Why great food is essential for an effective business meeting

A feasting menu at Goodwood
A feasting menu at Goodwood

If you Google what makes a great and effective business meeting you will come across helpful tips such as ‘create an agenda’, ‘identify key participants’, and ‘maintain the focus’.

You will read that meetings are ‘empowering’, a ‘great way to communicate’, and can ‘boost morale’.

However, what you may not read – which you will in this article – is this top tip.....feed your participants with excellent food.

The old idiom ‘the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach’ certainly works just as well for women and you will be left with much happier and satisfied employees/attendees.

A case in point is a recent business meeting I attended. Held in the Lennox Suite at Goodwood Hotel, Chichester, the meeting had all the elements that make for a ‘successful’ meeting ... plus it had superb food in a relaxing and beautiful setting.

On arrival we were greeted with a selection of teas, coffees and pastries – a great way to get the meeting off to a good start.

The stylish suite benefited from plenty of natural daylight, thanks to an abundance of large windows, and all the delegates were given a Goodwood stamped notebook and pencil.

The large free car park and plenty of offshoot rooms to roam in, as well as a stunning courtyard, also helped create a positive and relaxed atmosphere.

Farmer, Butcher, Chef is Goodwood Hotel’s excellent restaurant (well worth visiting if you fancy a delicious meal) and it is the chefs from here that produce all the food for private hire events.

The menus are designed to allow guests to enjoy a variety of delicious dishes, with the frequently changing menu championing seasonal English fare, showcasing Goodwood’s own produce along with selected ingredients from local suppliers.

Within the Lennox the hotel provides a ‘feasting menu’, made from sumptuous sharing boards served to the table and including a varied selection of starters and main courses.

During our meeting we were rewarded with bread, cheese straws, ham and apricot pie, celery and apple salad, salmon, mackerel, and cold meats all attractively presented on platters.

Thinking this was our lunch we heartily tucked into the gourmet food, only to realise this was just the start.

Following this were platters of beautifully cooked lamb, roast potatoes, vegetables and cauliflower cheese.

And then it was time for dessert.

Puddings can either be presented on the table as before or a selection of indulgent treats are served on the sideboard so that guests can pick and choose as they wish.

During our meeting, the desserts consisted of trifle, sticky toffee pudding, peanut brittle, granola and clotted cream. Pure heaven!

With happy bellies and big grins on our faces the rest of the meeting proceeded in good spirits and achieved everything that the chairman set out for it to achieve.

You may not consider food to be a deal breaker when it comes to hosting a successful meeting, but you can guarantee that a full stomach and a happy workforce will produce positive results as well as make for a great day out.

The Lennox Room hire is from £500 + VAT, with a feasting menu from £38 + VAT per person.

Other rooms and spaces to choose from include the al fresco Cedar Lawn, the large Cedar Suite, the Oaks Suite, and the Syndicate Rooms.

To find out more about hosting a meeting at Goodwood hotel, visit www.goodwood.com/business/meetings-events/feasting-for-business/