Restaurants for Business Lunches

Choosing a restaurant for a business meeting is not always easy, especially when you are working out of town. Keep in mind your objectives. If you are encouraging team building, choose a restaurant that is fun and helps build rapport. If you are taking a client out to lunch to talk business, a loud and distracting restaurant may prevent the client from being able to hear you well. Be aware of menu options and prices. You never know the financial situation of your colleague.

Team Building

Image via Flickr by daspunkt

Team building outings tend to be more lively and fun. The atmosphere should be more relaxed.

  • Dragonfly: This restaurant located in downtown and is an original of Gainesville. It is a hip joint with a loud and energetic vibe. Casual attire is acceptable, but most diners tend to dress to impress. It offers reasonably priced sushi with a modern twist. There are options for private dining or outdoor seating.
  • KC Crave: This is another great location for entertaining your team, especially on nights where there is live music. This restaurant is part nightclub, part lounge. It is another reasonably priced venue offering a lot of local and fresh options. They have a beautiful upstairs bar to keep things lighthearted and fun.


When planning a networking meeting, you want a location that is affordable and not too loud. Since you don’t know your dining partner well, you may want to steer clear of exotic dining experiences.

  • Piesanos: This contemporary Italian restaurant is a great spot for a networking lunch or dinner. They offer affordable and delicious Italian cuisine and stone-fired pizza. The decor is neutral, and they can accommodate larger groups.
  • The Top: This American fare restaurant is a great casual location for a networking event. They serve a variety of food including burgers, pasta, and soups as well as some vegan and vegetarian options. They also offer nightly specials along with beer and mixed drinks.

Closing a Deal

When you are meeting with a potential client, you may want to choose a restaurant with a quieter atmosphere. You want your guest to be able to hear you. A business lunch at a high-end restaurant sets the tone. A more intimate table should put everyone at ease, allowing you to negotiate terms outside the earshot of other diners.

  • Manuel’s Vintage Room: This is an affordable venue with a high-end feel. This quaint and quiet restaurant offers homemade Italian cuisine that is hard to beat. It has a dark, intimate, and upscale atmosphere.
  • Mark’s Prime: It is hard to go wrong with a steakhouse. Mark’s Prime has the feel of a private dinner club making it the perfect venue for a power dinner. The atmosphere is that of a traditional American steakhouse.

Business travel is a great time to explore a new city and try new cuisines. You may want to dine at your Gainesville hotel or get out and get a feel for the city. When you are planning a business dinner or luncheon, you need to keep your guests in mind. Pick a venue that is appropriate for the goals of the meeting. Whether you are networking, entertaining, or closing a deal, Gainesville has a restaurant for you.

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