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  • Writer's pictureStephan Busch

Breakfast in the future? Service of the past! How social distancing might help us

Breakfast in hotels is a buffet! Hardly anyone can remember the times of al carte breakfast? No – not so long ago. Even after the war we still had it (no not the one with the Waterloo battle) But it has changed everywhere to buffets. Now with the safety measures of the future we might return to service.

Why a buffet? Lot of advantages

1) Advantage: It can look impressive.

The down side? It can! Some breakfast buffets don’t.

After the first forty people attacked it’s slightly messy – or depending on the crowd you are travelling with – a disgusting mess!

2) Advantage: It saves labour cost. Managing refilling is easier then serving individuals and filling chafing dishes is more economic then single orders of Eggs Benedict.

The down side? Cheap labour! You collect more and more cheap labour and one day you wonder why you run a cheap hotel.

3) Advantage: You can use un - trained staff. Clearing the dirty tables doesn’t take a genius. Taking individual orders delivering them to the right table, right time and in good conditions requires a little bit of organisation and training. Breakage will be heart breaking lower with a Pro.

The down side? Guest are left to serve themselves clearly observing how un – trained your staff is. It leaves an impression on them.

4) Advantage:You can feed 500 guest in no time.

The down side? You feed them! You don’t serve them or take care of them. Latest from the middle of the breakfast service your buffet and your tables clearly show that this is a breakfast feeding hall.

5) Advantage: You don’t have to spend time with individual guests, find out how they are, if everything is alright or if they come back next month.

The down side? Exactly what you call an advantage.

My dream is that we come back to a service where we serve with pleasure, communicate with guests, train young people to work efficient and develop skills that makes them leave us one day and do better for the overall hospitality business. I know I am a dreamer. The big reason against this will be of course: “But the cost will be tremendous”. No – they won’t. They will be higher then before – right – but will bring a better long term return. And don’t tell me you worry about the cost. You meant fast profits right?

Author: Stephan Busch, Academic Director at the State University for the Humanities Moscow RGGU, Faculty of Tourism & Hospitality and the Swiss International University earned his Master Certificate in Hospitality Management from Cornell University, USA. He has a diverse experience in launching operations, business development and service training- for hotel and cruise companies in Asia, Europe, Canada and Russia.,

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