January 23 , 2019  /   Marketing Strategy

The best restaurants for business meetings in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal

We all know how tough it is to pick a quick spot to meet a client when you are already so consumed with work, making the sale and everything else in between.

The last thing you want to do is to get on Google only to scour endless pages of restaurants in the desired neighborhood. So here is a guide for restaurant and food lovers alike who are looking to impress their clients with good food, while finding that perfect meeting place to spark a great conversation and fund that deal!


As one of the best foodie destinations in Canada, Montreal simply lives for food. From traditional recipes to refined and inventive flavours, Montreal restaurants pave way for the rest of the country. Here are a few selections of great restaurants to visit the next time you have a client lunch or dinner to plan.


Toqué! – Consistently listed as one of Canada’s top restaurants, Toqué! has been around for over 25 years and combines farm-fresh Québécois dishes & tasting menus from renowned chef Normand Laprise. The food is refined and delicious as well as beautifully plated. The restaurant itself is airy and colourful and its elegance and impeccable service can lend a helping hand at sealing the deal with your client. Reservations are a must at this Montreal institution.


XO Le Restaurant – Located inside Hotel Le St. James, this special-occasion restaurant located in an 1870 banker’s hall has everything from molecular-influenced tasting menus to seasonal local delicacies. The wine list is renowned for being selected by the hotel’s sommeliers from the finest cellars in the world. If you are looking to impress your client, or if you are treating your clients to a meal to thank them, this is the place!

Gibby’s Restaurant – For a less stuffy atmosphere with an old-world feel, Gibbys is a steakhouse located in an 18th-century stable in Old Montreal. With a good helping of seafood options and a warm and cozy fireplace, this restaurant is a local favourite. Don’t forget to take a look at their wine list!


As one of the most beautiful places to live in Canada, Vancouver does not skimp out when it comes to a great food scene. Located along the west coast, there is no shortage of fresh seafood and seasonal delicacies and not to mention a waterfront view that will impress most clients.

Here are some great spots to consider when choosing where to spark up that next conversation that could lead to your next funding.


Cactus Club – As a popular west coast chain, and proudly Canadian owned and operated, Cactus Club has what it takes for your next client meeting. Not only is Chef Rob Feenie’s menu consistently delicious, but west coasters love this restaurant and to kick it up a notch, the Coal Harbour location is 10,000-square-feet with views of Stanley Park, Coal Harbour and the North Shore Mountains. The view pays for itself! Located in most suburbs on the West Coast and now even in ON, AB and SK, Cactus Club is definitely a contender for your next business lunch.

Nightingale – As a follow up to acclaimed Chef David Hawksworth’s flagship – Hawksworth Restaurant in the Rosewood Hotel Georgia, Chef Hawksworth created his more informal restaurant serving modern Canadian fare, Nightingale. Located in the new MNP Tower next to the Marine Building, Nightingale has a grand contemporary room with soaring ceilings and natural light woods. Anchored by an open kitchen, the space and the food is a sure bet for your next client meeting.


Blue Water Café & Grill – Consistently awarded best seafood restaurant in Vancouver, Blue Water Café has been an institution in Yaletown since 1999. Known as a great after work hub and a dinner spot for special occasions, the food is delicious with its incredible open kitchen for fresh cooked seafood to its award-winning raw bar featuring renowned Japanese Chefs. If you are looking to impress your clients, this is the place. Not to mention, wine connoisseurs alike will sure to be impressed by the extensive list. Reservations are a must at this acclaimed seafood restaurant.


Known to be the foodie hub in Canada, Toronto has star powered chef’s oozing out of every corner in the city. The Toronto food scene is only growing with new and surprising restaurants opening all the time. But with all of this in mind, where would you impress your next client? Where could you potentially sign your next deal?

Here are a few great spots broken down into Lunch and Dinner meetings that will impress even the most conservative client.


Auberge du Pommier – Off the beaten path in a corporate complex in North York, is this cute little French cottage with a European flare. Steps away from York Mills station, this restaurant has been known to host many business meetings over the lunch hour. The food is French modern, and the plating is like a work of art. Service is unbeatable and the ambiance is quiet and elegant, perfect for a discreet business engagement. Reservations are highly recommended as it can get busy over the lunch hour.

The Keg – Although a popular family steakhouse, The Keg can be a great spot for a casual lunch (or dinner) with a great vibe (fireplace, good service), setting the tone for a great business meeting. Locations are all over Canada, and the food is consistently great across all locations.

Canoe – If wowing your client is on your list of to-do’s then Canoe’s view will do the trick. Atop the TD Tower in downtown Toronto, Canoe impresses Canadians and visitors alike with Canadian ingredients, ornate entrees and elegant drinks. Canoe is only open during the weekdays and weekends are typically reserved for private functions. Reservations are a must in this highly coveted hot spot.


