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Délifrance report highlights key breakfast trends as hotels reopen

Hotel breakfasts are set to change as venues welcome back guests after lockdown, according to a new report from leading bakery solution, Délifrance.

Hotel F& B: beyond the new normal, which was commissioned by in partnership with Bidfood and the Food & Beverage Managers’ Association, outlines a range of consumer and operator concerns and expectations, including changes to the breakfast buffet.

The report, which includes a survey of 1,000 consumers as well as insights from top operators and industry specialists, found that the majority of hotel guests have at least some level of concern about staying in hotels in the future. Among those concerns are the hygiene and cleanliness of public areas (46%) and social distancing in the breakfast room (37%).

Operators have said they expect to adjust breakfast arrangements in order to accommodate new hygiene measures as well as social distancing requirements.

The report found that just over half of consumers (51%) said their breakfast buffet selections are likely to change, with half of that number foregoing the buffet altogether. Key requirements for these consumers include individually wrapped products, better coverings and staff service rather than self-service.

Meanwhile, the remaining 49% of consumers said they don’t think their buffet choices will change. Within that number, three-quarters don’t want choice to be limited, while 42% want to be able to choose their own portion sizes.

Stéphanie Brillouet, marketing director at Délifrance, said, “Our research shows the breakfast buffet isn’t dead; it just needs a reinvention to give guests confidence and make it relevant into, and beyond, the new normal.”

When it comes to breakfast choices, more than three-quarters of consumers still expect and want croissants to be available, with sweet pastries the most popular (71%), while 63% of those surveyed would like savoury pastries. White toasting bread was the most popular bread item, though it is closely followed by rustic/artisanal white, wholemeal, seeded and sourdough bread.

Stéphanie added, “Operators should take the time to look at the consumer trends so they know their range is right, too. Globally, 75% of guests have a bakery product for breakfast and our research shows 76% of UK consumers expect croissants to be available.

“In the short term, we expect to see an increase in single-serve and pre-packaged options. While 25% of consumers say the environment has become a higher priority since the start of lockdown, 63% of UK adults would prefer to buy products with packaging to protect the contents from contamination.”

Going forward, the report suggests hotel guests will be making bookings based on promises around cleanliness and hygiene, which ties in with the majority of operators saying they plan to emphasise safety measures in their marketing.

Marc Finney, head of hotels & resorts consulting at Colliers International, who offers expert insight throughout the report, added: “Breakfast service is very often the last impression a guest has of a hotel before leaving the property – and it is a major factor in a guest’s decision to rebook.”