If Willy Wonka planned a meeting break, this is what it might look like: blueberry treats that can be plucked from the walls, cheesecake pops dipped in Nerds, everlasting gobstobbers in every flavor and strawberry (or snozberry?) smoothie shots. This sweet idea comes to life complete with an accompanying soundtrack at LondonHouse Chicago this fall, thanks to Executive Chef Jacob Verstegen, who was inspired to create the package after an interactive dining and music experience at Elizabeth Restaurant.
The break includes all of the items mentioned above, as well as other options like made-to-order cotton candy. Because it wouldn’t be a true Willy Wonka experience without a golden ticket, LondonHouse can create ideas around them for groups. If a planner wants to raffle an item, for example, the culinary team will make custom-wrapped chocolate bars, with a few golden tickets hidden amongst them for raffle prizes.
It’s a sweet idea, for sure, but at a time when many planners are asking for healthier menu options, does candy still have a place in meeting breaks?
“That’s like asking why we still offer dessert menus at the end of a meal,” says Verstegen. “Is it a necessary part of a meal? Of course not, but dessert and sweets have a way of connecting you back to your childhood.”
Several planners have booked this casual breakout as a mid-afternoon pick-me-up already, much to the delight of attendees. “It doesn’t feel as stuffy as a more basic break, with smoothies or trail mix,” says Verstegen. “It allows event-goers to be playful.”