Breaking bread could help reinvent the lunch meeting

A pair of 30-somethings in Los Angeles have discovered a new way to make a day long meeting feel a little less like work.

Carolyn Sams and Isis Krause met while working together at GOOD Magazine and GOODcorps, the magazine’s social-impact consultancy. The pair collaborated on a popup comunity store. One of their first meals was for 100 people and was based around stone fruit.

“We saw how people opened up over food and had a much more authentic conversation,” said Krause told Covene Magazine. “You’re more of your real self than your work self when you’re eating a delicious meal.”

The popup community store led them to found First Seating in January 2014.

“We literally had the same light bulb at the same moment of ‘Wow, what if we gathered people together in this workshop, or meeting-type setting, to talk about these big issues and questions of social impact, of how to do our best work, live our best lives, and do that in a way that’s beautiful and fun and engaging and delicious?” Krause recalled.

GOODcorps was First Seating’s first client.

“They took a risk on us,” Krause said, “because they really believed in us, and it was a great way to start our business.”

First Seating is growing by word of mouth with most meetings taking place in Los Angeles. But First Seating has also worked with groups in New York and San Francisco.

The pair requests at least four weeks of lead time to create not only a meal, but also an experience to remember.

“We felt like people are always starting from square zero when they arrive in a room together,” Krause said. “It’s such precious time to have your entire team take a full day to think through something, so we felt there was a big need for us to do some of that thinking in advance so we could get to a much stronger, deeper place together.”

First Seating workshops range in size from 2 to 100, and average between 8 and 12.

Read more about First Seating via Convene Magazine here.