A new day dawns for the breakfast market


A new day dawns for the breakfast market

Cooked breakfast

Contrary to conventional wisdom, breakfast hasn't traditionally been the most important meal of the day - at least for hospitality operators. Now, however, it seems a new day is dawning for the breakfast market. MCA reports that breakfast visits are on the rise across hospitality sectors, and they now account for 26% of all meals eaten out of the home. For context, that's 3% more than last year, and only 1% smaller than the lunch market.

Unsurprisingly, operators have woken up to the trend quickly. Horizon reports that between 2010 and 2015, the number of breakfast dishes appearing on menus has doubled. In America, McDonalds extended their breakfast offering all day, and immediately saw their profits increase by 35%. KFC have announced that they are currently trialling a breakfast menu across selected UK sites.

Naturally, demand and prices have risen in tandem. The Times surveyed a range of fine dining establishments and discovered that the average cost of a full English is £25, often equalling or exceeding the cost of dinner main courses. Horizon's report on menu trends reveals that the average price of breakfast at a pub or restaurant has jumped 13% since 2010, despite dinner prices (and the cost of full English components) dropping. For operators up and down the country, the previously overlooked breakfast market is proving a lucrative opportunity.

Part of the breakfast rise can be attributed to the growing vogue for brunches. One of the biggest food trends in the past few years, brunches have seen colossal growth in popularity - particularly amongst younger diners. Last year, Brits spent more money on avocados than oranges, and bottomless brunches sparked fears of a worldwide prosecco shortage.

But although brunch aficionados are driving up the weekend breakfast trade, weekday mornings belong to commuters. 28% of adults have bought a grab and go breakfast in the last month. As workers find themselves with less and less time to stop and eat, picking up something quick on the way to the office is an attractive proposition. In April, Pret reported that half of their sales come outside traditional lunchtime hours.

A wide variety of operators are able to participate in the breakfast trend, if they're willing. Guests are eager to accept a wide range of offerings for breakfast; for example, Dishoom offer a bacon and naan roll, Benito's Hat serve a breakfast burrito, and Pieminister have recently launched a brunch pie. However, operators who do want to invest in their breakfast offerings must consider both the leisurely brunchers and the on-the-go grabbers to make sure they get the most out of the breakfast experience.

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