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Beware of poor-quality coffee breaks

Di Antonio Caneva, 5 Dicembre 2013

Certain autumn days, in Rome, have a special light. In the enclosed garden of Hotel Quirinale a long table had been set for the coffee break; it was rich and elegant, the waiters were swiftly serving the drinks requested by the meeting participants.
The chairs around the table were conducive to conversation, to exchanging ideas on the conference work; the sun filtered through between the leaves of the large trees enlivening the space; it was the ideal milieu for a relaxing break after the first part of the meeting.
This is the image that comes to my mind when I think of a pleasant coffee break, now that it has become increasingly difficult to come across an adequate coffee-break service. Of course, not every hotel can boast a garden like that of Hotel Quirinale, but it is still true that breaks, of late, have acquired discomforting connotations.
At a time of spending reviews, it is quite understandable that companies watch their expenses, but, in my opinion, they should not drop below a certain level.
In any fairly numerous meeting, the difficulty in getting hold of some coffee before the break is over has become almost chronic, not to speak of the juices, which are so watered down as to be less tasty than pure water.
Small tricks, like preparing 5 yoghurts and 30 croissants for 200 people, or cakes that are long past their prime.
You may object that it is often the customers who prompt such unvirtuous policies, being unwilling to spend, but I think we should simply not accept situations that will predictably lead to a disservice.
In Milan, but the same applies to other cities, coffee-break admission tickets in four-star hotels (the most numerous category) are not so cheap. Then why not also pay attention to this important service, which is appreciated, albeit not explicitly, by all those who are involved in meeting activities, whether event organisers or participants?
You may object that these are just unfiltered words (too easy!) from a person who is not a hospitality professional, and is not aware of real problems. I am sorry: until age 50 I was a hotel manager!

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