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Stepping up the breakfast game

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nataliebee

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Hello all and happy September 1st!
Has anyone here made a huge transformation in how they served breakfast?
I often wonder if having a smaller B&B, kitchen set-up, family dynamic, etc. has anything to do with the quality of the meals. Not to say ours isn't mouthwatering, we just tend to get average reviews about our breakfast. I will add that the menu has been priced out by a previous Owner and handed down (mostly as a money-saving tip) to the new Owner and she's hesitant to change it too much due to costing.
We have 11 rooms, family-style ballroom set up for 24, and one gas stove with a large griddle. We serve bacon, eggs, toast, basic oatmeal, box pancakes. We have one egg dish that rocks but that's it for personal touches. It breaks my heart. I love to bake but have a toddler. From wake up to sleep we both share the responsibility of parenting, cleaning rooms, cooking, serving, our own family duties, running errands. Not a complaint but I think that may contribute to not feeling motivated to actually sit and price out a new menu. Yes, we have three PT housekeepers.
My fellow Innmate is an awesome cook (it's his background) but I think feels a bit burnt out.
On another note, we're celebrating our engagement anniversary (!!) so having our fourth date out this year (...oh well...)
 

TheBeachHouse

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Also, take a look at the recipe area on this web site. Lots of inspiration.
 

TheBeachHouse

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Our breakfast is similar.
Most days is pancakes, bacon 'n' eggs (scrambled) and the continental fare - fruit, yogurt, cereals, coffee cake, juice and milk.
Try new recipes one at a time. In other words, you needn't come up with a whole new menu.
Instead of scrambled eggs, try a crustless quiche, or small omletes one day. If it works, work it into your rotation. We make them in individual oversized cupcake pans.
Instead of pancakes, one day, make French Toast or a strata. If you like it, it can work in.
Easy way to change it up is to add fruit to the pancakes. We add any of blueberries, strawberries, bananas, peaches. Sometimes with walnuts or coconut.
I just started making my own syrup for the pancakes. Looks really good.
Planning ahead helps too. If we chop the vegetables for the quiche the night before, breakfast is smooth.
 

nataliebee

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Our breakfast is similar.
Most days is pancakes, bacon 'n' eggs (scrambled) and the continental fare - fruit, yogurt, cereals, coffee cake, juice and milk.
Try new recipes one at a time. In other words, you needn't come up with a whole new menu.
Instead of scrambled eggs, try a crustless quiche, or small omletes one day. If it works, work it into your rotation. We make them in individual oversized cupcake pans.
Instead of pancakes, one day, make French Toast or a strata. If you like it, it can work in.
Easy way to change it up is to add fruit to the pancakes. We add any of blueberries, strawberries, bananas, peaches. Sometimes with walnuts or coconut.
I just started making my own syrup for the pancakes. Looks really good.
Planning ahead helps too. If we chop the vegetables for the quiche the night before, breakfast is smooth..
I think it makes sense to work one dish in at a time, too!
I guess my next question is, when does everyone wake up to prep food (i.e. do you pop in a bunch of mini-quiches and keep them under a heater vs. making everything to order?)
Because we are in a pretty good groove in the mornings it'll be a bit of work to shake it up, but I'm positive!
 

TheBeachHouse

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We do a buffet. So we cook once and put the food out in an industrial warmer pan. Like you'd see at a hotel chain.
We may have to replenish the buffet a few times during the morning, but everything is cooked at once.
 

EmptyNest

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Do a search breakfast has been discussed here very often
 

JBloggs

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You might need to share your website here so we can take a look and see what sort of place you have, that would make a huge difference in what you serve. Not always a factor, but sometimes.
My guests are not the same as your guests. Do you have kids there? Do you have an open breakfast time and a buffet to help themselves? What do other inns do near you?
Share it if you want to, it is just a shot in the dark without seeing the place.
 

gillumhouse

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Our breakfast is similar.
Most days is pancakes, bacon 'n' eggs (scrambled) and the continental fare - fruit, yogurt, cereals, coffee cake, juice and milk.
Try new recipes one at a time. In other words, you needn't come up with a whole new menu.
Instead of scrambled eggs, try a crustless quiche, or small omletes one day. If it works, work it into your rotation. We make them in individual oversized cupcake pans.
Instead of pancakes, one day, make French Toast or a strata. If you like it, it can work in.
Easy way to change it up is to add fruit to the pancakes. We add any of blueberries, strawberries, bananas, peaches. Sometimes with walnuts or coconut.
I just started making my own syrup for the pancakes. Looks really good.
Planning ahead helps too. If we chop the vegetables for the quiche the night before, breakfast is smooth..
I think it makes sense to work one dish in at a time, too!
I guess my next question is, when does everyone wake up to prep food (i.e. do you pop in a bunch of mini-quiches and keep them under a heater vs. making everything to order?)
Because we are in a pretty good groove in the mornings it'll be a bit of work to shake it up, but I'm positive!
.
My alarm goes off 2 hours before the first breakfast time (with 3 rooms I can let them choose times). This gives me time to get myself together and dressed and start the ballet.
I serve family-style. It may be egg bake & English muffin bread one morning or Baked Oatmeal another or pancakes or Baked Pineapple Toast..... It is not eggs every morning. Usually bacon on the side or sausage.
If you do eggs every morning, instead of scrambled, make egg cups. Get ham or turkey that would be used for sandwiches. Take 2 slices and make a cross with them and put into a muffin cup. Add one egg in each lined muffin cup, add a dab of sour cream, a sprinkle of herb of choice of the day (chopped chives, basil, oregano), sprinkle with shredded cheddar (or cheese of choice) and bake @ 350 for about 20 min. I usually cover with foil because the meat edges can get too done. I figure 2 per person. My egg bake is basically a crust-less quiche, recipe on here. Serve with a side of hash browns or fried taters & onion.
 

