A very easy way to add value to your hotel or inn is to provide a complimentary breakfast. It’s something that doesn’t need to cost a lot but can cause someone to choose your business over another. However, you need to provide something that is not only cost effective, but delicious.
Breakfast is an important meal and it’s also the most likely one that your patrons will experience. Everyone will wake up in the hotel, after all, so they’ll be more likely to take breakfast there than any other meal. However, there are quite a few things to consider before you create the menu for that breakfast.
What Type of Breakfast?
The type of breakfast will depend greatly on how your hotel is set up. There’s no wrong way to do things, but just offering something to eat in the morning will help guests leave better reviews and more will select your hotel to stay at over a hotel that doesn’t offer breakfast.
If you don’t have a kitchen, then you won’t be preparing meals. That doesn’t mean your guests can’t enjoy a lovely breakfast, however. It will simply have to be something you can present in a breakfast room without worrying about heating anything.
The no kitchen option is quite simple. You’ll need a space to provide the breakfast, preferably with a couple of tables. Coffee and tea should be provided and are easy enough with the right appliances. The actual meal can range from muffins and rolls to mini boxes of cereal and a flask of milk, as well as little cups of yogurt. Be sure to offer small individual packets of jam and butter so your guests can spread it on their bread. You will also want to provide a toaster so they can toast their bread first.
If you want to make a better impression, provide some varieties of bread and bagels. Guests will be thrilled to choose from malted and seeded breads, rather than only having white bread. Give them more options and you’ll find the reviews are even better.
If you do have a kitchen, there are a lot of options available. You can provide the same meal every day or mix it up. Most hotels find it helpful to offer two or three options, so everyone is happy. For example, you may provide pancakes or waffles, scrambled eggs and sausages with toast, or a fruit plate for guests to choose from. It’s traditional for breakfasts to include a drink, such as coffee, tea, or orange juice. They may select what they prefer, but there are no extras provided.
These set meals should not have many choices. For example, you can ask if the guest wants their eggs scrambled or fried but try to limit choices. Otherwise, they will end up asking for too many changes and it can become overwhelming.
You can also provide a full menu if you like. However, this will require far more preparation than a set meal. Many hotel restaurants include two or three options that the guest can choose from for free, as well as a full menu that is not complimentary. This allows you to earn from the other choices. So, you may create a full menu, but keep a set meal as the free option.
Even with a so-called full menu, you may wish to keep it to just a handful of choices to make things easy for your chef. The guests will appreciate having some selection, but you don’t need to go too far in providing this.
Some restaurants prefer to set up a buffet-style breakfast, which allows the guests to choose their food. In this case, you can’t limit what or how much they eat, so you will want to include plenty of cheaper choices. Popular buffet items include:
- Sliced fruit
- Scrambled eggs
- Cereal (cold and hot)
- Bacon and ham
- French toast
Keep in mind that your food will need to be kept hot or chilled according to the type. This requires specialty equipment that will need to be installed.
For a more integrated guest experience, you may choose to offer stations where a chef will prepare a food according to the guest’s preferences. For example, an omelette station allows the guest to select their fillings and the chef will prepare the omelette right in front of them. This may be done for waffles, pancakes, and crepes, as well as breakfast sandwiches. However, it is an additional expense which needs to be considered.
Making a Great Impression
Offering breakfast as part of the guests’ accommodation can make the hotel feel more luxurious and is one of the main reasons people choose one hotel over another. However, you need to make a great impression on them and that isn’t possible with just a few muffins and rolls. If you have the ability to provide a hot breakfast, it’s a good idea to go above and beyond.
A good example of this is to take your breakfast food to the next level. Here are some common foods found in complimentary breakfasts, as well as simple ways to elevate them.
Waffles or Pancakes: Offer flavoured waffles, such as gingerbread waffles, blueberry, or banana waffles. You can also provide unique syrups for them, including lemon, blueberry, chocolate, etc. Always offer the simple version, as well, since some people just want what is familiar.
Scrambled Eggs: Rather than go with plain scrambled eggs, offer them with veg or ham mixed in. You can also provide quiche in place of scrambled eggs for a more elegant breakfast choice.
Omelette: Regular omelettes are fairly elegant on their own, but you can also switch to offering crepes, both savoury and sweet, for a unique twist on breakfast.
Fruit: Instead of just offering a fruit plate, consider making a fruit salad and serve with whipped cream on the side. You may also offer a smoothie instead of just a plate. You may also want to try offering more exotic fruits, particularly if you have a lead on them. Adding a piece of cheese to the plate will help make it look even more elegant and add a little savoury to the sweet.
Toast: Take that toast up a level by offering a variety of breads. Bread is also good for filling up on, so providing a basket of freshly toasted bread with fresh butter and jam is a good way to keep guests satisfied while they wait for their breakfast.
Fried Potatoes: Hashbrowns are delicious, but you will find that providing a pile of carefully herbed and fried baby potatoes is far more elegant. It’s nearly the same cost but gives a better impression. Add a little crumbled bacon to the mix and you have a truly elevated dish.
With just a little imagination, you can take a very ordinary dish and turn it into something that your guests will talk about for days. This is exactly how to get good reviews and encourage people to share their experiences with friends and family.
It’s estimated that around 80% of guests eat breakfast in their hotel and this is often the last experience they have with your establishment. If you take the time to make it memorable, you will find people come back again and again. There’s something about having a delightful send off in the morning that makes them want to return to the same hotel. They’ll also talk about the experience, which is the best type of marketing.
As a hotel, your business is to make people comfortable enough to sleep. This is something that you can expound on with a complimentary breakfast. More and more hotels are providing this option and it provides a lot more value to the guest, while only increasing your cost slightly. After all, a dozen eggs is not a big investment when it comes to serving the people your livelihood is based on. When it results in better reviews and happier customers, it’s well worth including a breakfast in the price of the room.
Are you ready to start providing the best possible breakfasts for your guests? Freshways has everything you need to impress your hotel guests. Check out our product list today.