The breakfast trade belongs to Cafés. It’s what Cafés do well and what draws your customers through the door. Customers rely on you to help them start their day positively, whether it’s for a quick latte and banana bread on the run, or a hearty eggs benny to provide fuel for the busy day.
As working schedules diversify, customers are looking for breakfast options beyond traditional breakfast hours. This can be a big opportunity for Cafés.
There’s no question that breakfast dishes deliver profit. The raw ingredients – bacon rashers, eggs, mushrooms, tomato and toast – are relatively inexpensive and the cooked dish, served hot and flavoursome as all get out, commands a good sale price.
It won’t cost you any more to supply high-profit margin breakfast dishes across the day as you will be using existing resources. Staff are already rostered on and no additional specialist equipment is required.
“Your Café already costs you $1000, just to open the door, so why not use everything you’ve got in it, from staff to food ingredients,” says Erin Martin, a corporate Chef who has years of experience making breakfast big business for Café owners.
By switching to an all-day breakfast menu means you can tap into that profit potential all day long, rather than limiting it to a few hours of trade at the start of the day. Happy customers will be a bonus.
Bacon and eggs still rule on the breakfast menu, but innovation and variety are just as important when you push into all-day breakfast territory. Here’s the low-down on how some industry leaders are doing it.
The Grounds, Sydney
Founders Ramzey Choker and Jack Hanna and executive Chef Paul McGrath at one of Sydney’s most successful Cafés, The Grounds, are well ahead of the pack when it comes to a creative and innovative breakfast experience. The Café’s breakfast classics – avocado on toast (with tomato, coriander and basil salsa, chilli labneh, tahini yoghurt, sesame seeds and a squeeze of lime), brekky burger, three-egg omelette, and signature big brekky – survive the menu change over, sitting alongside equally appealing brunch and lunch menu items all day.
Mr Ottorino, Melbourne
Mr Ottorino’s all-day breakfast menu, which runs on weekends, draws on Italian recipes and family memories to create something quite different. Chef Matt Tine presents a riff on calzone in the form of the ham and poached egg-filled Sicilian breakfast impanata. Bacon and eggs gets a makeover in the breakfast pasta dish, a take on carbonara with confit egg and candied pancetta. Bruschetta comes with whipped ricotta, prosciutto, a poached egg, tomato, rocket and a sprinkle of aged balsamic. The drinks menu features shaken espresso and seasonal Bellini.
Kepos Street Kitchen, Sydney
Chef Michael Rantissi’s Middle-Eastern breakfast dishes make the leap from breakfast to lunch menus with ease. The soft-boiled egg on the best-selling falafel plate, with falafel, hummus, pickled chilli, labane, tomato and cucumber, is swapped over for chips when the dish appears on the lunch menu. Sourdough, which comes with jam and vanilla butter at breakfast, comes with olive oil and hazelnut dukkah at lunch. Baked meatballs, shakshuka, and the house-make churros appear all day.
ESSENTIAL TIPS FOR ALL-DAY BREAKFAST SUCCESS
- Base the menu around the season when fresh ingredients are at their peak and cheap.
- Create wholesome and healthy dishes and drinks. Ingredients such as quinoa, açai and avocado will continue to win customer approval.
- Add vegetarian dishes to the breakfast menu. They’re cheap to prepare, nutritious and on trend.
- Cold-pressed juices are colourful, fun, tasty, easy to prepare and popular.
- Keep customer favourites on top of the menu, but create different versions for variety and always strive to improve versions of each dish.
- Be clever with ordering and labour management. Stay on top of stock and costs.
- Use social media to showcase your breakfast items and search for inspiration.
Pushing for profit
Our costing for popular breakfast dishes illustrate how profitable they can be.
Note: This is an average/estimated price and that each establishment will differ depending on agreements with suppliers.
Suggestions on how to plan your menu for all-day breakfast success
Chef Erin Martin is a champion of the all-day breakfast menu. Here’s how she does it.
- Use bread from the breakfast menu to create lunch sandwiches wraps and burgers.
- Turn yesterday’s breakfast bread into croutons for lunch salads and soups.
- The tomato chili jam served with sausage at breakfast can do an encore on the lunch menu burger as spiced tomato relish.
- Bacon can be turned into bacon jams or cooked up as lardons and used to garnish Caesar salad.
- The breakfast hero, eggs, can appear at lunch on a burger with the lot.
- The big brekky’s spinach, tomato and mushrooms can get a midday run in frittata.