The Business Lunch Portal.

How long is your lunch break? A full "eight-hour day" is at least nine hours long for most of us. You may never see a cent of overtime for all of those late nights, but you can at least enjoy a respectable lunch!

The chart below shows how much free labor you're giving your employer by not taking a full hour for lunch every day. This $1200+ charitable gift isn't tax deductible, so instead, you'd be wise to take advantage of every minute you have coming to you. Time isn't money—it's better than money, and using the Official Business Lunch model, you can take it back from the powers that be, and use it to power your own pet projects.

Shocking Chart of OBL TruthDownload: [xls] [pdf]

How to Use OBL

The OBL model is simple—it's all about co-opting the organized and efficient structure of the business lunch to make progress on your own projects during the work day.

After a nine or ten hour day at work, even the most creatively motivated among us can have a hard time summoning the energy to organize and execute our personal projects. But in the middle of the workday, say around lunch time, most of us have energy, momentum, and—if we take it—time to burn.

On this site, you'll find sample agendas to help you put together a structured business lunch. Taking the ball and running with it is highly encouraged—as is sharing your success stories, customized agendas, and innovative strategies.

Tenets of OBL

  1. Dress the part. Business casual attire is not required, but it is encouraged.
  2. Bring visual aids. Be it a PowerPoint presentation or a Venn diagram drawn on a napkin, a picture is worth a thousand words...and it looks pretty, too.
  3. Be serious. Taking a full hour for lunch every day should be as high a priority as going to work every day, and your personal projects warrant the same dedication as your boss'.
  4. Don't be too serious. The OBL model promotes donating time to your projects that you would have spent on someone else's. View it as a pleasure, not an obligation.
  5. Make OBL your own. The resources and agendas on our site are just a starting point; feel free to use them right out of the box, or customize to your hearts content.
  6. Spread the word. If you love the OBL model, share your success stories with your friends! And don't forget to share them with us, as well. Email new agendas, favorite lunch spots and testimonials to:

Today's Appetizer

Did you know... that only 13% of surveyed executives reported regularly checking the dietary preferences of their business lunch guests?

Upcoming Events

08/14/08 12:30pm @ PHWH
Dressed for Success: A Cultural Ethnography of Business Lunch Dress Customs in the Multivarious Neighborhoods and Industries of San Francisco. Laura Balch presents the results of her groundbreaking study. Follwed by Q&A. $10, light lunch provided.

09/21/08 (CANCELLED)
"That's Not Salt": Reflections on a Lifetime of Business at Lunch Warren Buffet speaks about his recently published memoirs. Followed by booksigning; $32 ticket, free copy of book.