Incredible Breakfast Trends

ADB: On the Menu

The 2014 Datassential MenuTrends Breakfast Keynote Report stated 83 percent of breakfasts were eaten at home, while The NPD Group puts the 2016 number close to 70 percent. Understanding these numbers came from different organizations and research approaches, the numbers still indicate a move toward breakfast increasingly being sourced away from home. And with more operations offering breakfast throughout the day, there’s no telling exactly when during the day these breakfasts are being consumed. These are complicated times to conduct foodservice breakfast research!

Historically, the first American ADB operations were delis in working-class neighborhoods. They served different shifts of workers, offering ADB throughout the day to tradesmen, shopkeepers, factory workers and policemen. Ziggy Gruber, owner of Houston’s traditional Jewish deli, Kenny & Ziggy’s New York Delicatessen Restaurant, says, “We sell a great deal of omelets, bagels and lox, and French toast for lunch and dinner. Our shakshuka (3 eggs in spicy tomato, roasted pepper and onion stew, feta and grilled flat bread) is also very popular.” Thirty percent of his breakfast items are currently sold for lunches and dinners.

Today’s ADB dishes include both classic breakfast items and ones blending favorite breakfast and traditional lunch/dinner foods to create new and exciting meals. No one will argue with the concept of having what they want to eat whenever they want to eat it, and daypart-crossing dishes like poutine, pizzas, grain bowls and veggie-sides topped with eggs all fit easily into any daypart.

A sampling of not-your-classic breakfast items:

  • Open-Faced Breakfast Burger — layers both Canadian and applewood bacon, sharp Cheddar and maple syrup, topped with a sunny-side-up egg on cinnamon-raisin French toast (Grange Hall Burger Bar, Chicago)
  • Hangover Pasta — bucatini, pancetta, Parmigiano, poached farm egg, garlic breadcrumbs (Gioia Pizzeria, San Francisco)
  • Toasted Open-Faced Ham & Cheese Fondue With Fried Egg (Au Cheval, Chicago)
  • Gyro Omelette Platter — with Gyro meat, feta and onions (Fresco Deli & Café, Long Island, NY)
  • Hangover Fries — hand-cut fries, seared pork belly, mozzarella cheese curd and rich gravy topped with a fried sunny up egg and scallions (Melt Bar & Grilled, Ohio)

Craig Min, founder of La Mill Coffee Boutique in L.A., has said, “We were getting lots of feedback from our guests that they wanted our breakfast items in the afternoons and evenings.” Deciding the customer is always right, La Mill joined the legions of ADB restaurants. Thirty-five percent of their food revenue now comes from breakfast items served during the dinner daypart, with one dinner favorite being their Avocado Toast with radish, pickled red onions and chili-almond gremolata with poached egg.

A sampling of not-your-classic dinner items:

  • Carpaccio Benedict — local beef tenderloin topped with eggs, hollandaise, capers, horseradish, red onion and olive oil on toast (Kismet, Montpelier, VT)
  • The Kind Brother (pizza) — wild mushrooms, smoked mozzarella, farm egg and sage (Speedy Romeo, Brooklyn)
  • Steak & Egg (appetizer) — steak tartare, egg in a hole, Bloody Mary oyster shooter (Haute Dish, Minneapolis)
  • Smoked Brisket Benny — jalapeño cornbread waffle, fresh tomato salsa, caramelized onions, poached egg and hollandaise (Iron Rooster, Annapolis, Md.)
  • Organic Quinoa & Vegetables with Eggs — sunny-side up eggs, farmers market vegetables and chimichurri (Huckleberry, L.A.)

At Iron Rooster in Annapolis, Md., an astounding 70 percent of the guests order breakfast for lunch or dinner. The owner, Kyle Algaze, says people are attracted to breakfast because it’s a meal that feels natural at any time of day, and it makes his patrons feel good. His Breakfast Cuban is made with shaved ham, pork belly, pickles, Swiss, yellow mustard and fried egg on a pressed baguette. Hardly classic breakfast fare, but certainly comfort food.

Merriam-Webster defines comfort food as being “prepared in a traditional style having a usually nostalgic or sentimental appeal.” Reviewing the above lists, it appears the time has come to revise that definition and include traditional comfort food ingredients prepared in non-traditional styles.


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