Serving Breakfast

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02/17/2014

Good afternoon my fellow innkeepers. I am in the beginning stages of learning about running a B&B. I have a question about serving breakfast. Is it customary for the innkeeper to serve breakfast on the plate and if so how do we determine portion size? Has anyone served breakfast in a casserole for guest to serve themselves? What are the pros and cons of both?

 

TheBeachHouse's picture
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06/24/2013

We are continental only.   We put everything out at once at 'stations.'  A cereal station, a baked goods station, a fruit station.    We also put out yogurt in cups - no waste. 

Question, what 'protein' do you put out for continental?   Yogurt, peanut butter and now we have a high protein cereal which we mark so people know.  Any other ideas?

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Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

I think SS used to put out boiled eggs.

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gillumhouse's picture
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05/22/2008

It depends on the size of your B & B - how many rooms/people will you be serving?

I do family style because for me, with 3 rooms max of 6 people, it is less wasteful than plated. If I have 2 guests, I have a dish that makes enough for 2 - I cut the egg bake into 4 pieces and tell them it is cut that way for ease of serving, not suggested serving sizes. I also have another that is perfect size for 4 and if i have 6 I have a pan for that - all are glass that can be put on the table to be served from. Tiny eaters can take a tiny serving (or wary diners a small sliver to taste before diving in) and the hearty eater can just load up. Leftovers are not wasted - they were not on someone's plate and therefore must be tossed. I got tired of throwing away fruit so I make a mixed fruit bowl and let them take what they want from that dish - no more wasted fruit. Remember, I said I am small. IF I had more rooms and more people to serve, this probably would not work. 

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

Another point for doing it your way is you have a single table. I have 4 tables, sometimes 5 if someone is in a rush.

I can have 17 for breakfast and we cook when you arrive. (Unless it's quiche.) This weekend we had 15 each morning.

We used to make all the sausages in advance and then threw a ton of them out so we stopped doing them in advance. Bacon is ok because I will eat whatever is left over!

For the op, it also depends on what kind of serving area there will be and will everyone eat at the same time.

Madeleine's picture
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09/29/2011

Of course there are B&B's where local regulations require that they not serve hot food or cook anything so you get the cold buffet style.

You'll need to know the regulations in your area.

seashanty's picture
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06/02/2008

 PLATES!

every time. plated.

i had a buffet at first and it cost me so much! people would see fruit and yogurt and cereal and hard boiled eggs and bacon and pastry and granola and make-your-own toast or bagels or waffles and milk and juice and coffee and take some of everything. then they'd leave it on their plate or (with glee) tell me they were 'packing it up and wouldn't have to buy lunch!'  blush   how nice for you.  are you kidding?? didn't they understand it wasn't free for me to serve? also, they would take more than 1/16 or whatever. not nice!

as madeline says, keeping the food hot is a real challenge and then i had to satisfy the second year's health inspector's requirements about keeping hot food hot and cold food cold. and some guests are NOT clean and neat when taking food (ahem) to say the least so i was told to get a shield and install it over the food or end the buffet.  guess what? end of buffet.

with plated food, i said 'cook's choice today is THIS' and i'd cook and serve, cook and serve, cook and serve.  worked very well. minimum waste. hot food stove to table.

Madeleine's picture
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We do plated because then you control the portion size. If you use a standard dinner plate you can figure out what 'looks good' as far as portions. On a plate here you would get: 2 sausages, 1/8 slice of quiche from a 12" quiche pan and a slice of toast cut on the diagonal. We then 'decorate' the quiche with grated cheese and scallions.

That fills the plate up nicely without having the food hanging over the edge which is not a pretty sight.

If you do a casserole you need to be prepared for guests to 'help themselves' to their portion and possibly 3-4 other guests' portions. If guests don't know how many are being fed out of that casserole they'll take all they want. So you have to keep cooking even tho that's not what you were probably planning to do.

It's more wasteful to do 'family style' or buffet. You need to cook enough for everyone to have whatever it is but some people will only eat the bacon and leave the rest. So you have leftovers where you didn't want them and more to cook when the bacon runs out!

Also consider sanitary conditions. Can you keep the meal hot? Will guests know not to grab with their hands? (no, they won't believe me)

Honestly, I don't see any pros. We've done buffet style for weddings and we're left with a ton of food or complaints that someone didn't get something.

Generic's picture
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02/24/2011

We serve to the plate. We have done casseroles that we divide up and serve. We have never really served family style.

I don't know how you measure, we just serve what we think is a normal portion. It's lighter for some so they have sides and too much for others and they leave things on the plate.

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