Are you serious to have breakfast meeting in Shanghai? Think twice before you make the appointment.
I never really understand why people would think of the crazy idea of having breakfast meeting in Shanghai. I received the invitation for some times, but always rejected it.
Why Breakfast Meeting is Good in the Valley
When I am in the valley, I found it so nice to have breakfast meetings. There are some benefits:
1. Breakfast in many places are nice – especially the brunch along the University Ave in Palo Alto and a nice restaurant famous for its brunch in Berkeley. People enjoy the scrambled eggs and coffee in fresh morning.
2. Commute. The early breakfast is very likely to be at some convenient place along the way to work for both parties. They may drive and stop by a cafe, to have breakfast together – they will have it at home anyway, and then drive on to their own work place. If you raise early, the traffic are generally better.
3. Dinner, and Lunch are too time consuming. Compared to breakfast, which is like the time for a cup of coffee, it is perfect for catchup, instead of serious discussion.
Why Breakfast Meeting is Bad in Shanghai
1. Most of places does not serve breakfast in the decent way. In Shanghai, the popular place serving breakfast is soup, dumplings. The street eateries often does not offer seats, or the seats is very crowded, not a decent place to meet. Hotels offering continental breakfast are very likely to be full service and expensive. There are not many nice and lite places for people to gather. (Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf started to offer scrambled eggs, which is good)
2. Transpiration is so bad. No matter how early it is, it is still in terrible traffic, that people want to avoid. Since in Shanghai, people basically don’t drive in downtown, and even people drive, the parking can be much more troublesome than park at free public 2 hour parking space in downtown Palo Alto, or Mountain View…
3. People prefer dinner over breakfast. The night life is actually the starting point for many people in Shanghai. The best meal in Shanghai is obviously in the dinner time.
It is not the culture that makes the difference – it is mainly the history and the environment that shape people’s behavior.