Join the Breakfast Boom
Brits are spending a whopping £76m every day on eating breakfast out of the home.
Breakfast is big business. From a full English, healthy choice, ethnic or ‘grab and go’ option, it’s fair to say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day when it comes to new revenue streams for foodservice. Getting it right can make a significant contribution to your turnover. Breakfast Week (24– 30 January) is encouraging caterers to get involved; use the event to launch your first breakfast menu or to promote or build on your early bird offer. “Breakfast is a multi billion pound a year industry,” says Tennant Hilditch, sales director at Beacon, the purchasing company who conducted the research. “Almost half of those asked are now eating out for breakfast more than they did five years ago, across all age groups.”
From busier lifestyles to family time more people are now eating breakfast out of home. Hotel stays for business or pleasure are increasing, which in turn has seen a drive in breakfast sales. On -the- go food has now broken into breakfast time as more people grab the meal en-route to work due to convenience, lack of time or to accommodate an early meeting. Family time and socialising with friends at weekends has also led more people to eat out of home.
What to serve?
Wetherspoon sells 200,000 breakfasts a week. Its newlook breakfast menu aims to offer something to suit all tastes; a traditional full English, bagels and healthy dishes like porridge, blueberries and smoothies as well as deli favourite smoked salmon, cream cheese and rocket bagel. “Breakfast is an important part of the overall offering at our pubs. We serve a wide range of breakfast dishes at excellent prices,” said Wetherspoon spokesman Eddie Gershon. “A combination of a good range of breakfast items, using excellently sourced products at value for money prices is a winner with our customers. Our traditional breakfast and its vegetarian counterpart are very popular, as are some of the lighter dishes on the breakfast menu.”
‘Grab and go’ options are growing in popularity in hotels. As well as the usual cooked and continental dishes, cereal bars and porridge pots are a good alternative for a customer who has to eat breakfast on the go – a market worth £7.5bn. “Having a compelling on-the-go offer is important to cater for increasingly busy guests,” says Ed Jones, shopper marketing manager for Kellogg’s. “Products like Kellogg’s Cereal to Go pots and cereal bars would be a great addition.” Offering a takeaway package is a good idea too – even a lid for their tea or coffee – especially if the guest can pre -order and collect on check out. Speciality bread can also liven up the breakfast menu. Bacon and sausage butties to go, served on a thick white sliced or a seeded baguette is far more appetising than the usual pre sliced thin cut. Travelodge has launched its new unlimited breakfast menu, which includes a full English at £7.95, a ‘lighter option’ at £5.75 and a free option for children under 16. The budget chain hopes to challenge its long- term rival Premier Inn through its offering that it says provides ‘quality and value’, thanks to its premium coffee, fruit salad and Linda McCartney vegetarian range.
Children who eat breakfast perform better at school, says new research conducted by Cardiff University. And with research showing that one in three teachers feel more children are coming to school hungry, Breakfast Week is the perfect time to encourage pupils to get a better start to the day. From recipe ideas, nutritional advice, fun activities and launching breakfast clubs, children need to learn the importance of breakfast. Danny Holder, head chef at Moorland School in Clitheroe, Lancashire, has a varied and healthy breakfast available each day for its boarders. “We serve five juices, smoothies, fruit tea, eight types of cereal, toast, bagels, crumpets, potato cakes, yoghurt, plus a hot option everyday and a fish option once a week,” explains Danny. “It’s all healthy – even the Friday full English – as we don’t fry anything. We roast everything and normally give scrambled or poached eggs.”
Brits love their exotic flavours, so why not introduce breakfasts with a difference to your weekend brunch menu? Operators who stick to serving a traditional English should take some inspiration from our foreign friends. Chef Francesco Mazzei at Sartoria in Mayfair, London, has created a breakfast menu from his native Italy that features his Eggs Purgatorio – baked eggs, spicy tomato & ’nduja sauce with crostoni, and LIMA Floral in London launched a Peruvianstyle breakfast menu courtesy of head chef Robert Ortiz. It includes a Peruvian take on the full English consisting of two eggs served with spiced sausage, corn cake and avillita beans in a tomato salsa; or for something really filling, their Peruvian Breakfast Club Sandwich – toasted yellow chilli bread, organic chicken and six hours suckling pig. “Not everyone has the time to eat a good hearty breakfast at home before work, so we wanted to give them a quicker but healthy option and that way, we can provide the complete service,” said Damian Wawrzyniak, chef consultant for the Maroush Group. The Lebanese chain has a breakfast menu at their London branches in Knightsbridge, Earls Court and Edgware Road. It includes lahme bi Ajeen; a traditional Lebanese breakfast of pastry topped with minced meat, tomato, onion, pine kenels and red and green peppers, plus organic waffles served with Scottish smoked salmon and poached egg. And for an Orient influence, Wagamama’s breakfast menu includes Okonomiyaki – a Japanese style omelette – or if you’re feeling adventurous then their breakfast yaki soba is teppan fried soba noodles with bacon, egg, cabbage, mushrooms and tomato.
The number of people going out for breakfast jumped by almost 5% in 2014, compared to a slower rise of 2% for lunches and 3.5% for dinners
What to drink?
Breakfast is the highest consumption period for coffee and the UK coffee shop market continues to show solid growth with an estimated turnover of £7.2billion last year, according to Allegra. Customers are looking for quality, taste, strength and roast – not size – as coffee drinkers become more knowledgeable. The humble latté may be the UK’s favourite coffee, with sales growing year on year to 13%, according to Allegra’s Project Café 13 research, but more and more they are looking for variety and an added value experience, so staff need to be efficient and knowledgeable about their offerings.
Serving a proper brew is vital, but alongside breakfast tea the trend for speciality teas is on the rise so you must have herbal, green and fruit teas available too. Whereas coffee can be drunk in a takeaway cup, there is something quintessentially British about a teapot, cup and saucer, so invest in some good quality china, as good visual presentation can be just as important as the actual product consumed.
Gone are the days when bog-standard orange juice would suffice. Customers now want fresh juices that are free from concentrate and high levels of sugar. They want a varied choice, so anything from pineapple, apple, pomegranate and cranberry and they want them served chilled, or offered with ice as an option to chill them.
Smoothies are becoming more and more popular. Though it’s debatable whether they are a drink or meal substitute, they do need to contain super fruit and vegetables like spinach and kale.