The past two years have been a boom for breakfast service. Now, foodservice researchers are bullish on brunch, a meal once limited to the occasional long weekend excursion.
As creative economies drive more people out of traditional 9-to-5 settings and mealtimes continue to blur, brunch is being reconsidered. In the Williamsburg area of Brooklyn, N.Y., for example, an all-day restaurant called Sunday in Brooklyn is one of the hottest spots. Instagram-worthy breakfast-all-day plates have been the biggest draw, according to Eater.com.
The NPD Group, a market research company, has been tracking breakfast as the only growth pattern in an otherwise stalled restaurant industry, with breakfast visits for the year ending March 2017 showing an increase of 1 percent, although admittedly 80 percent of the growth has been attributed to quick-service restaurants like McDonald’s and Taco Bell.
For foodservice outside of the fast-food realm, breakfast and brunch can make the most of kitchen logistics, allowing staff to push out easier dishes—like on-trend avocado toasts and deviled eggs—and keeping service going during off-peak times. And as more consumers become protein-conscious, adding eggs to existing menu favorites is an easy value-add to salads, burgers and more. For cost-conscious diners, brunch is a cheaper way to try some upper-scale spots.
“Of course, that doesn’t mean chefs aren’t getting innovative,” notes Eater.com. “Breakfast may be the new dinner in terms of creativity.”
In fact, New York City-based chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten works with the same ingredients at brunch that he uses to create his elaborate lunch and dinner menu items.
“The fluidity in ingredients helps assuage the problem of space when it comes to kitchen preparation between meals,” according to Eater.com.
Other brunch providers are including to-go windows for grab-and-go pastries and breakfast sandwiches, creating even more business from a single kitchen and proving that no space is too small for bringing the flavors of weekend brunch to more days and times of the week.
- Weekday brunch specials that target the work-at-home crowd
- Brunch favorites like avocado toast and different deviled eggs added to the salad bar
- Bacon and/or eggs as add-ons to sandwich menus