Food business ideas brainstorming meeting

You will be holding a meeting to discuss opening a new restaurant and/ or food shop in the area where your workplace is. The points you will need to talk about include:

what is popular and unpopular with people in your area,

what is likely to become more popular in the near and more distant future

what competition there is for each type of restaurant and/ or food shop.

A creative, ideas-based meeting like this usually involves lots of brainstorming, plus other stages. Below are phrases for various phases of a brainstorming meeting, in order. Decide what the function of each stage is:

Did you have any trouble getting here?

Long time no see.

How many sugars?

Good to see you (all) again. How long has it been?

Tea or coffee, anyone?

That brings me on to what we are going to talk about today, which is…

Let’s get down to business, shall we?

Okay, shall we get started?

Let’s discuss the pros and cons later, shall we?

Is there anyone who hasn’t contributed yet?

What’s the first thing that comes to mind?

Let me get all these up on the board

Any (more) ideas?

Great! Give me more.

Keep them coming!

Any ideas at all are okay at this stage. We’ll narrow them down later.

How about some kind of (health food shop)?

Any more examples of possible (ethnic foods)?

What does the expression ‘new food’ make you think of?

Let’s have three more ideas and then we’ll move on

Come on, don’t be shy!

How can we group these together?

Any more in this category?

Maybe we should create another section for these

I think we can eliminate all the ideas connected to (German food)

Let’s get it down to ten ideas, and then go on from there.

Do we all agree?

Shall we take a final vote on it?

I think that is unanimous

I think we should all give ourselves a pat on the back.

Anyone else ready for a drink?

Well done everyone. Good work.

Thanks for coming.

So, I think we are done.

Check your answers against the mixed-up categories below

Wrapping the meeting up

Organizing the ideas and narrowing down the options

Making a final decision

Getting down to business


Small talk

Now test each other in pairs on which category each individual line comes from.

Now give your partner one category and see how many phrases they can come up with (from the lists above or any other useful language at that stage).

Decide on a chair for the meeting and, using the language above, hold the meeting to decide on a new food related business in your area.

Food business ideas brainstorming meeting (Trends/ Sales and Marketing/ The Language of Meetings- Brainstorming)

Worksheet 2- Trends

Here are some trends that might have been relevant to your discussion. With your partner, agree on what the trends above have been and might be in the future in your country.

Health food shops

Organic food


Interest in animal rights

Interest in Fair Trade goods

Change groups. Describe one of the trends to your partner. Can they guess which one you are talking about?

Can you think of any more examples of “ethical consumerism”? Describe the trends in their popularity.


Food business ideas brainstorming meeting (Trends/ Sales and Marketing/ The Language of Meetings- Brainstorming)

Teacher’s notes and answer key

Small talk

Getting down to business


Organizing the ideas and narrowing down the options

Making a final decision

Wrapping the meeting up

This lesson can be connected to readings on Ethical Consumerism, e.g. the one in International Express Intermediate New Edition, or lessons on the language of trends


PDF for easy saving and printing: Food business brainstorming meeting

Related pages

Meetings and negotiations page

Brainstorming page

Food and drink page

Over 300 pages of meetings photocopiables here.

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