Perhaps you’ve stayed at a specific hotel only to avail the free continental breakfast and fulfill your dreams of enormous pancakes and fluffy egg dishes. But when introduced to your choices, you’ve been disappointed! A little bowl of fruits, a very small banana nut muffin, and a cup of java. To some, this may seem downright skimpy, especially if you’re used to large, made-to dictate options for your earliest meal of the day. To others, it might be exactly the appropriate quantity of food as they embark on their day. Wherever you land on the divide, let us take a good look at this hot choice for travelers and find out how this free meal came into fashion.
What’s a continental breakfast?
The first known usage of the word continental breakfast was in 1896 in The Sanitarian. However, the idea has been in existence for a few years earlier as American resorts made an attempt to appeal to the shifting tastes of the emerging middle class and European travelers visiting America. According to Merriam Webster, a continental breakfast is described as, a light breakfast at a hotel, restaurant, etc., which usually contains baked goodies, jam, fruits, and a hot beverage.
What do these items have in common?
They’re all shelf-stable items in percentage sizes that are ideal for big groups of people. Where does the term come from? The word continental breakfast originated in Britain from the mid-nineteenth century. To the British, the continent pertains to the nations of mainland Europe. A continental breakfast clarifies the kind of breakfast you’d encounter in areas such as France and the Mediterranean. Europeans have retreated to American style breakfast, that they found too heavy and far too greasy. They preferred much more modest breakfast like fruits, bread, and pastries. So resorts aimed to please their more refined palates with these choices.
Why do hotels offer it?
Not just are these items more cost efficient for hotels, but also you do not need much staff to attend to a few trays of bagels, pastry, and carafes of orange juice at the lobby. These options are also easier to manage than cranking out omelette and flapjacks to order. Guests like the convenience of the food and the perceived value of getting something for free.
Why is it free?
At the conventional American payment model, hotel guests enjoyed all of their meals in the hotel’s restaurant. The price of the meal was included in one bill towards the end of their stay.
Nevertheless, as guests preferred making cheaper and more flexible dining arrangements, resorts started adopting a European fashion plan where the meals were no longer a part of the cost of their stay. Guests only paid for their room.
Finally, a hybrid plan emerged.