table filled with dishes of breakfast foods including fruit, bacon eggs, croissants and more

A Step-by-Step Guide to Hosting a Fabulous PTO Teacher Appreciation Breakfast

Start the day off right for the teachers and staff in your building by putting on a fantastic and memorable PTO sponsored Teacher Appreciation Breakfast.

This event is just one of the many fun things you can do to show your school staff how much you appreciate what they do for your school and is a casual way to inject some fun into their day.

It’s easier than you think to make happen and it doesn’t have to break the bank either.

Let’s dive in to show you just how easy it is to host a Staff Appreciation Breakfast for the teachers and staff at your child’s school!

What You’ll Need

You really don’t need much to create a delicious and thoughtful start to the staff and teachers’ day and this event is one that flexes to meet many different budgets.

A Table

Even a narrow table is enough to set up quite a delicious display.

Even if a table isn’t available, just make use of any counter space that’s in the room.

Clear off the clutter and set it neatly to the side to make room for the treats for the day.


Use a table cloth to protect the surface of the table or counter.

This step will also make clean up a snap.

At the end of the event, you can remove anything you want to save, then pull the four corners of the tablecloth together, trapping all of the crumbs and other trash in the center.

That leaves very little to clean up to button up the space at the end of the day.


You don’t have to be a short order cook to provide a bountiful breakfast buffet for the staff!

You can go as complex or simple as you have the time, talent or budget for.

Just be sure to have a mix of items so that staff with dietary restrictions or preferences have some options. This way no one will feel left out and all can partake in the meal.

Specifically, have dairy free, kosher, nut free, gluten free and vegan options on hand.

Here’s a basic breakfast menu to give you some initial ideas to use as a jumping off point:

  • Bagels and cream cheese
  • Granola bars
  • Tea and coffee
  • Muffins, English muffins and croissants
  • Donuts, danishes, etc.
  • Peanut butter and jelly
  • Fresh fruit (Grapes, apples, oranges and bananas don’t need refrigeration and will hold up well at room temperature)
  • Yogurt
  • Juice (Individual bottles make for a grab and go solution)
  • Oatmeal (Individually packaged)

How much food to buy

Knowing how much to serve for the meal is a common questions and can really be a source of anxiety.

Don’t guess and make an informed decision instead!

Check out this guide for how much food to buy for the group.

Generally having more than you need is definitely the way to go since staff can enjoy the leftovers for lunch and subsequent days, so don’t worry about having too much.

Serving Pieces

Having a few serving pieces, like cookie platters, can make for a more attractive and functional breakfast spread.

As your PTO puts on events, save a few of the covered platters from other events to reuse for future appreciation events.

They’ll make for a nicer presentation than using the store packaging and can make set up easier too since they allow for a more compact display.

If you don’t have on hand, consider investing in a few to start your stash.

Avant Grub Heavy Duty, Recyclable 16 in. Serving Tray and Lid 5pk. Large, Black Plastic Party Platters with Clear Lids Dishware Plate, Elegant Round Banquet or Catering Trays for Serving

Covered cookie platters are a fantastic way to compactly display breakfast items.

DAFURIET Dessert Cupcake Stand, 3 Tier Cup Cake Holder Tower for Tea Party/Birthday/Weeding, Plastic Tiered Serving Tray with Metal Rod (White)

Another piece that’s super handy to have at your disposal is a tiered tray.

Going vertical with items is a great space saver and also adds some visual interest in an instant!


A staff appreciation breakfast is something that you can schedule for any time of the year and there’s really no wrong time to host this event.

Check with your Principal to find a day when most teachers and staff will be in the building, and not out for a conference, field trips, etc. and then be sure to let staff know that you’ll be providing breakfast so they can properly enjoy the meal at school.

The Set Up

How you’ll set up the space will really depend on the particulars of the space like how much room you have and what you’ll be serving.

Lay out the breakfast offerings, arranging to fit the space.

Use cookie platters to arrange and cover with the lid or plastic wrap to keep things fresh.

Load the fridge up with perishable items and be sure to leave a note so the teachers know to check the refrigerator for even more goodies.

If you don’t have access to a fridge, you’ll need to use ice to keep things cold.

Inflatable Serving Bar Salad Ice Tray Food Drink Containers - BBQ Picnic Pool Party Supplies Buffet Luau Cooler,with a Drain Plug

This inflatable serving bar is a good option for keeping things cold and accessible.

Set Up the Night Before

Not an early bird?

No need to beat the teachers to school to treat them to breakfast.

Instead, set up the night before!

This evening before set up option is great since it won’t disrupt your morning routine since getting the kids to school and this event set up at the same time is a lot to juggle!

Don’t have a big budget to work with?

Even if your PTO doesn’t have a big budget for staff appreciation, you can still provide a wonderful breakfast.

Get donations of items from local donut shops, grocery stores, and restaurants like Panera.

It’s an easy way for these businesses to support the staff and school and given enough time, they’ll gladly participate!

If they can’t donate outright, ask if you can get a generous discount.

It never hurts to ask and can only save you some money, so it’s worthwhile to inquire.

A Real World Simple Staff Appreciation Breakfast Example

Here’s a real world staff breakfast set up that’s not especially fancy, but the staff still raved about for days:

Total cost for this event was about $200 to serve 100 staff members.

Most of the items were purchased from a warehouse store, so our budget for the event stretched further with the good pricing we were able to get.

The mailroom was definitely not the ideal location for this event, given the tight quarters with the table’s addition.

But the tight space didn’t really detract from the event and the close proximity to a large refrigerator was nice.

And funny story about this breakfast.

Everything was set up the night before and then school was called off for not one, but two days after due to heat.

The good news was that there was air conditioning in the office, so no food spoiled and teachers reported that everything was still fresh a few days later.

But the Staff Appreciation Chair (me!) was still sweating it until they got the positive feedback!

Over to you!

Hope this post has inspired you to put on a staff appreciation breakfast!

Remember that it doesn’t take a lot to impress the teachers and staff.

A little really will go a long way.

Plan what your budget can afford, decorations or not.

The teachers will love whatever you do for them, fancy or plain.

The bottom line is that just by doing something, it’ll be appreciated!

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