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What breakfast to serve in a B&B?
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Aleamaro



Joined: 12 Jan 2010
Posts: 47
Location: Lisbon

PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 12:13 am    Post subject: What breakfast to serve in a B&B? Reply with quote

Hello,

I've opened a B&B in April and our reviews so far are very good, but it seems we have one problem which is breakfast. We have eggs, bacon, orange juice, fresh bread, cheese, ham, 3 types of jam, milk, tea, coffee and cereals.
In my travelling experience I didn't have this breakfast in most of the hotels I've stayed and I thought it was a very good breakfast, but apparently not because the negative comments regarding the variety of the breakfast are very frequent.

Could you please help me to solve this problem? What is missing in my breakfast? How do you manage yours? Do you have the same problem?

Thanks for your help
Ana
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www.SweetLisbon.com
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Fifi



Joined: 26 May 2009
Posts: 359
Location: Vosges Mountains

PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds good to me - maybe have some fruit and yoghurt available too?
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CSE



Joined: 06 Nov 2006
Posts: 4095
Location: Galicia

PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I've opened a B&B in April and our reviews so far are very good, but it seems we have one problem which is breakfast.

Where are these reviews? What exactly are they saying and how many state your breakfast lacks that something compared with others that do not write about breakfast, thus assuming they are satisfied.
When I (and others on the forum) can read these we can make a more informed judgement on the situation.
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kteee



Joined: 20 Sep 2004
Posts: 417
Location: Algarve

PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are they British guests who have said the breakfast is disappointing? They might be expecting more cooked items eg sausages, mushrooms, tomatoes?
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Hells Bells



Joined: 30 Apr 2005
Posts: 13159
Location: French Alps

PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your description of breakfast sounds absolutely fine, but coupled with reviews that suggest otherwise, I would change the 'breakfast' photo on your website which shows two rather sad pieces of toast for something more inviting.
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B&B netherlands



Joined: 25 May 2011
Posts: 659
Location: netherlands

PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i think your breakfast is fine! maybe the 'variety' remark comes from guests staying more than 1 night...? i always try to supply something different, the 2nd or 3rd morning, like different rolls, a mixed fruit juice instead of orange, croissants or pain au chocolat, an omelet instead of boiled eggs, a sweet bread with raisins...

i never had remarks about my breakfasts, but stopped serving muesli and cornflakes - hardly ever eaten. also no fresh milk because of that; but i always ask if people would like me to serve it, especially if children are staying. shops open til 9 pm, so no problem for me. i also supply home made bread, if people order it in advance.

people from the UK might indeed expect a cooked breakfast. yours is obviously more the 'continental' type, and i think helenB might be right, about the photo...
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B&B netherlands



Joined: 25 May 2011
Posts: 659
Location: netherlands

PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i found 3 reviews on tripadvisor...

it seems to me, two basicly complained about noisiness during the night, one said staff wasn't helpful in solving it, party went on and on, until 3 am...

that is NOT a nice way to start a new day... and no brits involved, so not dissapointed there was no cooked breakfast.

the lack of sleep might have made these people a bit grumpy...? breakfast then, should have made them feel better...?

one remark: as it seems your breakfast is 'self service', you should keep an eye on the breadbasket, and replenish, if necessary. no bread for people who come in late... should by all means be avoided!

i serve breakfast, at the room (i have two, 4 beds in total), at the requested time. three fresh (usually different) rolls per person, home made jam of the season in 2 flavours, butter, 3 slices of good quality ham, 3 slices of another cold meat, usually a piece of 'special' dutch (farm) cheese, slicers available in the room, orange juice, one boiled egg per person, and add some typical dutch 'preferences', as 'ontbijtkoek' and 'beschuiten', guests have their own choice to prepare coffee or tea (6 different blends). guests coming from abroad, i always ask their preferences, in the confirming email. the answer usually is: 'we'd like to taste a real dutch breakfast!' Wink

as said, for guests staying more than 1 night, 'variety' is very much appreciated. raisin bread or croissants, dutch 'roggebrood' (ryebread, but different from the UK ryebread...) or not too sweet pastries, i think they are called 'danish snail rolls' in english. you might spend a little bit more per person, but i think it might be worth it.

if the noisiness is a remark more often made, you are wise to check if this is a regular nuisance, or just during hot weather, when people would love to sleep with the window(s) open, but forget... they are in the middle of town! a remark about that on your website, could help...? people honestly sometimes have NO idea! i once had guests not being able to sleep at all, as they booked a hotel in amsterdam the night before (saturday night, even) in one of the most crowded and popular streets around leidseplein, where there is a very active 'night life'... didn't have a clue, though, when they booked!

the netherlands hardly ever have 'hot weather', but i DO supply fans. i'm rather close to schiphol airport, so for light sleepers, i supply earplugs. 'heavy traffic' usually stops after 9 pm, depending on the wind, i am 'victim' as there are 5 landing strips, but all traffic stops between 11 pm and 6.30 am.

