In a recent news story exploring the coffee wars between Starbucks and McDonald's, one investor had this to say about the caffeinated dichotomy:
"It's two completely different customers. There aren't too many people who meet for business meetings in McDonald's."
A fair point. And one that got me thinking about the Breakfast Meeting. What a different animal from the lunch or dinner meeting. Obviously, a breakfast meeting happens in the morning, at an hour that is, arguably, still personal time. For that reason, it can be a little more intimate than other meals. It happens when we are our freshest, most bright-eyed selves. And it happens when we're caffeinated, buzzing with ideas. Speaking for myself, my breakfast ideas are my best ones, and my breakfast meetings are the ones I wish could go on all day, or at least until the coffee runs out.
With all that in mind, I don't think we put enough thought into where we conduct our breakfast meetings or even our morning coffee rituals. It's one thing to prefer one place's dark roast to another's decaf hazelnut blend, but what about the people who are there at the same time as you--day after day--sharing that rarified morning air? Unlike lunch and dinner, when most people dine in groups, breakfast and coffee are often solitary rituals, so the ambient company--the coffee crowd--is more important.
I used to have a de facto klatch at the 2525 West End Starbucks. They weren't my usual chums, but it was a near-dawn community that I came to count on. Then, when my work commute changed, I hooked up with an entrepreneurial bunch of comedians at Portland Brew in 12 South. I've always been jealous of the super-cool group of brainiacs at Starbucks across from the Vandy business and law schools. (Thanks for letting me sit with you that time, guys.) Damn if I don't see the same friend every time I go to Bread & Co. in Green Hills, but she bums me out but a little because she's already exercised and looks great at 8 a.m. I know there's a group of people secretly running the city from a booth a Noshville, but it's not on my beaten path.
Where do you find the most interesting people in the mornings?