You’re in downtown Toronto. You’re setting up a business meeting. It’s at lunch and you need to pick a location.
“Where should we go?” you wonder.
The client, colleague, or potential hire that you are taking to lunch is important and you want to pick the best setting possible.
While most “best business lunch” lists suggest a number of excellent options, they don’t specify who you should take to each location. We’ve found that the answer to where to take someone depends on what you are trying to accomplish and how close your relationship is with that person.
These are the guests that you should take to the best business lunch spots in downtown Toronto:
Take: The One You’re Trying to Impress
Canoe is one of the best-rated restaurants in Toronto year-over-year for a reason: it’s really good.
Known for its amazing view from the top of the TD Bank Tower, Canoe serves Canadian-themed fine dining fare. The atmosphere is formal, yet comfortable, and the menu, featuring items such as Québec foie gras terrine and braised Tamarack lamb, is sure to be up to the standards of even the most discerning palate.
Canoe is the perfect location to celebrate the closing of a deal or to wow out of town clients. It’s where you bring someone when you want to show them that you respect them and their time. If you are trying to make a good first impression, or to impress in general, Canoe is the place to go.
2. The Chase
Take: The One You Want to Get to Know Better
The Chase has garnered praise for its top-notch seafood dishes (order the halibut – trust us), beautiful view and atmosphere of casual elegance.
Aptly named, The Chase is the perfect place to bring a potential hire or a business associate that you would like to work with closely. Providing your guest with an upscale dining experience shows that you want to treat them well, and the cheerful tone suggests that you are ready to remove some of the formality from your relationship.
Taking someone here for a business lunch says, “I don’t want our relationship to be short-term or transactional. I want to invest time with you and build trust. Let’s be friends.”
Tip: If you are working from our Yonge location, consider bringing your guest to The Chase. Both iQ and The Chase are located in the historic Dineen Building, so you’re only an elevator ride away from an amazing meal.
Take: The One You’d Forward an Interesting Article To
Richmond Station has become a business lunch staple in the financial core. Opened in 2012, it has been consistently praised for its mouth-watering dishes, such as beef tartare and grilled Cornish hen.
With a neighbourhood-restaurant vibe and cozy tables, this is the place to bring a person that you’ve known for some time – you’ve gotten past the point of first introductions and want to strengthen and maintain your connection.
If you are looking to spend some outside-the-office time with a colleague, or hint to a long-time client that they and their business remain at the top of your mind, take them to Richmond Station, have a friendly chat, and enjoy some delicious food in the process.
Take: The One You’re Comfortable Texting
If you are lucky enough to have a client or colleague who is also a friend, take them to Bymark for lunch.
Bymark has all the essential ingredients for a good time: relaxed setting, drinks that pack a punch, and amazing food – for an indulgent treat, have the lobster grilled cheese. This place is a reminder that Bay Street and business do not always have to be stuffy.
Having a two-hour lunch while sitting on Bymark’s patio and sipping on one (or two) of their perfectly balanced cocktails is easy to do. Save this spot for when you have a few hours to spare and an afternoon of light-administrative work ahead of you.
Take: The One Who’s Way Too Busy For Lunch
With jam-packed days of meetings, calls, emails and dozens of other things that need to get done, it can be hard for busy clients to find time to connect, especially if they are only in town for a few days.
If your client wants to meet but can’t find time at lunch, show them that maintaining the relationship is important and suggest meeting at breakfast.
Open at 7:00 a.m. and situated in the heart of the financial district, Stratus offers the ideal location to maximize your time with clients before the day ramps up. Start the day off on the right foot with elevated breakfast foods, like the wild mushroom omelette or smoked salmon eggs benedict, and get some quality face-to-face time with your client in the process.
iQ’s office locations are in close proximity to all of these great options, so whether you want to close a deal, get to know a colleague better or have drinks with a friend while talking shop, the perfect business lunch spot is only a few minutes away.