods tend to induce sleep more readily than others.
Overall, the choice of food and the manner in which it is presented can say a great deal about your professionalism and attention to detail.
People are always forming and adapting their perceptions of you and your business. Make sure your food choices say the right things about you. The menu is the message!
Hamburgers, for example, send a different signal than lobster tails. So at your next business function, remember to have good EATS!
  • Ease of consumption -Avoid messy and difficult-to-eat foods.
  • Audience- Be sensitive to your guests and their special needs.
  • Timing - When you serve can dictate what you serve.
  • Selection- Make sure you offer your guests a variety of menu options.
With these principles in mind, let's take a closer look at the nuts and bolts (or pretzels and bolts if you're allergic) of thorough and thoughtful business catering:

No Muss, No Fuss

Many a slip between the cup and the lip
There is an art to freeing a lobster from its shell. It takes talent to pull away the tiny tidbits of meat that cling to a quail's delicate bones. Pizza and long pastas can also test the dexterity of your guests. Make sure your diners don't need to struggle or acquire new skills to consume their meals. The less effort your guests must put into eating, the more they can focus on the conversation or the business at hand.
Please Pass the Fixodent
Many people have medical conditions that affect their ability to eat certain foods. Dentures are just one example. Other examples include sensitive teeth and temporo-mandibular joint syndrome (TMJ), which can make hard chewing or opening wide excruciating. Dental work (bridges, braces, etc.) can also create problems with sticky foods like gum and taffy. In general, avoid foods that are hard to chew or especially sticky.
Fight Drops that Spot
When foods splash, splatter, and drip on shirts, blouses, and laps, diners get annoyed, embarrassed, and stained. Not only will this make them unhappy, it will also make them less presentable. No one wants the camera to zoom in on the keynote speaker only to reveal a big blotch of barbecue sauce on a white collar. Overdressed salads, soupy sauces, long pasta, BBQ, pizza, foods sitting in broth, and unwieldy giant lettuce leaves are common culprits.


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