Offering a great breakfast experience in outlets can help create the right impression
In years gone by it might have been unheard of for a pub to open for breakfast.
However the licensed trade is nothing if not dynamic and many operators have already woken up to the opportunity that breakfast affords their businesses.
Demand for the first meal of the day is growing in the on-trade, especially among younger consumers, according to Richard Jones, commercial director – out of home at McCain Foodservice.
He said: “Out of home breakfast sales rose by 4.6% last year, which is double the growth of lunchtime sittings.
“Traditionally, pubs have only been considered for their drinks and dinner offering, but today the pub landscape looks completely different, with breakfast options almost coming as standard.
“Including breakfast options on a menu is likely to widen a pub’s appeal to consumers – particularly millennials who account for almost a quarter of the breakfast trade – helping to drive additional footfall and revenue.”
Shaune Hall, product development chef at Falcon Foodservice Equipment, seconded that view, stressing breakfast is doubly crucial for accommodation providers.
“Breakfast is often the last meal that a licensed premises offering overnight accommodation will be remembered for,” he said.
“If the experience is poor it can spoil all the hard work that has gone into the guest’s stay, so it is important to work hard on getting this right.
“Breakfast revenue can add valuable income to the daily takings and overall turnover. It can also be a cost-effective meal with excellent profit margins.”
While a good range of options, which caters to different types of consumers, is required at breakfast, it is equally important not to forget the bread and butter of the morning, which is the fry-up, said Mohammed Essa, commercial director at potato supplier Aviko.
“Cooked breakfasts remain hugely popular with 75% of people kick-starting their day out of home with a fry-up,” he said.
“With 70% most likely to order a ‘full English’, it is an essential must-have on menus.
“For operators planning their breakfast menu, our research found the top items consumers want are sausages, bacon, eggs and hash browns.”
For licensees who are looking to extend their offer to millennials with a sweet tooth, Frances Booth, Lotus Bakeries’ category marketing manager, advised that “options worthy of the Instagram post should be included”.
She said: “Crepes, waffles and pancakes have become increasingly popular and appeal to customers who are looking for something sweet and usually on the more indulgent side.
“Pancakes in particular have been given makeovers on many menus, served piled high with lots of tasty fillings.
“These can also be made indulgent or nutritious depending on what toppings are chosen.”
The prominence of health as a decision-making factor in what to order has risen in recent years and in order to appeal to this growing demographic, Michael Eyre, culinary director at Jestic Foodservice Equipment, reckons fresh juices and smoothies should be made available in venues.
He said: “The demand for homemade juices is substantial. The only limiting factor is imagination. If operators want to create a vibrant apple and ginger juice or a sweet lychee and strawberry smoothie for breakfast, it is quick and easy to do.”
Whichever products are opted for, the emphasis should be on quality, said Jon Turonnet, foodservice sales manager at baked goods supplier Brioche Pasquier.
“Quality not quantity is always a good maxim, so forget about providing a huge range of choice, but concentrate on doing what you do very well,” said Turonnet.
Diversify your menu
Use great local produce, such as sausages, bacon, eggs, black pudding and mushrooms, as it has strong consumer appeal.
When everybody’s offering a bacon butty, dare to be different – a hot salt beef sandwich is a classic which will help a pub breakfast menu stand out.
Using fresh vegetables to create vegan breakfast-style patties to serve in fresh bread will appeal to customers looking for meat-free options.