With brunch menus gaining popularity lately, many restaurants are looking into hopping on the “Weekend Brunch” trend. Yet, this type of service has an infamous reputation in the industry as many restaurants battle to stand out in the 11am-2pm timeslot. So, to help you get your buffet service off the ground, we have compiled a few tips and tricks on brunch menu crafting.
Stand out while staying true to your brand
With dozens of restaurants serving traditional brunch staples such as hash browns and croissants, making sure you offer something that can only be found at your restaurant is crucial to stand out from the crowd. It is also essential to stay true to your brand as one service can easily market another – more on that in a bit – and giving a sense of unity to your different menus will encourage guests to discover them all. Proper menu engineering is key to creating a brunch selection that is unique while still reflecting your identity.
One brilliant way to do so is by crafting brunch dishes with ingredients you already procure or make in/for your other shifts. This method will allow you to blend your signature cuisine into a brunch menu with the added benefit of cutting supply costs! Try to use unique in-house items to elevate well-known brunch dishes. For example, use the pastrami you use in dinner service for an upgraded omelet or your homemade kimchi for croissant sandwiches, the options are endless.
Implement proper menu engineering
A lot of businesses treat brunch, especially weekend brunch, like a way to dispose of the week’s leftovers. With its rise of popularity and importance however, your brunch menu should be treated with the same level of importance as your dinner or lunch carte. It is even arguably more essential to focus on your brunch menu: you need to separate yourself from the competition while still staying true to the brunch feel and making sure your guests do not feel ripped off in pricing. Implement menu hacking tricks by using colors, design, and menu real estate to your advantage.
In regards to pricing, if most of your ingredients are relatively cheap, such as eggs and bread, charging an exorbitant amount for a dish will not go over well with your guests. Conduct a cost analysis and come up with a cost per meal average. Strike a balance between portraying a high-quality image and charging reasonable prices for dishes. Another neat trick you can use to optimize your menu is to partner up with local businesses: procure ready-made desserts from your local pastry shop, or get your bread pre-sliced the way you want it from the nearby bakery… This lowers your labor cost and saves you tons of time without compromising on quality.
Properly market your brunch
Making sure your audience notices you is a prerequisite for any successful brunch, one that many brunches fail at. From the get-go, when looking into brunch menu engineering, whether for a weekend brunch, holiday special or seasonal service, tapping into current food trends boosts your chances immediately. Current emerging trends in the brunch scene include comfort food, plant-based and vegan brunch dishes, and fusion or innovative brunch ideas. Also, beware not to forget beverages, a staple in brunch meals: serving specialty coffees, exotic foreign teas and infusions and even wine is a rising brunch trend.
Another key factor in restaurant visibility is how you market your brunch service. Use in-house advertising to grow existing customers: making servers advertise the brunch service or using standing flyers on tables etc. can capture existing guests into trying your brunch service.
Stay on the digital
Finally, do not forget to invest in the marketing powerhouses that are social media and the internet. With the audience for brunches being varied and including a substantial amount of younger people, the most efficient way to increase restaurant visibility and market your brunch service is through boosting stories, posts and videos on social media, spreading a hashtag, encouraging guests to post pictures and interacting with your audience on social media (giveaways, student/group discounts…). You can even offer online ordering if that’s up your alley.
Make sure you stand out among the sea of Dubai’s weekend brunches by implementing proper menu engineering and menu hacking to craft a cost-efficient yet high-quality menu, offering something unique by staying true to your identity and improving your restaurant visibility by staying on top of trends and properly marketing your brunch service.