Meetings + Events

The power of gathering people

room space calculator

Find out how many people will fit in your room or what size room you need for your number of attendees.

Step 1
Choose a Room Layout type:

Step 2
Enter one of the following to determine the other:

Room Size:

sq.ft.

Capacity:

NOTE: This is a starting guideline only. Accuracy for your particular event cannot be guaranteed.

look_for_new_issue

Is it time to beef up breaky?

Two experts weigh in on adding healthier options to continental breakfasts without affecting the bottom line

While the standard continental breakfast is inexpensive and super easy to implement, it's chock full of fat and caked with carbs. Is it time to beef up breaky? We turned to two experts to tell us their opinions.

Opinion 1
James Piggott is executive chef with the Toronto Airport Marriott. For breakfast he enjoyed granola, cottage cheese, banana and green Jasmine tea. torontoairportmarriott.com

The overall principal followed in our kitchen and at the Toronto Airport Marriott is simple: do whatever it takes to ensure our guests are happy and that their meeting objectives are met. With continental breakfasts, it’s no different. We want to provide guests the best possible breakfast at the best possible price.

In today’s banquet breakfast market, meeting planners are often working with limited budgets while at the same time endeavouring to maximize the number of items offered to their groups. Many are also looking for healthier options complying with low-fat, no-carb and low-sugar diets.

The most basic continental breakfast at the lowest price point includes pastries, juice, sliced fruits and coffee. To include additional items, to increase variety, or to meet dietary desires or restrictions may, translate into additional costs.

At our hotel, we bake pastries and slice fruits for our restaurant each morning. To include these items into a catered continental breakfast is seamless.

We receive frequent requests to replace items like pastries with a protein, while maintaining the same cost. Protein items incur higher product costs and additional labour, especially when considering higher volume programs. We are often asked to include eggs (hard-boiled or scrambled), smoked salmon, cream cheese and bagels to the continental breakfast. Smoked salmon is not equal to pastries in terms of cost. If the item is hot, there are hidden costs like the chafing dish fuel or the extra time needed to set up a hot banquet.

And, some attendees want sweet pastries in the morning. While adding a protein item makes some guests happy, removing muffins and Danishes makes other guests unhappy.

We remain dedicated to doing whatever it takes to make our guests happy while at the same time maximizing and sustaining a profit. If meeting planners want healthier options for their continental breakfasts or hot protein items, we will strive to accommodate their needs and desires while striving to preserve our margins.

Opinion 2
Heidi Wilker, CMP, has 40 years of experience in the hospitality industry, and has owned and operated Blessed Events for over 12 years. For breakfast this morning she had zero-fat Greek yogurt, a banana, muesli bread with a touch of butter and, of course, a hard-boiled egg! blessedevents.ca

The standard continental breakfast menu in Canada needs a healthy makeover. My suggestion: Add a protein! Eliminate the high-sugar, high-carb, high-fat Danish pastries in favour of hard-boiled eggs—and do it without a changing the menu price.

The current standard of juice, muffins, pastries and croissants results in blood sugar rising quickly then dropping by mid-morning. Studies have shown that quick rise and fall of blood sugar levels both increases appetite for more food consumption, and decreases alertness. Clearly, this is not a good thing for delegates who sit for hours, trying to absorb messages or learning principles. Nutritionists and dieticians confirm that healthy dietary plans include at least one item containing protein at every meal.

Hard-boiled eggs contain high-quality protein and are a very cost-effective breakfast item with low food and labour costs; they are an easy substitute for Danish pastries, which often come from outside suppliers.

So chefs across Canada, I respectfully challenge you to unite in this healthy cause: to change the continental breakfast menu for the better—and to do it without affecting our bottom-line costs.

other articles in this section

Ignite your Panel Discussions

Stay-Put Strategies

Words of Wisdom

Copyright Knowledge

The Power of Hindsight

Liquid Assets

Grape Escapes

Icebreakers!

Geofencing Technology

Social Media Smarts

Online Registration

Master your MC Smarts

Demographic Shift

Ignite your Hiring Skills

Responsible Food Management

Save your Event from Disaster with Forward Thinking

You’re Virtually There

Event Music

Taking a Constructive View of Negative Feedback

Boosting Numbers for Less-attended Events

Team Mentality

Beyond the RSVP

Langdon Hall, Cambridge, ON

Site Selection Smarts

A Green Seal of Approval

Get to know Natalie Wilson, CMM, CMP

Swamped by short RFP turnaround times?

Meeting Room Design

Embracing Hybrid Meetings

Beyond the Schmooze

Learning by Experience

E-clutter Management

Ignite Your Power of Persuasion

Animal Ambassadors

The Lanyard Problem

Is it time to beef up breaky?

Green Key Meetings

Ignite your Budget Carving Skills

Industry Ethics

Planning Accessible Meetings

Google+ for Event Planning

Short Lead Times

Pinterest your Event Ideas

Guidelines for Ont. Business Event Planners

A Reason to Smile: Developing Guidelines with TICO

TICO, As I See It

Identity Crisis! Ontario Planners as Travel Agents?

Armchair Site Inspections

Planners as travel agents?

Hybrid Meetings

Green Meeting Venues

Virtual Familiarization Trips: FAMTripTV

Independent Meeting Planners

Certification in Meetings Management

Ignite your Delegating Skills

Green Meetings

Event Planning: Lessons Learned

Planning a Low-Budget Event

Boost your Event Attendance

Familiarization Trip Etiquette

Meeting Planner Entrepreneurs

Career Recognition

Tips for Successful Meetings

That's Entertainment!

Recipes for Teambuilding Success

Cover Up!

Got the Social Media Blues?

Online Event Registration

The Wi-Fi Movement

Ignite Your Inner Entrepreneur

A 10-Step Plan for your Best Corporate Holiday Party Ever!

Speaker ROI

An Event to Remember

Green + Lean Meetings

Cool Ways to Promote Teamwork

Site Selection Considerations for the Meeting Event Planner

Bullet-proof your Meeting Planning Budget

Conference Organization

Sample RFP

8 Ways to Wow Meeting Attendees

Going 'pro' as a meeting planner