One afternoon the combination of curiosity and boredom lead me to check over 350 Airbnb properties in the Little Rock-North Little Rock area to see who served any kind of breakfast. They do call themselves AirBNB and we all know BNB or B&B stands for Bed & Breakfast. I suppose they consider Bed & Bath a B&B.
I have ten listings on Airbnb, counting one and two bedroom versions of the same cottage, and I counted ten breakfasts. It actually annoys me that in 2009 when Airbnb came into existence it put real Bed & Breakfast properties all over the country out of business. Three reasons: No breakfast (save the expense), No tax charged (real B&Bs were required by law to charge tax), No insurance or amenities overhead.
Then I moved on to hotels like Marriot Little Rock, Capitol Hotel, The Burgundy and other Little Rock hotels.. First, I did an online check then I actually visited some and called others. A few were actually doing a “hot breakfast buffet” and I think they qualify as long as you stay away from the scrambled eggs which are the kind that are poured from a carton.
When Rosemont went from a traditional Bed & Breakfast to B&B Cottages we had to completely re-think breakfast. We researched it with a trusted group of 20 consultants who tried our menu items and gave us valuable input, insights and recommendations. Our breakfast was going to be placed in each cottage for check-in with minor preparation. This means it had to be good the next day. We also set the standard of homemade for as much as possible.
For example, we offer a Waffles & Sausage breakfast. We make our own batter and it is made fresh daily for each guest request. The same is true for our Fritatta.
It is accompanied by a homemade Blueberry Scone … they are the specialty of my housekeeper, Nancy. My contributions are the pastries that include: Sticky Buns, Orange Marmalade Muffins which I vary by adding seasonal fruit, Coffee Cakes and Cinnamon Rolls. One of the Coffee Cake recipes is from my 97 year old Aunt. All of these are made in our kitchen.
Nancy and I have baking-cooking days when we don’t have a lot of cottages to clean. She cooks bacon for the Fritattas and pre-cooks the sausage; and, she sorts and bags the fresh fruit for the Parfaits. I bake, wrap and freeze pastries.
Because of our occupancy rate and the popularity of homemade breakfast we do have to stock the freezer. Everything is frozen the same day it is baked or cooked. I think it was the Jolly Green Giant who back in the day coined the line “frozen at the peak of freshness”. I did learn from the big guy that if you freeze when something is fresh, it tastes the same as when it is thawed. We have learned a lot of tricks like quick freezing. We know where to find the best possible Bagels, Croissants and Kolaches because these are above of skill level to make ourselves.
Breakfast is a special meal and the lodging properties who offer breakfast, or include it in their name, should be dedicated to making it special for their guests. It’s really not that hard. It just takes time and you have to care about the guest’s experience.