Writer & Photographer / Julie Yates
This is the first of a three-part series on lunching in Greenwood. Different people have different tastes and needs. This month we start with the “business lunch.” Over the next few months, I will be writing about places that cater to women looking for a longer, more elegant lunch experience. Finally, I will visit locations that don’t cater to the suit-and-tie crowd and can fill your lunch needs at a lower price point.
Even though technology lessens the need for face-to-face contact in the world today, recent visits to several area restaurants proved that the business lunch is still thriving in Greenwood. Sitting down with a business associate outside of the office environment and sharing a meal shows that the relationship is a valued one. The more relaxed atmosphere can enhance communication that leads to building trust and ultimately hammering out the details of a deal. The following restaurants all have traits that make them viable places for a working lunch.
Located at 997 East County Line Road in Greenwood, Fireside Brewhouse has promotions in place that specifically cater to the noonday crowd. A “Lunch Club Card” entitles patrons to a free lunch after six dine-in visits, and the server will double mark the card on “Double Stamp Mondays.” On “Workplace Wednesdays,” co-workers receive 10% off their bill when three or more dine together. Employees at St. Francis Hospital get the 10% reduction every day if they show their ID badge. Keeping in mind that an important aspect of a business lunch is being respectful of a client’s time, server Renee stated, “We are good at getting people in and out.” A private room is also available for larger business meetings.
Close to an abundance of commerce at 920 US 31 North in Greenwood, Johnny Carino’s has plenty of seating choices that make it easy to follow the protocol of picking an out-of-the-way table with fewer distractions. Another adage of the business lunch is that the initiator picks up the tab. The everyday $7.99 or less “Small Plate Lunch” menu with 25+ choices might make it easier to include additional participants at a lunch meeting. General Manager Cynthia Williams explained that many items can be made gluten-free if requested when ordering, and the chefs are especially accommodating to diners with food allergies. Items that are low-fat or spicy are indicated on the menu.
Between the Bun
Between the Bun, 102 S. Madison Avenue in Greenwood, makes it easy to break the ice. With its memorabilia-filled atmosphere and trendy menu of over-the-top burgers and hot dogs, small talk before ordering will not be a problem. At a business lunch, it might be wise to use a knife and fork for these sandwiches. Owner Trisha Sims advises, “Don’t be afraid to smash it down and dig in. It tastes even better than it looks.” Bringing a client or associate here could strengthen an existing business relationship, paving the way for a profitable future.
Taking the time out to have lunch with potential clients or present colleagues is an enjoyable way to do business. It may be productive, as well, since conversation tends to be more candid and barriers are often lowered. So put the phone down, turn the computer off and have some fun face-to-face interaction.