Every college student knows full well that last night’s pizza is a breakfast staple. What took restaurants so long to jump on the bandwagon? A slice warmed up and topped with eggs, bacon and sausage, means that pizza is a backdrop for a different way to think about eating breakfast.
So maybe cold pizza that is stuck to the carton is not what you want to go for first thing in the morning, but it could be an option to a cold, drab bowl of cereal. According to a recent article in Restaurant Hospitality, “Italian, premium ingredients on trend at breakfast” by Nancy Kruse, a wide variety of foods are making their way to the breakfast plate. If Wagyu beef tickles your fancy, it is available at Eggslut in LA, states Ms. Kruse. Breakfast burritos have become a typical item on breakfast and brunch menus, and as chefs try to expand their offerings, pasta, polenta and frittatas are becoming the base of the morning meal.
Are we totally ready for a change?
Maybe not a total overhaul, but many Chefs are experimenting with ingredients that were once only reserved for later in the day. From bagels to benedicts, breakfast is a pretty steadfast part of our consuming culture, but there are lots of places where fish and cuts of meat other than ham or bacon break the fast. No one thought to put avocado on a slab of bread, until one day someone did and now it’s mainstream. Trends arise because a creative mind invents the “Cronut” and thinks outside the box. Not to say that every new menu item is grasping at straws to become the newest trend, but by offering an item or two that push your customers to move outside the rim of the plate, can add to your arsenal of marketing moments.
By offering a unique breakfast item or two that gets your eaters to enjoy a twist to their morning meal on a weekly or bi-weekly basis, gets people engaged and promoting your restaurant. Best place to see what’s trending – Instagram. Best place to see if they are talking about you – same. It is about creating things that are slightly different, not shockingly different, breakfast is not a time of day that most are eagerly willing to break routine, but will perhaps try something that is a new take on a solid standby. To get ideas, look at what others are doing, read menus and get inspired about what you can incorporate into your repertoire.
To gently bring your eaters on board, start with simple things you have always served, such as eggs benedict with Canadian Bacon, instead offer it with salmon or Virginia ham. While those are seemingly small changes, they might be new offerings to your restaurant. The point is, take menu items that people already have an attachment to and offer those items with a little twist on a regular basis. The result will be that customers are more willing to try other things, you get to be creative without too much commitment, and it adds to your customers talking about you, in a good way.