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11 Ways To Wow The Clients At Your Business Dinner

A business trip often comes with a client dinner — you totally got this. Travel better and rest easier with La Quinta Inns & Suites™.

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1. If it’s a larger party, overbook your reservations.

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You don’t want to run into any last-minute issues with your reservation, so be sure to overbook to err on the side of caution.

2. Extend the invitations at least one week in advance.

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You also want to be 100% sure that the date works for you — you don’t want to be the one wasting anyone’s time by canceling. Check a couple days in advance to confirm others' attendance as well.

4. Have a seating strategy.

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Not only should you be familiar with the restaurant you choose, but you should also make sure that your business guests have the best seats at the table, away from doors, the kitchen, or washrooms.

5. Look your best.

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Even if your company (and the client) has a super-relaxed company culture and dress code, you want to look professional at your dinner so you can reflect the level of professionalism and business savvy you will offer as a business partner.

6. Get to know about them, and share a bit about yourself.

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This is also an opportunity to get to know your clients as people, and to make a strong impression by being a good listener, being invested in what they say, and sharing your common interests (besides working together!).

7. Follow a two-drink maximum.

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The mood may get jolly and your company may be picking up the tab, but you definitely don’t want to risk slipping up in professionalism by getting tipsy. If you choose to drink, try sticking to a wine you can sip and savor.

8. Be courteous to the waitstaff.

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The quickest way to lose someone’s trust or respect is to be rude or dismissive to the waitstaff. Be gracious and don’t send anything back, even if a guest does.

9. Keep the whole event to about two to three hours.

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While you don’t want to be checking your watch at the table, keep in mind that a business dinner should not exceed three hours — and just be aware of time.

10. Grab the bill first.

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If the restaurant cannot facilitate you leaving your card with them ahead of time, be sure to swiftly grab the bill, pay the tab, and make no comments about the service, good or bad.

11. Remember that details matter.

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Your guests have business on their mind and will be assessing you from start to finish. If you have everything prepared ahead of time and keep everyone comfortable, you will be giving your guests that much more trust in doing business with you.

You handle the awesome business dinner; we'll handle your awesome hotel experience. Travel better and rest easier with La Quinta Inns & Suites.

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