HR & Management
How the biscuits offered in the boardroom could make or break your business
4 min read
29 May 2015
It's thought that a strong handshake and freshly pressed outfit are usually required to make a good impression during a business meeting. However, it turns out biscuits also play a part in whether a company stands a chance of securing a deal or not.
Given that 29 May marks National Biscuit Day – no, it really is a thing – it’s come to light that the crunchy sweet treats play an active role in business operations.
In fact, luxury biscuit firm Thomas J Fudge’s has discovered that shortbread is the recipe for success.
The Dorset-based company surveyed business workers across the UK and found that 25 per cent revealed they’re more likely to close a deal in a meeting because of the cookies on offer. With shortbread the firm favourites, chocolate bourbons and flapjacks can also result in prospective partners signing on the dotted line.
The top ten biscuits for a meeting:
2. Chocolate bourbon
4. Custard creams
7. Milk chocolate chip cookie
9. Rich tea
10. Viennese swirls
Demonstrating what appears to be a keen sweet-tooth among the British workforce, a appetising assortment of snacks was actually considered “more crucial to meeting success” than getting to know each other beforehand.
We reported the 50 most offensive ways to breach office etiquette on 11 May, however, the study from the biscuit business has revealed there are rules to cookie consumption too. The host must be the one to offer the biscuits out, while no more than three can be eaten in a meeting – and “outrageous” pink wafers must certainly not be offered to guests.
Does the video below seem familiar?
Reducing the enjoyment of a biccie with a cuppa even further, more than half of respondents said boardroom snacks mustn’t be dunked into a tea or coffee in front of clients.
Indeed, a fifth of workers said they’d argued with colleagues about biscuits and a third added they’d be offended is the treats were untouched.
The top ten rules for corporate cookie consumption:
1. Only eat a biscuit when you’re not expected to chat/answer questions
2. Don’t grab a handful of biscuits and work your way through them
3. Don’t give a presentation while holding/eating a biscuit
4. Leave a few minutes in between eating biscuits, no continuous eating
5. Don’t pick up a biscuit then put it back again
6. Don’t grab a biscuit before the host has taken one/offered one
7. Don’t take a few biscuits home with you after the meeting
8. Don’t dunk in your tea/coffee
9. Don’t ask if there are any different biscuits
10. Don’t take the last biscuit
A Thomas J Fudge’s spokesperson, said: “It’s clear that biscuits are a bit of an emotional topic when it comes to the boardroom. Who thought a pink wafer could be considered outrageous! It’s official, we’re a nation bonkers about biscuits, but that makes sense to us.”
“Why wouldn’t you have passionate opinions on the crunch factor of a biscuit in a meeting or the age old question ‘to dunk or not to dunk’. We’re pretty biscuit obsessed at the bakery and would always err on the side of indulgence. Take that last biscuit! Dunk it with pride.”
Biscuits were also linked to personalities. Chocolate bourbons are for those who are headstrong risk-takers, a custard cream is for better leaders, while flapjack lovers have short tempered and digestive fans are said to be polite.
So for future meetings, just be sure to have the biscuit barrel stocked up – 40 per cent of Brits feel disappointed when they’re not offered and a quarter said it impacted productivity and their mood.