What is Continental Breakfast in Hotels? - Hotel Chantelle (2023)

Are you planning a hotel stay and wondering what a continental breakfast is?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: A continental breakfast is a light morning meal that typically includes bread, pastries, cereals, fruits, and beverages.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what a continental breakfast is, what it typically includes, and how it differs from other types of hotel breakfasts.

What is a Continental Breakfast?

When it comes to hotel breakfast options, one of the most common terms you may come across is “continental breakfast”. But what exactly is a continental breakfast?

Origins of the Continental Breakfast

The term “continental breakfast” originated in Europe, where it was common for people to eat a light morning meal that typically included items such as pastries, bread, and coffee. This style of breakfast spread to other parts of the world, including the United States, and has become a popular option for hotels and other accommodations.

Typical Foods and Beverages

A continental breakfast typically includes a variety of baked goods, such as croissants, muffins, and pastries, as well as bread, butter, and jam. Cold cuts, cheese, and yogurt may also be served, along with fresh fruits and juices. Coffee, tea, and hot chocolate are usually available as well.

Keep in mind that the specific items offered may vary depending on the hotel or establishment. Some may also offer additional options such as cereal or oatmeal.

(Video) The Truth About Hotel Breakfast Buffets

Serving Style

One of the defining characteristics of a continental breakfast is its self-serve style. Unlike a traditional sit-down breakfast, guests are usually able to help themselves to the various food and beverage options laid out on a buffet-style table.

It is worth mentioning that some hotels may offer a continental breakfast as part of the room rate, while others may charge an additional fee. Additionally, on the other hand, some hotels may offer a more expansive breakfast option, known as a “full breakfast” or “English breakfast”, which includes hot dishes such as eggs, bacon, and sausage.

Remember, the purpose of a continental breakfast is to provide guests with a quick and convenient morning meal option, rather than a full-service dining experience. Fortunately, it is a great way to start the day and fuel up before exploring the hotel or heading out to explore the surrounding area.

If you’re looking for a hotel that offers a continental breakfast, many popular hotel chains such asMarriott,Hilton, andInterContinentaloffer this option as part of their standard amenities.

How is a Continental Breakfast Different from Other Types of Hotel Breakfasts?

When it comes to hotel breakfasts, there are several types to choose from. One of the most common types is continental breakfast, but how is it different from other types of hotel breakfasts?

American Breakfast

American breakfast is a popular breakfast option in hotels across the United States. It typically includes eggs, bacon or sausage, pancakes or waffles, and toast. Some hotels may also offer additional options such as cereal, yogurt, and fruit.

Compared to a continental breakfast, an American breakfast is much more substantial and hearty. It is designed to provide guests with a filling meal that will keep them energized throughout the day.

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According to a survey conducted byStatesman, 58% of hotels in the United States offer an American breakfast.

English Breakfast

English breakfast is a common breakfast option in hotels throughout the United Kingdom. It typically includes eggs, bacon, sausage, baked beans, grilled tomatoes, and toast. Some hotels may also offer additional options such as black pudding and mushrooms.

Compared to a continental breakfast, an English breakfast is also quite substantial, although it tends to be more savory than a typical American breakfast. It is designed to provide guests with a hearty and filling meal that will keep them satisfied until lunchtime.

According to a survey conducted byStatesman, 42% of hotels in the United Kingdom offer an English breakfast.

Buffet Breakfast

Buffet breakfast is a popular option in hotels around the world. It typically includes a wide variety of options such as eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, waffles, cereal, yogurt, fruit, and pastries. Guests can choose from a variety of options to create a meal that suits their preferences.

Compared to a continental breakfast, a buffet breakfast is much more extensive and varied. It is designed to provide guests with a wide range of options to choose from, allowing them to create a meal that suits their tastes and dietary requirements.

According to a survey conducted byStatesman, 84% of hotels worldwide offer a buffet breakfast.

