Breakfasts are not just for breakfast anymore - Insights

Breakfasts are not just for breakfast anymore

McDonald’s posted an impressive 5.7% annual growth for 2015, largely due to a simple change in its operations. The food giant started offering its mouth-watering Egg McMuffin sandwich on a 24/7 basis instead of ending its availability at 11am. Great news for the shareholders and McMuffin fans!

In a similar fashion, my company’s “executive cafeteria” is a delicatessen located within our Toronto office structure called the Pickle Barrel. Here, breakfast is on the menu at lunch as well as dinner. When I inquired with the general manager, he told me that breakfasts are the third best-selling item category behind traditional deli sandwiches and salads. What is more remarkable about this data is that the Pickle Barrel opens everyday at 9am, well past the typical breakfast rush hour.

Lastly, I’ve been known to frequent Las Vegas casino restaurants and ordering breakfast at times that would not be considered traditional for this type of fare. Breakfast is always on the menu on The Strip, which is a definite relief for bacon-and-eggs fellows like me.

Non-scientific in my sample base, I reviewed the collection of menus acquired from hotels I’ve experienced over the past two years. In this analysis, I eliminated those properties with menus designed exclusively for breakfast hours. And the results: only three out of 47 properties made mention of the availability of breakfast outside of morning hours. Interestingly, another six had some form of breakfast available on their late-night menus but did not list these dishes for lunch or dinner.

So, what’s the lesson from McDonald’s, The Pickle Barrel and all this menu perusal? Give your customers what they want – and they want breakfast all day long!

Remember the 1993 movie Falling Down? In it, the star Michael Douglas, goes into a quick-serve restaurant and attempts to order breakfast at 11:35am, a few minutes after the morning menu has ended. What follows is a famous line where he asks, “Have you ever heard the expression: the customer is always right?” and the manager’s response is, “That’s not our policy here”. If you have not seen this sequence recently, it is quite provocative (

Now, think about your customers, in particular at lunch hour. They may not be explicitly asking for breakfast, but you’re not offering it either! What is wrong with listing an all-day breakfast menu item? Consider traditional continental-style, bacon and eggs or huevos rancheros for those in search of a tad more color on their plates. You can even style the dish differently at lunch via plating or other garnishes.

This is not going to require much additional kitchen preparation or training, so have fun and tell me your results. And above all, give your customers what they want!

About the author

Larry Mogelonsky is the founder of LMA Communications Inc. (, an award-winning, full service communications agency focused on the hospitality industry (est. 1991). Larry is also the developer of Inn at a Glance hospitality software. As a recognized expert in marketing services, his experience encompasses Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts and Preferred Hotels & Resorts, as well as numerous independent properties throughout North America, Europe and Asia. Larry is a registered professional engineer, and received his MBA from McMaster University. He’s also a principal of Cayuga Hospitality Consultants, an associate of G7 Hospitality and a member Laguna Strategic Advisors. His work includes three books “Are You an Ostrich or a Llama?” (2012) and “Llamas Rule” (2013) and “Hotel Llama” (2014). You can reach Larry at to discuss any hospitality business challenges or to review speaking engagements.

This article may not be reproduced without the expressed permission of the author.

Tags: breakfast, Food and Beverage

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