Owning and operating a tearoom, its only natural that when I need to meet with someone to discuss marketing strategies, future events, or collaborate with other business owners, we meet at The Elephant Room and drink tea. Likewise, I observe a number of regular professionals conducting their own meetings over tea on a weekly and sometimes daily basis. This recurrence lead me to wonder …
Is drinking tea good for business?
After some research, I came across some interesting points and also developed a few of my own.
- To start, meeting over tea is a great social equalizer. It’s sophisticated yet without pretension and, therefore, not intimidating, as can be the case in fancier (more expensive) restaurants. Inviting someone for tea results in more casual conversation, which really aids in mutual connection regardless of title.
- With such variety and individual characteristics, there is a tea for everyone, not to mention, it makes for great ice-breaking conversation. Building business relationships goes a long way further than merely performing “business transactions” and a cup of tea is a good starting point.
- Tearooms are overall, more relaxed than the average restaurant looking to turn tables. Meeting for lunch or dinner with overly attentive waiters and an underlying mission to get you out of there can really affect the flow of conversation.
- And I don’t know about you, but while alcohol may loosen the mood, I’m not making any decisions over a martini!
Some more practical advantages for mixing tea and business:
- Tea meetings are easy to schedule. You can meet before the workday begins or schedule an afternoon tea meeting – earlier for a long meeting or later for a short meeting with a cup to help perk you up;
- The atmosphere of a tearoom far outweighs the dull confines of an office building, adding to alertness;
- Tea meetings are a minimally invasive way to schedule that important contact or client prospect, especially if they have a busy schedule;
- Tea meetings are a cost effective way to conduct business, especially in today’s economic climate.
Enough of what I think, what about our customers?
I set out to ask those customers who have made The Elephant Room their office away from the office and this is what I found:
- First off, it seems people actually find our clean crisp interior not just relaxing but at the same time conducive to productivity. It sounds contradictory but our “zen space” isn’t overly stimulating and, therefore, supports a more focused mental state. Similarly, with few distractions its intimacy allows for in-depth business discussion.
- Creative professionals expressed an ease for drawing inspiration out everything from our tea to our music and the overall surrounding energy.
- Others credited a consistency in service combined with a unique concept that never fails to impress.
In the two years that we’ve been open I am happy to share (that I know of) at least four startups and two books have been been created almost entirely within our walls!
Tea and Business, not two things you would readily pair; however, given some reflection, the duo makes perfect sense. Why don’t you stop by The Elephant Room for your next business meeting, startup launch, brainstorming session, or moment of creativity. Based on our findings, doing so over a cup of tea will only help you get to where you’re going.