a first year is usually not too easy. you organize things your way, and hope guests will book! and then, you get the reviews at tripadvisor... dreaded by most here. i'm pretty sure, looking at your website, you'll get the 'good ones' as well. but it is a known fact, that some people prefer to complain, and most guests never write down at tripadvisor, how very pleased they were... 'cause that's expected, to be pleased... and we all here do our utmost to meet those expectations, don't we...?
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Hells Bells



Joined: 30 Apr 2005
Posts: 13159
Location: French Alps

PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 7:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And I've found reviews on other sites (booking.com and hostelworld.com) which mention the good breakfast, plenty to eat and lots of choice including eggs and bacon.
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B&B netherlands



Joined: 25 May 2011
Posts: 659
Location: netherlands

PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jolly good, helen! so what's the worries...? a bad TA-review, perhaps...? Wink

i strongly feel in these TA-reviews, the noisiness was the main problem. as i tried to explain, in my most recent post, guests will try to look for 'more', to give a bad review, then. almost the only thing in a B&B to 'complain' about will be... breakfast.

our 'industry' has to cope with the ever more accumulating fixation of people on 'what you see, is what you get', driven by internet possibilities to 'show'; blue skies, empty pristine white beaches, lovely country houses, with lush and well kept gardens... of course, NO other tourists around!

lisbon is a bustling city so you'll have to accept some 'noise', but most people only briefly check a website (looking at my stats: barely ONE minute!), the decoration of the rooms is pleasant, so they book. not having read a single word about anything, the price is mainly the deciding factor, for many people...

i vividly remember reading a long complaint at TA (i think)from a guest staying in paris montmartre, complaining about... 'too many tourists, too much noise, i've had to walk up and down hill for the metro (...) and the bathroom was soo small!!!'

expectations, in people's minds....

i once greeted guests expecting to find a 'farmhouse with cows', at my B&B, which is in a residential area, as i was 'in the countryside, uithoorn in the polders', but i really didn't advertise anything similar... the cows here, are year round, in stables...
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aasta



Joined: 31 Aug 2009
Posts: 798
Location: Pe da Serra, Portugal

PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Our guests frequently comment on our good breakfasts whch are vegetarian, unless a guest specifically asks for meat.
We serve fresh squeezed orange juice, fresh fruit salad in season, ths time of year we also often have stewed fruit such as pears or apples. We have a different type of crisp or cobbler homemade every morning, muffins (some homemade and some from the bakery), 3 choices of whole grain breads, and Portuguese rolls, yogurt, home made granola, corn flakes, 2 types of cheese, hard boiled eggs (we also prepare any kind of cooked egg requested) sliced tomatoes, several dishes of different dried fruits, nuts, sunflower seeds. Choice of coffee, tea, hot choclate, pancakes upon request...soy milk and soy yogurt upon request...

We find lots of our guests choose to stay at a B&B because of the great breakfasts and good company.....
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B&B netherlands



Joined: 25 May 2011
Posts: 659
Location: netherlands

PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2012 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aasta.... WOW i can truly understand why people choose YOUR place to stay.

you cater for a group of people that have to 'beg' for understanding, being vegetarians.

in most restaurants or hotels, where ever in the world, the standard answer is: 'we can make an omelet.'

i've cooked vegetarian evening meals for a number of years, because my kids had digesting problems and more food related health problems. the dutch eat bread, for breakfast & lunch, meat can then be easily avoided (dutch cheese, abundant choice!)

since then, meat is not my favourite dish. i realized it wasn't even, when i was a kid myself. but my mom forced me to eat it...
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French Cricket



Joined: 10 Apr 2008
Posts: 3061
Location: French Pyrénées

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 6:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

aasta wrote:

We find lots of our guests choose to stay at a B&B because of the great breakfasts and good company.....


Absolutely - we find exactly the same, and our breakfast is one of the things that's most often mentioned (favourably, fortunately!) in feedback. It's a big selling point for us too.

I guess what you offer depends to a great degree on where you are, what's culturally expected and what your price bracket is. What we offer is actually quite similar to aasta, though we don't offer eggs: freshly squeezed or juiced juice, home made organic muesli and granola plus other cereals, dried fruits, nuts, seeds, different breads (mostly home made), pain d'épices, brioche, viennoiserie, home made yoghurt, fromage blanc, fresh or baked fruits or compôtes or crisps, lots of home made jams and jellies, local honey, plus we always make some kind of sweet or savoury ‘cake’ or pain perdu or something. It's different every day, and that's one of the things that's most appreciated.

It's also quite a lot of work! (But worth it).
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aasta



Joined: 31 Aug 2009
Posts: 798
Location: Pe da Serra, Portugal

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Perhaps we should start sharing some recipies!!!!
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French Cricket



Joined: 10 Apr 2008
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Location: French Pyrénées

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 10:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent idea! Laughing
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Wendy@NorthIdaho



Joined: 07 Oct 2010
Posts: 744
Location: North Idaho, USA

PostPosted: Thu Nov 01, 2012 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds like a wonderful breakfast, I've stayed places where it's a roll, tea, coffee...

Wendy
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