Spring is a time for blossoming flowers, rainy days, and life begins anew. It's also the season for two of the biggest brunch holidays of the year: Easter and Mother's Day. As a restaurant, you can't afford to skip these money-making opportunities, but do you have the staff to handle a brunch rush? Fortunately, foodservice solutions abound, so you don't have to settle for anything less than spectacular. Let's dive into the business of brunch and how to mitigate potential labor issues.
A Brief Look at Brunch Statistics
The word "brunch" didn't enter the modern lexicon until 1896, when the New Oxford explained the meal as a "repast at 11 o' clock a.m." While the meal didn't catch on initially, it became a big part of American life by the late 1930s. In today's world, brunch has become a sanctuary for Millennials who want a way to eat with friends, drink some bottomless mimosas, and dish on life.
As far as statistics go, roughly 33 million Americans eat out on Easter, with the vast majority heading to brunch after morning service. However, this holiday is only ranked fifth for days when people eat out. Mother's Day takes the top spot, with brunch again leading the charge. This trend has been heading upward since 2004, at least, if Google search is to be believed.
No matter which way you cook it, brunch is a huge market, especially for these holidays. But, how can restaurants keep up with demand?
How the Labor Shortage Affects Brunch
Since 2020, restaurants and foodservice establishments have been struggling to fill and maintain positions. The Great Resignation has hit this industry the hardest, with 70 percent of operators reporting fewer workers than necessary to meet customer demand. On top of worker shortages, 96 percent of restaurants have also reported supply issues, meaning more competition for the same ingredients.
When you break it down, restaurants have to be proactive and creative when finding solutions to these problems. Fortunately, technology and food suppliers are here to help.
How High-Tech Equipment and Ready-Made Food Options Can Help You Seize Brunch
Brunch is an excellent meal to flex your creative side. Since you can make both breakfast and lunch dishes, you're not constrained by the same limitations as your standard menu. Also, since brunch is a once-a-week thing, you can create an entirely unique menu for it. But, if you're struggling to maintain staff, how can you keep up with demand?
If you can prep dishes ahead of time, a blast chiller helps keep bring food out of the danger zone safely for storage, while also helping to eliminate food waste. Using a combi oven enables you to make dishes that require different methods like steaming, roasting and baking, without having to have separate pieces of equipment. And don't forget the holding cabinets to keep food hot or cold until everything is ready to be served.
Once you get the right equipment to satisfy your back-of-house requirements, feel free to mix up your menu. Some traditional brunch favorites include ham with all the trimmings, eggs Benedict (on some high-class bread), or seafood cocktails. Consider a beautiful duck dish for a center of the plate option. You also can't go wrong with some chicken and waffles or French toast with fresh fruit and other sides.
By getting ingredients ready-made from top suppliers, you can craft these dishes faster and put less strain on your employees. It's a win-win-win for everyone involved.