Breakfast serving style

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sgirouard

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Reading everyone's posts here have raised a question in my mind. (Well, yes, more than one, but this is the one I want to ask now.)
All those "so you want to be an innkeeper" books discuss several ways of presenting breakfast, mainly
  • plated
  • buffet
  • family style
Now, from reading various posts, I have developed the impression that most innkeepers on this board plate breakfast and present the meal to guests already portioned out. I am wondering if that's a correct presumption.
Do you plate your breakfasts? Do you serve buffet style? Do you switch off (different manners of serving for different guest situations)? Does anyone serve family style? Do you use a combination- say, serve the main course plated, but places sweet breads and beverages on a side table?
Thank you in advance for your responses - your discussions on the other questions I and other aspiring innkeepers have posted are very enlightening.
 

Morticia

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Breakfast:
  • Serve yourself tea and coffee
  • Plated breakfast (fruit course and then main course)
  • If we served a 'bread' course at this point I might just put it in a basket on the table, but we used to plate that, too
  • Juice on order, not on the table, I ask who wants what
Buffet breakfast- ONLY when we have a group that is here for the same purpose (wedding, reunion, etc). Generally the guests all know each other but we also do it for groups here who do not know each other but who all have a stated deadline to leave the house. In this case all of the foods are presented as 'serve yourself' and we just clean tables and restock.
Edited to add that plated is usually cheaper than buffet because generally there's not much waste.
 

JBloggs

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I think the assumption may be incorrect. The best way to determine that is to do a POLL (where you click start new topic, just below it is POLL to start a new poll.)
There are a handful here who serve family style. A handful also who bring out a platter of say cinnamon rolls for the guests to enjoy and help themselves before a plated serving of the main course. Some serve continental only (toast your own), some a hot buffet, some extended continental, some do not serve breakfast meats at all. Some serve cooked to order (I won't use the word short-order that is a dirty word in this business. LOL)
Just like juice, some serve oj automatically, others ask if they would like it before pouring, others offer a choice of juices and still yet others place pitchers right on the table to help themselves or buffet sideboard. So there are all types here.
 

JBloggs

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PS Table configuration also has a big part in how innkeepers serve breakfast. :)
 

EmptyNest

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We served plated breakfast only. Only have 3 rooms and found this to be the best way for us to do this. Everyone sat at the same table at the same time. Unless they asked ahead of time for breakfast in their room.
I always asked what type of juice they wanted and then poured it for them. We always had orange juice, but also had lots of other choices available. We also poured cofee / tea.
 

muirford

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We have:
  • Serve yourself early coffee/tea and homemade biscotti in a basket on the living room sideboard
  • Cake plates on the tables with sweet breads or muffins for the whole table (we have two tables, each for six)
  • We pour juice (we offer orange but we have others) and coffee at the table once we start the breakfast service.
  • Fruit course and main course (entree, breakfast meat, toast if it's eggs) are individually plated.
  • Cereal is available on a sideboard if anyone wants it.
 

cedarhouse

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we plate breakfast and guests serve themselves initial tea and coffee. we ask who wants orange juice and pour in glasses. After guests are seated we serve tea and coffee.
Learned that placing a pitcher of orange juice on tables guests drink the whole pitcher. Now serve single glasses and guests ask for refills. Saves alot on oj cost.
 

Morticia

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we plate breakfast and guests serve themselves initial tea and coffee. we ask who wants orange juice and pour in glasses. After guests are seated we serve tea and coffee.
Learned that placing a pitcher of orange juice on tables guests drink the whole pitcher. Now serve single glasses and guests ask for refills. Saves alot on oj cost..
I would drink the whole pitcher but I won't ask for more unless it's a painfully small glass. I generally start the day with 12 ozs of OJ!
If one table asks for more juice, I bring both flavors around and ask who wants more.
 

Morticia

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We have:
  • Serve yourself early coffee/tea and homemade biscotti in a basket on the living room sideboard
  • Cake plates on the tables with sweet breads or muffins for the whole table (we have two tables, each for six)
  • We pour juice (we offer orange but we have others) and coffee at the table once we start the breakfast service.
  • Fruit course and main course (entree, breakfast meat, toast if it's eggs) are individually plated.
  • Cereal is available on a sideboard if anyone wants it.
.
I like the idea of having the biscotti avail early with the coffee/tea. Maybe I'll think about doing something like that. A basket of mini muffins say, only avail for early risers. Those folks who get up early to sit around with hubs and solve the problems of the world!
 

