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a round platter with an assortments of cheese and fruits

How to create a memorable supper platter for your B&B Guests

running a bed and breakfast Feb 20, 2023

A supper platter is a great way to provide your B&B guests with a convenient snack or meal that they can enjoy in the comfort of their room. Not only does it add a special touch to their stay, but it also demonstrates your dedication to hospitality and service.

In this post, we will discuss the benefits of offering a supper platter to your guests, as well as some tips on how you can make it a memorable experience. So read on, and discover why providing a supper platter is a great way to ensure your guests have a positive experience!

Please note this blog post contains some affiliate links - if you purchase one of the items I recommend, then I receive a small percentage commission at no cost to you. This money goes toward maintaining this blog and I only recommend products I use and love.

Why provide a supper platter?

If you read my last blog post about the pros and cons of providing an evening meal for your B&B guests, you'll probably have guessed that I'm not a fan.

As someone running a bed and breakfast, it was an awful lot of work for not much reward, and was negatively impacting my family time and social life.

However, I was losing guest bookings because there is nowhere to eat locally that doesn't require a drive out again.

Convenient for guests

Platters are great for guests who:

  • have had their main meal during the day
  • don't want the expense of a big meal
  • are arriving too late to eat ( most of our local eating places stop serving food at 9pm or shut on some days )
  • have arrived without any transport of their own e.g they're on a long distance walk ( and taxis here in rural Shropshire are few and far between and very expensive )
  • want a glass of wine with their meal and don't want to drink and drive
  • are tired after a long day out and don't want to 

Convenient for the B&B hosts

In the last blog post I talked through the disadvantages of providing a full meal for guests. For me it was mainly the extra time that was involved in preparing, cooking, serving, interacting with guests and clearing away.

Switching to platters meant:

  • the time preparing the platter is much less 
  • depending on how you serve it - mine was left in the guest room fridge - there is no or minimal  hands on serving required
  • I could set up the breakfast room ready for guests and have the evening off
  • less washing up and clearing up involved

How to serve your platters

How you serve your platters is going to depend on your own bed and breakfast layout, how you feel about guests eating in rooms and whether or not you are happy to spend time serving guests in the evening.

Some B&B owners do not allow food or drink to be eaten in the room.

To be honest, in 17 years I had one wine spillage in the B&B room, so it wasn't as issue for me. But the guests I welcomed were used to paying a lot for accommodation and the vast majority took good care of their rooms. 

If you don't want to serve the platter in the B&B rooms, then you could serve them in your guest dining room. Bear in mind that if you do this, you will have to clear up and re-lay the table ready for breakfast.

In my own B&B, the rooms had plenty of room and fridges. So I was able to leave a platter in the fridge and then a whole loaf of bread on the side along with plates.

A few tips if you plan to serve in rooms:

  • if you don't have a table in the room, then guests will appreciate a small nest of tables or something similar to put their food on rather than having to balance it on their laps
  • Having a glass cake dome like this one will keep sliced bread fresh for your guests
  • You'll need to find some plates to keep the chilled items on in your  guest room fridge. I used ones similar to these. Make sure you measure the width and depth of your fridge before buying!
  • For side dishes such as coleslaw, pickled cucumber, hummus etc. I would use lidded kilner jars rather than messing around with bowls and cling film!
  • If you don't have fridges in the guest room, you could install one large fridge to be shared by several rooms on a landing or in the dining room. But make sure if you leave platters in a communal fridge that they are clearly labelled! for specific rooms.
  • You'll probably have to invest in more crockery and cutlery as you may not get dirty plates etc back till the next day.
  • These little butter dishes are cute and great for ensuring your guests have soft butter that is hygienically served.
  • You may also want to invest in mini kilner jars or similar to serve small quantities of food such as chutneys .

How guests order the platters

When my guests booked online, they would have the option to book a supper platter at the same time. I did ask that they gave me 48 hours notice to ensure that I had all of the fresh ingredients in.

What to serve on your platters

At Hopton House B&B, I offered a variety of platters:

  • Ploughman's Platter
  • Smoked salmon platter
  • Local cheese platter
  • Vegetarian platter
  • Vegan platter

Other ideas I've seen for platters include:

  • Charcuterie boards, with meats, olives, pickles and nuts
  • Mediterranean platter, including hummus, tabbouleh salad, grilled vegetables etc.
  • Fresh fruit and cheese platters

There are probably lots of inventive ideas you could come up with. Take a look at my board pinterest for inspiration!

I'll just go into a bit more detail about what to include on a platter...

Ploughman's Platter

This may offend the Ploughman's platter purists, but mine was made up of selection of cold meats and cheeses. I would often vary depending on what was available at the time, but generally for 2 people it would be:

  • Small pork pie cut into quarters
  • Scotch egg or boiled egg
  • 2 slices of thick ham
  • a wedge of local cheese
  • chutney
  • coleslaw
  • cherry tomatoes
  • Pate 
  • Celery sticks
  • Loaf of sliced homemade granary bread, butter

Local Cheese Platter

I would include a variety of 5 local cheeses including hard, soft and semi soft options, along with grapes, a cheese chutney and fresh bread and butter

Smoked Salmon Platter

  • traditional sliced smoked salmon
  • hot smoked salmon
  • cream cheese
  • quick pickled cucumber 
  • watercress salad
  • celeriac remoulade or coleslaw
  • loaf of bread and butter

Vegetarian & Vegan Platter

I wasn't asked for the vegetarian or vegan platters very often so I sort of had to make these up each time but some ideas would be:

  • Quiche and/or cheese ( not for vegans unless made from vegan ingredients obv )
  • Boiled eggs or vegetarian scotch eggs
  • Coleslaw ( use an olive oil and vinegar dressing, or vegan mayonnaise for vegan guests )
  • Cherry tomatoes, cucumber, salad leaves
  • Hummus
  • Sundried tomatoes
  • Olives
  • Tabbouleh salad
  • Chutneys
  • Bean salad
  • Greek salad ( with vegan feta for vegan guests )
  • Sliced granary bread and butter ( or extra virgin olive oil for vegan guests )
  • Chickpea salad
  • Rice or quinoa salad
  • Pasta salad

 How much to charge for your platter

How much to charge for a platter seems to be a sticking point for many B&B owners, who don't want to over charge.

But what I suggest you keep in mind is that your guests aren't just paying for the food.

They are paying for the convenience of being able to stay in and relax in the evening. To enjoy a glass of wine or 2 with their meal rather than having to worry about drinking and driving.

Last week we were babysitting our 11 week old grandson and there was nothing easy to eat for lunch, and we didn't have time to cook! So we ordered a Nandos from Deliveroo.

We had 4 chicken thighs, a single portion of chips, a single portion of coleslaw and a couple of cheesecakes and it came to over £30.

Apart from the novelty of ordering in - we don't have such luxuries in our part of rural shropshire - we were paying for the convenience of having our food delivered hot and ready to eat to the door!

I would suggest you don't charge less than £15 a head. And probably more, depending of course on what you providing. 

If you get the presentation right, you can make the food look expensive and luxurious. 

 I hope you're find this blog useful. 

If you are thinking of owning your own Bed and Breakfast, then my comprehensive online bed and breakfast course is filled with many more useful hints and tips for creating a successful B&B that your guests will love. Find out more here 


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