15 Nov 2023
Hospitality trends: The rise of the bottomless brunch
Eggs with your champagne?
The pairing has had quite the rebrand in recent years thanks to the popularity of the ‘bottomless brunch’.
As a Brit, you might think of the ‘Brunch’ craze as akin to baby showers and Thanksgiving – a traditionally American holiday that slowly made its way into British culture and is now a cultural phenomenon in its own right.
But you’d be wrong!
While the act of ‘brunching’ (a meal between breakfast and lunch) became popularised in the US in the late 1930s, its origins are actually British. The portmanteau of Breakfast and Lunch originated in English language in the late 19th century. There are a few different stories around the originations of where brunch originated, but we quite like the idea that is was to help those enjoy a more leisurely Sunday breakfast after a Saturday evening of revelry as explained by TouchBistro. .
But what makes brunch so attractive to the modern-day audience?
Bottomless brunch – a cultural phenomenon
Brunch typically consists of breakfast style foods including eggs benedict, pancakes and french toast, accompanied by coffee or an alcoholic beverage like a cocktail, mimosa or prosecco. Because of the alcoholic accompaniment, the trend has surged among millennial partygoers becoming a go-to for hen parties, birthday parties and other celebrations.
On the flip side, this surge in Brunch parties has enabled hospitality businesses to capitalise on the lull between breakfast and lunch, filling tables and attracting traffic with desirable offers and deals, such as the infamous ‘bottomless brunch’ trend . But the hybrid meal is a firm addition on many establishments’ menus, available throughout the morning and right into the afternoon.
Just last year data from OpenTable showed that breakfast and brunch bookings were up 65% in two years, proving that brunch probably isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
Why is this so important?
It’s critical for all stakeholders including distributors and operators to understand the nuances of consumer behaviour and how they are ultimately shaped by trends and cultural reshaping of expectations.
Brunch was a huge influence in shaping the culture and behaviour of consumers. ‘Late brunchers’ may often stay in a venue through to the evening having a great impact on footfall and staff requirements.
Over time, trends such as the “the bottomless brunch”, competitive socialising concepts whereby groups will eat and drink together as they play golf, darts, shuffleboard and ping pong, have come to impact the way hospitality businesses operate on many different levels. New menus, new staff, new styles of environments and new processes are needed to come into play to accommodate. For bottomless brunches, some venues cordon off whole areas of a premises especially for those parties. Making them a lucrative addition to the venue’s offering.
Nope, it’s not a typo.
Brunch isn’t the only hospitality trend to cause waves in recent years.
The line between work and travel is also becoming blurred, creating a new ‘blended’ trend.
‘Bleisure’ is the term coined for this new phenomenon. With the rise of digital nomads and ‘working from anywhere policies’, progressive industries are supporting their staff to work from wherever, which sees hospitality venues accommodate a lot of that traffic. ‘Bleisure’ allows employees to take their work along with them on their travels, taking leisurely breaks around the country – or even world – whilst remaining connected to their work.
Statista reports that 50% of respondents are planning to combine business trips with leisure activities. An appetite that could see hospitality venues need to step up to accommodate a new appetite for blended trips. Could ‘bleisure’ become the new brunch? It’s something we, as distributors and operators need to have a handle on.
The more the supply chain understands the challenges and opportunities facing hospitality operators the more they can help.
As we know from the pandemic, the seismic shift in consumer behaviour prompted a greater reliance on tech , changes in servicing hours and heightened concerns around hygiene and public health.
If businesses cannot keep up with the expectation of their consumers and guests, they will miss huge opportunities to capitalise on fluctuations in footfalls and appetites (excuse the pun!) for new experiences.
The industry is fuelled by consumer behaviour and trends. And this is something we can expect to see more of as cultural changes affect the behaviours and expectations of society. Piggybacking off the concept of a bottomless brunch is ‘bottomless dinner’. Social dining is and always will be interwoven into our everyday lives and relationships that venues and their distributors must continue to adapt and stay creative with their offerings, to attract and retain the modern-day patron.
Eggs Benedict paired with a glass of prosecco has become as much of a menu staple as bacon sandwiches and a cup of tea.
And it allows the crowd to enjoy a late morning dining experience – usually most popular at the weekends. Bottomless dinner has also been a hit for many establishments in creating longevity with those crowds and attracting similar demographics at different times of the day.
For venues to cater to the nuanced traffic heading in for ‘brunch’, be that the parties, work meetings or casual encounters, distributors and operators need to be aware of the trends among traffic and the additional support required for end users. And ultimately, the impact on the bottom line.
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