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Hotels! ‘Check in’ with Flexeserve … it’s time to reinvent the breakfast buffet

The impact of the pandemic upon the foodservice and hospitality industries is wide-ranging and still a developing situation. With exposed food items off the menu, Flexeserve® UK & Ireland Sales Manager, Billy Eatenton, says it’s time to rethink the hot breakfast buffet.

Many have wondered whether the end of the breakfast buffet is upon us, but Billy Eatenton suggests hot-holding can provide a solution – or two!

“We know that some hotels are considering a move to table service,” says Billy, “but we believe this comes with its own financial and logistical burdens that are avoidable. That’s why we’ve put our culinary minds together, and devised alternatives made possible with Flexeserve® technology.”

Here you’ll find several options that will allow you to continue to sell hot food, provide a high-quality product to your guests and avoid losing valuable incremental sales to the high street.

Pre-ordered – re-imagining the breakfast buffet

One of the key elements of appeal to a customer – with any buffet – is choice. Just because you can’t have your buffet out in the dining space, doesn’t mean guests must lose their ability to choose. With hot-holding, you can offer the flexibility of buffet direct from the kitchen.

“Here’s the scenario, you can cook all your items as you usually would and serve up pre-ordered breakfasts to be loaded into our heated display, Flexeserve Zone®. Guests can complete a pre-order form at check-in, say up to 10pm, or even when they make their reservation, securing their breakfast as they want it.

“What this effectively does is move the buffet table back of house and, because Flexeserve Zone® is the only heated display capable of true hot-holding, that breakfast will be as fresh as the moment it was plated up. The food may, in fact, be of even higher quality than the breakfast they would serve to themselves, as items have not been sitting at the buffet table in unregulated conditions.

Range of packaged hot food for the hotel breakfast buffet - using Flexeserve® technology

“And who’s to say you can’t also make those breakfasts available to-go – you could easily stock Flexeserve Zone® with both plates and recyclable ‘to-go’ packaging – even for a Full English!

“Buffets are notorious for food waste. Day-to-day demand can vary and anything left uneaten heads straight to the bin. One of the key advantages of this approach is that, with a pre-ordered buffet, because you know all the quantities ordered prior to cooking, you can batch cook to your needs. Less waste, more profit.

The next revolution

Flexeserve® is set to release a brand-new product this autumn that’s perfect for just such an approach to hotel breakfasts. Flexeserve Hub® is a hot-holding unit designed for a range of both back of house and front of house functions.

The unit utilises the same patented air recirculation technology as Flexeserve Zone® for a new set of applications. Creating a consistent temperature throughout the unit, it’s designed specifically to hot-hold packaged food products in large batches.

Grab and go

Hot breakfast options designed ‘to-go’ are rarely seen at hotels, but it’s an excellent combination for some guests. With buffets no longer able to continue in their current form – the desire for packaged on-the-go foods is likely to increase, because they offer higher food security.

Billy explains: “It makes great sense now, but this option is one that has always been worth offering – it also has longevity. If it’s a familiar sight to see guests leaving in the morning without having a meal in your restaurant, chances are they’re going somewhere else. This is likely due to time and/or price.

“Sit-down breakfasts aren’t always ideal for people who need to get going in the morning. Similarly, they may not want to pay for a large breakfast. If you wish to keep customer spend within your business, you need to offer them an alternative.

“Prepare the food and stock a Flexeserve Zone® unit for 6am, and off you go – the food will sell itself. This could be part of a retail area in reception – a self-service Micro Market – allowing you to also sell cold drinks, snacks and sweet treats.

“With a grab and go approach, Flexeserve Zone® enables you to offer a wide variety of food items from a range of breakfast sandwiches to pancakes, porridge and even delicate pastries – warm and fresh, as if straight from the oven!”

Waste not, want not

With Flexeserve®, you can reduce food waste in multiple ways.

“If guests are ordering their breakfasts by-the-item, it encourages portion control, making it less likely that served food goes uneaten. But we can also help you reduce food waste far more.

“Our unique heated display delivers unparalleled hot-holding times and incredible food quality – so food can be displayed for longer and fewer meals are wasted.”

Billy concluded: “With Flexeserve Zone® and our expertise, we’ve enabled many customers to reduce and even eliminate food waste. This makes business more eco-friendly and maximises profit margins.”

How can Flexeserve® help?

We can evaluate your specific situation and find the best approach for you to unlock the opportunities of hot-holding. By assessing your existing menu and foodservice operation, and the needs of your guests, we’ll create a bespoke solution.

For more information about Flexeserve® and how we can help your business, please contact us.

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