This report provides comprehensive and current information and analysis of the restaurant breakfast and brunch market including restaurant breakfast market size, brunch market size, anticipated market forecast, relevant market segmentation, and industry trends for the restaurant breakfast and brunch market in the US.

Current market landscape

Despite the seismic shifts to routines and a heightened call for controlled discretionary spending, the majority of breakfast diners are actually maintaining or even increasing their participation, indicating that breakfast habits may be hard to shake. The relative affordability of breakfast perhaps makes it slightly less vulnerable to rising prices compared to lunch or dinner, suggesting that breakfast may be a solid space for operators to sustain or grow traffic.

Still, lingering elevated prices could have longer-term impact on overall occasions, restaurant choice and even menus in a number of ways: diners trading down, up or out. Among the salient 20% who are cutting back on ordering breakfast/brunch, nearly two thirds cite higher prices and 46% of diners say the price of the items affects where they order breakfast/brunch. Building relationships with diners means making away-from-home breakfast a habitual routine and encouraging customers to boost their visitation frequency, and it must be grounded in value.

While breakfast occasions are gaining momentum, there is still ample room to drive morning visitation and ordering. Diners are more than twice as likely to dine “out” for dinner or lunch. Yet, nearly half of Gen Z and Millennials report increased foodservice breakfast occasions this year, compared to only about a quarter of Gen X and older, a bellwether of changing restaurant traffic patterns and a slow visitation evolution. Gen Z and Millennial are prolific diners for brands to build breakfast loyalty with, and they have more fluid demands, signaling a call for operational and menu updates to meet their contemporary needs.

Market share and key restaurant brunch industry trends

  • Shaking up, not breaking, morning routines will be the key to grow AM traffic
    More than half of consumers report their breakfast is the same most days, challenging operators to forge or reinforce habits through taste and incentives that make their brand a regular part of even varied routines.
  • Blend taste experience with convenience
    Consumers cite the leading reason to order breakfast is to treat, yet most occasions still go to convenient LSRs suggesting that it’s not all about indulgence, but rather easing into the day. Brands can deliver on both.
  • Tap into Millennial, Gen Z needs to build loyalty
    Increased breakfast, brunch and even snacking visitation among younger diners point to signs of a shifting dynamic in restaurant visitation that call for the blurring of breakfast and brunch.

Breakfast restaurant industry trends

The biggest challenge to operators to grow morning occasions is also the strongest opportunity: tapping into the habits of breakfast. More than half of consumers eat the same breakfast on most days, yet just short of a quarter of breakfast diners report dining out for breakfast is part of their routine. In a time when change is among a primary constant and the need to demonstrate value is almost universal, there is no better time to create loyalties and incentivize visitation with rewards programs that create a call to action while securing a spot in AM routines.

Read on to discover more about the restaurant breakfast and brunch market consumer market, read our US On-premise Restaurant Technology Market Report 2022, or take a look at our other Foodservice research reports. For information on the retail breakfast market, please see: Frozen Breakfast – US, 2021 and Hot and Cold Cereal – US, 2021.

Quickly understand restaurant breakfast trends

  • Daypart and breakfast/brunch ordering.
  • Changes in breakfast/brunch ordering patterns.
  • Breakfast/brunch ordering by operator segment and occasion Breakfast/brunch attitudes and behaviors.
  • Interest in breakfast/brunch menu and operations features.

Covered in this breakfast consumer trend report

Brands include: Chick-fil-A, Taco Bell, Wendy’s, Panera, McDonald’s, Burger King, Denny’s, Nektar, IHOP, Protein Bar, Jamba Juice, Planet Smoothie.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

This report, written by Pooja Lal, a leading analyst in the Foodservice sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current consumer breakfast trend reports and add expert context to the numbers.

In a time when value has heightened importance, the relative affordability of many breakfast and brunch options makes the daypart a solid place to drive traffic. While menu diversity can be a call to action that differentiates between operators, incentives in loyalty programs not only inspire occasions, but also secure a spot in AM routines.

Pooja Lal, Foodservice Analyst, Mintel Menu Insights
Pooja Lal
Analyst, US Foodservice and Mintel Menu Insights

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • This Report looks at the following areas
        • Definition
          • Market context
          • Executive Summary

              • Top takeaways
                • Market overview
                  • Figure 1: Trended restaurant ordering, by daypart, 2020-22
                • Challenges and Opportunities
                  • Breakfast habituality can be a foe and friend for operators
                    • Figure 2: Breakfast attitudes and behaviors – Routine, 2022
                  • Enhancing the breakfast and brunch experience for everyone
                    • Figure 3: Reasons for foodservice breakfast/brunch, 2022
                  • Take a healthy hint from at home breakfast
                    • Figure 4: Breakfast/brunch daypart interests, net – Any occasion, 2022
                  • Gen Z, Millennials poised to be breakfast dining advocates
                    • Figure 5: Typical restaurant ordering, by generation, 2022
                • Market Factors

                  • Is breakfast still considered the most important meal of the day?
                    • Lingering elevated protein, egg and dairy prices will challenge breakfast operators and diners
                      • Figure 6: Changes in Consumer Price Index, 2021-23
                      • Figure 7: Breakfast/brunch ordering decision
                    • Labor shortage growingly exasperated as restaurant industry recovers
                      • Figure 8: Quit levels, accommodation and foodservices, 2020-21
                  • Competitive Strategies and Market Opportunities

