January 22, 2024

Brunch Boom: How Restaurants are Cashing in!

Brunch is booming with 70% ordering alcohol with brunch, and 12 noon becoming the new peak brunch time!

Richard Gargan
Richard Gargan

In a shift from tradition, restaurants across the nation are embracing the once reserved-for-special-occasions brunch, turning it into a weekend staple. Taco Bell and Wendy’s, known for their fast-food menus, are among the latest to jump on the breakfast bandwagon, introducing breakfast tacos and English muffin sandwiches, a clear sign that breakfast and brunch are the new hot trends for 2024.

70% Order Alcohol at Brunch vs 40% at Dinner

Consumers, faced with inflation, are finding solace in brunch, a more budget-friendly dining option. Robert Byrne, director of consumer and industry insights at Technomic, reveals a surprising statistic: 70% of diners order alcoholic beverages at brunch compared to 40% at dinner, illustrating brunch's allure as both an affordable and indulgent meal.

Brunch Boom

The reason behind this brunch boom? It’s all about the bottom line. Dominick Purnomo, owner of Day Line in New York's picturesque Hudson Valley, spills the beans: brunch offers better profit margins with cost-effective ingredients like eggs, potatoes, and bread. Analyst Sean Dunlop from Morningstar confirms this, highlighting the stabilizing prices of breakfast staples, making them an attractive option for restaurants striving to bounce back to pre-pandemic profitability.

Noon is Prime Brunch Time

The changing dynamics of dining habits are also contributing to the brunch craze. Purnomo observes a shift in customer preferences, with people tending to eat earlier than before. While the ideal dinner reservation once was at 8 PM, now it peaks at 6 PM, and for brunch, the prime time is noon.

Pandemic Effects

The pandemic has also played a role in reshaping the restaurant industry. With many fast-food chains reducing their dining room hours, there's a growing trend for on-the-go breakfast options. Dunlop notes that these brands often close their dining rooms, directing customers to drive-thrus with minimal staff, a move that aligns perfectly with the fast-paced lifestyle of today’s consumers.

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