3 ways to cash in on all-day breakfast

yogurt smoothie student

From Dannon Foodservice.

Restaurants offering all-day breakfast are nothing new, but when McDonald’s started offering breakfast items beyond the usual 11 a.m. cutoff, it altered the landscape across segments, including noncommercial.

All-day breakfast makes sense for many foodservice operations: hospitals, where patients, staff and visitors crave food at odd hours; tech and other startups, where staff members are so wrapped up in their work that they tend to ignore 9-to-5 schedules; and colleges and universities, where students need to grab a bite between classes or want something to nosh on after hitting the books late at night.

In general, consumers say they want restaurants to extend breakfast items beyond the breakfast daypart. In last year’s National Restaurant Association industry forecast, 60% of adults said they would order breakfast items if restaurants offered them throughout day; among millennials, that figure jumped to 65%.

It’s clear that guests want to see breakfast items on more menus. Here’s how to cash in on those cravings:

Offer grab-and-go or delivery.

Breakfast and breakfast foods are often consumed in a time crunch. Portable items such as breakfast sandwiches and wraps, yogurt cups and parfaits, fruit cups, pastries and bottled juices lend themselves well to on-the-go customers.

And healthcare settings are making breakfast fare easier to find. Kirby Medical Center in Monticello, Ill., as well as many other hospitals, gives patients and visitors the option of dialing up room service breakfast through the evening hours. And the cafe at Columbia Memorial Hospital in Hudson, N.Y., serves continental breakfast until 7 p.m.

Create options to reflect different appetites.

As always, diners are looking for different things at breakfast, even if it’s served late at night. One group might be looking for a stick-to-your-ribs meal to power them through their day (or night), while another group might seek a healthful snack or mini meal. And these differences play out across generations, too: According to Technomic’s 2015 Breakfast Consumer Trend Report, younger consumers are more likely to seek out breakfast foods for snacks, and older consumers like to see breakfast options on dinner menus.

Microsoft has found many employees at its Redmond, Wash., campus don’t arrive until 10 a.m., so having breakfast at lunchtime is popular. To accommodate those late risers, the company’s Café 121 offers eggs, breakfast meats and potatoes as well as a rotating list of breakfast specials until 2 p.m. But the café also sells smoothies, sandwiches and vegetarian options.

Play up the value and customization possibilities.

One of the biggest advantages of breakfast-type foods is their economics. Breakfast staples such as eggs, yogurt cups, toasted breads, potatoes, bagels, granola and other items typically run low food and labor costs, creating a spot on the menu for affordable choices to balance out higher-ticket items. And because options such as yogurt parfaits, smoothies, smoothie bowls, omelets and handheld items are relatively straightforward to prepare, they maximize possibilities for customization and the ability to give customers exactly what they want.

By making all-day breakfast an area of focus, operators can appeal to diners during any time of day.
 

More From FoodService Director

Managing Your Business
uconn gluten free bakery

When Amarillo Independent School District opened a central bakery , the foodservice team faced years of challenges: getting a handle on equipment, refining recipes and planning for shrinkage, says Michael Brungo, residential district manager of dining services for Chartwells at the Amarillo, Texas, district. Through trial and error, the right solutions at the bakery—which provides sliced bread and sandwich buns for the district’s 55 schools—rose to the top.

Though kitchens in general can be a minefield of issues, bakeries present some unique challenges thanks in part to the finicky...

Managing Your Business
food safety manager paperwork

Food safety can be a lot to handle, requiring plenty of paperwork and diligence to ensure a kitchen complies with health regulations. It’s important to assess the structure of a food safety program —and to know what’s required, and what’s just good to have on hand.

In recent years, as Virginia Tech’s foodservice operations have expanded, so has its Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points strategy. The Blacksburg, Va., university doubled its food safety staff to two employees, in addition to a training project coordinator and a manager to teach basic food safety classes to...

Ideas and Innovation
ticket stubs

Every week, our cooks pick an experimental kitchen project to expand their skills, culminating in a Friday contest where they cook a new dish that puts them out of their comfort zone. The winner of the weekly contest is awarded points and prizes. The cook with the most points at the end of the year receives a free ticket to an annual team gathering in Maine, where staffers bond and gain inspiration from coastal menus.

Managing Your Business
shaking hands graphic

Anyone who has moseyed down the self-help section of the local bookstore, probably has picked up on the mantra that positive relationships are built on trust. Employer-employee bonds are no different, according to research published in the January-February issue of Harvard Business Review. The study reports that employees at high-trust companies experience 74% less stress, 106% more energy at work, 50% higher productivity, 13% fewer sick days and 76% more engagement. Here’s how operators can start putting those numbers on the board.

Putting in the effort

At the University of...

FSD Resources