Planner Resources


Evolution of Conference Center Dining

Forget about that college dining hall.

There was a time when conference center dining was a slightly more sophisticated version of the cafeteria at your college dorm. Both were focused on feeding hundreds of people in a short period of time so they can get back to class or their meeting. Quality was usually second to quantity.

If your perception of conference centers matches this description, you probably haven’t been to one lately. Like the rest of the public, our guests have become more discriminating and their expectations are higher than ever before. Conference cuisine has become and art AND a science.

As for the art, culinary creativity and service excellence are key components of a memorable dining experience. And a memorable dining experience is part of a remarkable event. Conference centers have beefed up their offerings in both conference dining and special events. At Q Center, we’re proud to have an experienced team of professional chefs and service managers that are incredibly creative and passionate about their work. Take a few minutes to meet the team and you’ll see what we mean.

And then there’s the science. We’re learning that the food you eat can have a major impact on your ability to learn and pay attention. Our colleagues at the National Conference Center recently published a whitepaper in conjunction with Andrea Sullivan of BrainStrength Systems. The paper explains how the source, preparation and timing of food can influence attendees’ alertness and engagement. Our Executive Chef Francois Sanchez agrees. “It’s our job to make sure the food enhances our guests’ effectiveness and ability to focus on what they’re here to do.”

Speak your mind. Leave a comment to tell us what you think. Are conference centers exceeding your culinary expectations? What kinds of inventive approaches have you seen?

Click here to see photos of our culinary team.


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My people said that the environment is one of the best they've ever seen.

Bill Hamik, McKesson

Q Center
1405 North Fifth Avenue
St. Charles, IL 60174
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Information: 877.774.4627