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Continental Breakfast

A continental breakfast is a simple breakfast option that is popular in hotels around the world. It typically includes bread, pastries, cereal, fruit, and coffee or tea. Some hotels may also offer additional options such as yogurt and cheese.

Compared to other types of hotel breakfasts, a continental breakfast is much simpler and lighter. It is designed to provide guests with a light meal that will keep them satisfied until lunchtime.

According to a survey conducted byStatesman, 94% of hotels worldwide offer a continental breakfast.

SubstantialityVaried Options
American BreakfastHighSome
English BreakfastHighSome
Buffet BreakfastHighExtensive
Continental BreakfastLowMinimal

It is worth mentioning thatthe specific items included in a continental breakfast can vary from hotel to hotel. Some hotels may offer more extensive options, while others may offer a more limited selection.Keep in mindthat a continental breakfast is typically included in the price of the hotel room, while other types of breakfast may be offered at an additional cost.Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many hotels have suspended their breakfast offerings or have modified them to comply with social distancing guidelines.Rememberto check with your hotel to see what breakfast options are currently available.

Pros and Cons of a Continental Breakfast

When it comes to hotel breakfast options, one of the most common choices is the continental breakfast. This type of breakfast typically consists of pastries, bread, fruit, and beverages such as coffee and juice. While there are some advantages to this type of breakfast, there are also some potential drawbacks to keep in mind.

Pros of a Continental Breakfast

  • Convenience: A continental breakfast is often included in the price of the hotel room, making it a convenient and cost-effective option for travelers.
  • Quick and Easy: With pastries and bread, a continental breakfast can be a quick and easy option for travelers who want to grab something on the go.
  • Healthy Options: Many hotels offer fruit and yogurt as part of their continental breakfast, providing some healthy options for guests.

Cons of a Continental Breakfast

  • Limited Choices: Compared to a full breakfast buffet, a continental breakfast may not offer as many choices or variety, which can be disappointing for some guests.
  • Not Filling Enough: Pastries and bread may not be substantial enough to keep guests full and satisfied for a long period of time, especially for those with bigger appetites.
  • Unhealthy Options: While there may be some healthy options, many continental breakfasts are heavy on the carbs and sugar, which can be a concern for guests with dietary restrictions or those trying to eat healthily.

It is worth mentioning that the quality of a continental breakfast can vary greatly depending on the hotel. Some hotels may offer fresh, high-quality options, while others may provide stale or low-quality pastries and fruit. Guests should also keep in mind that a continental breakfast may not be available at all hotels, particularly smaller or budget-friendly options.

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On the other hand, for those who are looking for a quick and easy breakfast option that won’t break the bank, a continental breakfast can be a good choice. Just remember to check the quality and options available before booking.

Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your Continental Breakfast

  • Arrive Early:If you want to get the most out of your hotel’s continental breakfast, it is worth mentioning that arriving early is key. Not only will this ensure that you have a better selection of food, but it also means you can avoid the crowds and have a more relaxing meal.
  • Check for Specials:Keep in mind that some hotels may offer daily specials or rotating menu items for their continental breakfast. It is always a good idea to ask the staff if there are any specials for the day or if there are any items that are not on display.
  • Ask for Customization:Unfortunately, not all hotels offer a wide range of options for their continental breakfast. However, on the other hand, some hotels may be willing to accommodate special dietary needs or preferences. Remember to ask the staff if they can customize your breakfast to suit your needs.
  • Be Mindful of Waste:It is important to be mindful of waste when enjoying your continental breakfast. Keep in mind that many hotels have policies in place to reduce food waste, such as limiting the number of items that guests can take. Remember to only take what you will eat and avoid leaving excess food on your plate.

By following these tips, you can make the most out of your hotel’s continental breakfast and enjoy a satisfying meal to start your day.


In conclusion, a continental breakfast is a light and simple morning meal that’s offered at many hotels around the world.

While it may not be as elaborate as other hotel breakfast options, it provides a quick and convenient way to fuel up for the day ahead.

When staying at a hotel, be sure to check if a continental breakfast is included in your room rate and take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy a hassle-free start to your day.

