Updated: Dec 3, 2020
I love a good breakfast. Let’s get that ‘on the table’ first. It’s the meal that sets up my day when I am out visiting hotels – a little personal treat for staying away from the family. I enjoy taking a few extra minutes to indulge in a hearty breakfast, especially one that I that I haven’t had to cook!
I mourn the loss of the Breakfast Buffet right now but am sure that it will return. There is something indulgent, decadent even, about having all those choices laid out in front of you. It screams ‘Hospitality’!
As many hotels have now moved to a plated breakfast, it presents an opportunity for many to up their game and deliver that hot and fresh, home-from-home experience. It’s a chance to remind the guest that in 2020, we’ve got your back. Sadly, I fear many operators are neglecting their hospitality roots in favour of cutting cost. Over the last couple of months, my hotel experiences can be clearly classified on the new (trademark pending) Hotel Sausage Scale!
The Sausage Scale is simple. It’s all about where a hotel puts its customer experience against expectation. When someone brings a plated breakfast, two sausages are the acceptable portion. Whenever you see an image of a Full-English, it always has two - not one - sausages.
As soon as a hotel loses sight of this and starts to give you one sausage, it can spell trouble.
I’ve heard all the excuses. “That’s what our customers want.” No, it is not, and I would challenge you to show the evidence. “We only serve premium sausages”. Good for you, but I still want two of the blighters!
But the worst - and the one that gets me every time is, “You can always ask for another”. Really?? Because I want to spend my time flagging down and waiting for another sausage, or sauce sachet, or butter portion etc. etc. How productive are a service team if they keep having to go back and forth to the kitchen for a single solitary banger??
I fully understand the desire to limit wastage, and the significant cost of protein on any plate. However, at the point at which you agree to trade-off customer expectation and experience against cost saving, you are contributing to the decline of your business. Nobody needs that right now!
Don’t fall into the trap of the often-heard line, “nobody ever complains” either. Its death by a thousand tiny cuts. Remember the biscuits in the room, the facecloth, the bathmat. Are you hiding towels and pillows in the cupboard? Your customer won’t stand at reception and discuss it with you, they just won’t come back.
If you can’t recognise the value of the second sausage, then you might just be in the wrong industry.
Solutions? If you can buy a smaller sausage (not cocktail!) from your meat supplier, that may work. If you buy local, how about negotiating a price discount with your butcher in favour of a menu endorsement? Look at cost savings in other areas of your plate – mushrooms are a good place to look (another blog, another day!).
When you are fighting for your hotel’s life in these challenging times, then don’t forget that you are fighting for your future as well as your present. If you have resorted to a ‘one sausage breakfast’ then challenge yourself. It may not only be at breakfast times that you are failing on The Hotel Sausage Scale!
N.B. While you are here - feel free to have a look around the HotelCostClinic.com site. We are sure you will find it a useful asset!