The Business Breakfast

This post is definitely a joke, but it hit such a chord with my friends I thought I would open up the dialogue here – what to eat at the business breakfast?.

To be honest, I have never given this much thought. To my surprise a group of friends I was recently with had this conversation with had thought about it, and the opinions were all over the map. The conversation was sparked by Jon Steinberg who wondered aloud about the implications of food ordering at a breakfast meeting.

Folks have come back and brought up this discussion again letting me know what they had for breakfast at some meeting. The strong convictions of people actually thinking about this were very surprising. I order what I want because I am hungry, and feel it does not really reflect on me at all. But, since I have been posting about much more serious topics like how to setup a meeting and the go between I thought it was time for something a little bit lighter.

So what do you think?

French Toast

Hands down this breakfast got the most negative responses – for the record I think its a fine choice as it allows control over your meal and shows you can be healthy.

Results on French Toast:

“The worst possible breakfast to order at a business morning meeting. It shows a lack of serious approach and a immature attitude.”
“Too messy”
“It is desert for breakfast which is just unacceptable”

Eggs Toast and Sausage

This is the go to for many a diner meal – but not ok for a business breakfast.

“Its shows you are all over the place without much structure”
“It is a non-starter as its too messy”
“Middle of the road, average joe, 9-5 type of employee”

The main take away for me here was this one was not too bad, but didn’t really get anything across either.

The egg white omelette

eggwhite omlette

This one may take the cake for worst order at a business breakfast – key quotes below.

“No chance of getting a deal done, getting the job, or showing you are a good candidate”
“Prepare to be walked all over”
“Weakness shown all over the plate”

What about regular cereal?


Well it turns out this one got some pretty interesting opposition as well.

“What are you? 5 years old?”
“Very Zen – shows calmness”
“No way, cereal is not the way to go at any breakfast meeting ever”

So what is the consensus on the go-to item to get for the business breakfast? The item that is universally acceptable and promotes the best message? None other than oatmeal.



It turns out that oatmeal got the least opposition from the group – commentary below.

“Oatmeal with fruit says you are there to eat breakfast, healthy, but still ready to do business”
“Clean, concise, and concentrated”
“Best option across the board – its clean and simple to eat and projects the best picture”

So what did we leave out? Let me know in the comments.

I have provide some visuals to help represent the conclusions we came up with. Visuals provided by ShutterStock.

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  • Michael Karnjanaprakorn

    You obviously have not had dinner with poker players : )

  • Vítězslav Válka

    Nice thoughts… :-)

  • Buy Mailing Lists

    Of course before you work on your business it is important to eat your breakfast first so that you have more energy to do your work well and ready to face the drills.

  • Kittens

    Marketing is really new venture and where any man integrate their knowledge and many people can give some idea when needed.

  • ales1212

    Hi Eric! I enjoyed reading your post, it made me smile and I can't help but find it charmingly shallow. What you order at a business breakfast has no importance whatsoever, as long as you are good and you mean business, the rest is just superstition. I worked as a waiter in several restaurants in Washington DC, and I noticed how nervous people get during business meals, and trust me, ordering the right kind of food won't save you if you're not in control of the situation, the same way that ordering the completely WRONG food might make you pass for an original, creative, trust-worthy individual IF YOU ARE one.

  • EricFriedman

    I totally agree. I tried to caveat the beginning with the “this is a joke”
    although it did not help the hate mail from flowing :)

    To be honest, this post generated more discussion on my blog than many
    others and got many people talking to me about it in real life. It may come
    across as important, but it totally does not matter but it seemed to
    resonate with my friends and those taking these meetings.

  • remove easy scan

    They should be very delicious and nutritious.

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    one of the nextviewventures guys just wrote a similar post:

  • Phan Mem CRM

    I have read a few good stuff here. Certainly worth bookmarking for revisiting