Craveable Takes on Breakfast Favorites

As the only growing daypart, breakfast—and its cousin, brunch—present a unique opportunity for operators. Aside from the standard first-meal-of-the-day diner, this meal attracts “second-breakfast” customers, as well as the all-day breakfast eater. And with the stretching definition of what breakfast foods are, it’s not surprising to see more expansive breakfast menus featuring both savory and sweet options as well as varied portion sizes.

Technomic’s 2017 Breakfast Consumer Trend Report finds that the average spend at a full-service restaurant at breakfast is $13.10. With the price of commodity items such as eggs and bacon being relatively low—$1.82 for a dozen eggs and $5.62 for a pound of bacon, as of December 2017, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics—the profitability potential of breakfast foods can be significant.


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For operators who want to cash in on breakfast’s growth, it’s important to offer what consumers are looking for, such as meal bundles or P.M. breakfast options. According to the Technomic Breakfast report, 45% of consumers say it’s important or extremely important for the foodservice locations they visit for breakfast to offer combo meals that include a breakfast item and a beverage for a set price, while 39% say it’s important for restaurants to serve all-day breakfast.

And in general, consumers are receptive to trying new things—62% say they try new flavors or dishes from time to time at breakfast—so offering new and innovative flavors with classic breakfast dishes can tempt diners.

So what types of flavors might operators consider menuing to hook those looking for a change?

According to Technomic’s MenuMonitor, bold flavors are picking up speed. Trending flavors for breakfast entrees are poblano, pumpkin, lime, paprika and hazelnut, while trending flavors for breakfast sides include asiago, mango, mozzarella, coconut and spicy.

Another item that’s on the rise on breakfast menu is tater tots. Long considered an appetizer favorite, tots are popping up more and more in Mexican-inspired breakfast burritos and as an available substitute for hash browns and home fries.


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While morning breakfast eaters might enjoy sweet items like pancakes and waffles, later in the day, savory wins out—60% of consumers prefer eggs and 55% prefer hash browns on all-day breakfast menus, according to the Technomic Breakfast report. That means that items traditionally served during other dayparts, such as fried chicken, are all fair game on all-day breakfast menus.

And where loaded fries are popular for the dinner crowd, loaded tater tots are becoming craveable new breakfast items, like those served at The Grayson in New York City—their loaded breakfast tots come covered with mac & cheese, bacon, and mushrooms, as well as two sunny-side up eggs, with chicken or chorizo are available for a premium upgrade. To capture more breakfast diners, consider not only playing up unique and bold flavors, but also reimagining popular menu items for breakfast seekers. With a bit of creativity, operators can attract breakfast seekers during all times of day.