Food / Just for fun

Not Entirely Helpful Tips For Tackling The Hotel Breakfast Buffet

As I find myself overwhelmed by yet another hotel breakfast buffet with a myriad of mismatching options I’d thought I’d best get myself some sort of strategy. Here are my definitely not tried-and-tested tips for working the hotel breakfast buffet like a boss.

Do a lap. Do not pick up a single thing until you have walked the whole room and decided what you shall eat like a normal rational person. Anyone who puts something on their plate during the first lap is kicked out.

Scout out the egg man and put an order in for an omelette before everyone else cotton’s on about what the man in the hat is there for.

Step away from the instant coffee machine. Coffee from a machine is never good. Fact. Unless the free coffee is of the barista variety do yourself a favour and order a cuppa tea instead.

Pilfer the cereal milk. You’ll need milk to accompany said tea and for some reason 9 out of 10 hotels will not have put any near the tea/coffee station. Head to the cereal section and pour yourself a cup from here instead.

Do not make eye contact with another diner’s plate. This is not a place for judgement. Who are you to judge the man who combines waffles with beans, nutella, salad and chicken sausages*. (* Why these are even a thing I do not know.)

Pop any bread/croissant/cake that you can in the toaster as they’re bound to be stale from lying out for hours. If any of the above catch fire stroll away nonchalantly and pretend it was someone else.

Likewise, if you forget you put said bread in the toaster because they bought out fresh pancakes and then you no longer wanted it anyway, stroll away nonchalantly and pretend it was someone else.

Do not be embarrassed that there are 20 plates on your table because you picked up a fresh one each one you approached the buffet. This is the only place in the world where that kind of behaviour is acceptable.

Do eat 1 slice of pineapple at the end of your 70-course meal for a ‘balanced’ diet.

About Author

I'm a full time blogger with a passion for travel and interiors. A travel blogger for 12+ years, I took a course on interior styling during the pandemic when travel was not an option. I now run 2 Instagram accounts - @jayneytravels, which covers authentic, affordable luxury escapes and @ourtravelhome which is all about decorating our new build home with a modern rustic style.


  • Lisa // Fjords & Beaches
    April 20, 2017 at 6:07 am

    Hahaha, loved reading this! The pineapple piece at the end is a must, and so is avoiding eye contact with anyone else’s plate! Not sure I could stay away from the coffee, though – machine or not.. 😛

    • Jayne Gorman
      April 20, 2017 at 1:53 pm

      It’s living in Sydney you see, it’s turned me into a complete coffee snob!

  • Melissa
    April 20, 2017 at 1:45 pm

    “Unless the free coffee is of the barista variety do yourself a favour and order a cuppa tea instead.” But if the tea is made with water from a hot water spout just skip it entirely unless it’s green or an herbal tea. Black tea not made with boiling water is terrible. Oh how I wish American hotels would provide kettles and real milk instead of Keurigs and Coffeemate.

    • Jayne Gorman
      April 20, 2017 at 1:55 pm

      Such a good point! I can’t stand tea with lukewarm water either. A kettle would be so much easier.

  • Tag Along Deb
    April 20, 2017 at 2:17 pm

    Breakfast buffets are definitely riddled with hazards. Your post reminded me of a young boy (about 9 years) I encountered at a buffet who was walking away with a plate piled with bacon and nothing else. Upon running into his dad on the way back to his table, the boy exclaimed, “I have all I need.” Dad immediately freaked out. It was pretty funny, but maybe another rule should be not to leave your kids unaccompanied at the breakfast buffet.

    • Jayne Gorman
      April 20, 2017 at 11:45 pm

      Hahahahahah I love this story. I think most of us turn into 9 year olds when it comes to the breakfast buffet – or maybe it’s just my husband and I?!

  • Steph
    April 22, 2017 at 9:59 am

    Hahaha Jayne, this made me laugh as this is just me!! Always do a lap and still end up with a trillion plates.
    Breakfast is just the best meal of the day, especially when it can have so many courses!

    Nice post 🙂

    • Jayne Gorman
      April 23, 2017 at 11:45 pm

      Me too, I do love a good breakfast buffet – prob too much by the looks of my waistline 😉

  • Harjit Gill
    April 26, 2017 at 10:25 am

    Love this! I agree with the “don’t look at the plate”, I HATED the looks I got for going for round 5 of scrambled eggs and chicken sausages (well I gym so it’s all protein fuel right)

    • Jayne Gorman
      April 27, 2017 at 10:05 am

      Of course, no judgement at the breakfast buffet. That’s the rules.


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