Highlands John

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I did a major change a few years ago and it seems to work.
We are 3 room B&B with a domestic kitchen, I cook to order. We replaced the 4 ring halogen hob with a 7 ring gas range because it's much faster.
I do a different menu every day with the date and the weather forecast on the front. I offer porridge, then choice of full cooked, veggy full cooked, plus two other dishes which I choose from a repertoire of about 10 depending on:-
  1. what I have in/what's in season
  2. what I did the day before - I don't repeat for same guests
  3. what combination of people I have in - if it's a group of 6 it needs to be simple cos they'll all come down together, that sort of thing.
I bake home made rolls every morning, always different. There's help-yourself cereals, fruit, juices, yogs and home made jams.
I try to use local and Scottish produce as much as possible, and people really appreciate that.
 

Anon Inn

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Our breakfast is similar.
Most days is pancakes, bacon 'n' eggs (scrambled) and the continental fare - fruit, yogurt, cereals, coffee cake, juice and milk.
Try new recipes one at a time. In other words, you needn't come up with a whole new menu.
Instead of scrambled eggs, try a crustless quiche, or small omletes one day. If it works, work it into your rotation. We make them in individual oversized cupcake pans.
Instead of pancakes, one day, make French Toast or a strata. If you like it, it can work in.
Easy way to change it up is to add fruit to the pancakes. We add any of blueberries, strawberries, bananas, peaches. Sometimes with walnuts or coconut.
I just started making my own syrup for the pancakes. Looks really good.
Planning ahead helps too. If we chop the vegetables for the quiche the night before, breakfast is smooth..
I think it makes sense to work one dish in at a time, too!
I guess my next question is, when does everyone wake up to prep food (i.e. do you pop in a bunch of mini-quiches and keep them under a heater vs. making everything to order?)
Because we are in a pretty good groove in the mornings it'll be a bit of work to shake it up, but I'm positive!
.
I get up two hours before breakfast, an hour and a half if easy menu planned.
First unlock outside doors, set tables, brew first pot of coffee, make fruit salad starters and store covered in fridge, then prep the rest, peel and dice potatoes, if serving that day, steam and hold, make quiche if serving that day, (timed to cool for half an hour before first breakfast time, can be easily reheated a bit in the micro), assemble ingredients for other mains, slice the bread and fill the jam mini ramekins for the toast, make sure bacon or sausage is ready to cook on griddle, make sure condiments are by the door ready to go out with meals, make sure ample orange juice ready, fill water pitcher. Take first thermal pot of coffee up to guests just outside their room in the hallway one hour before first breakfast time, check and resupply coffee/tea mugs if needed, tea of hot chocolate packets if needed then back downstairs to finish prep. If done early, coffee for me! Oh, start the breakfast music before they come down. I can hear them come down the stairs from the kitchen so bring out water, juice and fruit salads then. Sounds complicated but its a routine I've done for years now.
Trays are good!
 

seashanty

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Didn't you say your fellow 'inn-mate' does the cooking and might be feeling burnt out? Have you talked it over with him? Can he do a day or two of childcare while you do breakfast? Might be a nice change for both of you.
I did eight rooms solo and had five main breakfast things I alternated.
Most popular was giant belgian waffles. And not hard at all. I had two waffle makers going. Make my own whipped cream. Strawberries or blueberries on the side with sausage. I cut the strawberries to fan out. Had various regional syrups and these waffles were my most popular breakfast. I would have guests book in asking for them. I mostly had weekenders so I did the waffles a lot.
Next most popular was blueberry pancakes and you know just tossing in a few blueberries before the flip ... was so easy.
The key was having a special electrical circuit installed so I could run two waffle makers at the same time.
I'm not a fancy cook but I worked on presentation.
I'm pretty sure one of the innmates here shared how to fan strawberries but I can't find it ... so here's a short clip.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mma4wgX22wg
 

Samster

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Welcome, Nataliebee!
When I had my B&B, breakfast was my favorite part of the job, after meeting new guests. Trying to come up with new and creative dishes for the guests was the most fun & kept me from feeling sometimes like I was stuck in a rut.
It's actually what saved me from thinking about all the drudgery type jobs.
But, I didn't have to answer to the owner for the cost of the breakfast!
If you can up the game on the breakfast menu, it might also be covered by a slight rate increase...then everyone is happy. But it depends on the niche of your place and what folks expect from breakfast there.
Good luck!
 

leonajam188

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