Technically speaking, brunch is just a meal that happens before 3 p.m., and involves some combination of traditional lunch items and breakfast plates. However, brunch is so much more than that simple definition, and in recent years it’s become hugely popular among people across the nation.
As the Washington Post pointed out, part of that success is due to many adults foregoing breakfast entirely, thus leaving brunch as a more appealing option. But brunch is now a cornerstone of many people’s weekends because of the culinary diversity it offers and the ambiance of a meal amongst friends.
“As people opt out of breakfast, brunch is becoming a popular alternative.”
If you’d like to work brunch offerings into your restaurant’s menu, consider the following tips:
1. Go a Little Crazy
Trip Kadey is the director of culinary for The French’s Food Company. Speaking with Restaurant Business Online, he explained that there’s something special about brunch, and patrons are generally up for “risky” entrees. While simple dishes like eggs Benedict or cinnamon rolls will always be hugely popular, you shouldn’t be afraid to experiment. Use your own creativity to add something new to a brunch staple, maybe with new spices or a different kind of meat. Brunch is fairly nebulous, with few concrete rules, and you should always look to set your place apart with unique dishes.
2. Maintain Balance
As free as you are to experiment with brunch, there are still a few ground rules. For instance, Pampered Chef believes that if you’re going to make a proper brunch, there has to be a certain flow to the dishes. Brunch is all about balancing savory flavors with sweeter treats, and that isn’t always easy to handle. That’s why Pampered Chef generally sticks to the following order:
- An egg dish to start.
- A heartier choice.
- A change of pace with sweets.
- Something that’s light and fresh.
- A solid dessert choice.
And, of course, a cocktail never hurt. By creating certain flavor interactions, and maintaining the proper balance, you’re giving guests the purest brunch experience possible.
3. Kickstart Your Promotions
Over the last few years, chef Drake Leonards has developed a hugely popular brunch menu at Luke in New Orleans. In an opinion piece for OpenTable, Leonards said that Luke has become such a local favorite because he took the time to get the word out. Not everyone will know you’ve added brunch, and it’s important to do a bit of promotion. He suggested a few simple steps, including:
- Use a check presenter: This is a handout that comes with every check from each meal service, and it highlights brunch options.
- Send out an e-blast: This is generally a good idea for any news within a restaurant, letting you send media (photos, tweets, etc.) to hype brunch.
- Rely on word-of-mouth: Satisfied customers are always going to be the best form of marketing and promotion.
“It’s important to promote your brunch menu with some frequency.”
In this day and age, it’s important to use social media as much as possible.
4. Plan for Your Patrons
Brunch is so popular that it draws a diverse crowd of people. Families enjoy this meal not just for savory eggs but also a time for bonding. If you want to appeal to families, though, it’s about creating not only a relaxing environment but offering things that keep the kiddies satisfied. That means table-side activities and basic options that appeal to picky eaters. Of course, brunch also brings in a younger crowd, one who may be in a celebratory mood. Specials on mimosas and assorted cocktails will appease these patrons. No matter what, plenty of natural light and crowd-friendly music are going to create a truly memorable brunch for everyone.