“This is a new breakfast concept for our Comfort hotels,” Petter Stordalen, the billionaire owner of Norway’s Nordic Choice Hotel Group told the Norwegian news site Hegnar.no, about the new green, healthy menu. “The focus on sustainability permeates what we do in Nordic Choice.”
The menu, which has been developed in collaboration with Dr Gunhild Stordalen’s EAT Food Forum, offers healthy, plant-based alternatives to the greasy breakfast some see as one of the perks of business travel.
As well as removing sausages and bacon, the menu has also been stripped of any cereals or cheese which include palm oil among their ingredients, to reduce the destruction of the rainforest.
According to Sweden’s Västerbottens Kuriren newspaper, the change has not gone down well with some travellers to the Hotell Winn in the northern city of Umeå.
“There are mixed reactions,” says Ebba Kohl, who runs the restaurant. “Some are upset and some understanding.”
Kenneth Hultgren, a press officer for the Comfort chain in Sweden, said that the chain was trialling the idea, and would decide whether to abandon it or extend it to other chains in the coming months.
“We want to challenge and break down many of the traditional conventions around hotels,” he said. “When guests check out of our hotel they will feel that we have helped them to make good and healthy choices, that our food has been tasty and healthy.”
Siri Martinsen, the head of the Norwegian animal rights group NOAH welcomed the move.
“Eating vegetarian is the most effective thing you can do both for animal welfare and the environment. It’s good for your health too,” she said.
The World Health Organisation in October released a report linking consumption of processed animal meat such as sausages and ham to colon cancer.
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Petter Stordalen already has a controversial and somewhat chameleon-like reputation.
Although married to doctor and green campaigner Gunhild Stordalen, he has been open about having plenty of women in his past, yet bans pornography on pay TV in his hotels.
The son of a grocer, he owns in excess of 170 hotels through his company Nordic Choice Hotels and employs more than 9,200 people.
In July he hit the headlines after falling off a jetski as he arrived to open a new luxury hotel in Malmö.