One key to a successful breakfast operation is meeting diner expectations. You need to give them what they want. And that’s why we’re going to focus on the two main menu categories every breakfast operation MUST have right now – sandwiches and bowls. Within these categories, we’ll also share a few ideas on creating signature items for your operation that will give diners reasons to return regularly.
We’ll be adding to this lineup often, so check back frequently to get the latest insights and ideas.
BREAKFAST SANDWICHES 101
The answer is simple. Breakfast sandwiches are the most popular item when eating breakfast away from home. Sandwiches dominate breakfast – because they’re easy to eat on the go or take along anywhere. From basic and affordable to indulgent and premium, breakfast sandwiches are comfort food. Diners pair them with a beverage, and it’s a meal for any time of day. Let’s not forget, sandwiches offer you advantages, as well, in terms of food cost, speed, ease of cooking and assembly.
A.M. SANDWICH STATS
- #1 Breakfast Menu Item: Breakfast Sandwiches (Source: NPD/CREST® OND’19)
- According to top operators, breakfast handhelds are the best-selling items, followed by egg entrées (Source: Datassential Breakfast Keynote Report, October 2019)
- Breakfast sandwiches are not just critical to places with a drive-thru, as most of the growth in breakfast sandwiches is coming from full-service. (Source: Datassential Breakfast Keynote Report, October 2019)
TOP 3 MOST POPULAR BREAKFAST SANDWICHES:
1. Bacon, egg and cheese
2. Sausage, egg and cheese
3. Ham, egg and cheese
Nearly every restaurant offering breakfast sandwiches has a variation of one or all of these. Of course, you can offer just a classic egg and cheese sandwich, as well. Having the basics is important, because in the consumer’s mind, according to Datassential, a ‘good breakfast sandwich’ hinges on having eggs, bacon and cheese.
BEST EGG PREPARATIONS FOR BREAKFAST SANDWICHES
- Fried (over-medium or over-hard)
- Omelets are a great way to get inclusions and cheese into one preparation
- Bake up a sheet pan of eggs or frittata cut into squares and put on a sandwich
- Fold an omelet 4 x 4, diner style
EGG FORMATS AVAILABLE FOR USE IN BREAKFAST SANDWICHES
- Shell eggs
- Liquid eggs (whole egg, and egg white only to meet special dietary requests)
- Value-added egg patties (with veggie + meat inclusions)
SIGNATURE BREAKFAST SANDWICHES
Differentiate your restaurant with something no one else has. By putting a twist on a common sandwich element, you give customers a safe way to experiment, while still enjoying something familiar.
Get ideas from these creative twists now trending on menus:
(Datassential Breakfast Keynote)
- Nontraditional condiments or sauces (maple syrup, hollandaise, salsa verde)
- Vegetable toppings/components (arugula, roasted tomato, caramelized onion)
- Nontraditional carriers (donuts, eggs, lettuce)
- Global cheeses (cotija, Parmesan, Gouda)
- Premium meats (brisket, pork belly, prosciutto)
Use these recipes as inspiration or the basis for your own signature breakfast sandwich: