Self-Service Catering Spurs Coffee Break Sales All Day Long

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Coffee breaks are perfect for a self-service catering program, and while you’re at it, boost sales with baked goods, snacks, and breakfast items.

Continental breakfast buffet with coffee
©iStockphoto.com/stockstudioX

“Breakfast is the darling of dayparts, and there are a lot of things that food service operators can do to bring breakfast’s finest into their catering repertoire,” says Minor’s® Corporate Executive Chef Brian Dragos, who spent many years in hotels where both catering and breakfast were an important part of the business.

Even simple coffee breaks can contribute to catering sales and customer satisfaction, particularly in the area of self-service catering. Coffee and other beverages are pretty much indispensable to morning meetings—whether in the office or for the PTA at school. This holds true above and beyond traditional breakfast hours: for afternoon brainstorming sessions, planning meetings, late-night study groups, and any occasion where attendees might need a cup of coffee or a refreshing cold beverage to keep going. This makes the self-service catered coffee break a 24/7 sales opportunity.

For more on coffee breaks and breakfast catering, see below.

At its most straightforward, a self-service coffee break for 10-12 people can be upgraded from individual-serving covered cups to a disposable multiportion beverage container—preferably with logo—of hot or iced brewed coffee, cups for service, sugar and lightener, stirrers, and napkins. Beyond that, other options include brewed hot or iced tea (or hot water and teabags), juice, lemonade, milk, and/or individual bottled beverages. Specialty beverages such as smoothies are an additional possibility.

But catered coffee breaks also represent a great opportunity to sell food items such as baked goods or snacks, including:

  • Assorted muffins or Danish
  • Assorted specialty pastries
  • Bagels and cream cheese
  • Donuts or cupcakes
  • Individual yogurt parfaits or a build-your-own parfait set-up (bowl of yogurt with mix-and-match toppings, fruit, jam, nuts, and so on
  • Egg sandwiches or wraps
  • Fruit bowl with dip
  • Cookie and/or brownie box
  • Bar cookies or other specialty sweets
  • Protein or granola bars

Not surprisingly, chef Dragos also has ideas about how to elevate breakfast catering, in both self-service and full-service settings.

Make Your Own Benedicts—Poached, scrambled, or sunnyside eggs can be offered along with an assortment of sauces (such as Hollandaise or a flavored chipotle or poblano version, cheese sauce, or Country Sausage Gravy); proteins (Canadian bacon, smoked turkey, crab cakes); and base breads (English muffin, toasted bolillo roll, griddled Texas toast)

Omelet Bar—Premade omelets or portionable sheet-pan frittata with salsa, plain or flavored, Hollandaise, shredded cheese, sautéed vegetables, shrimp scampi, or sautéed sliced sausage, etc.

Cowboy Benedicts—A signature breakfast or brunch specialty made with poached eggs on biscuits with corned beef hash and Country Sausage Gravy