With advancements in technology, communication is easier than ever before. Email, cell phones, and social media have allowed us to connect with coworkers and potential customers without ever having to leave the comfort of our offices.

All of this has thrown into flux old-fashioned professional norms. Like the business lunch. Is it still a thing?

“One hundred percent,” says realtor Katie Clancy, owner of The Cape House in Yarmouth Port. “Since the evolution of the internet and the way we communicate and connect, it’s made face-to-face contact even more valuable and impactful. If you can get face-to-face with someone, for me the deal is done.”

That’s why the business lunch is so important. On a good day, it’s where relationships are strengthened. On a great day, it’s where deals are made.

What’s the criteria for a good business lunch setting? Clancy placed these at the top of the list:

  • Cleanliness – They say first impressions are everything which holds true for restaurants. There’s only one exception to this rule, Clancy says, and that’s if the restaurant’s character outweighs its appearance.
  • Reliability – Your time should be focused on the business at hand. The best Cape restaurants understand this.
  • Parking – No one likes to be late, especially for a meeting.

And last, but not least – the food. “It should be good, but doesn’t have to be luxury cuisine,” Clancy says. “Menus should be interesting enough to please a wide variety of people, but nothing so esoteric that someone would be embarrassed trying to pronounce something on the menu.”

What Cape Cod restaurants check off all these boxes? We reached out to several local professionals in banking, business, the arts, nonprofit, and technology sectors. Here’s what they had to recommend.

The Merc (Dennis) – Self-described as the quintessential neighborhood café, this is a go-to for HubSpot Product Editor-In-Chief Beth Dunn who prefers a more casual setting, with fast service, for her meetings.

The great sandwiches (bonus: there’s lots of vegetarian options) don’t hurt either. Upstairs, away from the crowds, is where you’ll want to talk.

And when you’re done, Dunn encourages a stop next door at the Underground Bakery where the cookies and treats are, in her words: “A. Maz. Ing. Always send them home with a sweet treat, that’s my motto.”

Pizza Barbone (Hyannis) – Like its name suggests, this Main Street eatery specializes in pizza. And it’s consistently ranked among the best on Cape Cod.

It’s also clean (check) and fashionably modern, reliable (check) and there’s plenty of parking (check). Several people we reached out to had this on their list.

Green Lotus Cafe (Hyannis) – A short walk from Pizza Barbone, this restaurant also checks off all of Clancy’s recommended boxes. And as one of the region’s few vegan and vegetarian restaurants, it caters to those who prefer eating healthier.

Scargo Cafe (Dennis) – A favorite of Clancy’s, this is a longstanding Cape establishment – it celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2017 – that continues to impress. It has a cozy, welcoming atmosphere, high quality food, and excellent service. Basically, everything you want (and need) for a business lunch.

Ocean Street Café & Deli (Hyannis) – A deli that specializes in sandwiches with a Mediterranean and Eastern European twist, including shish kebabs, falafel, and grilled eggplant. It’s no frills with great food that is matched by great service.

The Marshside Restaurant (Dennis) – With the Cape’s proximity to the ocean, no restaurant list is complete without including one that has waterfront views. Thanks to its huge windows, this casual American-seafood eatery offers just that, overlooking a nearby marsh and Sesuit Creek.

More Business Lunch Hot Spots

Columbo’s (Hyannis)

Dolphin Restaurant (Barnstable)

Encore Bistro and Bar (Dennis)

Naked Oyster (Hyannis)

Red Nun Bar & Grill (Dennis Port)

Rendezvous Café (Hyannis)