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Eat breakfast like a king - a win for restaurants and pubs! 

The old saying goes you should eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper. But it still holds true! Breakfast matters and this can mean huge profits for restaurants and pubs. Indeed, data today points to the fact that the breakfast and brunch business is booming. According to a market research report, the regional outlook for 2016-2024 indicates consumer demand is so strong that the global breakfast restaurant market is set to grow exponentially as will the number of breakfast restaurants. 

Why is this so?Well, it seems in this day and age, people are looking for convenience. Often, this means eating breakfast once they are out of the house and on the go. According to Restaurant News, more consumers are simply “outsourcing” that morning meal by heading to their corner restaurant and pub to fill up. Indeed, as consumers age, they are also ready to spend for this once home-based or even skipped meal. According to a report by Statista on the amount spent on breakfast, with every new generation, Europeans are spending more. In fact, the amount has doubled in just two generations.  

These impressive numbers and changing trend is hard to ignore, so how best to capitalize?

Optimize your hours opened

Traditionally, restaurants and pubs were always closed in the morning. The focus was simply on peak times of lunch and dinner. While keeping an establishment closed is understandable in order to allow for prepping, planning deliveries and giving staff time off, it can also be a loss. As an owner you have the space, the kitchen and you are already paying the bills, but this time period is potentially not being maximized. In the hotel business, this is the equivalent of not hustling to have every room rented every night. Sure, it allows for a slower pace and focus on peak holiday and weekend periods, but if you keep up the metaphor, you are paying for those rooms either way. You, as a business can enter this booming breakfast market and simultaneously bolster a traditional dead zone in your restaurant hours. Moreover, if people love your breakfast, they are likely to return for lunch and dinner.

Getting the menu right

Picking the right breakfast menu is key. This can be as complicated or as creative as you want to make it, but you might start by thinking about your clients. On the one hand, you can cater to customers who want to come in for a standard sit down meal. A more predictable menu (of eggs, pastries and baked items) is what they will be looking for. On the drinks side, there is a booming tea and coffee industry and about a million ways people like their warm beverages, so play around with your options here. Next, you should consider that all important and regular on-the-go client. The evidence suggests this customer matters. A survey of European consumers revealed that 78% agreed that breakfast should be convenient to prepare and eat and one in four consumers spend less than five minutes on breakfast on weekdays. So, with this data in mind, think up a few on-the-go options like coffee-to go, pastry, fruit, yogurt or bagel. With just a few minutes to spare, customers are looking for mega-ease, so have these food items close to a well staffed register and in full view of the door. 

Lastly, if you have the space, staffing and the desire, look to offer brunch. Of 500 consumers surveyed, 89% said they eat brunch at a restaurant at least occasionally. Missing this market is a shame because offering brunch has tremendous potential. Often customers are willing to pay a premium because brunch is either worth splashing out as you would on a dinner or at the very least, a special occasion. Depending on your budget, you can go as seemingly up-scale providing local food, specialty food and drinks (mimosas or champagne) as you would like. The idea here is to make your customers spend significantly more than they would for just a standard breakfast. 

Staffing

As any good business owner knows, your staff can either make your life easier or harder. You need to keep your employees happy. Thus, if you do decide to expand your business into the morning hours, staff and reward accordingly. That means paying close attention to scheduling (avoid having the staff who worked late having to work in the morning...etc.) and incentivise them. Also, this might be a welcome change for some on your staff as it gives an alternative work schedule for staff looking for different rotations. 

Market, market, market

Given the increased demand for establishments offering breakfast, you need to think about how best to market this new meal. There are several ways you can beat out the competition. First, spread the word. That means promoting your breakfast options on social media, your website and at your actual establishment. A new sign out front, flyers on the tables or simply training your staff/bartenders to mention it is key. 

Next, look for any and all opportunities to promote seasonal breakfast events happening in your community. Are you serving that newest blend of Costa Rican coffee? Is it national waffle day? How about the breakfast burrito or early morning fry-up following a late night sports event? How about opening your doors in the morning for the local street fair? Get clued-into what’s happening around you to ensure your menu is timely and relevant. Finally, don’t rule out linking up with local businesses. You might look to serve the town’s local honey or marmalade. Or how about hosting an event featuring a regional winery’s best bubbly for your brunch? Also, expand thinking of the community by reaching out to local businesses and offering to cater their breakfast meetings if this is a route you would like to explore. 

Now that you have had a chance to consider how breakfast can boost your business, we hope that you will consider these few ideas. Our aim and yours should be to get your customers eating and spending like a king!

Jessica Brown
Jessica is a globally renowned writer specializing in International Relations, Economics and Political Affairs. A graduate from Brown and Cambridge Universities she now focuses on helping small to medium businesses grow their bottom line.
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