The Art of the Power Lunch

Fast food doesn't have to come in a paper bag. Here's how to pull off a prosperous mid-day meal.

By: Michael Small | Photos: Petrina Tinslay


For busy professionals, every minute of the work day matters and even breaks to refuel are opportunities to get things done. But a rushed PB&J hunched over a desk isn’t exactly the best way to birth brilliant ideas or to woo potential clients. Enter the power lunch – where you can broker deals over broken bread, all while enjoying a satisfying meal that reenergizes the mind and body for the rest of the day.

But what are the ingredients for a successful business lunch? We spoke to Rebecca Yazbek, director at Nomad restaurant in Sydney, Australia, about their celebrated lunch program and the keys to a lucrative lunch.

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Timing is Everything

If there’s one integral piece to the power lunch, the thing that the entire production hinges on, it’s pace – getting people in and out in the agreed upon time. “Most power lunches have strict time restrictions and it’s vital we meet their requirements,” says Yazbek. If you’re treating a busy client, make sure you choose a restaurant that doesn’t dawdle and knows the importance of quick service.


Choose an Appropriate Setting

Choose a venue with your lunch partner(s) in mind. There’s nothing worse than atmosphere that doesn’t line up with the conversation you’re hoping to have. “Match the chosen venue to your client and the tone of the meeting,” says Yazbek. “If you need a quiet, confidential setting, a restaurant that can ensure a certain level of privacy is required.”


Have a Game Plan

Know what you’re hoping to accomplish – be it finalizing a deal or securing a new relationship. While conversation should be casual, it shouldn’t be aimless. Some direction is necessary. “The power lunch is essentially an extension of business meetings. It can offer businesses and their clients an opportunity to continue their conversations in a relaxed setting. Whether our customers are forging relationships or cementing them, connecting over great food and wine is the way to go.”


Convenience is Key

This one is simple – choose a spot that is relatively close by for all parties involved, and if that’s not possible, defer to your client’s location. “Find out a little about your client beforehand and make the location convenient. There’s nothing worse than trying to get across town for a Friday lunch meeting,” says Yazbek.


Save Business for Dessert

You don’t want to enter a business lunch with guns blazing, especially if you are unsure of the outcome. “One thing you can’t do? If the parties are not willing to budge on their position going into the lunch, it can become quite a frosty affair,” says Yazbek. Keep things light and cordial before making your move. Like many things in life, timing is everything and you might just get the result you seek if wait for the right moment. Most people are more amicable to ideas after chocolate mousse, after all.