How can a breakfast restaurant every make money? It’s a valid question to ask, but one that has an easy answer. Many restaurants are only open for dinner and they make plenty of money. Breakfast restaurants can do the same thing, just in reverse. Opening a breakfast restaurant has some unique challenges, however, so it needs to be done the right way so that the best chances for success can be found.
It all begins with the right location. Most people don’t leave home to go grab some breakfast. They grab something at home or stop somewhere on their way to work to grab something. That means a high traffic location is often necessary to get the most tables filled every day. Otherwise the main clientele of the breakfast restaurant will be the 65+ crowd.
What Does Your Community Prefer To Eat?
Breakfast foods come in all shapes and sizes. Sandwiches, sit-down meals, or even toaster pastries are all common foods that are consumed every day. You’ve got to know what your community prefers to eat in the morning in order to find success.
Some breakfast staples are low-cost and almost always successful. Pancakes, eggs, and bacon are tried-and-true menu items. Are omelets popular in your community? Maybe biscuits and gravy? Or would a breakfast burrito make more sense? Survey your targeted demographics, ask them what they’d like to see for breakfast, and then offer that.
Make sure grab-and-go items are available as well for those commuting customers who are hungry.
Don’t Forget About the Prep Work
A breakfast restaurant can get away with doing some prep work after the morning rush, but there has to be some prep work that happens before opening for the day. If the first people are coming around for breakfast at 5:30am, then you’ve got to plan on being at the restaurant by 3:30am to make sure you’ve got everything ready to go. This is also a good time to look at your food inventories, plan out the payroll, and other administrative tasks.
Prep work happens outside the restaurant as well. Make sure to advertise your specials… and change the specials every day. There’s a reason why it’s the “Special of the Day.” Take a walk around the building to make sure it is clean, presentable, and inviting before flipping the sign over to open as well.
Consider Offering Additional Options
Breakfast is usually over by 10:30 most days. That gives you the rest of the afternoon to plot out complimentary business options for the breakfast restaurant. This is why many breakfast restaurants are also available for lunch. If your lunch crowd is thin, however, that doesn’t make much sense. Consider offering a breakfast catering service, serve local coffees and cheese, or create other tie-in options that will make your business be more attractive to a wider customers base.
Sometimes the additional options can be included on the breakfast menu as well. Giving people the option to add a side dish, like hash browns, to any meal for a fixed price can help to boost revenues as well. Just remember to keep the menu as uncomplicated as possible to have dishes coming faster out of the kitchen.
Focus On the Training Above Anything Else
Working the breakfast rush is one of the most difficult jobs there is within the restaurant industry. People are in a hurry and don’t want to pay much for breakfast, yet expect service that is comparable to a dinner service. They want their food fast and they want it hot. If an order is messed up for some reason or a customer is served a dish that is cold will make people never want to come to your breakfast restaurant every again.
Don’t rush the training for the breakfast rush. Sloppy service happens when people rush about and that’s not what you need. Make sure everyone knows what they need to do and how they need to do it and then let the employees get good at it. Consider having a few “soft opening” mornings for your staff to get used to the breakfast restaurant environment. Use this time to perfect your menu items as well so service times and performance can be tweaked.
Opening a breakfast restaurant the right way means keeping a tight menu, offering attractive foods, and being able to provide consistent services. Secure your permits, your food suppliers, and keep the kitchen clean and you’ll have the best chance to experience success with this business opportunity.