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Restaurant Breakfast Facts

Thinking about serving breakfast as part of your food service operations? Here are some facts you should know:

Per-person check size for the morning meal is relatively modest. All restaurants averaged $3.88 in 2001—$3.16 at quickservice restaurants and $6.06 at fullservice.

Quickservice captures 75 percent of morning-meal traffic, with hamburger, doughnut and retail or convenience-store locations among the most popular venues where consumers purchase portable breakfast sandwiches.

Consumers order more individual menu items when they purchase their morning meal at a fullservice restaurant than they do at a quickservice establishment. Thus, quickservice restaurants account for 48 percent of servings of breakfast-oriented foods despite capturing 75 percent of morning-meal traffic.

Consumers look for a deal even when they regard purchasing food away from home as a necessity. Twenty-five percent of breakfast-oriented servings are purchased using a deal or promotion.

The largest proportion of breakfast-oriented items are ordered on Sunday, followed by Saturday, Friday and Thursday.

Fully 75 percent of breakfast-oriented foods are ordered by parties that do not include any children.

Purchasing the morning meal at a restaurant is more popular with men than women and with consumers older than 35. The morning meal is most popular with consumers in the South.

The most popular breakfast food is the breakfast sandwich, especially the biscuit sandwich—a quickservice breakfast staple.

Eggs rank second among breakfast foods behind breakfast sandwiches.

Bacon ranks first in the breakfast-meat category, followed by sausage.

Doughnuts lead the bread/sweet-roll category, followed closely by bagels and sliced bread/toast.

Potatoes far outsell grits as a morning-meal accompaniment.

There are distinct regional favorites among breakfast-oriented items. For example, the bagel breakfast sandwich is most popular in the East, while the West favors the breakfast wrap/burrito.

Data collected by CREST, an acronym for Consumer Reports on Eating Share Trends, is an industry-subscriber service that provides consumer-behavior information on the purchase of restaurant-prepared meals and snacks. CREST methodology involves the daily collection of purchase behavior from a balanced online panel, totaling 52,500 individuals per month.

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