Social distancing requires new concepts for the breakfast buffet

by | May 4, 2020

The Problem
It is likely that the hospitality sector will be allowed to reopen in the near-future, possibly by the end of June, however we will definitely have to observe the recommended two metre social distancing guidance. So how will it be possible to serve breakfast in a large hotel where tables are close together and often reset several times throughout service? If you are going to offer a buffet service, then it should be a served buffet to remove the risk of people using the same serving utensils and potentially exposing the virus and germs to other patrons. Also with capacity being reduced by approximately one-third, there may be large queues making social distancing nearly impossible.

The Solution
A number of budget brand hotels have been offering a grab and go breakfast to save on costs. For your business, this should not be seen as a cost saving exercise but rather a health & safety initiative. The box or bag would be ordered with reception at the point of check-in. The meal would be delivered directly to the guest’s room or it could be picked up at an area in the lobby upon the guest’s departure. The breakfast order would be provided on a sticky label which would be peeled off and stuck to each box or bag.

Contents of the Box
The contents of the boxes will be your choice, however, the items should be high quality, sustainable (when possible) and nutritious. I recommend it includes some of the following:

  • Fruit juice carton or bottle
  • Individually wrapped pastry, croissant or muffin
  • Cereal in a tub including milk
  • Nutrigrain or cereal bar
  • Natural or fruit yoghurt
  • Breakfast roll
  • Takeaway coffee (offered near pickup location)

The box offerings could be tailored for each hotel and the Enhance team can assist in your sourcing requirements including the bags / boxes and potentially the printing of the order labels with your business logo.

Dine-in option
For those guests who prefer to have a more formal breakfast, your restaurant could offer a “buffet-type menu” that the customer order from the evening before. This process would allow the guest to reserve a time they want to eat (there would be a specific number of tables available during each block of time i.e. 8am – 8:30, 8:30 – 9:00, etc), and pick from a selection of breakfast categories (i.e. pastries, eggs, meats, cereals, drinks, etc.). This way, certain guests can still have a sit-down meal and the hotel controls the number of people (social distancing will be of the utmost importance) and knows exactly what and how much needs to be prepared. This option could be paperless too by using technology to place orders using an app-based ordering/room service.

Our team is happy to advise on your specific needs and we’re here to help you plan ahead so that you’re ready to go once the doors open for business. Contact us today.