People these days take their food seriously. From Michelin stars and sustainable seafood to organic produce and craft cocktails, the foodie movement brings out the sophisticated side of food and beverage. The best food, however, isn't always the most elegant. Often, it's the most approachable. So while there's nothing like fresh truffles, wild salmon, or Wagyu beef, sometimes all you really want is a simple taco or a good, yeasty donut. And your meeting attendees may feel the same way. Although there's a time and place for five-star cuisine, there are times when they'd rather taste something "fun" than something "fancy." For those times, these five meeting breaks are bound to hit the spot.
The standard meeting break includes coffee, fruit, and pastries, but black coffee, bananas, and muffins don't exactly scream "fun." You know what does? S'mores and hot chocolate, which you can get at Whiteface Lodge
in Lake Placid, NY. Located high in the woodlands of Adirondack Park, the resort is known for serving s'mores nightly around its onsite firepit. It can replicate its signature experience -- sans campfire -- in any of its meeting rooms or outdoors on its terrace. Along with all the classic s'mores fixings, the setup includes a hot chocolate bar with sweet, dark, and spiced varieties -- all of which can be topped with homemade marshmallows.
Nobody likes to be treated like a child. That is, unless there's treats involved. In that case, most meeting attendees would agree: Adulthood is overrated. Just watch attendees' faces light up upon seeing the Candy Store Break at Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain
. Located in Paradise Valley, AZ, the resort takes meeting participants on a nostalgic stroll down memory lane by serving up an assortment of candy bars, licorice, and hard candies, all of which are washed down by a selection of gourmet cream sodas.
In a world full of cardboard granola bars and plain Greek yogurt, planners who give attendees permission to start their day with a guilty pleasure are heroes. Enter the humble donut. Or, at Le Méridien Charlotte
, its more urbane French cousin: the éclair. Located in downtown Charlotte, NC, the hotel offers a "Charlotte Mint" break that celebrates the Mint Museum -- Charlotte's art museum -- by giving attendees the opportunity to create their own work of edible art in the form of a build-your-own éclair.
Because carnivals are more fun than conferences, Hotel Monteleone
in New Orleans infuses the latter with a taste of the former by offering an "It's Carnival Time" break. Although there's no Shooting Gallery, Ring Toss, or Whac-A-Mole games, there's carnival eats aplenty, including individual bags of roasted peanuts, jumbo pretzels with stone-ground mustard, mini corn dogs, caramel corn, red delicious apples, and nachos with cheese dip and jalapeño slices.
Food Truck Break
Forget white tablecloths, coffee urns, and chafing dishes. At the The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain
, in Marana, AZ, planners can trade in banquet tables for food trucks. The property's beloved "Roadrunner" food truck -- owned and operated by the resort -- can serve up a "Taco Break" with fish tacos, buffalo tacos, vegetarian tacos, and Korean BBQ tacos; a "Sliders Break" featuring fish sliders, classic burger sliders with candied bacon, and chicken sliders; or any number of other themed food breaks, such as an "Around the World" break with international fare, a "Tailgating" break with game day cuisine, an "Old Fashioned Ice Cream Truck" break serving frozen treats, and a "Deep Fried Goodness" break specializing in fried snacks, just to name a few.