Welcoming some US associates into the office this week we got onto the subject of breakfast. The world can feel quite small to a company operating in Australia, Canada, China, Germany, India, the UK, and the US: we share a corporate culture after all. But what does the difference in our early-morning food cultures really represent? Here’s where the humble poached egg, or waffles, took us!
You may think that breakfast foods, imbibed with a sense of national identity, would breed competition and loyalty to home. However, many in the office say they would prefer our German colleagues’ cheese and sausage platter (no beer!) or US style blueberries and pancakes to a traditional full English breakfast.
Breakfast and incentive travel?
Perhaps we can link rise and shine preference for the more exotic to memories of travel destinations. Our incentive travel team would certainly agree. Breakfasts as part of reward packages are always indulgent and culturally relevant in order to generate a sense of adventure as well as recuperation. Memorable experiences are central to incentive travel because of the effect on long term motivation. A traditional Japanese breakfast of rice and raw egg, miso soup and Japanese styled pickles served with green tea would be a good example of an experience that is both delicious, exotic and out of the ordinary. David certainly recommended taking in as much Japanese culture as possible.
The fact that so many of us unconsciously, or otherwise, reference travel in our breakfast choices demonstrates two things:
- The experience of travel generates long-lasting memories
- To really impress these days you need to be increasingly inventive whilst keeping authenticity in mind in all areas of incentive travel planning
Breakfast and employee engagement?
From an employee engagement point of view, breakfast indulgence does not need to be for pleasure alone. Researchers at Leeds University Business School have shown informal employee networking makes teams more productive on tea breaks as conversations on work-related topics lead to problem solving using an extended network.
So how about this?
Breakfast at the company kick-off conference offers the same sort of informal employee interaction where delegates can build a closer network outside of the conference programme, something invaluable for present or future problem solving, innovation and business productivity.
Breakfast and global programmes?
To those of us talking the business of breakfast, one thing was startlingly obvious. We all love it, we all need breakfast the world over, yet it comes in such wonderfully different forms that in reality it is very local and culturally distinct.
- Fried eggs and bacon?
- Idlis and upma?
- Pancakes and syrup?
- Cold meats, cheeses and breads?
- A bowl of paofan with pickled vegetables or a salty duck egg?
- Ful medames?
- Sausage and rye bread?
- Hot chocolate and pão de queijo?
It doesn’t matter. Global incentive programmes, global conferences, global employee engagement programmes all need one thing. Global capability and reach with feet on the ground that understand local nuance and flavour. In the same way we all have breakfast but it is never the same.
And that’s where our waffle (pun intended) took us. Breakfast, we might take it for granted, but it represents and says so much more about us. One thing we all agreed on though is that coffee is universal. Now would that be with, or without, milk? Or should that be cream!
What's your favourite?
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