Continental Breakfast Ideas for Catering

A display of donuts and bagels
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Did you know the term “continental breakfast” originated from Britain in the mid-19th century? Back then, it described a very basic breakfast of bread, tea, and perhaps some yogurt that was common in continental Europe.

These days, these breakfasts are a whole different ball game. They often include a wide variety of foods and drinks.

And given these varying options, figuring out what to serve can be a bit of a challenge. If you’re looking for inspiration, here are some fantastic continental breakfast menu ideas to help you out.

Beverages

When planning beverages for a continental breakfast catering menu, focus on offering variety and options to please all palates.

Coffee and tea are must-have basics. Provide regular and decaf coffee, along with an assortment of black, green, and herbal teas. Flavored creamers like vanilla or hazelnut add a nice touch.

Beyond the standard coffee and tea, juices are popular continental breakfast beverages. Offer a mix of orange, cranberry, apple, and grapefruit juices to start the day on a refreshing note.

Some people prefer juices diluted 50/50 with water or sparkling water for a lighter option. Keep in mind any common dietary restrictions, and provide at least one non-citrus juice choice. To hydrate guests, serve chilled water with lemon slices.

Pastries

No continental breakfast is complete without a selection of fresh pastries and baked goods. Croissants, muffins, and danishes are staple favorites that can be customized in many ways.

Flaky croissants are a perfect continental breakfast offering. Serve them plain, with chocolate, with almond filling, or as breakfast sandwiches on croissant rolls with eggs and ham or cheese. Mini croissants are also a great option.

Muffins make a convenient hand-held breakfast. Offer an assortment of flavors like blueberry, banana walnut, lemon poppy seed, or bran.

For variety, alternate between classic styles and creative flavors like chocolate chip, apple cinnamon, or carrot cake.

Sweet, buttery danishes are a continental breakfast classic. Try cherry, cheese, apple, blueberry, cinnamon, or chocolate drizzle variations. Cut danishes into halves or quarters for smaller portions.

Scones, cinnamon rolls, and coffee cake slices also make excellent continental breakfast offerings. Provide an assortment of flavors, sizes, and shapes to please all tastes.

Fruits

Fruits make a refreshing addition to any continental breakfast spread. Offering a variety of fresh, dried, and cooked fruit options ensures guests can get their daily dose of vitamins and fiber.

For fresh fruits, sliced melons like honeydew, cantaloupe, and watermelon make a hydrating and sweet start to the day.

Berries like strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries add gorgeous pops of color and delicious flavor.

Provide a fruit salad or fruit kebabs for a more visually appealing presentation.

Cold Cereals

Choose some healthier whole grain cereals like granola, muesli, and multigrain cereals. You can also offer some sweeter cereals, like frosted flakes or cocoa puffs, for those with a sweet tooth.

When choosing granola, opt for homemade or bakery-style granola with large chunks of nuts and dried fruit. Stay away from the cereal aisle granola, which often has a lot of added sugars.

For a cereal bar, provide several large, clear containers of bulk cereals and a variety of milk options like dairy milk, non-dairy milk, lactose-free milk, etc.

Offer toppings like sliced fruit, chopped nuts, shredded coconut, and brown sugar. Providing bulk cereals in containers saves on packaging waste compared to individual boxes.

Yogurts

fresh fruit in yogurt in clear glasses

Yogurt is an excellent breakfast option to include in a continental breakfast menu. It’s packed with protein to help guests start their day feeling full and satisfied.

Greek yogurt, in particular, has become very popular in recent years. It’s thicker and creamier than regular yogurt, with double the protein.

Set up a Greek yogurt bar with an array of toppings like fresh berries, granola, nuts, seeds, coconut, chia seeds, and honey. Guests will love being able to customize their own parfaits.

Don’t forget about fruit-flavored and low-fat yogurts, too. They can be just as delicious as Greek yogurt, but with more variety. Try offering strawberry, blueberry, vanilla, and peach flavors. Low-fat vanilla yogurt also pairs nicely with fresh fruit like bananas, strawberries, and blueberries.

Breads

Breads are a breakfast staple that can be part of a delicious continental breakfast spread. Here are some classic bread options to consider:

Toast

Toast is likely the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of breakfast breads. Slices of bread toasted to a crisp, golden brown just hit the spot. Provide a variety of bread choices, like sourdough, whole wheat, rye, white, and more. Offer butter, jellies, and jams on the side.

Bagels

Fresh bagels with cream cheese make a satisfying continental breakfast option. Go for popular flavors like plain, sesame, poppy seed, cinnamon raisin, blueberry, and everything bagels. Allow guests to add cream cheese spreads, butter, or jams.

English Muffins

English muffins soft texture makes them perfect for spreading on sweet and savory toppings. Offer plain or wheat English muffins alongside butter, jams, peanut butter, and other spreads.

Cheeses

No continental breakfast spread would be complete without a cheese selection. Offering cheeses gives guests a savory protein option to balance out sweeter pastry offerings.

Consider providing small portions of cottage cheese, cream cheese, and sliced cheeses.

The End

When planning a continental breakfast for catering, the key is offering a variety of convenient, easy-to-eat options that can satisfy guests.

Make sure to include both hot and cold items to give options. You’ll also want to accommodate different diets by having dairy-free, gluten-free and vegetarian selections.

Sources

Grubhub. (n.d.). 9 breakfast catering ideas your team will be sure to love. https://corporate.grubhub.com/blog/9-breakfast-catering-ideas-your-team-will-be-sure-to-love/?page=Blog+-+9+breakfast+catering+ideas+your+team+will+be+sure+to+love

Catering Zone. (n.d.). Best continental breakfast ideas. https://www.cateringzone.com.au/news/best-continental-breakfast-ideas

Webstaurant Store. (n.d.). Continental breakfast definition. https://www.webstaurantstore.com/blog/2868/continental-breakfast-definition.html

Miller, D. (n.d.). Breakfast catering ideas for morning meetings. https://deborahmillercatering.com/breakfast-catering-ideas-for-morning-meetings/

Author

  • Dacia Flowers

    Dacia Flowers is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) with a major in Cultural Anthropology. Since graduating in 2019, she has expanded her expertise and applied her anthropological background in the practical domain. As the Administration Manager at CMJJ Gourmet since August 2022, Dacia handles crucial day-to-day operations, ensuring the warehouse's optimal functionality, timely delivery of orders, and managing invoices. Her commitment to excellence and in-depth understanding of organizational dynamics stem not just from her academic prowess but also her personal passion. Beyond her professional responsibilities, Dacia has a keen interest in reading, loves to travel, and stays active through regular exercise.

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