Breakfast’s reputation as the most important meal of the day has caught on. In fact, “63% of consumers feel it is unhealthy to skip breakfast” according to Technomic MenuMonitor Foodservice operators have taken notice, seeing breakfast as a major growth opportunity.
“Packaged Facts’ Foodservice Breakfast Trends in the US estimates that restaurant breakfast sales will reach $47 billion [in 2013], up 5%, from 2012.” This rate is expected to continue, but the challenge is most people still eat their first meal of the day at home. This means restaurateurs need to be inventive to attract the smaller, but rising, number of people who choose to eat out for breakfast.
There are different ways to increase your breakfast sales, and one approach starts with looking at whether the restaurant is full or limited service.
A full service restaurant that already offers breakfast or plans to introduce breakfast can showcase its extended breakfast hours by offering a brunch menu. Brunch allows you to introduce breakfast options to existing lunch customers, while adding a breakfast twist and giving guests some options such as Arugula, Pancetta and Goat Cheese Brunch Salad or Breakfast Bake. You can also extend the experience by incorporating breakfast flavors into other meals such as Savory Apple and Sausage Bread Pudding. Seed your breakfast options with existing lunch customers to build awareness and affinity for your morning selection.
Limited service customers are drawn in by coffee, value and convenience. One way to focus on convenience is through breakfast sandwiches. “In early 2013, breakfast sandwiches were up 8.1% annually on the menus of limited service restaurants. A separate survey found one third of consumers eat breakfast sandwiches at least once a week.”
Sandwiches offer a seemingly endless array of combinations “like chicken, turkey or steak breakfast sandwiches or super-spicy wraps with chipotle or Sriracha,” which means you can offer an array of options for different taste preferences.
Adding, changing or expanding a breakfast menu could become one of the most successful opportunities for your restaurant in 2014. If you put importance behind your breakfast menu, customers will take notice.