With so many hotels across the UK and Ireland, the quality of your breakfast is often what makes you stand out – and attract repeat custom. And with 51% of hotels classed as independents (as opposed to being part of branded chains), the first meal of the day offers a glorious opportunity to shine and provide a memorable experience for your guests.
But which dishes are worthy of the breakfast menu in 2019? Does the traditional ‘Full English’ still reign supreme, or are continental offerings more in vogue? We asked several leading hotel chefs to share their thoughts…
Susan Stuart owner of the Four Seasons Hotel in St Fillans
Traditional Scottish breakfasts with options for kippers and porridge are probably the most popular order this year. Many also try our porridge as we make it extra special and serve it with double cream, honey and a splash of Drambuie! We offer a brunch on the first Sunday of every month which is truly American style with pancakes, smoothies, French toast and eggs Benedict to appeal to a younger market. It is definitely more a case of target market. There is an increase in the number of poached eggs and also scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, both of which are healthy options. Similarly we are seeing more corn flakes and muesli being eaten too so definitely more healthy options along with yogurt and fruit. Continental breakfasts of cheeses and meats aren’t requested. Our European cousins are always keen to try our Scottish breakfast.
Aparna Prinja and Shital Shah authors of Plant Milk Power
Against the backdrop of a marked increase in the number of vegans and people experiencing allergies and intolerances, plus an overriding interest in improved nutrition, plant-based milks have recently witnessed a huge surge in popularity and consumption. It would make sense for hotel caterers and chefs to reflect this change in tastes by creating great tasting, balanced milks that are a healthy replacement for a typical breakfast. An easy one that will please most tastebuds is banana, cacao and coconut smoothie – a lovely tropical pairing that creates a rich, thick smoothie with a high fat content that keeps you feeling full and lots of good fibre for a healthy digestive system.
Olivia Shuttleworth brand manager at AAK Foodservice
According to MCA research, increasing numbers of people are enjoying breakfast and brunch out of home. Little wonder, considering the sheer variety of creative breakfast options now available. Dish up
a fabulous plant-based breakfast with spicy scrambled tofu cooked in new Unsalted Vegan Whirl for a rich, buttery taste. Top with shredded coriander and a swirl of Lion Mexican Adobo Hot Sauce and roll into a hand-held burrito, or serve on a plate with mushrooms and sautéed potatoes.
Consumers are looking for a different food experience when eating breakfast out of home, with 55% of women and 46% men saying they choose a dish that they wouldn’t prepare at home (Lamb Weston’s Insight Report: The Future of Breakfast)
Callum Innes head chef, The Airds Hotel & Restaurant in Argyllshire
The breakfast menu at Airds focuses on traditional dishes that our guests know and love, made with the finest local ingredients. Eggs Royale is always a favourite and using a local product like our Inverawe Smoked Salmon from the Loch Awe, there is no need to mess around. This, combined with a homemade toasted muffin, perfectly poached organic eggs and silky hollandaise sauce makes for a classic breakfast dish that is truly hard to beat!
Andrea Deutschmanek country marketing manager UK & ROI, Lamb Weston
Mini Hash Brown Triangles are a delicious energy boost; these golden, crisp little treasures of finely chopped and seasoned potato with onion and herbs are based on an original recipe. They’re a brilliantly quick and easy way to add to upgrade an all-day breakfast, as well as creating innovative dishes for menus offering all day part sharing platters.
Up your menu-planning game with this tasty recipe for breakfast omelette:
Whisk 4 eggs and pour into a large frying pan. Add crispy bacon, sliced cherry tomatoes, fried and sliced mushrooms and then add 24 pre-cooked Mini Hash Brown Triangles or Potato Puffs. Cook for 3-4 minutes on a medium heat. Remove from pan, cut into quarters. To serve, sprinkle with chopped chives and black pepper.
Robin Dudley business development chef, Essential Cuisine
Nothing beats a proper full English breakfast, cooked properly it’s my favourite meal of the day, but for something a little lighter and more extravagant why not try smoked salmon on a toasted bagel, topped with a poached egg covered in Essential Cuisine Hollandaise sauce. To premiumise your menu and increase the margin on the dish, try adding a little Essential Cuisine Lobster Glace to the Hollandaise Sauce. A true dish of decadence!
Georgi Saraivan head chef at K West Hotel & Spa in London
It’s important to find a balance of traditional favourites and healthy options when it comes to breakfast. At K West Hotel our weekday menu consists of all your breakfast favourites such as Eggs Royale Salmon, pancakes and Full English but with people becoming more health-conscious it is essential to include healthier options. Guests can opt for a vegetarian breakfast, or the Super Green which consists of two poached eggs, kale, spinach, avocado on toasted sourdough bread, soft herb dressing and pumpkin seeds. Also, remember that just because it is healthy doesn’t mean it has to be boring.
Zareen Deboo foodservice channel operations manager, Ferrero UK & Ireland
The first meal of the day remains the most important for hotel profits, and the popularity of breakfast means that it is an increasingly competitive arena. Classics such as an English breakfast will always have their place, but we’re also seeing Americaninspired dishes such as pancakes and waffles becoming core dishes on hotel menus. To help hotels enhance their breakfast menus, Ferrero Foodservice has launched the Nutella 1kg Piping Bag. The latest innovation allows chefs to save time and money in the kitchen to instantly update a host of breakfast goods, from pastries and pancakes to waffles and muffins.
Britain’s Best Breakfast – By Region, according to the AA
Cereal is most popular in Yorkshire & Humber with 1 in 3 respondents naming it their favourite breakfast option
Toast is most popular in the North West of England (20%), while granola is the most popular in the North East (7%)
Porridge is most popular in Northern Ireland (20%), which is also the top region for fruit for breakfast (7%)
Cooked breakfast is most popular in Wales, where 1 in 4 respondents chose it as their favourite
Eggs are most popular in London (13%)
Pastries are most popular in Scotland (12%)
Avocado, while the least popular choice among respondents for breakfast, was most popular in the East Midlands (3%)