How Breakfast Chains Can Rise Above a Mature Market

Experts expect the global restaurant breakfast chain market to grow substantially as customer demand for these types of establishments. However, many of these patrons are older. To address this, restaurant owners are looking for ways to attract younger patrons. 

While many Gen Xers, Millennials, and Gen Zs often skip their morning meal, there are ways breakfast chains can reach these younger diners. Let’s discuss how restaurants can rise above mature markets and reach these younger consumers.

Key Takeaways:

  • Since 68% of consumers usually stick to the same breakfast items, consider limiting your breakfast menu options to reduce costs and prevent customers from feeling overwhelmed. 
  • Choose price over premiumization and find ways to save on operating costs so you can pass those savings down to your patrons. Using “ugly” produce is one way to reduce these costs. 
  • To reach younger patrons, your breakfast chain needs an online presence.
  • Patrons typically have more time on the weekends to sit down to eat breakfast. Cater to the younger patrons by offering weekend specials you wouldn’t normally offer during the week.
  • Don’t just cater to the late-morning breakfast crowds on the weekend. Consider offering breakfast all day long – even if you’re open for dinner.

Tips on How Breakfast Chains Can Attract Patrons of all Ages    

According to Food Navigator, over half (52%) of people do not sit down for a “formal” breakfast and tend to eat on the go or skip a sit-down meal in the morning. However, there has been a recent trend toward “morning fuel-ups” before beginning their day. 

Patrons are opting for the full breakfast experience now more than ever, including more than just retirees. Younger generations are making time to sit down at a breakfast spot and enjoy their favorites. Consumers want a full dining experience at breakfast, and here is how you can tap into this growing market. 

1. Keep Your Breakfast Fare Simple   

People may like options, but having too many menu items to choose from can be overwhelming for most people, so keep your breakfast menu simple. Roughly 68% of consumers prefer to stick to the same breakfast foods anyway. So, offering more options isn’t going to attract more customers. Instead, it will likely increase your operating costs to purchase and store supplies for a vast menu.  

Bar graph of the breakfast food market in USD millions.

Image Courtesy of Modor Intelligence

2. Choose Affordability Over Premiumization     

Premiumization has been a predominant trend in previous years, with people willing to spend more for less for the promise that the item was “premium.” However, as the cost of living continues to rise, patrons are more price-sensitive and want affordable options when eating out. 

Consider offering good food without the “premium” label. Select foods that offer less “presentation value” and more value to their wallets, like opting for “ugly” produce over aesthetically pleasing ones. This can help reduce operating costs, which you can pass on to your patrons in the form of lower prices.

3. Offer Online Promotion for Dine-In Patrons 

Younger generations are fully immersed in technology, and small businesses in all industries have learned that catering to this demographic increases profits. That’s why your breakfast chain needs an online presence. 

Offer specials and promotions that are only available to customers who follow or leave a review on platforms like Google. Your website doesn’t need to be extravagant to reach these patrons. Even small websites will convert hungry people into paying customers. 

Image of a digital coupon.

Image Courtesy of iCharts

4. Maximize Weekend Opportunities

Typically, most patrons have more time on the weekends to sit down at a restaurant to enjoy a good meal. Breakfast chains can take the opportunity to cater to the younger crowds by offering breakfast menus all day. Since most breakfast chains typically close in the afternoon – not offering dinner options – serving breakfast all day on the weekends will allow younger crowds to sleep in as late as they want and still meet their friends for “brunch” in the early afternoon. 

Another way to cater to these younger patrons would be to offer special weekend-only promotions. For example, half-priced mimosas or discounts on beverages that don’t come with free refills, like juices or specialty drinks). If your establishment offers rewards points, you can give out double points on the weekends – or even allow patrons to earn double points for certain breakfast menu items every day of the week.

5. Consider Offering All-Day Breakfast   

One food trend that seems to often come and go is the all-day breakfast menu. Some restaurants offer it promotionally, and every time a breakfast chain stops offering breakfast all day, patrons are disappointed. 

While most breakfast chains serve only breakfast and lunch, those that also serve dinner, like Black Bear Diner, see an increase in profits by offering breakfast all day. Other establishments that typically close after lunch, like Biscuits Café, may also offer special evening openings where they serve breakfast to cater to their breakfast-loving patrons.

Discover the Latest Breakfast Chain Trends at the Next SIAL Event

There are a lot of competitors in the breakfast food space. From fast food options to dine-in eateries, breakfast chains are quickly learning they can tap into the younger consumer market by catering to the latest breakfast trends. In a world of ever-changing and constantly emerging trends, it’s essential to stay up to date on these fads to make strategic business moves to cater to your customers. 

Learn more about the latest breakfast chain food trends. Attend a SIAL event. Alternatively, want to share your insights into the food and beverage industry? Register as an exhibitor today.