Restaurant Marketing: Don’t Skip Breakfast!
You often hear that restaurant breakfast is the most important meal of the day because of the long-term energy it provides. Breakfast food may also energize your restaurant business … no matter what time of day it is served. The popularity of restaurant breakfast as a comfort food is just exploding right now. In fact, restaurant breakfast sales are even outpacing lunch and dinner items. This is a trend (not a fad), and it will continue. Therefore, it makes really good sense to offer breakfast items, even if your restaurant doesn’t open until 11:00 a.m.
Bacon and eggs are just the beginning
There are many items you could offer that have a “breakfast feel.” And they can be added to a wide range of restaurant styles, some of which have never served breakfast before. Imagine what your breakfast offerings could be with the ingredients you currently carry. For example, Outback Steakhouse could offer a steak and eggs burrito for lunch. Olive Garden could easily make frittatas, omelets, or a terrific quiche that would draw in a huge crowd. I could see Cousins Subs featuring an Omelet Submarine Sandwich – scrambled eggs with peppers, onions, cheese, and cubed ham, drizzled with a little mayonnaise. Served on that nice crusty bread they have, it would be excellent.
A White House sandwich might work really well at Applebee’s – hand-carved turkey, asparagus, thick-cut hickory-smoked bacon served on English muffins with some kind of cheese sauce. That would be so-o good! Another idea that would work extremely well is to slice their sirloin steak on the diagonal, top it with some avocado, and cover with hollandaise. Oh man, that would be delicious.
All-day breakfast is on the rise
I want to make it clear that I am not recommending that you open earlier to start serving breakfast if you don’t currently do so, although this is certainly an option to consider. What I am saying is that if you’re open for lunch or any time after 11:00 a.m., having a breakfast item on your lunch menu may expand your business.
Breakfast items can help you appeal to customers who would not normally visit your restaurant. You’ll also bring in bigger crowds by supporting the “anti-veto vote.” To illustrate, let’s say Ben gets up late and still wants to eat breakfast. Ben calls three friends over to go to brunch with him. The other three suggest your restaurant for hearty soup and sandwiches. Ben vetoes that plan because he is hungry for breakfast. His one veto vote could put the kibosh on all four of them coming to your restaurant if you didn’t serve breakfast food. But if you did, one of the friends would say, “Actually, they now offer stuffed French toast with all these different sauces and fresh fruit.” (The anti-veto vote.) And Ben would say, “OK, sounds good. Let’s eat there.” Your breakfast food is the anti-veto menu item that saved the day.
Egg-cellent reasons to serve breakfast items
Customers love breakfast, and you’ll love what it can do for your business. For starters, one of your main ingredients – eggs – are fairly inexpensive, so egg dishes have a lower food-cost percentage and offer a good plate contribution. But the biggest benefit is showing consumers you are hip and trendy. Your restaurant offers what they want to eat WHEN they want to eat it. Having new and interesting menu items attracts more diners … as long as the items you sell really are new and interesting.
Brown Foodservice offers a lot of great ideas on breakfast for your restaurant. Talk to your sales representative or contact our office directly!