In a new report, Délifrance has explored how hotel breakfasts are set to change as venues welcome guests back after lockdown.

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

Surveying 1,000 consumers and incorporating insights from top operators and industry specialists, the report found that the majority of guests have at least some level of concern about staying in hotels in the future. Amongst those concerns are the hygiene and cleanliness of public areas (46%) and social distancing in the breakfast room (37%).

Operators have said thy 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 all together. 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, whilst 42% want to be able to choose their own portion sizes.

Stéphanie Brillouet, Marketing Director at Délifrance, says, “Our research shows that 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%), whilst 63% of those surveyed would like savoury pastries. White toast in bread was the most popular bread item, though it is closely followed by rustic/artisanal white, wholemeal, seeded and sourdough bread.

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

“Going forward, the report suggests hotel guests will be making bookings based on promises around cleanliness and hygeine, 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, adds, “Breakfast service is very often the last impression a guest has of a hotel before leaving the property – and it’s a major factor in a guest’s descision to rebook.”

Click here to download a copy of the report.