                    • Brands target snacking through breakfast portability
                      • Figure 9: Foodservice snackable breakfast bites introductions
                    • Brands dip deep into value messaging and menus
                      • Bowls can bridge the gap between breakfast, brunch, health and indulgence
                        • Figure 10: Bowls on menus
                      • Tapping into “health” through protein
                        • Figure 11: Protein forward breakfast menu options
                    • The Foodservice Breakfast Consumer – Fast Facts

                      • Foodservice Ordering by Daypart

                        • Breakfast recovery points to opportunity to build fresh habits
                          • Figure 12: Restaurant ordering, 2020-22
                        • Millennials, Gen Z driving the return to breakfast
                          • Figure 13: Restaurant ordering by generation
                      • Changes in Breakfast/Brunch Ordering

                        • Diners more likely to be increasing breakfast ordering than cutting back
                          • Figure 14: Change in breakfast ordering, 2022
                        • Gen Z, Millennials driving return to breakfast
                          • Figure 15: Change in breakfast ordering, by generation
                        • Value centric breakfast deals will resonate across income levels
                          • Figure 16: Change in breakfast ordering, by Household Income
                        • Be a part of parental morning routines
                          • Figure 17: Change in breakfast ordering, by parental status
                      • Restaurant Breakfast/Brunch Attitudes and Behaviors

                        • Breakfast habits are hard to break, so bend them
                          • Figure 18: Breakfast/brunch attitudes and behaviors
                        • Men willing to forgo convenience for product quality
                          • Figure 19: Breakfast/brunch attitudes and behaviors, by gender
                        • Get more out of Gen Z with value driven promotions
                          • Figure 20: Breakfast/brunch attitudes and behaviors, by Generation
                        • Quality outweighs price for many parents
                          • Figure 21: Breakfast/brunch attitudes and behaviors, by parental status
                      • Breakfast/Brunch Ordering by Location

                        • QSR breakfast stands tall against breakfast/brunch competition
                          • Figure 22: Breakfast/Brunch ordering, by segment
                          • Figure 23: Breakfast/Brunch ordering, by segment
                      • Reasons for Ordering Breakfast/Brunch

                        • Meet weekday and weekend occasions in the middle with enjoyment
                          • Figure 24: Reasons for foodservice breakfast/brunch
                        • Anytime menus offer a common connection
                          • Figure 25: Reasons for foodservice breakfast/brunch by gender
                        • Transition Gen Zs from social to solo occasions
                          • Figure 26: Reasons for foodservice breakfast/brunch, by generation
                        • Create the break from parenting
                          • Figure 27: Reasons for foodservice breakfast/brunch by parental status
                      • Interest in Breakfast/Brunch Menu and Operations Features

                        • MTO and customizable = healthy to breakfast diners
                          • Figure 28: Breakfast/brunch daypart interests, net – Any occasion, 2022
                        • Women want fresher, customizable menu items
                          • Figure 29: Breakfast/brunch daypart interests, 2022
                        • Millennials, Gen Z are reshaping breakfast/brunch programs
                          • Figure 30: Breakfast/brunch daypart interests, by generation, 2022
                      • Healthy Breakfast/Brunch Choices

                        • Protein tops the list of healthy breakfasts
                          • Figure 31: Perceptions of healthy breakfast behaviors, 2022
                        • Gen Z, Millennials changing perceptions of healthy breakfast meaning
                          • Figure 32: Perceived healthy breakfast behaviors, by generation, 2022
                      • Breakfast/Brunch Ordering Behaviors

                        • Creative adds to familiar favorites can enhance habits rather than break them
                          • Figure 33: Breakfast/brunch ordering behaviors, 2022
                        • Woo women diners with flexible promotions
                          • Figure 34: Breakfast/brunch ordering behaviors, by gender, 2022
                        • Incentivize Gen Z exploration
                          • Figure 35: Breakfast/brunch ordering behaviors, by generation, 2022
                      • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                        • Consumer survey data
                          • Marketing creative
                            • Abbreviations and terms
                              • Abbreviations

                              About the report

                              This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.


                              Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.


                              Mintel’s proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.


                              Mintel provides overviews of the top brands and manufacturers, and uses consumer research to explore attitudes and reactions to brands, as well as insight into what will resonate with consumers.


                              Market reports provide appendices of data to support the research and insight produced. Our tables of data are easily manipulated and downloadable to support your research needs and covers factors from consumer attitudes to market forecasts.

                              Below is a sample report, understand what you are buying.

                              Click to show report

                              Please Note: This is a sample report. All of the figures, graphs, and tables have been redacted. Also, our reports come in PDF, Powerpoint, Word and Excel Databook formats.

                              Trusted by companies. Big and small.

                              Bell Logo - Mintel client
                              Boots Logo - Mintel Client
                              Kelloggs Logo - Mintel client
                              Samsung Logo - Mintel client
                              Nike Logo - Mintel client
                              Walgreens Logo - Mintel client

                              Want to speak to us directly?

                              Contact us on via phone or fill out a form with your enquiry.

                              Contact Us