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. Some might be looking for a stick-to-your-ribs meal to power them through their day (or night), while others 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.
 

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