By Rieva Lesonsky

Breakfast is my significant other’s favorite meal. Other than hamburgers, he would be happy to eat nothing but breakfast food forever. The rest of the country is apparently catching up with him.

Reports from National Restaurant Association and Technomic’s Breakfast Consumer Trends Report say 75% of consumers eat breakfast out five times more frequently than they did 10 years ago. Almost 60% would eat out more frequently if breakfast items were offered on more lunch and dinner menus, and 35% would go to a restaurant they don’t typically frequent in order to order breakfast foods outside normal breakfast hours.

In its Breakfast Keynote Report, Datassential polled diners and learned:

  • 51% had breakfast food for lunch
  • 43% had a breakfast item for an afternoon snack
  • 45% ate breakfast foods at dinner
  • 40% consumed breakfast items for a late-night snack

What breakfast foods are consumers ordering for lunch and dinner? According to Datassential, the most popular items are:

  • Eggs
  • Shrimp and grits
  • French toast
  • Hash browns, tater tots and other potato dishes
  • Chicken and waffles
  • Breakfast sandwiches

In addition, breakfast burger consumption is up 107% in the last four years. (Think hamburger and an egg, accompanied by bacon and cheese on a bun or English muffin.)

Convenience is also a key factor. Restaurant Business reports 33% of consumers and 45% of younger consumers are interested in breakfast foods that can be packed for transport. Menu items like breakfast sandwiches and wraps are in demand, but they say “32% of consumers would likely order a breakfast bowl to go.”

Other portable breakfast foods consumers are ordering in the afternoon and evening include French toast sticks, chicken eggrolls, and fried hash brown patties filled with bacon, egg and cheese.

And to add to the potential profits, second breakfasts, as we reported last year, are still on the rise.

So, if you own a restaurant, you need to take a serious look at expanding your menu to include breakfast options during all dayparts.

Stock photo of breakfast burger/Shutterstock by Elena Veselova