Breakfast catering menus don’t get the fanfare they deserve—but don’t blame it on the food. Employees might not be jazzed about an early morning meeting, but management still plans early events because it’s an extremely productive time of day. To make matters more complicated, employee morning routines vary almost as widely as the email signatures on your company’s mailing list. Which is why the ultimate breakfast spread is all about variety. Balanced, healthy choices—with a few sugary treats mixed in—should top your list of items to order. Give your employees some range in your menu, too, from full, hearty meals to light, on-the-go snacks. Read on for ways to create a breakfast catering menu that fuels your team and addresses a range of food preferences and tastes.
Variety Is the Key to Breakfast
The key to building a breakfast catering menu everyone enjoys? Options. Order a mix of hot and cold foods, including meat proteins and vegetarian staples, to satisfy all dietary needs. While pastries, bagels, and doughnuts might be crowd favorites, they won’t do you or your employees any favors—all that fat and sugar discourages productivity after the initial glow wears off. Try these strategies to win over your crowd, instead:
Pancake Queen vs. Team Eggs & Bacon
The strategy: Fusion recipes
For every “Team Eggs & Bacon” there’s a competing office “Pancake Queen.” What’s an office manager to do? When appealing to all eaters is your goal, create customizable breakfast catering menus that offer both traditional and non-traditional breakfast elements.
Consider a fusion recipe, for example, like breakfast pigs-in-a-blanket (sausage links wrapped in a mini pancake). Or opt for breakfast pizzas (doughy pizzas covered in veggies, cheese, eggs, and breakfast-friendly meats like ham or bacon) to add more savory flavors to your breakfast catering menu.
If some on your team are known to hop from one food trend to the next, consider creative breakfast fare, like Liège-style waffles and coconut french toast, or savory breakfast bowls and banh mi. There’s also shakshuka, a dish of poached eggs and spicy tomato sauce, and Arab pastries. For people with dietary restrictions, ask your caterer to create your breakfast favorites while adhering to food plans such as kosher, vegan, soy- or gluten-free. Some caterers may have dedicated kitchens to accommodate eaters with food allergies.
Light Snacker vs. Hearty Meat Eater
The strategy: breakfast bars and buffets
Light morning snackers might enjoy an easy morning granola cup layered with yogurt and fruit, but champion eaters will leave wanting more. That’s when breakfast bars and buffets come in handy. Offer granola cups, but don’t forget to order hearty breakfast items, like ham and cheese croissants, mini fruit muffins, or bacon and egg frittatas, to balance out the spread.
Breakfast bars and buffets also allow guests to build their sandwiches or stock up on individual ingredients as they please. Just offer a variety of foods, like croissants, bagels, toast, and muffins, so employees can find what they need—and leave behind what doesn’t appeal to them.
How to Build an Energizing Breakfast Catering Menu
The foods you choose for your breakfast catering menu are just as important as what’s on the agenda. Whether you’re celebrating a stretch sales goal or presenting quarterly stats, make an occasion out of the most important meal of the day. According to Business Insider, the best breakfast foods for the office include a healthy balance of carbs and protein.
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When it’s time to consider caterers, look for menus that offer the right kind of fuel for breakfast, including:
- Breakfast sandwiches with eggs
- Healthy cereals
- Yogurt parfaits
Drinks all around
Crazy as it may sound, not everyone views caffeine as a necessary life source. Coffee is a must-have, but don’t forget about decaf options, including herbal teas, milk, natural fruit juices, and, of course, water.
Make it bite-sized
At the office, it’s wise to avoid ordering foods that have “mess potential,” like pancakes or waffles. Syrupy fingers and sticky utensils distract from your main purpose—working, remember?—while over-indulging on carbs will send your team into a mid-morning slump. Still, breakfast should be filling. And if everything on your breakfast catering menu is small, flavorful, and packed with protein, you’ll encourage productivity rather than impede it. Think individual fruit skewers, bite-sized quiches, and hand-held sammies.
Noteworthy breakfast spreads mean nothing if no one can hang around to enjoy them. Make sure you set aside enough time for employees to eat, talk, and digest without feeling rushed. An hour is usually sufficient for these types of events.
Brainstorming the Perfect Breakfast
When it comes to the ultimate breakfast spread, you can’t get more trendy than breakfast tacos and burritos. Order pre-made tacos, or allow people to build their own with scrambled eggs, cheese, meats, and veggies.
- Fill with: eggs, hash browns, and bacon. Or try scrambled eggs, spicy chorizo, and avocado for a Southwestern kick.
- Serve with cheese, crispy potatoes, guacamole, and a variety of sauces.
- Assume one taco or burrito per person.
Bagels are a quintessential breakfast staple. Order a variety of bagels and other pastries—including gluten-free options—along with a platter of breakfast sandwich fixings. Guests will enjoy building their own bagels.
- Order a mix of bagels, croissants, and English muffins.
- Pair them with toppings, like cream cheese, jam, thinly sliced cucumbers and radishes, fried eggs, and salmon.
- Plan for one sandwich per person, plus beverages.
Toast is out, and grain bowls are in. At least that’s what Bon Appétit believes. Hearty grain salads are a healthy weekday breakfast that will delight tastebuds and waistlines alike. Just add beverages, and a few extra toppings, to construct a full meal.
- Start with a base of steel cut oats, açai berries, or even quinoa.
- Top with granola, fruit, nuts, goji berries, or chia.
- One bowl per person is more than enough fuel for the day.
Mastering the breakfast spread requires preparation and variety, but with our tips, you can design a breakfast catering menu destined to be well-received by all. That morning meeting invite from the CEO might force your colleagues to show up early, but it’s the delicious food that’ll give them the motivation to shine.
Ready to start your morning on the right foot with a catered breakfast?