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Breakfast Catering: Solutions to 4 of the Most Common Breakfast Problems


Corporate breakfast catering has become so predictable. Mini muffins. Danishes. Bagels. Maybe some yogurt cups or fruit. Juice. Coffee. Carbs. Sugar. This is the breakfast that results from managers either lacking imagination or ordering breakfast from a fast-casual restaurant. But we know YOU can do better with your breakfast catering, which is why we’re here with 4 catering solutions for top breakfast problems.

Problem: The food being served doesn’t fit the event or the dining situation
One of the biggest breakfast catering mistakes we see is food options that don’t fit the event. For example, say the event you’re catering is an analytics review in a large auditorium with no tables – and the option is cream cheese and bagels. If you’ve ever tried to spread cream cheese on a bagel on your lap on a teeny, tiny plate, you know it doesn’t usually end well. White smears of cream cheese and crumbs all over your pants, skirt, or notes.

The Solution:
Avoid frustrating patrons by providing options that fit the event and are easy to manage. (This goes back to our 2 Core Principles of Catering – surprise, delight, satisfy, and make it easy to eat.) Don’t provide food that requires cutting or spreading. Instead, try serving pre-made breakfast sandwiches that even people who are running late can grab as they sneak into their seats. Pre-made sandwiches can also help keep the lines moving. If you’re at an event where guests will have tables to sit and mingle, try offering custom breakfast sandwiches or a breakfast buffet with hot food, warm breads, and a make-your-own parfait station.

ChocPBBars86L09Problem: Too many carbs
Another common catering mistake is the over abundance of carbs – mini-muffins, jumbo muffins, bagels, danishes – and too few healthy options. People with conditions that require special diets (such as folks with heart disease, diabetes, and celiac disease, to name a few), or people who just want to eat healthier, will be left hungry and unsatisfied.

The Solution:
Look for foods that are fresh and high in protein. Fruit cups, bowls of nuts, and yogurt and granola stations are usually great ways to please this crowd. Oatmeal bars are very popular right now, too – as well as healthy and inexpensive.

Problem: Skimping on the coffee
Your food can be the best in the world, and yet in the end, you will be judged by the quality of your coffee. It may not be fair, but it’s the truth. Why? Partly because long after everyone has wolfed down their breakfast, they will be sipping on their coffee throughout most of the morning.

The Solution:
Choose a full-bodied, rich-tasting coffee to help get your guests through that morning accounting meeting. If you can, consider offering French-pressed coffee with fresh steamed milk and toppings such as cinnamon or nutmeg. These little touches can really go a long way in the minds of your guests. If steamed milk isn’t an option, even the simple act of providing cold creamer can really help boost the morning for the coffee drinkers.

Problem: Your client expects “Wow” at breakfast but didn’t leave any budget for it
Of course, one of the biggest reasons most people serve muffins and bagels at breakfast meetings is because they’re cheap and easy. (And if you are what you eat, well, let’s just say it would be wise to explore other options.) So, how can you serve a healthy breakfast without going over budget and still turn a profit for yourself?

The Solution:
If you’re not already doing this in general, do your best to work with local farmers and food producers to buy from them directly, cutting out the middle man. This way, you may be able to provide fresh fruit and veggies, even egg options, for your guests and stay within budget. Check out what people serve for breakfast in other cultures and consider things like bean and nut dishes, which will provide protein. Think outside the box. And, when all else fails, level with your client about the champagne tastes they’re asking for on a beer budget. See if you can offer some mini-muffins but leave enough in the budget for some nicer food on the side.

And finally, remember to ask if there are any  food allergies or special diets you need to accommodate, such as gluten-free or vegan diets. Since most American breakfast choices center around bread, meat, and dairy, plan ahead for special requests, so everyone can get a good start to the day.

With a little creativity and proper planning, your breakfast catering options can be as stunning and impressive as any of your lunch and dinner menus – any budget, for any meeting.

For more breakfast catering ideas for large groups, check out this Group Breakfast Pinterest board and others like it for inspiration.

Ready to be inspired and informed? For the latest in catering industry news and trends and small business marketing, join the conversation on social media. Follow TPPSoftware on Twitter, like Total Party Planner on Facebook, and explore our boards on Pinterest.

Want to get advice from other caterers and find out how they do things? Join the conversation with #CaterQuest on Twitter!

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