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Breakfast sandwich category expanding

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The open-faced breakfast sandwich at La Brea Bakery Disney Cafe

If you serve breakfast, and your menu doesn’t already list a breakfast sandwich or two, you’re probably missing the boat. In early 2013, Technomic reports, breakfast sandwiches were up 8.1 percent annually on the menus of the top limited-service restaurants.

A separate Technomic survey found that one third of consumers eat breakfast sandwiches at least once a week, suggesting that operators have an opportunity to promote their convenience and affordability, a move that could increase sales during the breakfast daypart.

“Sandwiches are an important part of a restaurant’s menu,” says Technomic executive v.p. Darren Tristano. “The number of ingredients, preparation methods and sauces can seem endless. Keeping abreast of trends appearing on restaurant menus is one way operators and suppliers can get ahead of their competition.”

Other Technomic findings include:

• Bacon is the most popular breakfast sandwich protein, appearing on 30.1 percent of sandwiches, followed by ham (23.7 percent) and sausage (22.9 percent). 

• Among breakfast sandwich breads, flatbreads, paninis and croissants saw the most growth, while breads like ciabatta and tortilla declined.

• On lunch and dinner menus, chicken is the most popular sandwich protein, featured 25 percent of the time, followed by bacon (15.4 percent) and turkey (14.8 percent). 

• Year over year, operators increased their use of traditional condiments like mayonnaise, mustard and ranch dressing, and were less likely to menu alternatives like pesto, aioli, or vinaigrette.

Restaurant Hospitality’s recipe archive
includes many ideas for breakfast sandwiches. Here are a few:

Open-faced breakfast sandwich
La Brea Bakery Disney Cafe, Anaheim, CA

Grilled portabella breakfast sandwich
Roots Restaurant, San Francisco

Ciao ciabatta breakfast sandwich
m. henry, Chicago

Young at heart healthy breakfast sandwich
The Griddle Cafe, Hollywood, CA

Michael’s breakfast
Green Street Restaurant, Pasadena, CA

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