Breakfast focus: Cater for all types

Related tags Breakfast Full breakfast

THE PUB breakfast is definitely an under-exploited opportunity. Foodservice analyst Horizon estimates pubs will serve around 12.5m breakfasts a year...

THE PUB breakfast is definitely an under-exploited opportunity. Foodservice analyst Horizon estimates pubs will serve around 12.5m breakfasts a year by 2010 as the trade's food operation expands.

Heinz Foodservice clearly has a keen interest in seeing this market successfully expand, and has been researching the opportunities. This has identified four specific consumer 'types' pubs need to be ready for.

  • Fuel stop: food is fuel and the cooked breakfast is part of this breakfaster's daily routine. So, if your customer base is mostly male and blue collar, you should be offering a value-for-money breakfast menu.
  • Grab and go: these consumers lead busy lives and are extremely time poor and because of this they regularly skip breakfast as a matter of course. The key to attracting these consumers is offering convenient options, breakfast options that they can take away such as ready-prepared hot options like pre-cooked bacon that can be placed in the bread product of their choicein a speedy manner.
  • Healthy choice: healthy eating has now become mainstream, and for health-orientated consumers a satisfying yet guilt-free breakfast can be hard to track down, particularly when looking for hot options. Heinz Beanz offers a great base for healthier breakfast options and is available in original, reduced sugar and salt, and Weight Watchers versions.
  • Total treat: at the opposite end of the scale from the healthy-minded consumer are those who like to treat themselves with a real slap-up breakfast, as a once-in-a-while indulgence.

Gap in the market

Keith Deary, catering manager for Scottish operator Maclay Inns, agrees that pubs are often unaware of the audience on their doorstep. "Three of our pubs now open for breakfast at 9am - Braes in Dundee, Victoria Café bar in St Andrews and Hopetoun Inn in Edinburgh - and are doing well because they fill a gap in the market," he says.

"The Victoria Café bar is a particular success due to the proximity of the university and the demand from students. When it first introduced the breakfast menu, including fry-ups, cereals and baguettes, it was serving up to 400 meals a session, which has levelled out at up to 200.

"The key is to start by opening an hour earlier, then two and keep assessing the situation. Breakfast is a powerful niche to break into if the demand is there."

It's also important to tailor the offer. Paul Drye, catering development manager for Cornwall's St Austell Brewery, works with a managed estate that covers everything from busy seaside towns to holiday destinations.

Overall, he believes the key to attracting breakfast trade in Cornwall is provenance and loyalty, making customers aware of the local products bestowed on each dish.

"Our pubs offering breakfast are those in the tourist areas as people walk in off the street from very early in the day, especially in the summer. You only have to look at the Look Out restaurant bar at our Pedn-Olva Hotel on West Porthminster Beach in St Ives to see how popular it is," he says.

"Those out in the sticks, however, might struggle to attract the early bird, as some of our inns have discovered."

Using premium, well-respected ingredients and products is also key.

"The point of difference is that we insist on buying in local sausages, bacon and eggs which is a real attraction in a tourist area," says Paul.

"We also have Heinz Tomato Ketchup and HP Sauce in 80 per cent of our pubs, simply because no-one makes these products as well in terms of taste and presentation.They are the best out there and say quality as soon as the customer walks through the door."

For two Heinz breakfast ideas, click on the links to our recipe section

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