Typical breakfast?

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My first post as an aspiring innkeeper so please be gentle. We are looking at various B&Bs for sale. Every time we have visited a B&B in the past - in B&Bs all over the world - we've gotten a full breakfast - bacon and eggs, french toast quiche, etc. This latest B&B we are considering only serves muffins during the week (full breakfast on weekends). The only other B&B in town serves a full breakfast all the time. 

I know some B&B s serve only muffins, but how common is that? Also, what are your thoughts about comparing the competition if they serve a full breakfast and we wouldn't. 

I know these questions need more information, but I'm just starting out. 

Thanks in advance. 

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franco2000 wrote:

My first post as an aspiring innkeeper so please be gentle. We are looking at various B&Bs for sale. Every time we have visited a B&B in the past - in B&Bs all over the world - we've gotten a full breakfast - bacon and eggs, french toast quiche, etc. This latest B&B we are considering only serves muffins during the week (full breakfast on weekends). The only other B&B in town serves a full breakfast all the time. 

I know some B&B s serve only muffins, but how common is that? Also, what are your thoughts about comparing the competition if they serve a full breakfast and we wouldn't. 

Thanks in advance. 

Welcome to Innspiring! I've learned a lot from the kind, thoughtful folks on the forums. Shortly after we bought our B&B, I found out that some cities and/or counties regulate B&Bs as restaurants. B&Bs subject to these regulations would be inspected by their state health department and would be required to obtain a restaurant license if they served full breakfasts. In many cases, these B&Bs choose to serve prepackaged items and continental breakfasts. I don't blame them! (Check out this description under "breakfast" for The Mermaid & The Alligator B&B: Along with a tempting assortment of muffins and cereals on our buffet, we also provide a delicious hot entrée each morning.  Local health codes prevent us from extensive cooking or frying so we hope you understand we provide the most creative and sumptuous breakfast we can.  If you fancy a breakfast to order, we have a number of restaurants featuring a variety of breakfast dishes, which we will be happy to recommend.)

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Depends also what they charge and what you intend to charge - high end sorry would not put up with just muffins

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Jcam wrote:

Depends also what they charge and what you intend to charge - high end sorry would not put up with just muffins

And marketing.   If you are going muffins and coffee, make sure you stress "Continental".   Put pictures of muffins on the website and a line saying something like, "Serving our freshly baked muffins and brewed coffee every morning."

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Similar to Cat Lady and Gillum here.  Two inn rooms plus others can book a breakfast here if they choose. 

I would expect a full breakfast at a bed and breakfast or inn.  Years ago, I and two friends went to a B & B near a concert venue.  Muffins or some kind of sweet bread, coffee and orange juice were served.  We stayed and talked at the group table a   l o n g   time - all waiting for the main course that never came.  

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Anon Inn wrote:

 

I would expect a full breakfast at a bed and breakfast or inn.  Years ago, I and two friends went to a B & B near a concert venue.  Muffins or some kind of sweet bread, coffee and orange juice were served.  We stayed and talked at the group table a   l o n g   time - all waiting for the main course that never came.  

Yes! Happened to me, too. There was yogurt and granola. Period. Two things I did not eat at the time. I had a glass of juice for breakfast. But, yes, we sat there waiting for someone to ask us what we wanted or to bring out breakfast. Nope. It was yogurt and granola only.

Same trip, one of my friends found a green caterpillar walking around in her salad. The manager came out to explain that's what happens when everything is 100% organic. He wouldn't even bring her another salad!

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Morticia wrote:

Anon Inn wrote:

I would expect a full breakfast at a bed and breakfast or inn.  Years ago, I and two friends went to a B & B near a concert venue.  Muffins or some kind of sweet bread, coffee and orange juice were served.  We stayed and talked at the group table a   l o n g   time - all waiting for the main course that never came.  

Yes! Happened to me, too. There was yogurt and granola. Period. Two things I did not eat at the time. I had a glass of juice for breakfast. But, yes, we sat there waiting for someone to ask us what we wanted or to bring out breakfast. Nope. It was yogurt and granola only.

On the flip side, there was 1 time in the course of 6 years when I was asked "Is this it?" after serving fresh fruit, a baked good, and waffles the size of a dinner plate with 2 pieces of bacon. The guest was a thinnish-looking woman from Sweden. I blinked at her & asked, "Would you like some eggs, too? I'd be happy to cook them if you're still hungry." She said she was just asking to "make sure". Huh what??

