I dine out a lot. I was raised by restauranteurs, and as we travelled we always enjoyed exploring new eateries. Dinning can be the connectors best tool. Because I travel a lot I try to do two things: leave time to explore where I am going and always make meetings over a good meal. This past week is a great example. My friend and business colleague Oliver Glenn (who is a Senior Account Manager at Openfeint.com Now with GREE) invited Chris Skaggs and I to dinner before the Open Feint VIP party at Casual Connect, a gaming conference. Oliver had picked a great local restaurant featuring a unique and delicious menu. Our time at The Wild Ginger was filled not only with business dealings, but also with catching up on each others lives and just enjoying the company. So much happens over the course of a meal. You learn about your companion’s tastes and interests. I have learned that dinner is much more a meal.
Lastly, you never know what eating out might offer. I have had the surprise of dinning next to Elton John, and meeting new friends, like the greeter at San Diego Gas lamp districts Analog Restaurant and Bar. While at dinner with Oliver, we noticed Kenny G was enjoying a party with friends a few tables over. So don’t settle for fast food and dull dinning. Mix it up, from elegant dining to awesome street vendor. Dinning out, especially while travelling, can be one of the connectors most valuable tools.
For reference I am trying to post on my favorite haunts on Yelp. It is far form complete but hopefully will be soon. I hope it is helpful.
A good read as well is Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi.