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Is this the end of the glorious hotel breakfast buffet?

By
Ellie Walker-Arnott
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Our daily lives have never looked so different, but it’s also going to have an impact on how we move through the world in the future. Right now, travel is off the cards for many of us, with flights grounded, hotels shuttered and borders closed. But the gradual easing of restrictions in certain places has got us thinking about what travelling might be like in the future... and it’s not looking good for the once-glorious hotel breakfast buffet.

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We’re sorry to say it but the great breakfast feasts put on in fancy hotels around the globe look like they might become a thing of the past, thanks to them being a good opportunity to spread germs (this viral video shows why) and a bad place to effectively social distance. 

It’s looking like no more will we dig around in a bain-marie for the last of the scrambled egg; sample different cheeses, unfamiliar fruits, unlabelled compotes and large pieces of cake for breakfast; watch slices of bread toast in a rotator grill before topping them with tiny pots of jam; or finish off with a totally-unnecessary final course consisting purely of mini pastries. 

The majority of hotels around the world are closed at the moment, but when they do open the all-you-can-eat buffet won’t be part of the deal. ‘Hoteliers will need to rethink almost every part of their business, focusing on all areas that are accessed by guests as well as considering the safety and protection of staff. The buffet breakfast is likely to become a thing of the past, at least for the time being,’ Russell Kett, chairman of hotel advisory firm HVS London told The Times

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Instead, when hotels do reopen we can expect room-service breakfast, or made-to-order dishes served alfresco on spaced-out tables.

Holiday operator Tui has said: ‘Self-service offers such as buffets will be reduced to a minimum. Wherever possible, food and beverages will be served to guests by staff wearing protective masks.’ Keith Barr, chief executive of Intercontinental Hotels Group, added that the chain has already ‘gone entirely à la carte and pre-packaged for breakfast.’

Pre-packaged! No more hovering around the fancy granolas for us. 

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