Wake Up to the Latest Breakfast Trends

By Ned Barker President, Grill Ventures Consulting, Inc. | November 06, 2011

Apple fritters made to order. Fresh orange juice chilled with frozen OJ ice balls. Scrapple, sausage, ham, pineapple and apple kabobs coated with a honey apple-butter glaze. Whole turkey carved to order.
These are some of the items served for breakfast recently at the Crowne Plaza in Reading, PA.

The orange juice adds a fresh/natural element to the offerings. The scrapple, apple butter and apple fritters deliver the region's Pennsylvania Dutch flavors, and signal meaningful trend touch points, including "authentic", "local" and even "ethnic". The freshly roasted carved whole turkey is a great example of "dinner at breakfast". These small touches tell the guest that the hotel cares. They set the hotel apart from its competitors. The guests are noticing, and the property's RevPAR growth shows it.

Bacon and eggs? Sure. But latching on to breakfast trends in a creative way seems to be an easy way to show your guests that you care. Not to mention that it drives F&B sales at the same time.

Breakfast is important to everyone. In its 2011 food trends survey, the Food Channel reported that 95 percent of respondents viewed breakfast as very or somewhat important.

Breakfast is serious business, especially for hotels. Technomic, in a study done in conjunction with Hotel F&B, estimated hotel breakfast business to be nearly $10 billion a year. But it doesn't stop there, because the value of complimentary breakfasts in the Select Service segment was not factored in. So figure a couple of billion more.

Breakfast may influence hotel selection in the Select Service category as well. Technomic's The 2011 Hotel Food and Beverage Consumer Trend Report finds that when choosing a hotel, consumers say complimentary offerings such as breakfast and in-room coffee are more important to them than other amenities.

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The hotel industry has undertaken a long-term effort to build more responsible and socially conscious businesses. What began with small efforts to reduce waste - such as paperless checkouts and refillable soap dispensers - has evolved into an international movement toward implementing sustainable development practices. In addition to establishing themselves as good corporate citizens, adopting eco-friendly practices is sound business for hotels. According to a recent report from Deloitte, 95% of business travelers believe the hotel industry should be undertaking “green” initiatives, and Millennials are twice as likely to support brands with strong management of environmental and social issues. Given these conclusions, hotels are continuing to innovate in the areas of environmental sustainability. For example, one leading hotel chain has designed special elevators that collect kinetic energy from the moving lift and in the process, they have reduced their energy consumption by 50%  over conventional elevators. Also, they installed an advanced air conditioning system which employs a magnetic mechanical system that makes them more energy efficient. Other hotels are installing Intelligent Building Systems which monitor and control temperatures in rooms, common areas and swimming pools, as well as ventilation and cold water systems. Some hotels are installing Electric Vehicle charging stations, planting rooftop gardens, implementing stringent recycling programs, and insisting on the use of biodegradable materials. Another trend is the creation of Green Teams within a hotel's operation that are tasked to implement earth-friendly practices and manage budgets for green projects. Some hotels have even gone so far as to curtail or eliminate room service, believing that keeping the kitchen open 24/7 isn't terribly sustainable. The May issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to integrate sustainable practices into their operations and how they are benefiting from them.