Forget a power lunch - try a power tea!

June 1, 1999

Pharmaceutical Representative

A cup of kindness generates goodwill.

When lunch seems too long or your expense budget is already stretched, try an afternoon or power tea. Tea is a part of almost every culture in the world. Show yourself to be different, creative and perhaps memorable by inviting someone to experience tea.

Afternoon tea is served at tearooms in some hotels from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., depending on the location. You may meet at a hotel lobby to share business conversation over a cup of tea and sandwiches. Try tea even if you are not normally a tea drinker. Taking afternoon tea at 3 p.m. or 4 p.m. is a sophisticated way to end the workday, meet a client, conduct business, interview a prospective employee, entertain clients and/or enjoy a light meal.

There are several reasons for having tea (also known as taking tea) with a business colleague. Tea time occurs in the afternoon and enables you to spend at least three-quarters of the workday in the office. There are no questions about alcohol consumption; the beverage is tea. Generally, a tea meeting will be less expensive than a lunch meeting. You spend less time away from the office. The setting can be as comfortable or formal as you choose. It works well with mixed gender meetings, but be familiar with the location so that it does not convey a romantic setting.

Who pours the tea?

The host pours the tea for his guests. If there is more than one host, the junior host pours in respect to the others. Other power tea etiquette:


•Â Be knowledgeable about the hotel/tearoom services.


•Â Make reservations in advance.


•Â Arrive early and select a well-lit table.


• Arrange for payment in advance. Pay discreetly.


•Â Familiarize yourself with the menu.


•Â Learn the house specialties and tea terminology. For example, afternoon tea is a mini-meal, while high tea is at 6:00 p.m.


•Â Arrange with the hotel to pay your guest's parking.


•Â Walk your guest to the exit when leaving. PR