Terroni Adelaide – For a casual business lunch for small or larger groups, this busy Italian eatery on Adelaide hits the spot. Located in a former courthouse, this casual-chic eatery serves classic Southern-Italian fare and is sure to please even the most old-fashioned client.

For a midtown location, Terroni on Yonge has its Price street location, steps away from Summerhill Station with one of the best rooftop patios in the summer.

The Chase – Located in the financial district, this seafood restaurant sits atop its more casual seafood diner, The Chase Fish and Oyster. With a beautiful elegant ambiance, you will impress your clients with its menu of lobster, foie gras and many seasonal specialties. Reservations are recommended.


The above list only scratches the surface on how the Canadian hospitality and culinary scene can work with you to help you close your next business deal. There’s nothing better than treating a client and giving them an experience to remember.

Live outside of these cities or did we miss any? Comment below to let us know your favourite spot to have business meetings

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  • On January 23 , 2019
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October 21 , 2021   /   Marketing Strategy

6 Ways to Leverage Social Media and Grow Your Business

A 2021 report by Statista states that 31.8 million Canadians are on social media. What’s more, according to Online Business Canada, 80% interact with businesses on those platforms, making it the perfect fertile ground for you to connect with new potential clients and educate them on the financial services you offer. If you’re interested in boosting your social presence and reaping the rewards for your business, read on for our six top tips!   1. Set goals Before getting started, set measurable goals for your social media strategy. Maybe you want to build awareness about your brand and the financial services you offer, position yourself as an authority in the finance sector, develop relationships with potential clients, or encourage them to contract your services directly through the social platform.   2. Choose the right platforms With so many social media platforms available, many businesses feel pressured to be on all of them, however, it’s much more efficient to post quality content on just one or two rather than posting everywhere half-heartedly. So, research where your target audience spends most of their time and focus your energy there. For example, if you want to target Canadians 55+ who are looking for financial advice, know that 75% of them use Facebook at least once a week, followed by 60% on YouTube, and 30% on Instagram, according to Booming Encore.   3. Get to know your audience Start with what you already know about your audience – Who are they? Where are they? How old are they? And what are the financial concerns that you can help them with? Next, delve deeper by looking at your social media analytics. This will help you develop content that’s relevant to your audience and boost their engagement with your channel.   4. Plan your content Put together a social calendar to plan your posting schedule and avoid scrambling for quality content at the last minute. When deciding what to include in your calendar, be sure to focus on quality over quantity – posting thoughtful content once every day or two is preferable to bombarding your followers. This is particularly important when working in the financial sector, where it’s important to gain your audience’s trust and position yourself as an authority in the industry. Define content categories To help you come up with high-quality content, it can help to define content categories. Categories relevant to the financial sector could include client testimonials, blog posts on sector-specific topics, timely reposts of industry news, and even FAQs about mortgages or the mortgage sector. When defining your categories, aim for variety in terms of both topic and content format – be sure to include a mix of image, text, and video posts. Sell strategically When planning your posts, aim to provide value and don’t overuse the hard sell. Social media is primarily a place for you to connect with your audience and position yourself as an authority in the financial industry. Many businesses use the 80-20 rule – 80% posts which inform, educate, and entertain their audience and 20% which promote their brand and sell their products. The HomeEquity Bank Broker Launchpad Social media is an excellent place to introduce your followers to the different financial products that you can offer them in an easily digestible way. To help you communicate about the benefits of the CHIP products, we’ve developed Broker Launchpad, which includes a wide variety of resources including social posts that you can publish on your own channels.   5. Use paid ads Although a lot of what you post on social media will be organic content, paid ads are an excellent way of boosting your reach and gaining more impressions. They’re also a better place for you to actively sell to your desired audience. To reach those most likely to be interested in your services, social media platforms allow you to target your ads based on criteria such as location, demographics, behaviour, and interests.   6. Build relationships with your audience Social media makes it possible for you to interact with your audience and gain their trust like never before, so make sure you’re engaging with them by responding to comments and messages. You might even consider going live every so often to answer questions directly from your followers. With so much advice available, getting started with social media or boosting your current presence can be daunting. We hope these six tips help you leverage these platforms to grow your business.
September 28 , 2020   /   Marketing Strategy

