Business lunches are a fun way to learn more about your employees, clients and partners while getting work accomplished. When people are pressed for time, a lunch meeting can be a good way to touch base on important projects and deadlines and discuss new ideas while multitasking and enjoying a nourishing meal. Sending a work lunch invitation email is often the quickest way to make plans with business associates.

Match the Tone to the Relationship

The way you write your lunch meeting email will depend on your relationship to the recipient. For example, if you’re inviting a new client whom you don’t know very well, it may be wise to keep the tone of your email formal. Similarly, if you’re requesting a meeting with a superior at your company, then write your email in a formal voice.

For example, you could write, “Would you be available for a short lunch meeting this week to discuss the brief?” However, if you’re inviting colleagues whom you frequently see, then a casual tone is acceptable, as in, “Let’s grab some lunch on Thursday to talk about the new project.”

Pick an Engaging Subject Line

Businesspeople often receive dozens of emails each day, so it’s important to make your work lunch invitation email stand out with the subject line. If your subject line doesn’t cover what the email is about, then the recipient may not read the email or gloss over your lunch request.

Some examples of effective subject lines include:

  •  Working lunch to discuss new project
  •  Are you free for lunch on Thursday?
  •  Team lunch and new policy discussion
  •  Lunch and new deliverables

Select the Right Place and Time

The work day is often packed with meetings and deadlines, so people may not have hours to spend on a leisurely lunch. Instead, assume that the people you invite will be pressed for time and likely cannot travel far to a restaurant. Select a restaurant close to your office if you’re inviting colleagues or close to the client’s office if you’re inviting a client. Make it convenient for your guests to attend lunch.

It’s common to have lunch sometime between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., so select a time between those hours that fits with your calendar. Give your guest a couple of options for dates and times in your invite if you don’t know when he is available. For example, “Are you available on Wednesday or Friday for a working lunch? I’m free both days between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Please let me know what works best for you.

If you are inviting a colleague, you may be able to use your email calendar to see his availability. Mention this in your invitation, for example: “I see that you’re free next Tuesday afternoon. Would you like to meet for lunch that day to discuss the new project?

Don’t Forget to Book It

Once you have determined a place and time for your lunch, call ahead to the restaurant to make a reservation. This will ensure you won’t have to wait for a table and can get started on your lunch meeting right away.

In addition to the lunch meeting email, you’ll need to send a calendar invite so that both you and your guests have the lunch booked off in your work calendars. This way, you’ll ensure that no conflicting meetings get booked during that time. Having the lunch meeting blocked off in the calendar is also an excellent reminder for all parties involved.

Business Lunch Invitation Email Example

Subject: Lunch and campaign update

Hi Sandy,

It’s been a while since we connected on the new campaign. I’m hoping we can meet for lunch next week to discuss the details. I’m available next Thursday and Friday between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Let me know if either of those days work for you; otherwise, we can find another time.

There is a great new gourmet sandwich place near your office. Alternatively, we can go to the sushi restaurant you mentioned that you like. I’ll make a reservation for us once we’ve settled on the details.

Looking forward to hearing back,