There’s money to be had in the breakfast segment, but operators looking to expand their share of the business can benefit from approaching the daypart from a different angle, two recent reports suggest.

Packaged Facts’ Foodservice Breakfast Trends in the U.S. estimates that restaurant breakfast sales will reach $47 billion this year, up 5 percent from 2012. The firm expects that same growth rate over the next two years as well.
 
Per capita spending on breakfast grew nearly 8 percent from 2007-2012, with limited-service restaurants capturing the lion’s share of that growth. Packaged Facts research director David Sprinkle says consumers trading down, wider availability of breakfast menus at limited-service restaurants and their speed of service are driving demand in that segment. He also noted that menus focusing on health, indulgence and quality are driving breakfast business, along with juice and tea drink introductions.

On the full-service side, many restaurants have rebounded from recession-induced declines in breakfast traffic. Many family restaurant chains have succeeded by offering more takeout and portable options at breakfast, Packaged Facts reports.

Still, Technomic’s Breakfast Consumer Trend Report found that most people still source breakfast from home, and only 20 percent of consumers said they’re eating breakfast away from home more often now than they were one year ago. Technomic also provided some insights into breakfast habits and most popular menu items in an infographic.



Restaurant operators need to think outside the box if they want to boost their breakfast sales, Technomic executive v.p. Darren Tristano advises. “Opportunities to promote breakfast can extend far beyond conventional morning hours,” he says. “Operators looking to promote this daypart can leverage consumer interest in all-day or late-night breakfast programs. There’s also room to expand brunch options, and even get creative by applying traditional breakfast flavors to nonbreakfast foods.”  

Among other findings from the Technomic report:

• Limited-service breakfast customers place high importance on value menus, breakfast sandwiches and portability, while full-service customers are most interested in variety, all-day breakfast options and signature menu offerings.

• Coffee is key: 64 percent of consumers drink coffee at breakfast; 54 percent of these consumers prefer a restaurant that offers free coffee refills and 30 percent agree that they are loyal to concepts that serve their preferred brand of java.

• Consumers link breakfast with health: 63 percent of consumers feel it is unhealthy to skip breakfast; open-ended data shows that many consumers want more healthful breakfast options.