You work in the restaurant industry. When you think of brunch, you might be reminiscent of hectic Mother’s Days or Easter morning when you’re packed to the brim with large parties and their kids dressed in their Sunday best. Or maybe it reminds you of eggs with a slight metal tang, overcooked, sitting in shiny silver warmers waiting for the next round of people to scoop them up.
Whatever it brings to mind, it makes for a busy morning on what would usually be a slow time. And it’s getting busier! This idea of merging both the morning after a weekend night rehash and a late breakfast has garnered the attention of the younger crowd, a habit that had previously been only seen as a holiday-based tradition.
71% of Americans wish restaurants served breakfast all day long
- Five percent fewer adults are eating breakfast during the week (87% in 1971 to 82% in 2002), so brunch is a great time to embrace the breakfast culture pushed aside on work days. With the merging of lunch and breakfast there is more room for experimentation- with less barriers to contain your chef.
- 87% of millennials state they will splurge on a nice meal even when money is tight- that is the group you want coming in for your $23 eggs Benedict.
- As Anthony Bourdain famously states, “Remember, brunch is only served once a week—on the weekends. Translation? ‘Old, nasty odds and ends, and 12 dollars for two eggs with a free Bloody Mary.” He isn’t the first to point out the idea that brunch may help the kitchen clean out the fridge, but that doesn’t stop people from ordering their avocado toasts and mimosas, then posting about them on social media. As long as you keep up with the trends and don’t try and pass off leftovers as an avant garde dish, you shouldn’t have anyone banging on your door to stop serving.
- 71% of Americans wish restaurants served breakfast all day long (because 93% of Americans believe it’s the most important meal of the day…but maybe they just can’t wake up for it). While that dream is nice, but unrealistic, there is no reason why on your brunch days, where waffles reign supreme until 3pm, that you don’t promote it as breakfast as well.
A Short History of Brunch
According to Ternikar, the two ingredients that make up the brunch recipe, even in its early stages, are money and time. Though back in the day, this was a rare custom of the the one percent, brunch is now an artisanal, locally sourced, creative meal.
– In the 1900’s, brunch was strictly a boys club. Women were not going to college in high numbers these days, and brunch was seen as a meal for college men who woke up late.
– In the 1920’s, things start to get interesting. In the years of prohibition, it was all about consuming alcohol in the comfort of your own home, and most importantly being discreet about it. Oh ya, we are illuding to the Mimosa and the Bloody Mary here. We can all be thankful that prohibition no longer exists, but can thank our great-grandparents for creating the best morning cocktails.
– From the 1950’s to the 1970’s, brunch was a counterculture movement. However, brunch was not a popular thing for restaurants to offer. Instead, it was a way to entertain guests at home.
– Brunch for the masses. Oh IHOP, where would we be without you? The 1980’s is where brunch moved from America’s costal hubs like New York City and San Francisco to the small towns, the suburbs and in turn Denny’s and IHOP took center stage.
– The brunch stereotype emerges in 2015. You have an image in your head about this stereotype, however it’s not all bad. This trend is moving, expanding, and it is becoming a norm of American culture.
5 Ways to Drive More Guests to your Brunch
Add fresh florals
Springtime means flowers are back in bloom, so why not up the elegance factor by bringing in a few bunches of fresh, colorful bouquets to add to tables, the host stand and the bar? Flowers are a cost-effective way to add a bit of flair and light fragrance to your restaurant — just make sure they have enough water, and don’t place blooms too close to lit candles.
Serve special cocktails
Whether your restaurant offers a seasonally rotating roster of craft cocktails, or your classic drink menu just needs a bit of a shakeup, now’s the time to mix up a few new, inventive cocktail options. Refreshing, lighter cocktails (think vodka, gin, and tequila) with fruity ingredients are ideal for springtime temperatures — bonus points if you can incorporate fun garnishes like a slice of cucumber or blood orange.
Offer live food stations
Guests love seeing their food prepared in front of them, and brunch staples offer a plethora of options for live, chef-manned food stations. Consider having made-to-order pancakes, waffles or scrambled eggs (with add-ons like cheese, green onions and berries) that are hot off the pan or griddle and straight to the guest’s plate.
Consider live music
Booking a string quartet or a jazz trio for a few hours during brunch will add a serious dose of classiness to your special event. Have them perform in a corner of the restaurant or near the front of the dining room so diners can enjoy the soothing soundtrack without having to shout to their tablemates.
Look into event customization opportunities
If you’re hosting a brunch with a family focus, then small touches like bringing out a candy Easter egg with the check or offering all moms a complimentary rose with their Mother’s Day meal will make a huge impact when it comes to customer satisfaction. Without requiring staff to put forth too much extra effort, you can craft a memorable dining experience that’ll have people talking and helping your events program grow.