Boosting your breakfast business

grab and go breakfast idea

From Kellogg’s®.

The foodservice industry has recently been booming about breakfast. And for good reason: Breakfast is the only restaurant daypart seeing sustained visit growth, according to recent research from NPD Group. Breakfast/morning meal visits outpaced overall restaurant visits by 250 percent in the year ending June 2015 over the same period a year prior, NPD reported.

For operators across segments, getting the most out of the morning meal requires an understanding of consumers’ needs and behaviors. And the way people approach breakfast is changing dramatically, according to breakfast insights by Kellogg’s. 

Increasingly hectic lives are leading many consumers to choose quick, on-the-go options. They tend to eat smaller meals and snacks in the early, mid and late morning rather than a single morning meal. Yet at the same time, other types of consumers eat breakfast quite differently. While some consumers savor breakfast, many others prioritize speed in the morning and seek out quick, portable options suitable for on-the-go eating, such as pre-made breakfast sandwiches, breakfast bars, smoothies or ready-to-eat cereal.

Responding to the needs and behaviors of various consumer groups is important for the Metz Culinary Management foodservice program at Navient, a loan management company headquartered in Wilmington, Del. The Metz team offers everything from speedy smoothies for those in a hurry to chef-driven breakfast entrees for fans of creative options.

Joe Sweeney, the Metz executive chef at Navient since December, has piloted a menu redo that boosted sales by 11 percent between January and March. 

Each weekday there is a breakfast special: Monday omelets, Tuesday specialty sandwiches, Wednesday specialty granolas, Thursday frittatas or stradas and Friday specialty French toast, all of which serve to generate excitement and offer a variety of breakfast options, from better-for-you to indulgent.

Elvis French Toast, for example, consists of two thick Texas toast slices dipped in crème brulee batter, seared and stuffed with peanut butter, bananas, Nutella and bacon candied in Irish stout. “Whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner, you have to stick with things that people know, but give them a little twist,” says Sweeney.

For the health-conscious, time-pressed person, a build-your-own smoothie bar offers quick, blended-to-order smoothies made with yogurt, avocados and other fresh fruits, greens and such add-ins as protein powder and flaxseed. “This is for people who like smoothies in the morning, but don’t have time to make them before work,” Sweeney says. Bonus: the smoothies are naturally customizable, appealing to all types of consumers.

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