Morticia

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PS Table configuration also has a big part in how innkeepers serve breakfast. :).
Joe Bloggs said:
PS Table configuration also has a big part in how innkeepers serve breakfast. :)
Good point. We have 4 individual tables and 'come when you want' seating so family style wouldn't work well.
 

JBloggs

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we plate breakfast and guests serve themselves initial tea and coffee. we ask who wants orange juice and pour in glasses. After guests are seated we serve tea and coffee.
Learned that placing a pitcher of orange juice on tables guests drink the whole pitcher. Now serve single glasses and guests ask for refills. Saves alot on oj cost..
cedarhouse said:
we plate breakfast and guests serve themselves initial tea and coffee. we ask who wants orange juice and pour in glasses. After guests are seated we serve tea and coffee.
Learned that placing a pitcher of orange juice on tables guests drink the whole pitcher. Now serve single glasses and guests ask for refills. Saves alot on oj cost.
I remember as a child paying $2 for a teensy glass of juice in a diner. You never got a big ol'hunken glass. I think we are very generous as innkeepers.
 

scrambled_eggs

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I serve a plated 3 course breakfast. Juices are usually only orange juice unless by special request. Initially I will ask who wants juice and I will pour it for them Then I place a pitcher of juice on the table along with a carafe of coffee and hot water for tea. Orange juice is not too expensive here. It is about 1.25-1.75 a pitcher. I would rather the guests drink the whole pitcher and all the coffee so there is no waste and they get their monies worth. If the guest request it I will use a tea pot and brew the tea the correct way. I also have a plate of muffins or scones on the table that people can help themselves too. Breakfast is served at 8:30 and I am done serving the final course by 9am.
 

Morticia

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we plate breakfast and guests serve themselves initial tea and coffee. we ask who wants orange juice and pour in glasses. After guests are seated we serve tea and coffee.
Learned that placing a pitcher of orange juice on tables guests drink the whole pitcher. Now serve single glasses and guests ask for refills. Saves alot on oj cost..
cedarhouse said:
we plate breakfast and guests serve themselves initial tea and coffee. we ask who wants orange juice and pour in glasses. After guests are seated we serve tea and coffee.
Learned that placing a pitcher of orange juice on tables guests drink the whole pitcher. Now serve single glasses and guests ask for refills. Saves alot on oj cost.
I remember as a child paying $2 for a teensy glass of juice in a diner. You never got a big ol'hunken glass. I think we are very generous as innkeepers.
.
Joe Bloggs said:
cedarhouse said:
we plate breakfast and guests serve themselves initial tea and coffee. we ask who wants orange juice and pour in glasses. After guests are seated we serve tea and coffee.
Learned that placing a pitcher of orange juice on tables guests drink the whole pitcher. Now serve single glasses and guests ask for refills. Saves alot on oj cost.
I remember as a child paying $2 for a teensy glass of juice in a diner. You never got a big ol'hunken glass. I think we are very generous as innkeepers.
I needed new juice glasses and asked my SIL to pick up 3 doz at Ikea. She couldn't find the ones I wanted and my brother apologized for 'costing you more money, we got the 7 oz glasses instead of the 6 oz ones.'
 

Country Girl

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We have three individual tables and serve breakfast plated, including the fruit and bread course, but we keep coffee, tea, granola, milk, and juices on a sideboard for guests to help themselves.
 

happyjacks

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We have one table but guests choose their bfast time, sometimes overlapping, sometimes not.
We serve the fruit course, then the main. The baked good of the day is on the sideboard for guests to help themselves or not. Also on the sideboard are yogurts, cereal, and homemade granola as serve-yourself.
We pour coffee, cold water, and bring pots of hot water for tea as needed. We offer orange and some kind of cranberry juice or blend (cran-blueberry right now) and pour that. Small juice glasses but we offer seconds (guests don't have to ask). We refill coffee and water (hot & cold) frequently throughout brekkie and during post-brekkie conversations.
 

sunburst2

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I usually serve breakfast family style, that way everyone gets to eat as much as they want - or as little of anything in particular they want. I don't stay in B&B's too often, but the majority of time that I have stayed in a B&B I have not had enough to eat for breakfast. Maybe I'm a pig, but if the entree is something I like I almost always would like more, and very seldom get it. I don't want anyone to still be hungry after they are through with breakfast at my table, consequently I sacrifice more food than I would like to. Maybe I need to get some real pigs, the four legged kind to take care of my left overs. Then I would have my bacon handy, but i wouldn't like to slaughter it!
I do buffet style if I have more than 8 people because that makes for less waste than putting family style out on several different tables. Breakfast consists of large fruit plates and fresh baked bread followed by main course which always includes meat, often more than one variety and some kind of breakfast casserole, usually egg based. If more than 8 people will make a couple different casseroles. At least two kinds of juice, orange and grape, available on table
 

