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RADISSON BLU - Super Breakfast

Creative, design, local, seasonal, healthy and eco-friendly: get a taste of Radisson Blu’s Super Breakfast.

Recognizing that the times they-are-a-changing, Radisson Blu Hotels put on their aprons and set about giving breakfast to a whole new look.

Expectations are evolving in an era of the shift from analog to digital. There is confusion about the ‘right’ choices, and I-want-what-I-want-and-I-want-it-now prevails.

We looked at trends, we scoured the internet, we went all retail and we talked to our guests. And we listened to much cleverer people than us: Department of Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford, The Future Laboratory, Google and Food Inspiration.

And we realized that:

  • ‘Visual’ definitions in the digital world have changed and the expectation to experience aesthetics has moved up people’s lists of requirements: ‘I’ve seen lovely and I want it’.
  •  The touch deficit of the digital environment has led to a need for a multi-sensory experience whenever we’re in the ‘real’ world. Think vinyl records: they’re not making a comeback just for sound quality.
  •  Our guests want to know about the provenance of food products, and while breakfast might be the most conservative of meals, they still want to experience a sense of place when they travel. The notion of a homogenized breakfast is no longer acceptable.
  •  Guests are increasingly conscious about what they put into their bodies and this particularly applies to sugar-added products like pre-packed yoghurts, cereals and juices. This is true especially for children.
  •  Food waste is increasingly talked about and our guests expect hotels to do their bit. The knock-on impact of carbon and water footprints are very relevant to our guests.
  •  Food & drink has to taste great. Guests don’t want to see processed stuff or scrimping on quality. They don’t want great big chafing dishes of congealing scrambled eggs, and they expect more than good when it comes to juice and coffee.

So we set about devising a standard that addressed exactly these issues:

  • We worked with retail-based table and service ware supplier, Serax, to develop a range that was suitable for hotels but had all the tactility and visual appeal of designer stores. This was quite a learning experience for both of us.
  • We engaged stylists to develop the look and merchandising on our buffets. This is hardly ground-breaking for the retail world but is not often seen in hotels.
  •  We created an environment which involved multiple sensory cues, which all contributed and complemented each other to orchestrate a complexity of perception. This included scent, music, tactility of service ware, deli-styling and the visual presentation of merchandised food and fresh herbs.

 We gave autonomy to hotels to go local and they had the brief to buy better quality. The added cost was off-set by the waste reduction tactics we put in place. These included:

  • Fewer items with a market-specific product list
  • Smaller on-buffet portions
  • An à la carte menu based on locality
  • Fewer cut & sliced items

Sliced items that are there are ‘folded’ deli-style rather than ‘dumped’, so you take what you want rather than what comes off the plate.

Added-sugar packaged products were eliminated, and guests now have the choice to add their own. But we don’t ‘preach’ so using Radisson Blu’s Yes I Can! mantra, we developed a “if we’ve got it, it’s yours” philosophy and, yes, we still keep a couple of packets of Coco Pops hidden away in the back for our more discerning younger guests.

We developed core products for all hotels to follow to enhance quality. These included:

  • Home-made side of hot-smoked salmon
  • Natural yoghurt with a daily-changing homemade compote
  • Fresh-pressed orange juice
  • The ‘Morning Mary’ tomato juice station
  • Beautiful fruit salad rather than the grape-apple-melon ubiquity

We went through 12 months of consultation and trials with real-time guest surveys, General Manager Gatherings and Food & Drink specialist workshops. We learned, adapted, and changed our minds as we went.

Then we went live with geographic-specific training sessions and an extensive manual. The manual included handy tools like buffet layouts, recipes, costing exercises, OS&E planners and lots and lots of photos (we operate in 80 countries).

Super Breakfast has now been implemented in over 80% of Radisson Blu hotels and our Franchise Partners have embraced it.

The results:

  • 9-point positive swing in breakfast NPS sentiment
  • Upwards of 27% reduction in food waste
  • And upwards of 20% reduction in carbon footprint and water footprint at breakfast

And we received some very positive internal and external feedback. Here’s a snap-shot:

I just wanted to drop you a quick note to tell you that we are very happy with the new Super Breakfast.
Happier guests and less demanding both for kitchen and waiters.
Thank You

Just a quick note to let you know that implementation and operation of the new breakfast concept has been and is fantastic!

Only positive feedback from guests as well as staff, and with improved food cost as well we cannot ask for more, well done!

Happy Days! Radisson Blu is bringing the breakfast to the next level!