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What is continental breakfast with answer? ›

continental breakfast in Hospitality

A continental breakfast is breakfast that consists of food such as bread, butter, jam, and a hot drink. There is no cooked food.

What is a continental breakfast consist at a hotel? ›

The continental breakfast is a light option typically consisting of pastries and baked goods, fruits, toast, and coffee. It is usually served buffet-style and modeled after the European help-yourself breakfast, similar to what one would enjoy in France or in the Med.

What's in a continental breakfast menu? ›

The standard continental breakfast will have some combination of fruit, muffins, bagels, cereal, bread, croissants, pastries, waffles, yogurt, juice, milk, tea, and fresh coffee. Additionally, there will be butter, jam/jelly, cream, and sugar available. You can see the cereal, milk, fruit, and coffee.

Does continental breakfast mean free? ›

Continental breakfasts are light, typically free meals that are often associated with hotels.

Does continental breakfast include meat? ›

Continental breakfast is a type of breakfast typically served at hotels and bed&breakfasts. It usually includes a variety of bread, cereals, pastries, fruits, meats, cheeses, and beverages. Continental breakfast is typically cheaper and lighter than a full breakfast.

What is the difference between breakfast and continental breakfast? ›

Breakfast (sometimes called Continental Breakfast) is usually pastries and bread, etc. whereas American Breakfast includes hot items like eggs, sausages, etc. Hope this helps.

Which room plan includes only continental breakfast? ›

Continental Plan (CP), is where your room stay involves a daily breakfast at the hotel.

What are breakfast foods in hotels? ›

An American hotel breakfast includes elements of both the above types of breakfast. It will typically include bacon, eggs (fried), hash browns, pancakes or waffles with butter or syrup, toast with butter or jam/jellies, and coffee. It can be served buffet-style but is often prepared to order.

What is included in continental menu? ›

Dishes of French, Spanish and Italian cuisine fall under the category of 'Continental food'. The key specialty of this food is, they concentrate more on ingredients like olive oil, wine, herbs and minimal spices. Akshay adds, "Continental food involves cooking techniques like frying, roasting and baking.

What breads are served at continental breakfast? ›

The bread products that are included in a continental breakfast might include toast, doughnuts, pastries, croissants and rolls. Pancakes or waffles are less likely to be included, although toaster waffles might be offered.

What fruit is good for continental breakfast? ›

Fruit and Fruit Juice

Continental breakfasts provide some fruit as well to serve as a healthier option. This usually includes items like apples, bananas, melons, pears, grapes, and an assortment of berries.

What is the difference between continental and non continental breakfast? ›

According to Chef Irfan Pabaney from The Sassy Spoon, Mumbai, "the major difference between these two kinds of food lies in the regions they are prepared in. Continental food is made in Europe and Oriental food covers the Southeast Asian region."

Are continental breakfasts healthy? ›

A continental breakfast can be healthy if it includes items such as fruits and yogurt. However, a continental breakfast can also be unhealthy if it includes items such as pastries and muffins which are high in sugar and calories.

What time is breakfast at hotels? ›

Hotels will usually offer breakfast over several hours — this may be from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. on weekdays, and slightly later on weekends.

Is steak considered breakfast? ›

Steak Combines Well With Any Morning Diet

Actually, no matter what you enjoy in the morning, steak is going to be an excellent complement for your meal. Some popular ways to enjoy steak for breakfast include: Steak and eggs. Steak and hearty produce like tomatoes and avocados.

Why is it called continental breakfast in America? ›

The continental breakfast started when American hotels wanted to appeal to European tourists. These visitors from the "continent," or mainland Europe, were used to eating a lighter breakfast than what Americans typically ate at the time.

What is another name continental breakfast? ›

continental breakfasts, also known as room service, are a great way to get a taste of the local cuisine without leaving your hotel room.

What did the term continental breakfast originally? ›

The term “continental breakfast” originally referred to a light morning meal served on the European continent. It consisted of coffee or tea as well as a croissant or other light snack, as opposed to the full “English breakfast” that was served in Britain.

