Step 1: Starter
The boss has just arrived from Hong Kong, the States or their big office on the 25th floor and is expecting to be wined and dined. This is your chance to shine and spend some one-on-one time (read: Suck up) to the person who could change your career. Follow these rules when choosing your venue and your meal will be a surefire success.
a) Not somewhere too romantic. You don’t want them to get the wrong idea.
b) Not somewhere too touristy. You want them to think you are at least a bit selective and savvy about all the coolest and latest eateries.
c) Somewhere that does have a wow factor (like a good view, or a lively location). Taking you boss down some back street dive in the middle of nowhere might show you know your city, but won’t impress or make them feel they’re somewhere really special.
d) Not somewhere too noisy, groovy or nouveau cuisine. Chances are your boss is a bit older, so while he or she will want to be seen at a happening joint, they won’t want to feel uncomfortable or out of their element either.
e) No buffets. To create a rapport you want to trap your boss at the table with you for as long as you can—getting up and down to fill plates will just prove a distraction and break the continuity in the conversation.
f) Ditto cheap hole-in-the-wall eateries. Your boss needs to feel important and as if the meal is a special occasion, not that you are a Scrooge.
g) Ditto places you’ve never been before or that haven’t come highly recommended from a trusted source. You want to be sure it’s all going to go smoothly, so don’t risk it with a newbie.
Step 2: Main Course
The dos and don’ts of how to behave during the meal.
a) Dress up, but conservatively. Flip flops are probably not appropriate, nor is a backless number either.
b) Order the same number of courses as your boss. Making them feel like a pig because you refused to order dessert won’t help your cause.
c) Know your stuff. You need to be able to hold a conversation about interesting and intellectual topics. Which brings us to the don’ts.
a) Bullshit your way through a conversation to make yourself look good.
b) Starting up high brow conversations on topics you know nothing about will only make you look stupid.
c) Eat like you’re at home or in a hawker centre. No slurping (unless your boss is Japanese), no eating food with your hands in a fine dining establishment and no bones on the table.
d) Get drunk. Bad idea.
e) Don’t wait for your boss to pay the bill. Always make the first move, and then if they argue, it’s probably OK to let them pay.
Step 3: Dessert
Where to Go
You can expense this, right, so go on the town. Here are some of the best restaurants that provide excellent food, consistent service, and are known faves for corporate entertaining.
Where to take your boss to convince him or her that you need a bigger team:
Garibaldi, #01-20, 36 Purvis St., 6837-1468.
The laid back atmosphere and charming service will make you look like a top notch networker and people-person.
Where to take your boss to get him or her to sign off an all-expenses paid junket:
Oso, 27 Tanjong Pagar Rd., 6327-8378.
Wine and dine him or her through all of Italy’s best culinary fare and then convince your boss you need to bring more of this stuff back to Singapore.
Where to take your boss to convince him or her you need a pay rise:
Saint Pierre, #01-01 Central Mall, 3 Magazine Rd., 6438-0887.
The truly impressive food and wine may just be enough to show your boss that your pay packet isn’t quite living up to your chosen lifestyle.
Where to seduce your boss:
San Marco, 8/F, The Fullerton Singapore, 1 Fullerton Sq., 6438-4404.
Sparkling lights set the groundwork for a romantic atmosphere, and if that doesn’t work, it’s still a jolly good view and there are enough corporate types there that you won’t look too stupid.
Where to take your boss to stop him or her from giving you the sack:
Le Saint Julien, #02-01/02 The Fullerton Water Boat House, 3 Fullerton Rd., 6534-5947.
The charming view and elegant service may just be enough to lull some generosity out of your boss, at least for another 24 hours.