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eeww.   True, but eeww.

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franco2000 wrote:

My first post as an aspiring innkeeper so please be gentle. 

Welcome, nice bunch of folks on this forum, hope you enjoy visiting here as much as I have in recent years.

I'm the odd kid here with an 8 room motel and don't serve food so I can only speak to my personal likes on that subject.

In all things with the business ask yourself what makes you happy. If you are happy and excited about what you provide, chances are you will cultivate guests of a similar mind, if you and the guests are happy it can be a good life.

Food, well I like to eat and breakfast may be my favorite meal, I can grab a roll and a cup of coffee at home, my motivation at choosing a bed and breakfast would be a big country breakfast and I would enjoy sharing the room with the fellow diners, fancy not required, Sunday breakfast with grandma style, I want to leave the table stuffed, but that's me and I may not be the guest that suits your style, so we come back to doing what best suits you and building a following of guests with a like mind.

Have fun and success in your endeavor 

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Four rooms. Chef’s choice. I usually alternate between savoury and sweet menus, depending on who’s staying over. I usually start with a freshly baked good (muffins, sweetbread, scones with homemade jam), then a fresh fruit platter ( at least three varieties), and then the hot entree. I can tailor it to allergies as long as they tell me the night before. I serve between 8 and 9 but will do an earlier breakfast for business travellers or those who are catching an early flight. It it’s really early, I’ll do a breakfast to go ( egg on a bagel, fruit cut, juice )

I have one guest who comes for a few days at a time who doesn’t need want the breakfast because he leaves very early (here for business), but I’ll pack a lunch for him that he grabs on his way out. It’s in the fridge at my coffee bar.

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We have 3 rooms, always serve a full, plated breakfast, always have muffins, toast or protein bars/granola bars to go (for those who prefer it). Sometimes vegetarian/gluten free options (always if requested).

We also always have fresh fruit, pastry (delivered from a local bakery, my homemade muffins, cinnamon bread or the like) yogurt parfaits, (with toppings), oatmeal...(and if all that isn't enough they are too picky!).

Longest we ever had someone stay was 7 days, and I won't serve the same thing twice!

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Northern Dreamer wrote:

We have 3 rooms, always serve a full, plated breakfast, always have muffins, toast or protein bars/granola bars to go (for those who prefer it). Sometimes vegetarian/gluten free options (always if requested).

We also always have fresh fruit, pastry (delivered from a local bakery, my homemade muffins, cinnamon bread or the like) yogurt parfaits, (with toppings), oatmeal...(and if all that isn't enough they are too picky!).

Longest we ever had someone stay was 7 days, and I won't serve the same thing twice!

 

How do the yogurt parfaits go over?  Are they covered with cling wrap or just out?   Are they in an ice bath?  I made them for awhile but was always throwing away food.  So I generally put out yogurts in sealed cups and fruit and toppings like walnuts, coconut, raisins, choc chips, etc.    Once in awhile, I'll make the parfaits for a wedding party or a holiday.

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I always do all my other prep first and while the main entree is baking, then I make the yogurt parfaits fresh. (Fruit is always prepped the night before)

I use parfait dishes or I found a great size squatty 8oz Ball canning jar that works great - and it cute! I layer yogurt and whatever fresh fruit is in season, then top with a final layer of yogurt and fruit, garnish with fresh mint or a cinnamon puff pastry triangle or mini waffle cookie/wafer. Serve on a fruit plate with a wedge of melon, grapes or other fresh fruit  Usually they are out 15-20 min tops before guest are at the table! Rarely does anyone turn them down!!! And guests always rave about the flavor of the "Greek Gods Vanilla Honey Yogurt" too!

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Using canning jars is neat as they have covers in case they have to sit!

I'm using yogurt jars now. Oui is the name of the yogurt. Cute glass jar, I've cleaned them up, removed the labels, good to go.

Parfaits, Panna Cotta, pudding.

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Chia pudding, rice pudding, flax seed pudding and tapioca pudding... all delightful with breakfast as a change from yogourt.

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I set out Granola, Toasted Wheat Germ or Toasted Coconut for the guests to select a topping.