What are two types of continental breakfast? ›

Here are some of the options that a continental breakfast consists of:
  • Baked Goods / Pastries.
  • Fruits.
  • Bread.
  • Jams and Spreads.
  • Coffee.
  • Tea.
  • Hot Chocolate.
  • Juice.

What is American breakfast menu in a hotel? ›

American Breakfast

An American hotel breakfast is yet another option where you can expect full on food made to order, and not just some reheated pastry. By definition, an American breakfast involves two eggs, a side of bacon or sausage, toast or cereal and your choice of juice.

What is the most common breakfast service used in hotels? ›

Popular Breakfast Menu List in Five-Star Hotels
  • Bacon.
  • Egg.
  • Cheese Sandwich.
  • Biscuit.
  • Bread pudding.
  • Doughnut.
  • Muffins.
  • Breakfast Cereals.
May 5, 2023

What is free breakfast at a hotel called? ›

The best part about staying in a hotel isn't crisp, white sheets or comfy beds—it's the free breakfast. There's no better place to start your day than an all-you-can-eat buffet, after all. But at first glance, there's nothing very “continental” about a continental breakfast.

What is considered a deluxe continental breakfast? ›

A continental deluxe breakfast's claim to fame is the addition of protein to the normal motel breakfast fare. Most places serve eggs in one form or another, often scrambled or in premade circular shapes for breakfast sandwiches. You might also see links, patty sausages and sometimes bacon.

Why is it called Continental plan? ›

The Continental Plan, sometimes abbreviated as CP in hotel listings, indicates that the quoted rate includes a continental breakfast. A continental breakfast normally consists of coffee or tea, juice, and bread.

Is it OK to take food from hotel breakfast? ›

If you are staying at a hotel with a free breakfast buffet, treat it as you would any other buffet restaurant. While there are some limited exceptions, it's generally considered to be poor form and bad manners to take food from the buffet to eat later. Free breakfast has become a selling point for many hotel chains.

How can I make my hotel breakfast better? ›

Tips for Breakfast Success in Hotels
  1. Offer a variety of breakfast options. ...
  2. Serve a variety of healthy breakfast options. ...
  3. Offer different types of dishes for different dietary restrictions. ...
  4. Make sure breakfast foods are made fresh and are hot when it arrives at the table. ...
  5. Serve breakfast foods that are easy to make.
Jul 15, 2022

What is a breakfast menu? ›

countable noun [usually singular] In a restaurant or café, or at a formal meal, the menu is a list of the food and drinks that are available.

What is continental food examples? ›

What is continental food? 7 Continental dishes we are in love with
  • 01/8What is continental food? Continental food encompasses delicacies found in European countries. ...
  • 02/8French Toast. ...
  • 03/8Chicken Sandwich. ...
  • 04/8Pancakes. ...
  • 05/8Caesar Salad. ...
  • 06/8French Fries. ...
  • 07/8Cheese Pizza. ...
  • 08/8Hash Browns.
Jul 11, 2021

What is a 5 course continental meal? ›

A typical five-course meal consists of one-bite hors d'oeuvres, a plated appetizer, a palate-cleansing salad, the main entrée, and dessert. In some cases, you can omit the hors d'oeuvres and insert a soup between the appetizer and salad courses. However, culinary practice is nothing if not changeable.

What is continental snacks? ›

  • Corn and Rice Balls. corn and rice balls recipe | Indian style fried rice ....
  • Corn Cheese Balls ( Starter ) corn cheese balls recipe | cheese corn balls | ....
  • Pasta in Red Sauce. red sauce pasta recipe | pasta in red sauce | ....
  • Sizzling Potatoes in Cheese Sauce. Sizzling potatoes in cheese sauce is a perfect.

What are breakfast rolls called? ›

Sweet roll, also called a breakfast roll (chiefly US) – can refer to a variety of sweet, yeast-leavened breakfast breads or dessert foods.

