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Today, I just want to take a moment to fill you in on one of my favorite things to do at Söntés. Well, yes, there’s the amazing food, drinks, and people—and what’s great is when they can all come together. Business dinners may seem like a tough challenge at first, but when you’ve been doing them for as long as Karen and I have, you learn exactly what elements make up a great dinner and you know exactly how to put them together. And it’s awesome. When a whole group of people can walk in, have a great time, listen to a speaker, learn some things, and then go home satisfied, that’s a wonderful feeling.

Wonder how we do it? The thing is, we have a whole different approach to the concept of a business dinner in Rochester. Here’s a basic outline of the most successful business dinners we’ve hosted at Söntés.

  1. Let the guests order for themselves.

Most businesses hosting a dinner have a pretty strict budget, so their guests are offered choices from a pre-selected menu in order to make sure the cost for dinner doesn’t get out of hand. However, this often means that few of the guests are truly happy with their selections. If you offer your guests the whole menu to choose from, they’ll be able to select something that meets their individual needs—whether that be level of appetite, dietary restrictions, or just simple preference. Overall, your guests will be much happier with the meal, trust me!

  1. Consider a different style of dining.

Most business dinner follow the usual American formula for dinner: a few appetizer, a large entrée, and then dessert. Usually, all of the guests sit in a line and face the speaker, and they don’t have much occasion to chat with one another or share ideas. If you change up the formula, though, you may end up with a more successful dinner overall. Set out appetizers and give guests time to mingle and chat at the beginning, let your guests order some food, then everyone can sit down and listen to the speaker. Change up the seating to encourage a more relaxed atmosphere, and break up the presentation to allow for discussion over dinner.

  1. Trust your server.

The servers at Söntés are great at their jobs, and they’re committed to helping everything come together perfectly for our guests. Trust your server to monitor your guests’ appetites and interest level, bring out more food when necessary, and cut back as people are slowing down. Your server can also help with timing—making sure that your dinner is kept on track.

  1. Don’t worry, your budget is safe with us!

Most event organizers and business owners worry that if they let their guests have complete freedom, their budget will be good and blown. The thing is, that’s not true. I’m telling you here and now that if you let us run your business dinner like I’ve described above, you’ll not only meet your budget, but you may even have room to spare. People are frankly surprised by how inexpensive a business dinner with us can be. Think about it, though. Our dishes are not as expensive as folks assume, and they’re rich and filling. Most guests will order a moderate amount, and not the most expensive things on the menu, either. As far as drinks go, we’ll work with you to determine what your budget is, and get you some great wine or bar drinks within that amount.

Want to know the best part?

There’s no charge for us to create a special menu, and no charge for us to organize the event. There is a room fee if you want to reserve a private room in advance, but if it’s a smaller group, we can arrange a seating area in one of our main dining rooms for no fee whatsoever.

So, if you’re thinking about hosting a Rochester business dinner or a party, give us a ring or shoot us an email!