But has the way pubs serve food actually changed? A 2013 survey from The Morning Advertiser showed 41.8% of operators served food at lunch and evenings only, with a mere 13.1% serving food at breakfast and other periods during the day.
Michelin-starred gastropub the Coach in Marlow, Buckinghamshire, has recently introduced a new breakfast menu.
For head chef Sarah Hayward, offering breakfast is all about keeping things simple but doing them really well. Marketing also plays a big part. “You need to make sure the word’s out that that you’re offering breakfast, because pubs are more well known for lunch and dinner,” she advises. “Shout about it – make sure everyone knows”.
Do you serve food at the following times of day?
Breakfast and other periods during the day12%
Lunch and afternoons1%
All day excluding breakfast24%
Lunch and evenings only57%
I don’t serve food4%
Serving breakfast is a good opportunity to extend your food offering, she says. And you don’t have to serve Michelin-starred food: at the Coach’s sister site, the Butcher’s Tap and Grill, the breakfast offering is simple but effective, with sausage and bacon sandwiches served up to morning diners.
You also have to weigh up whether the team can cope with adding an extra service to the day, she also advises. This can shorten the time between getting ready for lunch service and may affect staff hours. “You’ve got to make sure the team can cope with an additional service without affecting the standard,” she says.
The new breakfast menu features all the classics, like a full English and eggs benedict. These are “crowd pleasers”, says Hayward, but new dishes including Shakshuka, beef hash, smoked salmon crumpet also made the cut.
Then, the Coach waffle has been swapped with a compact French toast with clotted cream. Hayward explains: “It ticks that box if someone wants a slightly sweeter breakfast.”
Industry professionals have also recently shared tips on how pubs can take their brunch offer to new heights.
Melanie Marriott, founder of Darwin & Wallace, said: "Try not to deviate too much from what you do and what you’re well known for,” she advises bars wanting to elevate their brunch offering. If you were famous for one particular thing, think, ‘how can I fit that into a brunch?’
Jesse Dunford Wood, head chef at Parlour in west London, advised pubs to make sure brunched flowed with the rest of the menu, and added that it shouldn't be an afterthought.