What is full English breakfast? ›

Sometimes also called a 'fry-up', the full English breakfast consists of fried eggs, sausages, back bacon, tomatoes, mushrooms, fried bread and often a slice of white or black pudding (similar to bloodwurst). It is accompanied by tea or coffee and hot, buttered toast.

What's the best fruit to eat first thing in the morning? ›

Berries of all kinds, such as blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries, are an excellent way to start the morning. They are low in calories, high in fiber, and contain disease-fighting antioxidants.

Which is the best fruit to eat at night? ›

1. Cherries. Cherries, especially the tart Montmorency variety, are a natural source of melatonin. Studies have found that the fruit can help you stay asleep longer and improve the quality of your sleep.

What is a medium breakfast? ›

Two hen's eggs, two sausages, bacon, beans or tomato and toast *. Have it your way! Eggs can be poached, fried or scrambled.

What is in an Irish breakfast? ›

Full Irish Breakfast

There's typically eggs, sausage, hash browns, beans, and roasted tomatoes. You may also find slices of Irish soda bread. No matter what's served, you know it's going to be hearty!

Who has the healthiest breakfast in the world? ›

Iceland came out on top of the survey with their Hafragrautur (oatmeal) which they serve with SKyr yoghurt, fruit, coffee and cod liver oil. According to dietitian Harriet Smith this is the perfect way to start the day: “It's high in protein, fibre, and heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and low in fat and salt.

Are hotel eggs good for you? ›

Things that are supposed to be in the fridge usually aren't

Despite being left out in a warming tray, the scrambled eggs, fried potatoes, and bacon you find at a hotel breakfast buffet are perfectly safe to eat.

Why is breakfast free in hotels? ›

Free Breakfast Entices Travellers To Book Hotel Stay

So, a complimentary breakfast is offered by hotels to entice travellers to book stays with them. A satisfying breakfast is a guaranteed way to encourage travellers to repeatedly book their stay with them.

Can I take my breakfast to my hotel room? ›

Yes, it is normally proper etiquette and totally fine to take trays of food from the buffet back to your room. The rule to live by would be: when in doubt, ask.

When breakfast and dinner are included at a hotel it's called? ›

Full board means that breakfast, lunch and dinner are included in the price. And making an all-inclusive reservation means that, in addition, you will have all the drinks and snacks included.

What is continental breakfast 2023? ›

Continental Breakfast is the exhibition presented in 2023 at the Meredith Rosen Gallery in New York. It premiered with a live performance on March 18 and remained on view until April 29, 2023.

What is included in continental food? ›

Continental food refers to dishes made and consumed in the European countries. Dishes of French, Spanish and Italian cuisine fall under the category of 'Continental food'. The key specialty of this food is, they concentrate more on ingredients like olive oil, wine, herbs and minimal spices.

Is pancake a continental food? ›


From Rainbow Pancakes to Hot Chocolate Pancakes, you can experiment a lot with this continental dish.

Why is continental breakfast so early? ›

Mostly to cater to business travelers. Since business travelers' companies pay their expenses, they are more likely to pay a high price for breakfast versus the vacationer who may just pay for a cup of coffee out of his own pocket. Additionally, business travelers are usually gone from the hotel by 10:00 am anyway.

Why does continental breakfast end so early? ›

Checkout Time of the Hotel

Most hotels have a checkout time of 11 PM. This means guests must be out of their rooms by this time so that housekeeping can prepare the room for the next guest. As a result, hotel breakfasts are typically served before this time so that guests can eat and check out of their rooms on time.

What is breakfast called in hotels? ›

According to Merriam-Webster, a continental breakfast is defined as, “a light breakfast in a hotel, restaurant, etc., that usually includes baked goods, jam, fruit, and coffee.”

What is the most eaten breakfast food? ›

Bacon. Did you guess correctly? Bacon is crowned America's favorite breakfast food!

What is a fancy word for breakfast? ›

On this page you'll find 7 synonyms, antonyms, and words related to breakfast, such as: brunch, early meal, and morning meal.


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