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Strategies for Being Great at Breakfast Catering

Petroleum (oil) is the most valuable and heavily-traded commodity in the world. Want to guess what #2 is? Yep, coffee. In the United States, coffee is the #1 largest food import. It would be fair to say that people need their caffeine. Here are some thoughts:

• Most coffee companies are in the equipment industry as well. If you are purchasing enough coffee, all of the equipment, including commercial brewers, grinders (if you are buying whole bean), pots, cleaning supplies, and sometimes even air pots are included at no cost. Make sure you are taking advantage of this.

• Don’t skimp on what you pay for coffee. Invest is a high-quality, universally liked bean.

Have your rep bring you different kinds and conduct taste tests.

• You may need to pay an electrician to install what you need to handle the equipment. Do it.

Make sure, too, that the brewing equipment is being thoroughly and properly cleaned on a regular basis. This is very important.

• Make sure that you know how to check the brewing equipment is properly calibrated and the temperature of the coffee is in correct range. It will fluctuate due to usage and it should be checked regularly. This is very important.

• Talk to your customers. Ask them to rate your coffee. If at least 75% of them do not think it is great, it’s time to get your rep back in and test different types is beans. If you need to spend more per pound to get better customer feedback, spend more.

• Instead of Half and Half PCs, switch to Light Cream PCs. It may cost a couple more bucks per box. For your customers who use it, your great coffee will taste even better to them. (Always offer Milk PCs as well.)

Offer healthy options

According to the Technomic, the “go-to” research firm that focuses on the food industry, offering healthy / lighter breakfast options (in additional to the good ole’ egg sandwiches and French toast), will attract new consumers and generate more business. Examples include:

1. More fiber

• Parfaits. In addition to offering / rotating different flavor options, such as strawberry, blueberry, maple, and chocolate, they can be topped with granola, quinoa, yogurt, almonds, and chia seed.

• Rotating assortment of oatmeal topped with fresh berries

• Sweet brown rice breakfast bowl

• Sliced bananas, mangos, and pears

• Cereals such as shredded wheat and bran flakes

• Seedy peanut butter as a spread option

• Breakfast bars with less sugar. (“KIND” is a great option. They are gluten and dairy free—and they taste great!)

2. More protein (besides eggs)

Apple-cinnamon breakfast barley; smoothies; oats; breakfast porridge

3. Be efficient

Use some prepared items, such as liquid eggs; pre-shredded cheese; scoop and bake muffins (you can absolutely market these as “home-baked muffins”); high-quality par-baked, smaller-sized (2–3 ounces) breakfast pastries, scones, and croissants. These come in frozen and you bake them off in the oven. (These also qualify as “home-baked”—there is a difference between “made-from scratch” which you are not saying.)

4. F.Y.I

Sometimes small details can make a big difference from your customer’s perception. Research and actual practices prove that terms such as “home-baked, or “new” or “healthy” carry lots of positive weight. 

5. Create buzz

Differentiate your catering menu by creating and marketing a signature item that you are known-for, such as specialty cream cheeses, picturesque sliced fruit platters or fruit salads, great coffee.

Breakfast is the start to a great day for many businesses that need your catering help. Make it great and do it consistently. This will lead to increased revenue and repeat business!

We’d love to have you as a member! You can visit Michael’s website or email him.

Michael Rosman

Michael Rosman

Owner/Founder, The Corporate Caterer, Boston, MA

Michael Rosman is the founder of, a consulting, coaching and lead generation company for businesses that aspire to take their corporate catering business to the next level or start a new division. He is also a Senior Consultant with He can be reached at [email protected].