Breakfast Foods for Lunch and Dinner
October 19, 2016 5:30am
By Larry Mogelonsky, MBA, P. Eng. (www.lma.ca)
In a very general sense, I’d like to make the case for you to offer breakfast foods on your lunch and dinner hotel restaurant menus. While I realize supply chains may be an issue, there is indeed a demand for this type of cuisine at all hours of the day and night.
Think late night diners in New York City or 24-hour restaurants along the Las Vegas Strip. Next, consider McDonald’s which experienced substantial fiscal growth in 2015 attributed to the expansion of breakfast foods beyond the 11am cut-off.
Non-scientific in my sample base, I reviewed the collection of menus acquired from hotels I’ve experienced over the past two years. In this analysis, I eliminated those properties with menus designed exclusively for breakfast hours. And the results: only three out of 47 properties made mention of the availability of breakfast outside of morning hours. Interestingly, another six had some form of breakfast available on their late-night menus but not listing these dishes for lunch or dinner. The lesson here is that you have to give your customers what they want. And they want breakfast all day long!
Remember the 1993 movie Falling Down? In it, the star, Michael Douglas, goes into a quick-serve restaurant and attempts to order breakfast at 11:35am, a few minutes after the morning menu has ended. What follows is a famous line where he asks, “Have you ever heard the expression: the customer is always right?” and the manager’s response is, “That’s not our policy here.” If you have not seen this sequence recently, it is quite provocative (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eREiQhBDIk).
Now, think about your customers, in particular at lunch hour. They may not be explicitly asking for breakfast but you’re not offering it either! What is wrong with listing an all-day breakfast menu item? Just one or two to test the waters before a full-fledged effort.
Next, consider traditional continental-style bacon and eggs or huevos rancheros for those in search of a tad more color on their plates. You can even style the dish and associated menu sections differently at lunch via plating or other garnishes.
Obviously, if your restaurant isn’t open during traditional breakfast hours then the patron expectation will probably lean away from seeking these types of foods outright. In these instances, putting your creative ‘dinner spin’ on a morning classic will be all the more of a surprise and delight, especially if it is actually good! However, for those eateries that service all hours of the day and night, breakfast food availability becomes increasingly expected because incoming diners will know that you already have the means (stored ingredients, proper cooking equipment and staff expertise) to adequately provide for them in this capacity.
So, in this sense, offering breakfast is a win on multiple fronts. Moreover, it is not going to require much additional kitchen preparation, training or hefty ingredient sourcing issues, so have fun and tell me your results. And above all, give your customers what they want!
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Editor’s note: To discuss business challenges or to discuss speaking engagements please contact Larry directly.
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One of the world’s most published writers in hospitality, Larry Mogelonsky is the owner of Hotel Mogel Consulting Limited and founder of LMA Communications Inc., an award-winning marketing agency based in Toronto. His experience encompasses hotel properties around the world, both branded and independent, and ranging from luxury and boutique to select-service. Larry is also a principal of Cayuga Hospitality Consultants and is on several boards for companies focused on hotel technology. His work includes three books “Are You an Ostrich or a Llama?” (2012), “Llamas Rule” (2013) and “Hotel Llama” (2015).
You can reach Larry at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss hotel business challenges or to book speaking engagements.
Contact: Larry Mogelonsky
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