The biggest myth in the City is that you have to ‘wine and dine’ your clients. But really it is a hang-on from the 70’s when eating out was still novel. It is now 2017 so what has changed?
Drinking alcohol is on the decline. That does not mean that people don’t drink, but there is a trend towards picking your time and place. In a competitive job market some people want to make sure they keep ahead whilst also making sure they are resilient for everything the business world throws at them. After all, alcohol screws with your sleep and diet. Hangovers are just not an attractive option for a productive working day. Long nights in the boozer take you away from your fitness regime and time with the family.
Alcohol is never compulsory
So will your ability to do business falter if you can’t drink at lunchtime? Of course not – here is why.
- Pressuring a client to drink because you are (and vice versa) is no way to start a working relationship. It may be that everyone sighs with relief if they don’t feel an obligation to drink. So always offer an alcohol-free option, and make it clear that drinking alcohol is a choice not an order – or even worse, a deal breaker.
- The best way to impress a client is to do something that will make them feel special. Find out more about who you are looking to work with. In our stressful working lives you may discover that what they really want the most is to cut to the chase, and free up some time to spend with their family/box set/pet spider.
- You are more likely to succeed in business if you respect the choices your clients make. It is pretty bad form to scupper someone else’s health goals, work schedule or driving plans. So be accommodating. Not drinking for an hour over lunch won’t actually kill you.
- Putting on a party to impress the clients? Then don’t treat the non-drinkers as an afterthought. Their drink choices are just as important. We have two words for the City orange juice: it is not an acceptable drink option. Non-drinkers are not five years old. It is not breakfast. Read our top party drink tips.
- The City has amazing pubs and bars, and many of them stock a great range of alcohol-free beers, mocktails and craft sodas. If you are too shy to ask, check them out on our Club Soda pub guide. Those rated 4 or 5 will be pretty good for your booze-free client lunch.
Club Soda works with companies to support their mindful drinking workforce, helping them find new, more inclusive ways to celebrate and socialise. We can provide engaging content about drinking more mindfully to weave into your company’s wellbeing priorities. And we run fun interactive workshops, drink tastings, and offer our two online courses Sober Sprint and Mindful Drinking. Get in touch by emailing email@example.com.