Breakfast – seen as the most important meal of the day, and probably one that we often have the least amount of time to have.
In the hotel industry breakfast is probably the busiest time of day – the majority of your guests will book in for breakfast. It is also the time when your guests potentially have the least amount of time. So breakfast needs to run smoothly and cater for all dietary needs.
So why does breakfast in a hotel frequently turn out bad? I have seen a full hotel with queues waiting for breakfast because of understaffing and a lack of coordination.
In some cases there seems to be a lack of attention to how quickly food needs to be replenished and tables cleared
I have been left hungry due to lack of communication of how long the vegetarian breakfast would take to cook – having to leave before it is ready.
I used to attend a breakfast networking meeting at a 5 star hotel which has 89 rooms. In our networking group there were usually about 20 of us each work. The hotel claimed it was too much work to provide 20 individual breakfasts (which were all pre-ordered). Instead it was either a full cooked breakfast, or a continental offering (which was one pastry and some fruit). I always used to wonder how they coped if all the rooms were full and breakfasts not pre ordered if they couldn’t cope with 20 pre-ordered meals.
I understand that staff not turning up on time cannot be planned for, however managing expectations can. As a guest if I know there is a problem in the kitchen, an ingredient isn’t available, or something takes slightly longer to prepare, then I can make my food choice according to my time restraints. It is all about managing expectations.
I once worked in a hotel for a year. Breakfast always ran smoothly as the head waiter would give training to the staff the day before and then watch like hawk as to what as going on. He would give firm, but polite, instructions, so as to ensure smooth running and that guests left satiated and happy.
Looking at hotels now I rarely see anyone who appears to be in overall charge. When there is they don’t appear to have the attention to detail and focus that I trained under.
I never know why there is so much secrecy over breakfast. I’m not sue if there is a worse time of the day in which not be on top of your game, or not be communicating with your customers.
I’d love to know what your experience of hotel breakfasts has been.