Serving breakfast could prove a winner, suggests Central Foods

If you’re not already serving breakfast, then now might be a good time to consider doing so

Breakfast is one of the fastest growing eating out occasions and experts believe it could be one area of the foodservice sector that has the chance to grow further.

Insights firm The NPD Group recently revealed that breakfast ‘quick service restaurant’ visits increased by 4.5% in the year ending December 2019 compared to the previous year.

Serving breakfast could be a way to increase custom and boost the bottom line, amid uncertainties in the foodservice sector, suggests Gordon Lauder, MD of frozen food distributor Central Foods.

“Figures show that breakfast – as a day part to service – remains the fastest growing meal occasion amongst operators in the UK,” explains Gordon.

“It’s been seen especially in the delivery sector, drive-through options and work-related food-to-go purchases. The ‘off site’ aspect is growing seven times faster than the ‘on site’ aspect, according to the NPD Group Bakery Tracker in November 2019, and a Kantar Research Express Survey a year ago revealed that there’s been a 32.8% increase in carried-out breakfasts.”

Central Foods has seen soaring sales on some of its key breakfast products, including muffins and pancakes. Another breakfast and brunch favourite – American pancakes – also saw an increase in sales.

This is crucial information for fast food operators who might be thinking of extending their opening hours to include breakfast and who are looking for further menu ideas to tempt customers.

In many cases, it is possible to take existing products that are already used in a takeaway or fast food outlet and just alter the way they are served to turn them into tasty ‘breakfast or brunch items’.

“Try serving something like the Golden Valley Foods breaded chicken goujons on KaterBake Plain Belgian waffles, drizzled with syrup, to create a delicious US-style breakfast idea,” suggests Gordon, “or even serve alongside or between sugared donuts, as they do in the States, for a sweet/savoury flavour explosion that’s got to be tried to be believed – it sounds odd but, weirdly, it just works!

“The all-day breakfast has become a popular addition to menus – so you may find that adding breakfast-style options to your menu doesn’t just capture early sales but also brings in extra sales throughout the day too,” he adds. “Our luxury Fruit Bread, for example, tastes great toasted and buttered for breakfast or as a light snack at any time of day. But why not pimp it up, quickly and easily, with some fresh fruit and whipped cream for a really indulgent breakfast or treat? Just a little bit of extra input can turn this delicious breakfast basic into an instant showstopper, which will tap into customers’ needs to treat themselves during these uncertain times and easily command a premium to help your bottom line.

“Breakfast is a meal occasion that could give takeaway and fast food outlets new selling opportunities, both in terms of helping to bring operating hours forward, and also by expanding the menu range.”

Central Foods, which is based in Northamptonshire, is one of the UK’s leading frozen food distributors working in the foodservice sector. Its Golden Valley Foods chicken range – served in many takeaways and fast food outlets – is one of its most popular ranges. Amongst the more than 400 lines that it supplies are bakery items, breads, meat products, vegetarian, vegan and free-from items, plus desserts and puddings. Central Foods currently sells to more than 220 independent wholesalers, as well as larger national and regional wholesalers, and foodservice caterers across the entire foodservice industry including takeaways, fast food outlets, schools, universities, pubs, bars, restaurants, hotels, leisure centres, garden centres, cafés, care homes and many other outlets.

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