General Question

Lupin's avatar

When did it become the rule that you had to serve food at meetings?

Asked by Lupin (4375points) May 1st, 2009

Of course, if it is a lunch or dinner meeting, I understand. But, in general, can’t we survive for one hour without sucking on a water bottle or shoving a doughnut in our mouths? Do you prefer food or no food at the meeting?

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7 Answers

dynamicduo's avatar

Here at my big company, there used to be an abundance of food… until the recent economic situation appeared. Now there is nothing, not even coffee for long two hour meetings at 9am. People are encouraged to bring their own food and drink if they want to have something. I do admit it was a bit over the top to have a full continental breakfast spread for simple meetings, but I do miss coffee at meetings.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I believe coffee, tea and water are permissible.

Velvetinenut's avatar

We normally serve beverages at meetings with clients, biscuits too if requested. Meals will be provided but at the expense of the clients or office depending on the meeting.

iquanyin's avatar

you could make coffee for the group like, every third meeting. i bet others would take up the slack. failing that, try to get “chipping in to buy coffee for the meeting” on the adjenda. not for its ostensible purpose (ahem)...and: i think meeting refreshments are attendance inducements, but i’m with lupin. unless it’s mealtime i usually let others munch the nibbles.

Darwin's avatar

I suspect it started as a way to lure people to meetings they would otherwise not attend. When I worked for someone else, the food availability varied with the timing, length and type of meeting.

Regular Monday morning management meetings: coffee

Regular Friday staff meetings: donuts and coffee served specifically to get folks to attend.

Board meetings – sandwiches from a local deli plus coffee or water. These were always held midday on business days so the food was used to make up for the fact that attendees (who all worked for pay elsewhere) had to skip going out to lunch.

Jeruba's avatar

There is no such rule. Most likely it is a custom, part of the corporate culture for the particular organization. Some companies constantly lavish food on their employees (particularly startups operating on VC, thinking they can afford it—hey, guys, all those free Tuesday lunches and Friday beer busts are going to add up to one or two of your jobs in another year or so), but not all consider this extravagance a good use of resources.

I work at a large and highly profitable company that has banned all catering except for customer events. If there are muffins and bagels at a two-hour division all-hands, the VP has paid for them himself. But even before this, food was not the rule unless it was a special event.

We do typically bring water bottles along, but as soon as they remove the bottled water coolers from the break rooms (yet another impending take-away), I guess we won’t do that any more.

iquanyin's avatar

they’re removing water coolers? from the breakroom? are you sure the company is profitable? hmm…

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