Top 10 Ways to Get High-Quality Referrals from Your Clients

According to research by Nielson, 84% of consumers trust referrals from people they know.  Additionally, consumers are four times more likely to buy from a particular business when it’s been referred by a friend. So clearly, gaining high-quality referrals from your existing clients should be a key part of your strategy. And to help you put that strategy together, we’ve listed 10 techniques to get the referrals pouring in. Be referrable Let’s start with the most important. Be excellent at what you do, and your existing clients will be proud to recommend you – they may even do so without prompting. Look for ways to improve You may be excellent at what you do, but there’s always room for improvement. Send out surveys asking your clients for feedback and take action based on what they say. This is not only a way for you to improve your services (and your chances of getting a referral), it also shows your customers that you value them. You don’t ask, you don’t get According to research from Texas Tech University, 83% of satisfied customers are willing to refer others, but only 29% actually do so – possibly because they’re never asked. By asking your clients to refer you and letting them know their recommendations are appreciated, you’ll likely end up with more referrals. Strike while the iron’s hot It’s not enough just to ask, you need to ask at the right time. While it typically makes sense to ask once the deal is closed, consider doing so at a particular high point during the client’s experience Make sure your clients are up to speed Your clients may only use you for one particular service, so be sure to clue them in on what else you offer so they pass on the full picture when referring you. Sweeten the deal Offer your clients incentives for referring you to others. This could come in the form of a bottle of wine, working lunch, or a gift card – you decide what you think they’d appreciate most. Form a mutually beneficial relationship Partner with other service providers who offer a complementary service in your field and refer each other. You could even offer packages whereby customers get a reduced rate for contracting both services at the same time. Be sure that you have faith in the work of the other provider, however, as it’ll reflect badly on you if your customer’s experience isn’t up to scratch. Create shareable content Provide high-quality content such as blogposts and market insights for your clients to share with their network. This is not only a way for them to refer you, but also helps position you as an authority in your field. Make sure it’s easy for clients to share your content by including buttons to share on social media and by email. Leverage LinkedIn Use LinkedIn to make a list of your client’s contacts that you’d like to be referred to. You can do this by searching for second degree contacts (people they know but you don’t) who are potential new clients. Knowing who to refer you to makes it easier for your client – and therefore more likely they’ll follow through on their word. Provide alternatives to referrals Not all clients feel comfortable giving referrals, and if this is the case, it’s important to respect their decision. You could, however, ask them to recommend you through other avenues such as case studies, testimonials, or reviews to be published on your website. Cultivating client referrals should be an integral part of your strategy. After all, referred clients have a 16% higher lifetime value than other clients. By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to bringing in the referrals you deserve. Do you have any tips on getting high-quality client referrals? Let us know in the comments.
December 19 , 2019   /   Marketing Strategy

5 ways to get creative with client gifts

There’s much more to your business than simply offering a product and making a sale. One of the most important and worthwhile things you can do is develop and maintain your relationships with clients over the long term – so they know that you’re interested in more than just making a sale today, but also taking care of their needs into the future. A client gift is a great way to express this sentiment, and a creative gift even more so. Here are some highly effective ways you can get creative with client gifts. 1. Personalize your gifts When it comes to giving a gift that’s going to make a lasting impression, taking a one-size-fits-all approach is not the way to go. Instead, draw on your experience with the client or do a bit of research to find a gift relevant to their interests. Perhaps they’ve mentioned fishing in the past and you can give them a new set of lures, or if you know they have a passion for food, you can gift them a fun cooking class. Not only will this show that you pay attention, it will also communicate that you think of them as a person – not just a number. 2. Get branded gifts When giving clients a gift, it doesn’t hurt to remind them of your business. Gifts featuring your company’s branding can help improve recall of the benefits of your relationship, and keep you top of mind when they have new business needs. Getting a branded phone charger, calendar, stationary, or even a mug or water bottle is simple gesture. Best of all? These items can be used every day. 3. Give the gift of learning A great way to endear yourself to clients both new and old is to keep track of what their interests might be and give them a class, course, or lesson that can help them take their game to the next level. You might also consider giving them a gift card to spend a few hours honing their cooking, photography, or golf skills. The nice thing about giving a lesson is that the client will be grateful for more than just an object, but a life experience that’s meaningful to them. 4. Charity makes a great gift In a case where you feel a material gift is not appropriate, there is always the option of making a charitable donation in your client’s name. As always, the more you can personalize the donation, the better. For instance, if you know your client has pets or is passionate about animals, then an animal welfare organization is a good bet. This kind of meaningful gesture does much more than show your appreciation for your client’s business, it also reflects your company’s values. 5. Restaurant gift cards Eating good food is a universal delight, and a great way to treat your clients You can research hot new restaurants in your client’s neighbourhood or ask them about their favourite cuisines, then set them up with a gift card so they can dine at their own convenience. This is another example of offering your clients an experience, rather than a material gift. And, if you’re lucky, they might just invite you along for the meal. Have your own ideas for creative gifts you’d like to share? Feel free to post them in the comments below.