4 minutes Inspiration

Hospitality and Catering Trends: How Brunch Became Big Business

The concept of brunch has been around for decades although at times it still feels like a brand new addition to the dining world, thanks to its exploding popularity in recent years. Diners can’t seem to get enough of this breakfast/lunch hybrid, and it has proved a lucrative venture for those establishments that choose to offer it.

So, how exactly did brunch become such big business?

Attracts the Weekend Crowd

One of the reasons why brunch offerings continue to rise in popularity is their serving time. Offered after traditional breakfast hours are over, it allows restaurants to fill seats in the lull before lunchtime while offering diners a convenient way to order breakfast-style foods into the early afternoon.

While brunch can be served all week, the weekend is when diners seek it out the most, as it is seen as the ideal way to indulge on a lazy Sunday morning or as a means of recovery after a late Friday night. Bottomless brunches have become the new norm in recent years, helping restaurants and cafes bring in patrons by offering unlimited drinks to accompany their chosen dishes. Just last year data from OpenTable showed that breakfast and brunch bookings were up 65% in two years, proving that the UK continues to be hungry for more when it comes to brunch. This upward trend continues to be driven by millennials who are far more likely to eat breakfast and brunch out of their homes than other age groups, especially on the weekends when it facilitates social gatherings with friends.

Made for Instagrammable Dishes

Visual appeal and so-called Intagrammability have also played a large part in why brunch has become such big businesses in cafes and restaurants, but also in the wider catering and hospitality industry. Part of the enduring appeal of brunch is how visually appealing the dishes usually are, making them ideal for sharing on social media, specifically Instagram. From deconstructed eggs benedict to sweet dishes like French toast and the oh-so-appealing cloud eggs, there’s no shortage of Instagrammable brunch dishes to choose from.

Such a big a driver is visual appeal when it comes to dining that thefoodpeople have earmarked it as a key trend in their Food and Beverage Trends 2019-2020 report. While this applies to all dishes on a menu, brunches were being lauded for their visual appeal long before evening dishes took notice. This should come as no surprise as weekend brunches are generally targeted at millennials and Gen Z, both demographics known for their frequent social media use.

How to Make the Most of the Brunch Trend

Arguably the best thing about the continuing popularity or brunch menus is that there is no pre-existing rule on what counts as a brunch dish and what doesn’t. This flexible approach allows dining establishments to create their own unique offering, balancing current trends with dishes that will return the biggest profit.

The one consistent theme across brunch offerings is the focus on eggs and egg-based dishes, bridging the gap between traditional breakfast and lunch dishes.

Traditionally, this has meant that dishes like eggs benedict or French toast were staple menu items, but diners have seen both of these served dozens of ways so it’s worth thinking out of the box if you want a slice of the brunch business. Instead, seek some inspiration from across the channel and add some delicious eggs en cocotte to your brunch menu. A classic French breakfast dish, they’ll surely be a hit with diners, and couldn’t be easier to make thanks to our Eggs en Cocotte recipe.

To satisfy those looking for something more akin to lunch, take note of the rising influence of global cuisine and update your brunch offering with this Ramen Noodles with Soft Boiled Egg recipe.

While the food is the main draw of brunch, your drink offering is just as important. Classic choices like orange juice and smoothies draw on the increasing demand for healthier choices, while milkshakes will appear to those diners who like to indulge when it comes to brunch. Of course, no brunch menu is ever really complete without a selection of hot drinks either with tea and coffee always guaranteed to be popular with guests.  To make sure that you always have these staples on hand, stock up on our Country Range Roast and Ground Coffee and Country Range Tea Bags.