How big is the market for breakfast & brunch in the United States?

More Americans are enjoying dining out for breakfast and brunch than ever before

Americans love breakfast, and in recent years, we’ve taken the adage, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” to heart by eating more breakfast than we ever have. According to Time magazine’s reporting1 on the NPD survey of American breakfast habits, “out of the three meals, only breakfast has seen a growth in traffic.”

The publication reports: “Most Americans eat breakfast nearly every day — 361 days a year, up from 350 days a year, on average, in 2010. We’re also doing more morning snacking, eating 17% more morning snacks today than we did six years ago, NPD found.”

The breakfast boom is great news for restaurant owners. In a terrific article by Eater, titled “The Business of Breakfast”2, the rise of breakfast is the result of three things: 1) The economic recession of 2008 made going out to dinner unaffordable to many Americans, prompting them to visit restaurants for breakfast, 2) Restaurants are offering high-quality breakfast meals, and 3) Breakfast food is cheap to buy from the restaurant owner’s standpoint, so they enjoy great margins from their customers.

open a ben & florentine brunch franchise

“It’s been the only bright spot in the industry, and it’s been that way for years,” says Bonnie Riggs, a restaurant industry analyst at NPD Group in the article. “So [even full-service venues] are trying to take advantage for a growth trend.” The article goes on to quote Patricia Cobe, a senior editor at Restaurant Business, who speaks of the relative ease owners of breakfast restaurants experience in comparison to their dinner counterparts:

artisanal food - lunch franchise - breakfast franchise “People in the morning starting prep – prep cooks – can do the menu pretty easily. Most breakfast dishes aren’t that complicated.” Cobe added that coupled with low labor costs, high margins for breakfast are feasible because the cost of goods sold (eggs, bacon, bread) are lower.

“Eggs are one of the cheapest ingredients around right now, and they can up-charge and can make a really great profit,” says Cobe. “[Restaurants] can sell egg dishes for like $15.”

While restaurants can and do charge more for breakfast fare, the reasons are the result of the ever-expanding American tastebuds, the rise of foodie culture and the broad use of social media. Brunch may be the best example of how our concept of breakfast has become more adventurous. Just how popular is brunch? La Belle Assiette nailed it perfectly in their article, “Brunch Boom: How Brunch Became the Most Popular Meal of the Day.”3

The publication writes: “Walk around any major city on a weekend and brunch will be served by many establishments, putting their own twist on this old favorite. Mexican mixes of salsa and eggs on fajitas; or Italian meats and breads all are welcome on the metropolitan brunch table today.”

Nation’s Restaurant News4 points out that brunch also is a positive for restaurant owners:

“Outside of the chance to get breakfast-beyond-the-basics later in the day, brunch is booming for a variety of reasons,” the publication reports. “Increasingly flexible work arrangements (irregular hours and home offices) allow employees more freedom to eat when they choose. Many work meetings now happen over brunch as well. According to Chicago-based Mintel Research, the relaxed pace of brunch plays a role in its growing popularity. In its study, “Restaurant Breakfast and Brunch Trends,” published in July, nearly 40 percent of the 1,670 consumers surveyed viewed brunch as a time to socialize with friends and family.”

Ben & florentine franchise team

Ben & Florentine is Ready to Change American Breakfast Culture for the Better

Ben & Florentine is taking breakfast to new heights, with our all-day brunch-style menu that is updated every six months with bold, new trendsetting products. Scroll through our magazine- style menu and you will see radically different approaches to new and old breakfast favorites, such as our Brie & Blueberry French Toast, an eggs benedict inspired by the Philly Cheesesteak, avocado toast with lox, and dozens more options that make going out to breakfast a memorable adventure.

In Canada, Ben & Florentine has emerged as one of the largest breakfast franchise brands, with more than 55 locations. As we begin franchising in the U.S. for the first time, Ben & Florentine is poised to replicate our Canadian success by helping passionate U.S. entrepreneurs realize their dreams of owning a breakfast restaurant that becomes a part of the daily fabric of communities nationwide.

1 – Time Magazine, “Here’s What Americans are Eating for Breakfast”
2 – Eater, “The Business of Breakfast”
3 – La Belle Assiette, “Brunch boom: how brunch became the most popular meal of the day”
4 – Nation’s Restaurant News, “Fueling the flavor of the brunch boom”

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