Let’s face it, hotel breakfast buffets are often the best part of staying at a hotel for many guests. In fact, lots of research has suggested that the service during breakfast is often the key to a successful overall hotel satisfaction survey score. Today, we are going to focus on improving buffet service by re-training your Omelet Chef.
Decades ago, someone came up with the idea to add a Chef to the buffet so guests could get eggs and omelets prepared to their liking. Eggs and omelet creations are typically low-cost, very filling, and loved by guests. Unfortunately, over time, the Omelet Chefs began being replaced by employees who spoke very little English and did little more than just stand there and wait for you to point at the ingredients you would like in your omelet. For some reason, we all started hiring people who rarely smiled, said very little, and always seemed very bothered to have to make an omelet for a guest. Nothing makes that 3-minute wait for your omelet more uncomfortable than knowing the person cooking the omelet does not want to be there. Also, good luck if you need someone other than an omelet. I can’t tell you how many my request to have a buffet item refilled was just met with a shrug.
Omelet Chefs are in a key position when it comes to guest interaction and they should be held accountable to the same service standards as a Guest Service Agent. At a minimum, a good Omelet Chef does the following:
- Greet every guest who comes within 10 feet of the omelet station. Sounds simple, but rarely happens. All we look for is a welcoming “Good Morning!” and a warm smile. Bonus points if the Chef actually offers to help the guest locate something on the buffet or offers to start an omelet for them.
- Take ownership of the buffet. There is nothing worse than asking a Chef who is literally standing in the middle of the buffet to refill the breakfast potatoes. Guests should not have to ask. The buffet attendant should be on the lookout and making sure everything is fully stocked and clean.
- Be knowledgeable about the buffet and ingredients of the items. It seems like everyone has a weird diet these days. A good Chef is prepared for a guest who needs a carb-free, gluten-free, soy-based breakfast. Maybe that is only in California. But they should know the ingredients to assist guests with allergies.
- Be knowledgeable about the hotel. Often, guests are trying to grab a quick breakfast on their way to a meeting or to catch a flight and will have a quick question such as ‘when does the shuttle come’ or ‘what time is check out’. Guests will ask any employee they see, including the employee making their omelet, and expect an answer. Be prepared.
- Offer additional assistance at the end of the interaction. After preparing the requested omelet, a good Chef will close the conversation with “is there anything else that I can help you with?” You will be surprised by how many guests will ask for more help if the additional service is just offered. This will surely save your guests from going on the breakfast buffet scavenger hunt.
That is it, 5 easy steps to greatly improve the service during your breakfast buffet. Have any other tips? Post them in the comment section below.