Frequently Asked Questions
What happens at a BreakBread dinner?
What’s with the prompt? Is this homework?
I’m not good at conversations. I’m afraid I won’t have anything to say.
What if I need to cancel?
What does “committing with vigor” mean?
Can I show up late? Do I need to stay for the whole dinner?
What if I want to keep coming back?
Do I need to actually cook dinner?
Why do I need to bring a plus one?
Is it mandatory to bring a plus-one?
If I’m the plus-one do I need to bring a plus-one too?
How are BreakBread dinners different from other virtual events?
Is there a cost?
Every BreakBread dinner experience is unique based on the people, the prompt, the time, and of course whether Mercury is in retrograde (just kidding, but who knows!).
But every dinner has a set format. There is always a brief grounding/centering ritual followed by introductions, sharing of food, then some light get-to-know-everybody conversation. Then the hosts will gently guide the conversation towards the prompt. About ¾ of the way in there will be a short break (stretch your legs, wrangle dessert, etc.), and as the dinner winds down your hosts will invite you to reflect on some of the things you’ve learned or gifts you’ve received during your time together.
It sounds simple but when done well, it’s magical!
BreakBread dinner prompts are meant to spark conversation and inspiration during your gathering. There’s nothing more for you to do than let it marinate in the back of your head until you meet with your dinner mates!
The prompts are crafted as open-ended questions rooted in our common life experience. There are no right or wrong answers, grades, research, or preparation. Once the conversation gets going you’ll find inspiration in the sharing and wisdom of your tablemates.
We often find BreakBread dinner prompts spur conversations that cultivate insight leaving guests stewing in the sturdy leftovers of contemplation for weeks.
Don’t worry. BreakBread dinners are about showing up as you are, who you are. There are no expectations or demands on your performance as a conversationalist or that you even say anything at all. It’s about your presence.
BreakBread dinners are by invitation only and someone invited you because they cherish you and have requested your presence. Your dinner hosts will do everything they can to help you feel comfortable and may invite you into the conversation if you’re quiet but there will be no demands.
And, once the conversation gets going you may find yourself quite inspired. In our experience, we’ve found those who say the least end up actually saying the most.
Illness strikes. The power goes out. Circumstances beyond our control arise. If you can’t make dinner it’s important you communicate with your hosts and let them know as soon as possible.
BreakBread Dinners are small intimate gatherings where the most important thing you bring to the table is your presence. Your being. Committing with vigor is the first step in being present. It’s saying “Hell yes! I will show up!”. And, being present is hard to do sometimes so it’s not about doing it perfectly but it’s the spirit in which we do it.
Know that within any true invitation is the implicit option to decline (otherwise it wouldn’t be an invitation, it would be a demand or an obligation – uggh!). So, if you cannot commit with vigor there’s nothing wrong with stating such. The time or the opportunity might not be right. And, clearly stating “Sorry, I cannot (or will not) commit with vigor.” is, paradoxically, committing with vigor.
We believe committing with vigor (or graciously declining with vigor) supports healthy, loving, and respectful relationships. Boundaries, honesty, and clarity are foundational to building trust and connection.
Ideally, no, you cannot show up late and yes, you need to stay for the whole dinner.
Part of the BreakBread experience is about the space that is intentionally created. The gathering is small and intimate and each person’s presence makes a difference and has an impact on the rest of the group.
Part of the commit-with-vigor ethos is about agreeing to show up on time and staying for the duration.
That said, it is ultimately up to the dinner hosts. So if you’re going to be late or have to leave early, reach out to your hosts and discuss it with them as soon as possible – and most likely they will invite you back for when you can attend the entire dinner.
At the end of dinner, you will be asked if you would want to be invited back by anyone in the group who has attended and will be hosting. If you say yes, either you will get an invite again in due time or you can put your name on a list with this group to be available to be a guest when there are last-minute cancellations (which can happen despite vigorous commitment).
Check out our Join Us page for more information.
LIVE Dinner FAQS
Each host handles the food aspects differently. If your host indicates that you should bring something, then they will let you know. Otherwise, come as you are.
Generally speaking, we encourage you to dress with your own style and in respect of the host’s sentiment. If you still have questions, ask your host.
Virtual Dinner FAQs
No. There is no need to prepare dinner. Your presence is what we cherish. Guests sometimes do takeout, warm up leftovers or show up with just dessert or even a “liquid” dinner. Your hosts for the evening will encourage everyone to share what they’re eating (or drinking) but no one is ever turned away or chided because they were too busy (or hate) to cook.
That said, part of the fun of a BreakBread dinner can be in the anticipation and preparation. Some people go all out, preparing gourmet dinners, decorating their space and table, and even getting dressed for dinner!
BreakBread World’s mission is about building a global community and reweaving our common humanity. Your host invites you because you’re in their circle of friends and by you inviting a friend from your circle, you’re given the opportunity to weave connections joining circles into an ever-widening constellation.
In addition, the invitation to share this experience with a friend requires some thought and imagination. You’re being asked to help create the experience and to make an investment in this tiny microcosm of community. Plus having a friend makes the experience more enjoyable, perhaps a little more comfortable, and learn something about each other!
That’s up to the host who invites you. That said, if you are having problems finding a plus-one (which can happen for a myriad of reasons), let your host friend know. They may say let’s do another night or don’t worry, we will make it work.
No. Dinners are purposely limited in size so if you’re someone’s plus-one, just show up with vigor! Of course, if you enjoy the event and want to be invited back so you can bring a plus-one to share the experience with, by all means, let the dinner hosts know!
BreakBread Dinners are crafted to be regenerative. They’re curated, online experiences led by trained hosts. They’re small, intimate gatherings where you always know at least one person.
BreakBread Dinners are different in that all are personally welcomed to the table and your presence is valued and cherished. Who and how you are as a person is more important than what you do or who you know.
Unlike many virtual events that leave people drained and fatigued many of our participants are amazed at how time flew by and report they’re feeling invigorated and rejuvenated.
There is no cost to attend or host but if you’re inspired, we do accept contributions and are grateful for your support.