Helping Guests Rise and Shine
By Ryan Randall
It has been said the most important meal of the day is breakfast. Creative Breakfast Concepts has not only subscribed to this tenet but has also pushed the concept of breakfast forward 20 years, carrying forth new ideas after the foundation set by its founder, Bill Scatchard.
Scatchard spent 50 years as a hotel executive, maximizing profits and energizing customer relations through sales and marketing, as well as food and beverage. Throughout his time finding ways to make hotels more profitable, he noticed the prevalence of lackluster breakfast bars. In 1995, with the help of his wife, he implemented his idea of serving dynamic breakfast displays while overseeing a block of multiple limited-service hotels owned by a Madison, Wisconsin land developer. With revenues down, he focused on products and services to expand guest amenities. This is when Scatchard developed his complimentary breakfast model.
The developer was sold on the concept, and soon word traveled of Scatchard’s model via the properties and conventions he visited. In 1997, he started Creative Breakfast Concepts, the first commercial hotel breakfast business. CBC reached hoteliers via a catalog full of customized breakfast designs and display wares. Over the years, the company has had contracts with hotels including Holiday Inn Express, Hampton Inn, Wingate, LaQuinta and Quality Inn.
Scatchard passed away in 2011 at the age of 74 after a battle with lymphoma. The company is now run by his family, who continue to evolve the business.
Moving CBC forward
As successful as Creative Breakfast Concepts was, it was a labor of love for Scatchard rather than an actual job. His daughter, CBC President Terri Schofield, said that before he started CBC, Scatchard wanted to retire but also wanted to stay active. Given he did not play tennis anymore, the business was his way of staying active. However, the business had a different meaning for Schofield.
“It was his retirement, but it was our livelihood. We really had to step it up a notch and do more marketing,” Schofield said.
In addition to expanding marketing efforts, the company has benefited from establishing a strong identity. The company has nine employees, serves mid-level hotels and has no plans for expansion. Schofield says it is more important to continue to deliver top-level service. Having the perfect sized staff allows the company to run smoothly and efficiently with clearly defined goals. It also helps CBC identify larger competitors involved in other food services in addition to breakfast.
The company has maximized its Internet presence through email blasts and its website, where much of their business is generated. The CBC staff also stays on top of trends and designs, such as breakfast layouts in various individual parts rather than in one structure. The company also creates brand initiatives with clients, designing breakfasts with a consistent look throughout entire hotel chains.
For individually designed hotels, CBC can design custom-made layouts if the owner desires a breakfast display involving chrome or acrylic, for example. It has also branched out to places such as car dealerships for breakfast models, utilizing the same concept Scatchard created in maximizing profits for companies.
“Think of all those places that sell you coffee,” said Schofield. “They’re all potential clients because they’re serving what we sell.”
Creative Breakfast Concepts has taken the most important meal of the day and turned it into something that enhances a guest’s overall hotel experience.
What remains most important to CBC’s success are the relationships it has with its clients. CBC ships its products the same day and works with clients and manufacturers on designing new food displays. Schofield noted that industry professionals tend to move from company to company. If a good relationship is established with that professional, that relationship will likely continue as they move to a new property.
When a guest enters a hotel breakfast bar, they may not realize the evolution that has taken place over the past 20 years, but Creative Breakfast Concepts has taken the most important meal of the day and turned it into something that enhances a guest’s overall hotel experience. Through advancements made under Schofield, the company has been able to grow and evolve from the foundation her father established as the forefather of complimentary breakfast services.
“Years ago, there would be a box of donuts and that was your choice,” said Schofield. “My dad knew he could make those donuts look better. Today, you go to trade shows for manufacturers, and they’re all selling things for breakfast. A lot of these companies are in business because of my dad’s vision.”