I’ve been asking colleagues whether businesses lunches will ever go out of style and unequivocally I have been assured or is that reassured that it’s here to stay.
I love going out for lunch, namely because I work from home and it beats rustling up a tuna salad and it’s a great excuse to eat dessert. I also love the social contact. If I want to win a client over, it’s easier to do it in a neutral environment, somewhere away from distraction. It also allows for personal contact. Sometimes Skype or email just doesn’t get the job done.
In my advertising days – way back in the 90’s we’d go out for lunch daily. This type of alcohol-fuelled overindulgence is definitely a thing of the past. Nowadays we are always in a rush to get back to the office, although just once or twice a year, I relive the decadent repasts of old. It oils my nostalgia and it’s always fun.
I often have to explain concepts and ideas and get budget buy-in and I need a place to do it in that isn’t too noisy. Also, an overbearing waiter at lunchtime can be a trifle tedious. At that time of day, and with a client, all I’m looking for is expediency. I want to talk, and get to know my client without being constantly interrupted by an overeager waiter enquiring about the food.
Recently I lunched at Lacuna, the new bistro at The Maslow Hotel in Sandton with an editor colleague. You know you are in for a delicious treat when you go to an eatery headed up by Dallas Orr. Previously the exec chef of the Atlantic Grill at the Table Bay Hotel in Cape Town, Orr now presides over the Lacuna kitchen.
As it was a first time experience for both of us we decided to share a variety of dishes. The prawn bucket, panko breaded crab fritters with eggplant caviar (yum) and sushi tuna and wasabi tart were all fantastic. For dessert we tried both the Pinacolada rice pudding which was okay but what really had me loosening my belt was the leopard tiramisu. Unspeakably delicious.
Lacuna is quiet yet sociable, the food light and contemporary and the service spot on. I also loved the stylish décor.
Where would we be without the business lunch? Sitting at a table littered with canteen sandwiches in polystyrene boxes in an over-cold (there’s always something wrong with the aircon), impersonal boardroom. I for one would prefer to close the deal over a great lunch in a perfect setting.