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Thanks.   I love the look of the parfaits.   They look like I went out of my way to do something special.  

 

Tom
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I did parfaits for a while and have quit.  They look nice as presented, but soon turn to  ... glop, and I found most were only 1/2 to 3/4 eaten, so not super important to our crowd.  While I was serving them, I got nice parfait/cocktail glasses (Libby) because my first attempt was using margarita glasses (large flat bowl on tall stem); I was serving these to a patrician couple: a gentleman who was grumbling about being forced to retire as a judge because he was older than 75, and by his own account, he was considered a hanging judge, and his beautiful and beautifully dressed slightly younger wife.  I made gorgeous parfaits for this upper crust customer and proudly brought them to the table on my breakfast tray. The top heavy glasses tipped and dashed across the couple's table, missing them, but hitting the wall.  So much for being a classy B&B.  They were characteristically un-flapped and calmly brushed off my apology.  Oof.

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I quit using the margarita glasses for parfaits because it was too expensive! But, if I make a trifle I use them because it's mostly cake.

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TheBeachHouse wrote:

Northern Dreamer wrote:

We have 3 rooms, always serve a full, plated breakfast, always have muffins, toast or protein bars/granola bars to go (for those who prefer it). Sometimes vegetarian/gluten free options (always if requested).

We also always have fresh fruit, pastry (delivered from a local bakery, my homemade muffins, cinnamon bread or the like) yogurt parfaits, (with toppings), oatmeal...(and if all that isn't enough they are too picky!).

Longest we ever had someone stay was 7 days, and I won't serve the same thing twice!

 

How do the yogurt parfaits go over?  Are they covered with cling wrap or just out?   Are they in an ice bath?  I made them for awhile but was always throwing away food.  So I generally put out yogurts in sealed cups and fruit and toppings like walnuts, coconut, raisins, choc chips, etc.    Once in awhile, I'll make the parfaits for a wedding party or a holiday.

  At the NE inn we did yogurt parfaits in our breakfast buffet.  We did them in antique glass ice cream sundaes dishes on a silver tray so the guests could see the layers and what kinds of fruit were involved.  We made the granola ourselves so the parfaits are gluten free.  We would put out some of them at a time while the rest stay fresh in the fridge which made it easy to replace them at the buffet.  The ones in the fridge had cling wrap but was removed when they went out to the dining room.  We made enough for every lady staying as men were less likely to choose them.  They were easy to whip up if we needed more. 

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makes sense.  thanks!

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And always served 8:30 - 9:30 (had some runners request early peanut butter and bananas - no problem!) Always at the dinning room table, beside the coffee, tea & hot chocolate bar

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I do a full breakfast - cook's choice - served at the time the guest has chosen the night before between 6 AM and 10 AM. With 3 rooms I can do this. I serve family-style - help yourself to as much or as little as you want. As has been said, everyone is different. Some places, are only permitted to serve pre-packaged

Tom
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Same here, a full breakfast, but cook's choice adapted to the wishes expressed on check-in (e.g. GF, then hash browns).  Flexible hours and table service with a room or two, with 3 to 5 rooms, try to squeeze everyone into an hour or so, usually buffet service.  It's labor, for sure, but adds something to the experience for most guests that muffins and yogurt wouldn't.  As they all say, do what you want to do, make it plain to all who book what to expect, and follow up to see how people are feeling.

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We have a breakfast menu/order form that each guest fills out the night before and leaves outside their room.  They select what they want for breakfast and choose either 8:00 am or 9:00 am to eat and they choose if they want it delivered to their room or to eat in the dining room.

One guest might choose eggs, bacon, hash browns, toast and coffee and the other person who is with them might choose blueberry pancakes, sausage, toast and tea.  

We make each breakfast to order for each guest.  All food is locally sourced, organic and high quality.  We have the best bacon in the state, for example, in both flavor and the fact that it has no nitrates. Our meats are from grass fed animals.  We also have gluten free options available.

We only have 2 rooms and our kitchen has a commercial cook top, 2 ovens, warming drawer, etc. so we have all the stuff to make preparing breakfast like that relatively easy.

 

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MNVineyardBB wrote:

 

We only have 2 rooms and our kitchen has a commercial cook top, 2 ovens, warming drawer, etc. so we have all the stuff to make preparing breakfast like that relatively easy.

