Dubai: Catching up over 'power' lunches

Food is great for bringing people together — other than that, of course, a meal shared with a client, a colleague, et al. in a relaxed setting is an opportunity to foster healthy work relationship

by Purva Grover

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Published: Sat 21 Jan 2023, 6:55 PM

The dictionary definition of a power lunch a.k.a business lunch states that it is a working lunch, especially one at which powerful politicians, executives, et al. hold important discussions. Yes, apparently what happens between noon and three pm over such lunches is not only important, but also interestingly enough relaxed and friendly. We look at the culture of business lunches, especially in the light of changing definitions of offices! Why should you add a business lunch to your schedule? Words by American author Horace Jackson Brown Jr. may have an answer — Once a month, go to lunch with someone who knows more about your business than you do.

Hello, human interactions

“It is more important now than ever to have lunch with colleagues and clients, it sets first good impressions and puts people at ease. We have lost the level of human interaction due to Zoom calls and remote working; this is why business lunches have become more important recently,” said Roger Marti, general manager, Basko. “I believe now it’s even more important to lunch with the team or clients to re-establish that personal connection that might have been lost during lockdown and continued work from home arrangements. Food is great for bringing people back together,” said Federico Bartoli, head chef, Monno Ristorante, Jumeirah 1, Dubai.

Remote working to business lunches: the shift

As working patterns changed (and continue to do so), is it becoming increasingly important now to lunch with the seniors, team members, clients, etc? “Whilst business lunches are essential to building and strengthening a team spirit, it is also the key to closing deals with a client through an outstanding lunch menu,” said Roxane Auriel, general manager, Couqley French Brasserie, Pullman Downtown, Dubai. “Having spent the Covid-19 period only dealing with one another via video calls or digitally signing contracts, the working world is going back to a time where shaking hands had more significance,” said Alessio Ruffoni, general manager, Mama Zonia. He added how not only are people spending more time outside of their office for business lunches, but also for coffee or to take meetings since things feel slightly more relaxed now with the work-from-home leniency. Mama Zonia, Dubai Marina, offers a three-course set menu for the business lunches. Basko, Opus Tower, Business Bay, Dubai, serve lunch (a classic quick menu and a premium offer) on the terrace, where one gets the feeling that one is eating on a “patio” with the Downtown Dubai urban view. And Roger added how lately, their guests informed how they’d been working frequently from home or at shared workspaces in Dubai, “Whether it is for business or pleasure, everyone is looking forward to having a break.”

Why (and who) should ‘power’ lunch?

“One should opt for power lunches, even if it is a table for one. This can be your time to disconnect from the office setting for a short period and come back feeling more productive and efficient, with a fresh mind ready to conquer the rest of the day ahead,” pointed Roger. Alessio added how business lunch offers are not only for people coming from the office, but also caters to a group of mums that may have limited time for themselves, or for people who would like to try the restaurant for the first time since it offers a great value for money. Roxane added, “It is an opportunity for businessmen and women to show generosity, glamour and care at a preferred restaurant over the same quality and standard of food and service without overspending.” Said Federico, “Business lunch is important because restaurants are enjoyable, relaxing places where people can take a moment in their day to refresh, refuel and recharge before continuing their working day.”

Purva Grover

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