Keeping the foodservice equipment marketplace up to date with the latest menu and concept trends.


Breakfast Segment Update

The breakfast segment may face a more challenging recovery than other dayparts since the morning commute has yet to return to normal. Mintel predicts between 2022 and 2025, chains will divert resources from breakfast programs to mid-morning and afternoon occasions. 

Concept Close-Up: Breakfast Republic

Breakfast Republic Johan Engman1Johan EngmanJohan Engman, founder and CEO of Rise & Shine Hospitality Group, shares what’s working with breakfast today at Breakfast Republic’s 10 stores in Southern California.

Q: What shifts are you seeing in the breakfast segment?

A: We created takeout breakfast sandwiches since right now people want grab-and-go items. In terms of specific menu items, we have steady dishes that sell, and they don’t fluctuate that much. There is more variability on the drink side than food. For example, a couple years ago, beer was a hot seller; now it’s alcoholic and nonalcoholic kombucha, along with cold brew and nitro cold brew coffee. We’re also heavily focused on vegan items and offer a vegetarian eggs Benedict.

Q: How would you define breakfast comfort food?

A: Traditionally, this would include eggs, hash browns and bacon. This is what most people would consider morning comfort food and what sells well. We’ve taken it a lot further and put our own twist on it. Our menu items are inspired by different cuisines and various parts of the world and traditions. 

Q: What are your most popular dishes?

A: One popular item is shrimp and grits inspired by Louisiana. It is creamy with Gouda, shrimp and corn with eggs on top. Mr. Presley is an homage to Elvis, where we stuff French toast with bananas Foster and top it with bacon and peanut butter.

Purpose-Driven Start to the Day

Surprisingly, the pandemic did not slow things down for all-day breakfast concept Hope Breakfast Bar in St. Paul, Minn. “Our sales didn’t drop, despite the state being shut down,” says Brian Ingram, founder and CEO of Purpose Driven Restaurants, which includes Hope Breakfast Bar and pub-style eatery The Gnome.

One noticeable shift in the breakfast segment at Hope Breakfast Bar is the time people arrive to eat. “Our busiest time is around 10 a.m.,” Ingram says, due to more people working at home.

While breakfast foods have always been comfort foods in Ingram’s eyes, he’s noticed people also want familiar foods prepared in new and unique ways. “Now, everyone is more educated about food, so you can’t get away with just offering the traditional favorites,” he says.

Unique to Hope Breakfast Bar are its cake-batter pancakes, including German chocolate pancakes and carrot-cake batter pancakes. “People will order pancakes to share like a dessert after a savory meal,” Ingram says. 

Breakfast Republic 2Shrimp and grits from Breakfast Republic

Breakfast Facts of Note 

The rise in remote work means chains will compete for a smaller number of commuters during the morning occasion.

The abundance of promotions among chains will result in a race to the bottom; some limited-service restaurants may deem breakfast too competitive and cut their breakfast offering altogether.

More than half (55%) of breakfast diners say they are more likely to cut back on spending for breakfast/brunch than for other meals.

Source: Mintel’sRestaurant Breakfast and Brunch Trends: Including the Impact of COVID-19,” September 2020