Power lunches! Lunches that give you powwwwwer! Did you know that — as we speak — there are women out there who are lunching and becoming powerful and making business deals at fancy restaurants across the globe (but particularly in downtown Manhattan)? You do now thanks to this exposé by the New York Times, the one paper of record that we can count on to keep us informed on the meals that matter. (Quick catch-up: Dinner? Out. Breakfast? Mention it and you are socially DEAD. Power lunches? IN. IN. IN.)
Power lunching, as it turns out, is not a simple concept. It's not enough that you eat food and do business simultaneously. You also have to think about BRAND — your brand, specifically — and how the food you eat and the restaurant you eat it at all plays into it.
From the New York Times:
“Where you go to have lunch has to be on brand with your brand,” said Carrie Rosten, a consultant for media companies and magazines — as much a signal of your sensibility as the shoes you wear. She added: “You’re not going to some Midtown spectacle of a place. Because that’s not cool. That’s a different thing.”
Some brands are cooler than other brands and everybody — everybody — has to have a brand.
So what does your own personal choice of power lunch tell us about yours?
WHERE YOU'RE EATING: The McDonald's parking lot where you've been parked for hours, staring blankly out your windshield at the glass-encased McDonald's Playplace.
WHAT YOU'RE EATING: You ordered a McFish, but it sits untouched in the passenger seat, growing colder with every passing minute.
WHAT IT SAYS ABOUT YOUR BRAND: Your brand is that you're having an affair with your next door neighbor Rick. You're married. He's married. Both of you have families, but you're planning on running away together. You wonder, as you watch strangers' children play in the ball pit, whether your own children will ever forgive you Your car — it stinks of fish and weakness.
WHERE YOU'RE EATING: Out of your kitchen garbage.
WHAT YOU'RE EATING: The leftovers of whatever it was your roommate threw away earlier. Some roasted potato/bread-y thing? Whatever it was, it was wrapped in foil and you found it on top of the can, not touching any other garbage, so who cares? Everyone does it. Right? RIGHT?
WHAT IT SAYS ABOUT YOUR BRAND: You turn garbage lemons into garbage lemonade. You also probably fall asleep forgetting to brush your teeth a lot.
WHERE YOU'RE EATING: A stall in the bathroom of your office, safely hidden from the cruel, social environment of the corporate jungle.
WHAT YOU'RE EATING: Peanut butter and jelly sandwich, baby carrots and a pudding cup.
WHAT IT SAYS ABOUT YOUR BRAND: Your coworkers think you are quiet and weird and they make fun of you behind your back. Because you are willing to eat a meal in a public toilet of your office's co-ed bathroom (because you also happen work at the law firm from Ally McBeal), they are right to think you are gross and even more right to mock you.
WHERE YOU'RE EATING: The Great Hall at Minas Tirith.
WHAT YOU'RE EATING: A whole chicken, other various meats, juicy juicy tomatoes.
WHAT IT SAYS ABOUT YOUR BRAND: Yo, you're that FUCKED UP king from Lord of the Rings. Quit making that sad hobbit sing.
WHERE YOU'RE EATING: On your bed, using your own sternum as a napkin/balancing surface.
WHAT YOU'RE EATING: Chips and salsa, soup, a Thanksgiving dinner eaten alone. Trust me — you can do this with anything!
WHAT IT SAYS ABOUT YOUR BRAND: You are a sassy, red-headed Jezebel writer who is so happy with her life that she doesn't even need a dining room table! All your friends and family love you very much and you definitely don't spend 80% of your waking hours panicking over whether or not you actually believe that. Sure, you're single, but that's only because you choose to be. You're too busy lovin' life to love anyone else! Oh, you're crying? Don't worry! Those are happy tears! Besides, you weren't planning on adding salt to whatever it is that you're eating? Well, good. This just saves you the trip to the kitchen.
WHERE YOU'RE EATING: Inside a recently-purchased, beautiful, old, creepy Victorian that was built atop an ancient burial ground. You and your spouse got a remarkably low deal on it. Considering today's market, you can hardly believe your luck.
WHAT YOU'RE EATING: Fruit that looks ripe when you bite into it, but turns rotten and full of worms once it's in your mouth.
WHAT IT SAYS ABOUT YOUR BRAND: You are about to be murdered by ghosts.
WHERE YOU'RE EATING: The beautiful, old, creepy Victorian built atop an ancient burial ground that you've haunted since dying violently as a child sometime in the late 1800s.
WHAT YOU'RE EATING: The fear of your home's living, newlywed residents. You've tried to eat food in your incorporeal form, but it just fell through your misty body and landed on the floor.
WHAT IT SAYS ABOUT YOUR BRAND: You are a murderous, Victorian child ghost.
Image via conrado/Shutterstock.