Updated: Dec 12, 2019
Long gone are the days when holding a business meeting in a coffee shop or other non-business settings is considered unacceptable or even suspect. Coffee shops can be an excellent venue for small business meetings so long as you follow some simple business etiquette.
If you are the one who called the meeting:
Choose a venue that is clean and presentable.
Ensure the invitee(s) can eat/drink at the venue, if issues of kashrut are involved.
Double check that parking/ public transport is readily available to ensure the meeting venue is a convenient meeting point.
Set the meeting for an off-time; you do not want to hold a meeting at the height of lunch hour and have to shout to be heard over the din.
Reserve a table in your name to avoid waiting-for-a-table issues.
Whether you can reserve a table or not, arrive early, seat yourself at the table and ensure that the spot is suitable for your meeting: the table is situated in a quiet area, near electrical outlets for phones and laptops, the table does not ‘rock’, then “order” water and menus while you wait.
Pay for the check. This is your meeting; if this meeting was held in your office you would provide the refreshments; so don’t split the bill here.
For all meeting participants:
No matter what the venue, this is still a business meeting, treat it with respect.
Be on time.
Act as you would at any business meeting and shut off your phone.
Present your business card.
Remember a business meeting, no matter where it is held, is an opportunity. Grab it with both hands. Create action items and follow up to keep the momentum going. Don’t let any business opportunity slip through your fingers!
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