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By Larry Mogelonsky, MBA, P. Eng. (

It’s about time that our chefs in the hotel industry collectively woke up to something different than the same old bacon and eggs or oatmeal and raisins. In this sense, breakfast is another overlooked opportunity to wow your guests and leave a lasting impression. Glass half empty, it’s also an instance where you can irk customers by underserving them.

Here’s a simple test to see if your morning foodservice is staid. Order breakfast in your own restaurant and take a picture of what’s served on the plate. Now, go to any Denny’s – or any other well-known diner of this ilk – and order their Grand Slam or equivalent. This meal delivers a plethora of plate-filling carbs and all at a very reasonable price. If your plate looks similar to this, then it’s time to seriously rethink your approach.

Remember, Denny’s price is well under ten bucks including coffee. That’s the baseline your customers have in the back of their minds – one that’s been imprinted through countless visits to various fast food outlets. Of course, your price is going to be higher and so too should your presentation, albeit there’s no guarantee that the quality will necessarily be better.

Breakfast is a critical part of your operations and can drive home a great hotel experience by letting guests start their day on the right foot. Limited-service properties recognize its importance in attracting rooms revenue by including it in the rate. Even the QSR sector has identified breakfast as universally appealing with many franchises extending availability hours from traditional mornings to day-round. Now it’s your turn to rethink this meal.

Creativity Equals Reengineering
Reengineering your breakfast menu is not an onerous proposition. As breakfast generally delivers a high margin, your team has a lot of latitude in what you can create.

Let’s start with a staple – oatmeal. I encourage you to challenge your approach to this basic breakfast option. Does the presentation look visually appealing? Is it popping with a variety of colors? Does its smell titillate the nostrils and immediately make the stomach rumble? Can you differentiate your oatmeal from another property’s dish of a similar name?

The opportunity is making every dish your own. Creativity delivers memorability which equals greater meal satisfaction and ultimately revenues. For example, here’s a photo I took with my iPhone just last week at a local diner in Toronto called Portland Variety. A little bit of a chef’s knife and positioning of a fruit garnish turns a plain oatmeal bowl into a genuine selfie moment! If a downtown diner can do this, why can’t you?

Take My Breakfast Challenge!
Thus, the rationale behind my breakfast challenge is to get you to retool your breakfast so that no customer is left without a strong lasting impression of what you offer versus everyone else. I’m asking you to seriously reconsider what breakfast ‘experience’ you provide for your patrons – not just the food and its presentation – with the emphasis being that it is an opportunity to extend the hospitality far and above a basic meal. In doing so, turn your breakfast into a Breakfast of Champions.

The challenge is simple: take a picture of your chef’s creation then send it to me with a very short summary. No need for a recipe, ingredients spec sheet or delivery plan. I will review all the materials received and publish the best in a follow-up for all to see. So, you may ask, what’s the reward? Unfortunately, nothing more than being published. But hopefully this approach will get your team thinking about how you prepare and present your entire menu. 

This article may not be reproduced without the expressed permission of the author.

Editor’s note: To discuss business challenges or to discuss speaking engagements please contact Larry directly.


About Larry Mogelonsky

One of the world’s most published writers in hospitality, Larry Mogelonsky is the owner of Hotel Mogel Consulting Limited and the founder of LMA Communications Inc., an award-winning marketing agency based in Toronto. His experience encompasses hotel properties around the world, both branded and independent, and ranging from luxury and boutique to select-service. Larry also sits on several boards for companies focused on hotel technology. His work includes four books, “Are You an Ostrich or a Llama?” (2012), “Llamas Rule” (2013), “Hotel Llama” (2015) and “The Llama is Inn” (2017). You can reach Larry at to discuss hotel business challenges, to inquire about his consulting services or to book speaking engagements.

Contact: Larry Mogelonsky

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