 

We have 7 rooms and we are working in an apartment sized kitchen. Whenever someone says to us, 'but it's so easy to do a menu!' I have to laugh. I have a regular house stove, no extra ovens, no warming drawer. An apartment sized fridge. And a kitchen where you cannot open the oven if the fridge is open or if the dishwasher is open. If we make quiche I can't make muffins. If we are hot holding the bacon we trip the breaker making toast.

So, yeah, everything is different everywhere you go.

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Morticia wrote:

MNVineyardBB wrote:
We only have 2 rooms and our kitchen has a commercial cook top, 2 ovens, warming drawer, etc. so we have all the stuff to make preparing breakfast like that relatively easy.

We have 7 rooms and we are working in an apartment sized kitchen. Whenever someone says to us, 'but it's so easy to do a menu!' I have to laugh. I have a regular house stove, no extra ovens, no warming drawer. An apartment sized fridge. And a kitchen where you cannot open the oven if the fridge is open or if the dishwasher is open. If we make quiche I can't make muffins. If we are hot holding the bacon we trip the breaker making toast.

So, yeah, everything is different everywhere you go.

 

Morticia,

Wow....that does sound challenging.  Well, from what I know of you, I have no doubt you make magic happen in your kitchen!  

 

 

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Question - how do you deliver it to their room?   Tray?   Do you knock?   Is there a table for eating in each room?   Just curious. 

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We have a bistro (tall) table with 2 chairs in each room.  We have a tray stand that we keep in a closet.   When we serve to the room we open the tray holder and have it sitting just outside the door.  We make the meal in the kitchen and then carry it up to the room and set it on the tray stand and knock on the door.  That is awkward though because ideally the meal should be on a stand in the room off to the side of their table so that they can use the table 100% for eating space.  There is no easy way for the guest to move both the food tray and stand into their room.

So  were are looking at getting a cart to use.  That way, we can set the meal tray on the cart and knock and then we can leave.  Then they can roll the cart into their room and position it next to their table.

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ooh.  Cart.  Good idea.  I have a try stand in the upstairs hallway for a room service option I plan to start this coming season.  It would have to be a smaller-than-usual cart though.   hmmmm.  Thanks for sharing!

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Do what works for you.   Advertise what you do and don't worry about being the same as someone else.

To me, I want real food, not muffins.  But for some, it's what they expect.

Morticia's picture
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Where would you stay?

Are the owners working second jobs during the week? Do they cater to a long term rental crowd? What does their weekday occupancy look like? I'd ask what the benefit is to only serving muffins on weekdays.

Depending on where you are looking, even what state or country, the 'typical' breakfast will be different. As an example, we do not serve every one of those things you mentioned everyday. We serve one of those main courses.

Also, check your regulations. It's possible you and the other b&b aren't in the same town. Towns are different in what they allow.

Have fun searching? Do you have an area you are focusing on?

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WE have a group of innkeepers in our town.  They all do their own version of breakfast.

One is very family style but upscale food.   You sit in the kitchen while she cooks and the food is awesome.   One is big, formal table with service times.   8 and 9 and you make a reservation.  She serves a plated breakfast with a fruit starter.   One puts out an amazing display of freshly baked sweet goods.  

Another specializes in scones and also serves eggs any style with Tater Tots.  

Ours is a buffet.   At 7:30, you can find fruit, yogurt, cereals, a coffee cake and juices.   At 8 we put out an egg dish (usually individual quiche), bacon and sausage and a sweet dish like pancakes or French toast.   Buffet is open from 8 - 10.   Self serve.

People seem to like it.   We don't like seating times because when we travel, we don't like to worry about what time to get up in the morning.  But it works for some.

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If a guest is staying with me for 14 days, they get 14 different breakfasts and I will guarantee you that NONE of them will be bacon and eggs. We do offer continental, before our formal breakfast hour, for those who want it, but otherwise we offer a full breakfast, but RARELY do I ever serve meat.

Which is funny because only guests from the USA ever mention it. The other side of the coin, I get complaints from Italians when I don't serve a sweet breakfast. And some of the Europeans aren't used to egg dishes in the morning. 

All B&Bs are different. And the clientele is different. In fact, my clientele changes during the season. August if very European. My most difficult guests are often end of September to the start of October, when they aren't as able and book with me despite my stairs.

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