How to Change Consumers’ Breakfast Habits (and get them to eat at your restauraunt instead)


A simple equation for success is having a solid morning routine: Wake up early, have a great breakfast, and be on time. But we live in a world of snooze buttons and traffic, meaning all too often people start the day with barely-warmed breakfasts or empty stomachs.

Whether you are still debating if serving breakfast is right for your business, or if you already serve the morning mean, you, as a restaurant owner, have the power to change all of that. First, you have to help customers break a few breakfast habits. Then all you have to do is reel them in. Here is a list of the types of breakfast eaters, their habits and what you can do to keep customers hooked.

The Out of Timers

The profile: Out of Timers make their breakfast at home with one foot already out the door. They feed on Pop Tarts, toaster strudels, high-calorie muffins and donuts, microwaved breakfast sandwiches and gallons of coffee, all of which leave little to be desired.

What they want for breakfast: Something delicious, something satisfying and something now.

How to reach them: It is important to sympathize with these types and stress that they can have a little quality time with a quality breakfast. Already prepared options like sliced fruit, yogurt parfaits and breakfast smoothies appeal to time-strapped customers, especially if they are looking for a healthier start to their day.

For those not quite committed to healthy options, classic breakfast sandwiches featuring eggs and sausage are easy to prepare and serve. Just be sure to make a concerted effort to set your business apart from the assembly line feel of fast food restaurants by offering in-house baked goods like granola bars and muffins for a nice grab-and-go choice. This will bolster your allure and make breaking the fast food habit even easier.

The Value Seekers

The Profile: Like Out of Timers, Value Seekers want speedy satisfaction. And like their stomachs, they want to keep their wallets full. This type of customer gravitates more towards quick-service and fast food restaurants to get what they want.

What they want for breakfast: The simpler the better. And if it can be put into a giant combo, even better!

How to reach them: What makes the big burger chains so popular is their prices, efficiency and, of course, combo meals with added value. Whatever the size of your restaurant, there is a creative way to offer fast, value-filled menu selections to this customer group.

Pair fresh-squeezed juice with small breakfast sandwiches or a coffee and a muffin together. Make a sampler plate with a bit of all your customers’ favorites. According to a study conducted in 2010, consumers will purchase a combo meal regardless of the size solely because of perceived value.

The Gut it Outs

The profile: These types tend to skip breakfast entirely because of personal choice or lack of time. Whether trying to save calories or minutes, these breakfast non-eaters are quite adept at performing on an empty stomach until the lunchtime hunger pangs take over.

What they want for breakfast: Nothing at all (unless it is convenient).

How to reach them: Help these lost, hungry souls see the light. Preach to them the benefits of what a great breakfast can mean for their day. Like for starters, those who eat breakfast will have more energy, higher productivity and better concentration.

For those who fast in the morning, thinking skipping breakfast will shed some pounds, appeal to their better instincts. Offer healthy options like oatmeal, granola, yogurt and fruit (all of which are healthy, as well as easy to make and eat on the go).

The Breakfaster Clubbers

The Profile: On the opposite end of the spectrum are the diners with a bit of time on their hands. They frequent the local small diners or large chain restaurants known more for breakfasts with great value and marginal taste.

What they want for breakfast: Something slathered in syrup or gravy (or both) with a cup of coffee and a conversation.

How to reach them: While the menu options for these types are simple, getting these creatures of habit in through your doors can be tricky. Aim for quaint, no matter the size of your business. Try creating an environment that is conducive to comfort, long chats and never-ending coffee refills.

If that fails to attract the traditionalists, try reaching the new breed of breakfasters: millennials looking for a twist on classic favorites. Go for an ethnic flair with items like breakfast paninis, breakfast burritos, Spanish Eggs Benedict and coconut-milk pancakes.

Breakfast is meant to be enjoyed. Understanding what customers crave right out of bed will keep them fueled throughout the day and even make you much more of a morning person.


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