Agencies Agency Culture How To Expense It

Meeting a client in Miami? Here’s where to take them


By Sam Bradley, Journalist

January 26, 2024 | 11 min read

Choosing the right spot for a client catch-up or recruitment meeting isn’t simple. We continue our series on business, food and drink with a trip to sunny Florida.

Miami beackfront

Meeting a client for the first time in Miami? Here’s some great recommendations / Unsplash

Despite the industry-wide shift to hybrid working arrangements, plenty of business is still done over lunch or with a drink in hand. But choosing the right place to meet a contact, lead or recruitment target isn’t easy.

Choose a spot that neglects your partner’s veganism, only offers alcoholic drinks or that’s just too expensive and you risk damaging an important relationship.

So, to help you dodge that destiny, we’ve asked our agency contacts across the global industry to share their hot tips. This week, we’re in Miami with Gut’s head of brand leadership, Joselyn Bickford, and head of talent, Dawn Astley.

For a decent – and discreet – cup of coffee with a potential hire, Astley volunteers Panther Coffee and Venezuelan joint Caracas Bakery, which provides “the most delicious homemade bread you could ever hope for.“ The former, she adds, “offers second-to-none specialty coffee with a Miami flair. “It’s a great spot for a quick kickstart to your day before work begins.“

For a decent seafood lunch, Bickford puts forward Calista Greek Seafood Taverna in Coral Gables. “Fresh seafood dishes and vibrant atmosphere are perfect for lively conversation and building rapport,” she says.

If your contact fancies themselves a corporate Bourdain, they might be more interested in some decent street food than a white-tablecloth setup. Bickford has a few suggestions up her sleeve. Smorgasburg, an open-air food market in artsy Wynwood, boasts “a rotating lineup of local vendors, offering everything from Cuban classics to Asian fusion and gourmet takes on comfort food,” she says.

“Live music and colorful street art add to the lively atmosphere, making it a memorable experience.”

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Astley puts a vote in for Mr Mandolin, a Greek and Turkish eatery a short walk from Gut’s Miami offices. “The vibe is a mix of Mediterranean exotic and yet somehow still decidedly local,“ she says.

For those looking to go deeper on Miami’s Cuban connections, Bickford recommends Enriqueta’s Sandwich Shop. “This local legend has been serving up delectable Cubanos and other sandwiches for decades. The portions are generous, the prices are friendly and the taste is authentic,” she says. And if their appetites aren’t satisfied, she suggests exploring Calle Ocho in Little Havana. “We love booking client dinners at Cafe La Trova for its food and live music.”

Astley suggests checking out Luna Pasta e Dolci, a local favorite. “Famous in South Florida for its artisanal homemade pasta, it never disappoints. It’s appropriate for families, dates and business dinners, and the energy makes it a lively dining experience.“

If you’re after a drink to toast a new business partnership, Bickford recommends the views and art deco aesthetic of the Champagne Bar at the Four Seasons or South Beach for its “trendy bars and endless people-watching opportunities.”

And for a quieter sip, she suggests Balinese joint Sugar. “Their rooftop bar offers stunning cityscapes and handcrafted cocktails perfect for toasting your success.”

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