It can be hard and at times a bit frustrating to create the ultimate breakfast buffet experience for your guests. The perception of what is great is highly subjective. Not only should the buffet evoke certain feelings, but it also should be align with guest expectations of the property.

Your guests arrive at the buffet hungry and looking forward to a nice cup of freshly brewed coffee. But they also bring expectations and anticipation to the table. They are interested to see what you and your team have prepared and how you present their first meal of the day. Expecting to have their basic needs meet, yes, but also to be surprised. In a good way, that is.

The most important touch point

To identify the various ways in which we like to be surprised can be a challenge. For some people it’s the look of a chocolate croissant. For others, it’s a wide selection of healthy alternatives to conventional breakfast fare.

The breakfast buffet might be the only touch point you have with your guests’ eating habits – and this is your opportunity to differentiate yourself and blow away your guests by delivering variety, quality, and service. The perfect start of the day.

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5 ways to take your breakfast buffet to the next level 

Here are 5 ways to make an impressive hotel breakfast buffet that will stand out, leave your guests satisfied and perhaps even result in friendly reviews on social media.

 

Tip #1 Navigation made easy

Help your guests by making it easy to navigate around the breakfast buffet. Put up small signs and maybe even explain the story behind some of the dishes. Make sure that the buffet leaves no questions unanswered – and be sure to have a friendly staff present to answer any requests from your guests.

Tip #2 Invitation for exploration

Make sure the buffet invites your guests to explore in the best possible way. Experiment with presentation by creating different heights. It lifts the buffet visually but also makes it look inviting and exciting. And, of course, cleanliness and the illusion that no one has touched the buffet yet are also important areas to prioritize.

Tip #3 Catch their attention

Make small serving sizes of the expensive dishes – for instance tall glasses or small bowls. It will not only make the small dishes look more exclusive and catch the attention of the customer, but it will also make it easier to try several different dishes – and it gives the chefs a chance to be creative. On top of that it reduces food waste.

Tip #4 Make space and create stations

Make sure that there is ample room for your breakfast buffet. Crammed into a small room even the finest buffet looses its appeal. Also, try to divide the buffet into sections and stations. A good idea is to group the hot dishes in one area, fruit and sweet dishes side by side in another area. Make sure to put the bread close the plates at the beginning of the buffet.

Tip #5 Choose quality over quantity

We all want value for our money, and that is why we tend to fall into the “buffet-trap”. Help your guests avoid that by serving smaller selections on your buffet. Prioritize flavor and quality over quantity. That’s how you ensure that your customers experience your buffet as pleasant and surprising – and leave the buffet satiated, but not bloated and full.

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The importance of the hotel breakfast

88 % of guests see the breakfast as the most important part of the hotel experience.

36 % of guests say that they highly value that little extra luxury you get from a hotel breakfast

58 % of hotel guests say that they value a wide selection of different small dishes on a breakfast buffet.

(Source: Opeepl Insights 2016)