Does your law firm occasionally do breakfast presentations for clients and/or potential clients? If you want them to show up, you must present a timely topic, but  I believe there is more to it than that. Let me share a great example.

This week, I made an 8:30 AM presentation to a group of McCarthy Tétrault  Montreal lawyers. After my last Montreal trip I wrote: Do Your Clients Care About Your Coffee? and shared with you that Rosa and Kim serve my favorite latte when I visit McCarthy’s Montreal office.

While flying to Montreal, I had internet service. During my trip I received this email:

Hi everyone,

As the maple syrup season just started, a “sugar shack” (I had to look up sugar shacks) style breakfast will be served starting at 8 am tomorrow in the Dennis boardroom.

Just to make your mouth water, please see below what’s on the menu.

  • Plain scrambled eggs
  • Ham
  • Crispy bacon
  • Country sausage
  • Sauteed potatoes with fine herbs
  • Pudding “chômeur“ (I had to look up the recipe and share it with you)
  • Fresh fruit salad with orange blossom
  • Multi-grain bread
  • Maple syrup

Have a nice evening!


I confess: My mouth watered. I looked up sugar shacks and Pudding “chômeur“ and  discovered there is a unique Montreal/Quebec story behind sugar shacks and Pudding “chômeur.” I knew after my research that my sugar shack breakfast would be very special.

Inside a Sugar Shack: Photo credit: Tom Gill. / / CC BY-NC-ND

I showed up at McCarthy’s office  early at 7:30 and was greeted at the reception by Rossana, who always remembers me. Rossana escorted me to the Dennis boardroom where I met Charles Thomas and France Roberge. Charles is responsible for events in Montreal and France is responsible for programs. They both shared some details of the breakfast that would follow. It was great fun for me to learn the background story of the breakfast.

At 8:00 the food arrived. I would not ordinarily do it, but  I splurged and put maple syrup on just about everything other than the fruit. It was incredible. I also drank two of Rosa and Kim’s lattes. Later that day, the Montreal office staff gave me a gift basket with maple syrup and other Montreal/Quebec goodies, which Nancy and I will enjoy here at home.

What is the point? Clients assume (right or wrong) your law firm (and your competitors) will do high quality legal work. They do not assume their experience working with you will be special. Your engagement and client service are potential differentiators.

You know clients expect your firm’s lawyers to be responsive. But, as I have written before, every interaction with your clients is an opportunity to set your firm apart. Everyone in your office, and every interaction with your clients, creates an impression.

To borrow from Seth Godin, the McCarthy Montreal office staff created a breakfast experience that was “remarkable, extraordinary and memorable.” He might even call it a “purple cow.” I know that 10 years from now I will still tell my friends about the special “sugar shack” breakfast I ate while visiting the McCarthy Tétrault Montreal office.

Next time you invite clients to a breakfast presentation, will they have a story to tell?