The Business Dinner – An introvert’s dilemma

Growing up, my view of business dinners was shaped by the television show “Bewitched”, when Darren invited Mr. Tate home to a meal made by his lovely wife/witch Samantha. Usually there was a great deal of stress upon poor Darren, mostly due to how his career would suffer if, say, Mr. Tate was accidentally turned into a monkey.

As I’ve entered the work force, I found that the no one really invited the boss home anymore. What was now in fashion was to be taken out to eat. This was a trend I could really get behind.

In truth, the business dinner has little to do with food. At the very least, food is not the primary point of the meal. Often it’s there as a piece of artwork, to be admired and commented upon, but little else. In truth, business dinners are about networking, and perhaps fostering a high morale work environment.

In real life, I am an introvert. Don’t get me wrong, I love to go out and meet people and to socialize a bit. But in order to re-energize myself, I have to be at home where I can relax in my comfort zone. Going out to dinner for reasons other than to enjoy food takes me out of my comfort zone, and can be a bit taxing. It’s not impossible, and in fact can be enjoyable. But in order for me to make it enjoyable, I have to trick my mind into thinking that it’s not a social event, but a work event.

I make this disclosure, as I have a business dinner coming up in a few days. Luckily, it’s with people I’ve had dinner with before, and I enjoy all of their company. But I know that this isn’t dinner isn’t about the food. For a person who enjoys going out to eat in order to find great food, this can be a difficult proposition.

Has anyone else had problems with business dinners? How many of you foodie introverts out there have dealt with this?