Business Meals of Egg Salad and Turkey Sandwiches

A breakfast business meeting is always a good idea. You engage people when they are fresh and have uncluttered minds. Begin by considering the objective of the breakfast. Is the idea to bring people together first thing in the morning or is it to loosen them up for the rest of a day that they will spend together? If you are hosting your breakfast in a large hotel’s restaurant, make sure you reserve an area with seats available for your guests.

You can organize a buffet to allow people to interact and mingle. Make sure you have enough food stations to avoid crowding. Place the fringe food items, such as beverages and cereals, on separate food stations. Make sure there are sufficient tableware and utensils for the guests. Read the fine print when deciding on the menu prices. For example, surcharges could be applicable for Chef’s preparing omelettes, pancakes or other food items.

You can also organize a sit-down breakfast meal. If that is the case, avoid completely limiting the options. Offer a menu with some choices. Most people like to see variety in food at breakfast. Especially, if your meeting is for an extended period of time, you need to offer some variety. In most high-end locations, eating off the menu at breakfast should normally cost less than a large buffet.

These days people are becoming particularly keen on healthy meals at breakfast. Based on your budget, consider adding items like fresh fruit juices, cereals, brown bread, milk, soy milk, yogurt, herbal tea and decaffeinated coffee. Finally keep in mind the season when you are planning your breakfast. People enjoy seasonal foods, fruits, and dry fruits.


For a lunch during a business conference or meeting, you can either have a buffet or an outdoor BBQ. Get prior information from the guests about any allergies or dietary restrictions. This will help you provide with the right mix of food in right quantities. If you also served the guests breakfast earlier in the day, then it may be better to add some variety at lunch in terms of location or style.

Lunch’s is probably the easiest menu to choose that will please most guests. Vary the courses. If you have beef soup or carpaccio, for instance, then don’t serve beef in the main course. Go for fish or chicken. If the afternoon work requires sedentary periods of focus, you can opt for light pasta. If time is in short supply, then have the tables pre-set with the starters. Let waiters know how to handle requests for alcoholic drinks, especially if the meeting involves external guests or customers.

In the event you opt for an outdoor lunch, have a contingency plan if it should rain. On other extreme, also keep in mind the sun. How sunny it will be and which parts will need a shade. If it is a BBQ, don’t forget to provide a couple of vegetarian options.

If the afternoon involves physical activity like a round of golf, then box lunches may be the right fit with the occasion.


Organizing a dinner presents you with an abundance of choices. Your dinner can be a stand-up or a sit-down buffet, plated dinner, casual, or formal. You can also add a theme to it. When you are hosting a dinner the purpose is always more than just the meals. Define the objective for which you are bringing people together and plan your event to best fulfill its objective. For example, if one of the main objectives is to have the guests mingle and talk to one another, you are better off organizing a buffet with food stations scattered around the venue.

There are several factors to consider when deciding on the menu for a buffet dinner. Consider the temperatures the food is best served at. The food items should have the ability to last the duration of the buffet rather than crusting over or drying out. For example, avoid dishes using mayonnaise except if they can be kept chilled. Look for variety so that the main course items don’t mirror the appetizers.

For a sit-down dinner, you need to decide whether you want open or pre-allotted seating. If you opt for pre-allotted seating, makes sure that you arrange for the guests to easily locate their seats. For a larger dinner the tables should be numbered with nice looking stand-up cards that rhyme in with the décor.


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Asif Zaidi

Asif is a proven business leader, a business leadership advisor, and an entrepreneur. Asif lives in Toronto and owns and runs Meadowvale Events Management Group - a full service group for planning and managing events of all sizes and styles to create memorable occasions for the hosts and participants alike. He is a Managing Partner of and is also an owner and director at Cortleigh Properties Inc, a reputable property development firm in Toronto. Previously, as a Managing Director with Citibank, Asif fulfilled leadership assignments across a number of world regions. Asif is a powerful communicator and keynote speaker and has taught at a business school. His personal blog ( is widely followed and his book ‘The Stuff of Life’ is due to be released in the US in January 2017.

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