Should Your Restaurant Start Serving Breakfast?

By offering breakfast, you can cater to a wide range of customers. Business professionals who are on the go may stop by for a quick breakfast sandwich or a cup of coffee before heading to work. Families may come in for a leisurely weekend brunch while tourists or travelers may be looking for a convenient place to grab a bite to eat before starting their day of exploring. While offering breakfast can allow you to reach new markets and gain new revenue streams, how can you tell if serving breakfast is right for your restaurant?

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Considerations before Committing to Serving Breakfast

Expanding your restaurant's menu to include breakfast has the potential to be a lucrative business decision. However, before committing to serving breakfast, there are several important considerations to keep in mind:

offering breakfast in your restaurant

1. Will There Be Competition or Demand for Breakfast in Your Area?

As with any kind of business, a good first step is to find out what the competition is like. Are you situated in an area that’s already saturated with great breakfast spots? Do you get a lot of foot traffic in the morning as people are on their way to work? The main question you need to ask is: are people looking for breakfast around your restaurant location?

2. Do You Have Enough Employees?

Do you have enough employees to cover the early morning shifts, or will you need to hire more people? Training and paying new staff can be a huge expense when launching breakfast for the first time.

3. Will You Need to Purchase Any New Equipment?

What equipment will you need to buy? Most breakfast items are simple to make and turn out great with just a skillet or griddle. However, customers will expect coffee, which will require a coffee maker. Will you need to purchase a waffle maker? The expense of these equipment pieces can add up if you’re not careful.

4. Could You Produce Breakfast Quickly?

Because most people have to get to work or get started with whatever else may be on their schedules for the day, they likely don’t want to spend a lot of time on breakfast. If your establishment is set up in a way that’s conducive to speedy execution, perhaps breakfast is a good idea for you. But if you have limited space and staff, long waits could cause frustration for diners.

5. What Service Style Will You Choose?

should your restaurant offer breakfast

The type of service you choose depends largely on the other factors in this list. There are three common styles that most businesses choose from, mainly relating to their hours of operation:

  • Breakfast All Day - You’re probably pretty familiar with the idea of 24-hour diners that offer breakfast all the time. This is one of the most popular styles of breakfast restaurant and, of course, many popular chains have branded themselves as strictly making breakfast all day.
  • Open Early for Limited Time Service - It’s become pretty common for bars (that would ordinarily see most of their profits late at night) to open for Sunday brunch. You might even see Tex-Mex restaurants opening early to offer breakfast burritos for the morning hours of the day. If there’s a demand and you can provide a high-quality product, it doesn’t matter what type of food you serve the rest of the time.
  • Selection of To-Go Breakfast Items - Prepackaged grab-and-go breakfast foods are perfect for small cafes or bakeries that people might stop by on their way to work. Something that holds up well for a few hours in a bakery case, like a muffin or yogurt parfait, is a good choice.

6. Does Offering Breakfast Affect Lunch and Dinner?

It is essential to evaluate the potential demand for breakfast and the impact it may have on your other meal services. To ensure a smooth transition and minimize any negative impact on lunch and dinner services, consider offering a separate breakfast menu with distinct offerings. This approach will help differentiate breakfast from other meals and prevent customer confusion. Providing breakfast specials or promotional deals can also entice customers to try your breakfast offerings without diverting their attention from your lunch and dinner options.

7. Will Breakfast Work with Your Restaurant Concept?

Consider the atmosphere, menu offerings, and target audience of your establishment. Breakfast service may be a natural fit for some types of restaurants, such as diners or cafes, where customers expect a morning meal. On the other hand, restaurant concepts that focus on fine dining or specific cuisines may find it challenging to incorporate breakfast into their concept seamlessly.

Are Breakfast Restaurants Profitable?

Offering breakfast at your restaurant presents a great chance to boost your bottom line. One of the key factors that contribute to the profitability of offering breakfast is the relatively low cost of ingredients. Breakfast staples such as eggs, bread, and bacon tend to be less expensive compared to ingredients used in lunch or dinner menus. This allows breakfast establishments to maintain reasonable food costs and achieve healthier profit margins.

From early morning workers and commuters to families and weekend brunch enthusiasts, breakfast establishments have the potential to attract a diverse customer base. This versatility increases the chances of consistent foot traffic and revenue throughout the day. These restaurants can also capitalize on new income streams by engaging in additional services such as catering for corporate breakfast meetings or partnering with local businesses or hotels for breakfast delivery services.

How to Boost the Profitability of Breakfast Services

One of the main reasons why restaurants consider serving breakfast is the potential to increase profits. However, simply offering breakfast items on your menu may not guarantee a significant boost in revenue. To maximize your profits from serving breakfast, it is important to implement effective strategies that cater to the unique needs and preferences of morning diners.

how to offer breakfast
  1. Develop a Specialized Breakfast Menu - Creating a distinct breakfast menu can help attract customers looking for a specific morning meal experience. Consider offering a variety of breakfast favorites such as eggs, pancakes, waffles, omelets, and breakfast sandwiches. Incorporating regional or ethnic breakfast dishes can also help differentiate your restaurant and attract a diverse customer base.
  2. Optimize Pricing - Pricing your breakfast items appropriately is crucial for maximizing profits. Consider offering value meal options or breakfast combos to encourage customers to order multiple items, thus increasing the average check size.
  3. Promote Healthy Options - As health-conscious eating continues to gain popularity, offering nutritious breakfast choices can attract a wider customer base. Incorporate healthier alternatives such as whole grain options, fresh fruits, and low-fat dairy products into your breakfast menu.
  4. Implement Efficient Operations - Many patrons eating out for breakfast are looking for fast service so that they can get to their jobs or schooling. Train your staff to efficiently handle morning rush hours, ensuring that orders are taken, prepared, and served promptly. Minimizing waiting times can improve customer satisfaction and encourage repeat business.
  5. Market Your Breakfast Menu - Utilize social media platforms, email marketing, and targeted advertising campaigns to create awareness and generate interest in your breakfast options. Collaborate with local businesses or organizations to host breakfast events or offer special promotions to further boost visibility and attract customers.

Starting to serve breakfast in your restaurant can be a strategic move to attract new customers and increase revenue. Breakfast is a popular meal among many individuals, and by catering to their needs, you can reach new markets and increase the loyalty of existing customers. However, it is important to carefully consider the potential benefits and challenges associated with this decision.

Posted in: Management & Operation|By Jessica Wieser
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