JBloggs

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I usually serve breakfast family style, that way everyone gets to eat as much as they want - or as little of anything in particular they want. I don't stay in B&B's too often, but the majority of time that I have stayed in a B&B I have not had enough to eat for breakfast. Maybe I'm a pig, but if the entree is something I like I almost always would like more, and very seldom get it. I don't want anyone to still be hungry after they are through with breakfast at my table, consequently I sacrifice more food than I would like to. Maybe I need to get some real pigs, the four legged kind to take care of my left overs. Then I would have my bacon handy, but i wouldn't like to slaughter it!
I do buffet style if I have more than 8 people because that makes for less waste than putting family style out on several different tables. Breakfast consists of large fruit plates and fresh baked bread followed by main course which always includes meat, often more than one variety and some kind of breakfast casserole, usually egg based. If more than 8 people will make a couple different casseroles. At least two kinds of juice, orange and grape, available on table.
sunburst2 said:
I usually serve breakfast family style, that way everyone gets to eat as much as they want - or as little of anything in particular they want. I don't stay in B&B's too often, but the majority of time that I have stayed in a B&B I have not had enough to eat for breakfast. Maybe I'm a pig, but if the entree is something I like I almost always would like more, and very seldom get it. I don't want anyone to still be hungry after they are through with breakfast at my table, consequently I sacrifice more food than I would like to. Maybe I need to get some real pigs, the four legged kind to take care of my left overs. Then I would have my bacon handy, but i wouldn't like to slaughter it!
I do buffet style if I have more than 8 people because that makes for less waste than putting family style out on several different tables. Breakfast consists of large fruit plates and fresh baked bread followed by main course which always includes meat, often more than one variety and some kind of breakfast casserole, usually egg based. If more than 8 people will make a couple different casseroles. At least two kinds of juice, orange and grape, available on table
Mmm sounds yummy. Hey do you serve bacon with family style? This is one I would have a hard time with as there is never enough bacon, like mentioned we're all pigs when it comes to bacon. I mean, a lb of bacon for a table of 4 is not enough (imo). You would go through a lot of it!
Bacon is the one reason we, as a family ever do a breakfast buffet restaurant, to get our fill.

 
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B&B Cottages here...so....breakfast comes up on a tray family style.They choise what they want the night before .Coffee/tea is in their kitchen and the juice I bring up in a pitcher on the tray w/b'fast...This works best for me as I work outside the B&B, also.Mary in Bridgewater, Va....you mentioned BACON. When I was a GirlScout leader, bacon was a big thing out camping.I started chopping it up/frying it up and put it in the scrambled eggs. Big hit w/the girls !plus you use alot less.
 

egoodell

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We serve breakfast. First fruit course and muffin, and then entree. We often ask if they would like seconds. The coffee is on the sideboard to help yourself and we bring out the juice that they tell us they would like. If we have a full house of two suites then we put some juice in a half litre carafe for more if they wish.
When I have all five rooms I may go to semi buffet. I think the place here that does it buffet style does more ham than bacon. They get the big ham at Sams club.
I am also interested in how people serve bacon on a buffet. For us that could get really expensive as we get local organic bacon and sausage.
Riki
 

Proud Texan

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we plate breakfast and guests serve themselves initial tea and coffee. we ask who wants orange juice and pour in glasses. After guests are seated we serve tea and coffee.
Learned that placing a pitcher of orange juice on tables guests drink the whole pitcher. Now serve single glasses and guests ask for refills. Saves alot on oj cost..
cedarhouse said:
we plate breakfast and guests serve themselves initial tea and coffee. we ask who wants orange juice and pour in glasses. After guests are seated we serve tea and coffee.
We essentially do the same thing. I do leave a carafe of coffee on the table after I have poured the initial cup and do juice refills on request.
The reason we serve our seated guests "plated" breakfasts is that we firmly believe presentation is everything. This includes the food, our appearance, our home and the ambiance.
Our guests rave about DW's gourmet breakfast.....we serve ordinary blueberry pecan pancakes for cryin' out loud! It's just all in the presentation.
Also, if our guests are getting waited on, they feel a little more pampered; and that's a good thing.
 
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