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Breakfast: the customer experience of your hotel is at stake!


Breakfast should be a priority for your business. If it is not well done, it will be received poorly by customers. Not to mention, it is the last thing your customers will experience before leaving. Breakfast is one of the key factors influencing the customer’s level of satisfaction when judging the quality of the services provided during their stay. Therefore, this service must not be overlooked.


of guests usually have 
breakfast when at home*


of guests view breakfast 
as very important during their stay


of guests who are satisfied with the quality of a hotel’s 
breakfast are likely to come back*


of guests find the breakfasts
provided by hotels to be expensive or too expensive*


Importance is placed on breakfast, but sometimes it does not attract many hotel guests

Today, there is an imbalance between the importance guests place on breakfast when they are at home and the guest capture rate related to hotel breakfasts. In fact, the rate fluctuates between 60% and 80%* depending on the number of nights and the type of hotel which seems rather low.

This could be for a variety of reasons. Among these variables are price and quality.The price of a breakfast largely depends on the type of overnight stay and the range of services desired. However, even in the case of short, less-expensive stays, the hotel breakfast can increase the cost of the stay significantly.As for the quality of the hotel breakfast, it can be analyzed and adjusted in different ways to strike a balance with the price you are charging! Keep in mind that your customers will make sure that there is a fair ratio of price to quality before they will consider your offer.

The imbalance between the hotel guest capture rate and the importance placed on breakfast can thus be attributed to the following:

  • Firstly, hotel managers sometimes view this service as a constraint and thus do not give it the consideration it deserves.
  • Secondly, guests expect a certain quality at a price which reflects the level of service offered.

Breakfast buffet

What your customers are looking for in a breakfast

How do customers talk about the breakfast they had during their stay? Well, it is the most important service, the last memory they had of their stay and affected how they view the hotel. This is why the quality and experience of this moment is essential for your hotel and its brand image.

At your breakfast buffet, customers will naturally look for products which meet their expectations. For example, international customers will prefer to have access to a hot and cold buffet with savory products, while French customers will prefer a “continental” breakfast with pastries.However, the criteria for customers’ breakfast choices can also be related to : 

  • food allergies,
  • preferences (e.g. organic, locally sourced products, homemade)
  • or dietary choices (e.g. vegetarian, vegan, etc.).

These criteria can even be real deciding factors when travelling. Therefore, you need to pre-empt them to be able to offer a breakfast of equal quality to the other services provided by your hotel.

However, even if your buffet offers your customers a pleasant experience with its selection of quality food and beverages, they will still need to have access under the best conditions to all the information necessary to make the right choice. What could be more frustrating than finding yourself in front of a buffet and not knowing what is in it?

Knowing what information you need to provide your customers for them to be able to make their choices is just as important as the selection of products itself. By displaying clear information at your breakfast buffet, you will be providing transparency regarding your product range and thus enhancing the choice you offer.


Make your customers’ choices easier with clear information

Be sure to provide your customers with all the useful and important information about the products you offer, from the key information:

  • product name, 
  • ingredients, 
  • origin/source,​carte-descriptive_muesli-300x196.png

to more specific information:

  • translations for international customers,
  • allergens, 
  • calories,
  • nutritional values,
  • preparation or cooking methods, etc.

Customers tend to feel that hotel catering is boring, uninspired and often not fresh. So, you should be sure to highlight your products which set you apart from your competitors. The added value of your buffet is only important if your customers have been informed of the choices you are providing. Clearly display which of your products are new, vegan, homemade, organic, etc.
Using appropriate labeling will help effectively guide your customers in making their choices. This will prevent customers from making mistakes and feeling dissatisfied and disappointed because they chose a dish which did not meet their expectations, or alternatively, because they did not try a product due to misinformation.
Their experience in your establishment will only be improved by feeling as if they have taken full advantage of everything there was to offer at that time. Your breakfast is thus a key factor in customer satisfaction and ultimately in a positive customer experience.


Intercontinental Beijing breakfast buffetUse case: InterContinental® Beijin

Since the spring of 2018, more than 300 buffet tags with an elegant black matt finish have been created and printed for the breakfast buffet at the InterContinental Beijing Hotel.

Each tag clearly displays the type of food, allergens (represented by small icons) as well as the names of the dishes in Chinese and English to meet the needs of both local and international customers. The highly detailed information provided thus contributes to an improved customer experience in the hotel.

Read the use case 


*Sources :

Coach Omnium:  the eldery and the hotel industry in France
Hotel Breakfasts, by Mark Watkins
Why are hotel breakfasts so pricey?  
Adapt your hospitality product to your customers