How to add a continental breakfast to your hotel

How to add a continental breakfast to your hotel

As with other food and beverage services offered by hotels, such as guestroom service and in-room minibars and on-site restaurants, a continental breakfast is a key feature for hotels that want to increase their guests’ experience, stand out from the competition, impress guests (shoutout out to all the dads), improve ADR and fill vacant rooms ever since the inception.

What is a Continental Breakfast?

A continental breakfast is an option that offers a free breakfast to guests who are looking for a quick, economical way to get started in the day. It usually includes light or ready-to-eat food items.

Enjoy the Benefits of a Continental Breakfast in Your Hotel

While there are many benefits to offering a complimentary continental breakfast in your hotel’s lobby, the most important three are:

1. Adds Value to Your Hotel

A continental breakfast is a great addition to your hotel’s amenities. It will attract guests from all walks of the spectrum and increase your hotel’s overall value. Hotels can use a complimentary breakfast for marketing campaigns and existing digital assets, such as their website or profiles on booking and review sites. This is a great way for your hotel to get a higher star rating.

2. Attracts more guests and fills vacant rooms

According to CNN, 70% of US travellers believe that complimentary breakfast is very important in making a booking decision. 63% of US business travellers agree that a continental breakfast is very attractive when choosing a hotel to stay in for business travel.

Providing a complimentary continental breakfast to guests during their stay is a great way for your hotel to target and attract new customers. This is especially important when most US travellers expect it as a benefit.

3. Offers Better Guests Experience

A complimentary breakfast is a great way to enhance the guest experience in your hotel. Although it may seem like a small thing, guests will remember these extras. This can lead to better NPS ratings, higher reviews about their hotel stay, more word-of-mouth referrals, and more rooms booked.

How to Offer a Continental Breakfast in Your Hotel

It can be not easy to start a new service, especially if food is involved. To make it easy, we have outlined four steps.

  • Figuring Out Your Food & Beverage Service

First, you need to decide how to manage your food and beverage service. You can skip the next step if you have a restaurant or kitchen on-site with the equipment and license needed to prepare and serve food.

Should I Create an On-Site Kitchen in My Hotel?

First, you need to decide how to manage your food and beverage service. You can skip the next step if you have a restaurant or kitchen on-site with the equipment and license needed to prepare and serve food.

Partnership with Turnkey Food & Beverage Services

The rise of delivery combined with the software revolution in the hospitality and food industry and trends like ghost kitchens or virtual restaurants means hotels don’t have to spend high recurring operating costs on a kitchen and staff. To offer food services like room service or continental breakfast at their hotel.

1. Plan Your Breakfast Menu

Although continental breakfast might be associated with stale pastries and a cereal bar, there are many new ways to think about continental breakfast. Menus have reflected these trends from new food and diet restrictions such as gluten-free and vegan-friendly items to higher-end hotels and resorts creating chef-created meals and build-your-own-breakfast bars.

Also, consider the demographics of your resort or hotel. An Orlando family-friendly resort will have a different breakfast menu from a San Francisco hotel near a large convention centre.

Some common breakfast foods can help you start creating your continental breakfast menu.

  • Fruit: Bananas, blueberries, honeydew, pineapples, strawberries.
  • Bread & Pastries: bagels, croissants, doughnuts, muffins, toast
  • Beverages: Coffee, hot water, milk, orange juice, tea
  • Hot Items: Bacon, eggs, oatmeal, pancakes, potatoes, sausage, waffles
  • Cold Items: Cereal, granola, smoothies, to-go bars, yoghurt
  • Build-Your-Own Stations: Cereal, crepes, omelette, pancakes, smoothies

It is important to think about your overall continental breakfast strategy when creating your breakfast menu. Consider how you will store and prepare certain items, such as those that need to be kept at a specific temperature. Your menu will depend on what type of food you partner with.

2. Equipment & Dining Area

The type of food service your hotel provides will determine the equipment required for its breakfast bar. If you plan to offer a full-service menu, including in-house catering and on-site cooking, you will need to install a commercial kitchen. Others may only need certain equipment, such as display cases and coffee makers, used in hotel breakfast areas.

This is the list of equipment that all hotels that plan to offer a continental breakfast service will need before they can launch their new breakfast menu:

  • Coffee makers, drink dispensers, and ice machines
  • Display cases to hold pastries and doughnuts
  • Useful utensils, such as knives, forks and spoons, tongs and serving ladles.
  • Cold items can be chilled in a cool tub.
  • Kitchen appliances like waffle makers and toaster ovens.
  • Plates, bowls, and napkins
  • Decor
  • A place to serve food with tables, chairs and trashcans.
  • A foodservice stand that includes a buffet table or mobile-food station.

3. Integrate into Your Marketing

Once your new hotel’s continental breakfast is launched, it’s time for a fresh marketing campaign.

Add your breakfast service to your digital marketing collateral. Your new service should be included in all digital marketing and collateral that generates guest bookings.

The following information will need to be updated:

  • Your website
  • View the profiles of your hotel on review and travel sites like, Oyster and TripAdvisor
  • Your Google My Business Account
  • Your current landing pages
  • Copy in any ongoing search ads
  • Your social media accounts

Don’t forget to invest in signage to direct guests to your continental breakfast. You should now be ready to integrate a new continental breakfast into the guest experience at your hotel. Yum!