There was a brilliant article in The Times recently about the growth in the eating-out breakfast segment, in which it claimed 2016 has been the ‘year of the breakfast’.
The article went on to state:
“While traditional breakfast has been rapidly dying, there has been a phenomenal growth in ‘event’ breakfasts – statement meals shared with friends and invariably involving an avocado, a poached egg and some chia seeds. It’s all about the protein.”
They made some other interesting points
- – The growth in breakfasts started with the launch of The Breakfast Club in 2005 (or thereabouts)
- – Bill Grainger built on this with his avocado-on-toast craze (love it!)
- – The Breakfast Club has a ‘creative manager’ – something for us all to consider.
- – Teens now drink 50% less alcohol, do 50% less drugs, and smoke fewer cigarettes than their 2003 counterparts
- – Millennials are enamoured with breakfast because it’s cheaper
- – They can’t afford property so they spend their money on breakfasts
- – The rise of breakfasts is inextricably linked with the rise in social media
- – On Instagram, there are 51 million pictures tagged #breakfast versus 1.3 million tagged #supper
- – It’s seen as less of a time commitment than dinner – ‘meeting for lunch cuts your day in half’
- – It’s very relevant for people who want to socialise without alcohol
On top of that, I would argue:
- – You can pretend you have only had one meal when you have really had two (or even three)
- – You can save the calories you would have had at breakfast and really pig out
- – You believe you are eating healthily, which means you can have Nutella in large dollops on your porridge
- – Alcohol at breakfast doesn’t count as real alcohol – it’s basically orange juice anyway
- – It’s great for entertaining. You can make breakfast look like you have cooked, when you have just collated
This news about breakfast just happened to coincide with a visit I made to ‘Jack and Alice’ in Gerrard’s Cross last week – a place which screams ‘you must have breakfast here’. Who could resist a breakfast menu that offers layered almond chia pudding, coconut and quinoa porridge, waffles with smoked ham, free-range poached eggs, and a stack of toast with Nutella – see what I mean? More than the menu, however, the place has a relaxed, cosy, warm and welcoming atmosphere that is perfect for a long, leisurely, sober breakfast. I loved it and can’t wait to see what Mark and Vanessa Hall do next with this brand.
I also went to The Breakfast Club (the real one) the other week and adored every minute (good company too, though). It feels genuine, busy, mad, informal, easy-going, noisy, chaotic (in an organised way), American/English, Instagrammable, Ed’s-like (in places), colourful – just brilliant.
This is supported by an enviable culture:
“Here at The Breakfast Club we absolutely love a ‘feel-good’ movie – we make our staff watch Four Weddings And A Funeral at least once a week for the term of their employment. Don’t even get us started on music – we all sing Walking On Sunshine before each shift. That’s just who we are. So, it won’t surprise you that we have a team of people called Good Day Productions, brought together to deal with world poverty and save the world’s rainforests. However, it turns out our dual role as a London cafe and ‘saviours of the world’ are incompatible. With a heavy heart, we have turned our attentions closer to home.”
I think this is a brand that has it absolutely right.
Recently I had breakfast in The Folly in Gracechurch Street. I didn’t even consult the menu, I simply asked for something with avocado and a green juice. Perfect. The place was packed too. I didn’t eat so much, though, that I couldn’t enjoy lunch at Neil Rankin’s new restaurant, Temper, later – it was interesting. Not perfect, but it has potential.
Oh, and not forgetting, I also had breakfast in Costa at Hexham station. Don’t even go there. Why does Whitbread allow its brand to be so debased? Dreadful.
Breakfast isn’t new news these days, but it is good news for those brands that get it right. And it’s not just for millennials or those who can’t afford to have a house or baby yet – it’s for everyone.
Written by Ann Elliott, CEO of elliotts agency