Movers and shakers get rolling –even before hitting the office
Before the phone starts ringing, the red-flagged emails flood in, the colleagues start pounding down the door with a litany of requests and demands; before the feeding frenzy of deals and orders and contracts and clients; in fact, before the office day even begins, savvy power brokers are fueling up and getting down to breakfast. And business.
It’s called the power breakfast. And from ritzy hotel restaurants to sleek cafés in major cities the world over, it’s how the rich, the powerful, and the hungry start their day. Power breakfasts are, of course, nothing new. Talleyrand and Metternich are said to have met over café au lait to thrash out the future of Europe at the Congress of Vienna in 1815. For that matter, Hector and Achilles drank nectar before battling it out by the light of the rosy-fingered B.C. dawn. Centuries later the infamous “kitchen cabinet” – President Ronald eagan’s high powered business buddies from California – were meeting in the White House each morning to advocate free market economics and plot Cold War victory while the President spooned up his corn flakes.
Today, from Washington to New York, and London to Prague, the power breakfast is an institutionalized part of life in a hectic world. Even the techies are getting in on the action. Once confined to power lunches and nighttime networking get-togethers, high tech entrepreneurs and investors too have now caught the power breakfast buzz. The OpenCoffee Club began in London as a way to encourage entrepreneurs, developers, and investors to organize real-world informal meetings to chat, network and grow; and it’s now a regular feature on the Prague power breakfast scene.
“I prefer breakfasts to lunches,” explains Ondřej Bartoš, senior investment director at MCI Management S.A. “If I go to lunch, I am wasting time going two ways, from the office
and back to the office. But if I go to a breakfast meeting (on the way to the office), I’m only losing time going one way.”
And time these days is of the essence. “Another reason why I like the breakfasts,” he continues, “is that I am not much of a morning person, so I don’t get too much done when I’m at the office in the morning. But if I go out to meet people, it will bring me smoothly into the working mood and once I get to the office I can immediately follow-up or work on what was agreed.”
Wei-Hai Chu, the president of mobile content and marketing firm Crazy Tomato, confides, “The first and foremost advantage of a breakfast over lunch is the fact that the working day has not officially started yet. This means no emails or urgent calls and such to worry about! This makes the setting much fresher and is therefore very conducive to getting down to business. This also ensures that the discussed business is top of the agenda.”
He continues, “Secondly, generally, breakfast meetings are much shorter than lunches. This brevity greatly helps business oignancy. This as opposed to lunches, which at times are accompanied by a glass of wine. Overall a power breakfast in my opinion is the optimal way to get to the point quickly and get business done and decisions taken.”
Whether horse trading, deal making, agenda setting, networking, or simply schmoozing, knowing where to go to get it done is crucial for the early bird to get that worm. Here are a few places that Lifestyles Magazine® has observed the money-movers among the muffins:
Founded in 1902, Café Louvre is a Prague institution in its own right. Franz Kafka, Karel Čapek, and Albert Einstein are just a few of the great names that have spent time tending to business at the café tables as the light filtered in through the tall windows off Národní Třída. In 1910, the Sursum Czech artists’ movement, which included painting luminaries such as Josef Váchal, Jan Zrzavý, František Kobliha, and Jan Konůpek, was founded there.
In 1925 the brothers Čapek founded the Czech PEN Club under the café’s high ceilings. Be it art, literature, business, politics, or a friendly morning that, the Café Louvre offers a wide selection of breakfast menus including Czech, French, English, Cowboy, and Fit versions, as well as the standard selection of omelets, cereals, yoghurts, fruits, coffees, and juices. International newspapers and magazines in numerous languages are available free to guests. The café is open from 8 a.m.
The Allegro Restaurant at the Four Seasons Prague Hotel is another notable power breakfast mecca. With splendid views of the Vltava River and Prague Castle, as well as an outdoor terrace in season, the casual yet cosmopolitan atmosphere is coveted by the influential across the spectrum of industry.
With a capacity of 70 and an additional 40 seats outdoors, the restaurant serves breakfast from an à la carte menu, with Czech, Continental, American, and Japanese menus on offer. Not to be overlooked are the fresh squeezed juices, cereals and grains, pancakes and waffles, pastries, bagels, and a rich assortment of egg dishes. For those on the go but who
are watching their waist line, non-fat and low-fat items are available upon request, including sugar free jams, margarine, non-fat cheese, and non-fat yoghurt.
In tune with the Four Seasons’ reputation for excellence, the Allegro Restaurant was named the best restaurant in the Czech Republic in 2006 and 2007 by Zagat Survey. Allegro also received the distinction of being named number one in the country by the national Czech guide Grand Restaurant both years. Breakfast is served from 7 a.m.
With three massive crystal chandeliers illuminating the main room, today’s Café Savoy on the other side of the river is a far cry from its roots as a decadent, smoke-filled turnof- the-century coffeehouse. Now owned by the Ambiente Group, Café Savoy is a restored and redecorated Art Nouveau masterpiece, complete with trompe l’oeil painting, delicate plaster work, and graceful atmosphere.
Continental, French, English, American, and health breakfasts are on the menu as well as omelets and eggs to order, fresh juices, coffees, and teas. Breakfast is served from 8 a.m.
Chic, trendy, and bustling, PastaCaffé, or Café Lamborghini as it is commonly referred to, is a favorite of the high-tech crowd, daily newspaper editors, and highend management consultants, among others. Modern, sophisticated, and cosmopolitan, the restaurant’s stylish interior and intimate seating works well to get the power breakfast crowd in Prague 1 focused and down to business.
Plenty of light, fresh air, and excellent service top off a full menu of egg dishes, croissants, quality coffees, and juices. Breakfast is served from 8 a.m.