When was the last time you ate a really good meal while in a meeting?
- Call his or her assistant before the meal and ask if there are any places the boss hates -- or food that will cause the boss to go into anaphylactic shock and end your meeting much too quickly.
- Talk to the restaurant hostess before the meal to arrange a quiet table where you can talk. Somewhere away from the kitchen and front door. Ask that your server be told it's a business meal and you're willing to tip extra for the best waiter or waitress on staff.
- Turn off your cell phone or put it on mute during the meal. I shouldn't have to say this, but I do.
- Make sure there's nearby parking. If the boss won't be able to park, offer to arrange a taxi for him. Make sure you're there up to 15 minutes early so that you won't be late.
- Arrange to pick up the check beforehand.