Best Western's "Build Your Own Breakfast" Program

By Ron Pohl Vice President Brand Management, Best Western Hotels and Resorts | August 28, 2016

It’s no secret that one of the most important aspects of any hospitality company is how it develops and manages its food and beverage program. Oftentimes, a business or leisure traveler will make his or her decision on the next vacation or property based on the offerings in this category. At Best Western® Hotels & Resorts, we have an understanding of just how important it is for us to differentiate our product from our competitors and constantly rethink and reinvent our offerings to exceed consumer expectations.

Through guest feedback, research and analysis, we’ve uncovered that a quality breakfast is a significant driver of guest satisfaction in both the business and leisure travel segments. We have also learned that the three key areas of focus necessary to improve overall satisfaction with breakfast were people, product, and presentation. We needed a way to improve our breakfast but at the same time, ensure it was operationally efficient and easy to execute, while providing guests with the opportunity to customize their individual breakfast preferences.

This summer, our company brands have introduced a new “Build Your Own Breakfast” program, which has now rolled-out across all North American properties. Our biggest challenge was to ensure that no matter a guest’s preference or diet restrictions – there is always an option. Those with restricted diets will enjoy gluten-free choices, non-dairy milk options and seasonal fresh fruit. Those in a hurry can “Grab and Go” with a new option that includes a breakfast bar, fresh fruit and bottled water. The requirements we set for tour program detail minimum standards, as we encourage our hotels to implement a local flair with locally grown products. In addition, we allow our hotels to go above the standards to offer the best breakfast product possible in their markets. With that said, it’s important for us give the guest our guests ( across all properties ) the best breakfast experience possible.

In addition, guests seeking an exceptional meal before embarking on their day can experience a yogurt parfait and oatmeal bar, signature branded waffles, breakfast sandwich and omelet station with an abundance of toppings and add-ins. We truly offer something for everyone and provide customizable options, which is something that our guests desire. Additionally, as we are seeing across all industries, health and wellness has found its way into the hospitality industry. It’s vital that our company produces and provides guests with healthy options to satisfy their daily needs. Throughout our hotels, travelers will find plenty of healthy breakfast options to help get their day started.

Part of what we believe makes our newest breakfast options fit with the consumer is how we follow the newest trend in quick service. Customers have flocked to chains nationwide to get the latest fresh cuisine quicker and more efficient than a full-service sit-down restaurant. We understand that oftentimes guests at our properties don’t have the time to sit down at a full-service establishment before their day starts. Therefore, it was important for us to grasp that concept and implement it across our North American properties.

Our Director of Supply & Studio Design for Canada played an instrumental part in updating operations for the new program. She spent hours at several Canadian properties to receive guest feedback first hand during breakfast hours. Through her observations, she was able to understand aspects of the program that were working well and areas that needed improvement. Based upon these observations, the new program places an importance on the flow of the breakfast space. For example, the area will become congested if the space is not well planned. Many of our hotels in North America are completing a design property improvement plan that includes new tile, countertops, walls, eating spaces, furniture and fixtures. Additional features include guest accessible glass front refrigerators and juice machines which ensure product quality.

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Coming up in January 2018...

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