Brunch is more than a meal, it’s a cultural phenomenon.
All around the world hungry weekenders lineup for hours to feast on brunch food favourites and catch up with friends after a full week of work. Who is brunching? Just about everyone. Millennials, young families and urban professionals are participating enthusiastically in this leisurely meal.
The popularity of brunch continues to peak; Google Trends shows that search interest in brunch has been on the rise since 2004. Some say brunch is well-liked because of its flexibility; it’s perfectly respectable for diners to eat as early as 9 a.m. or as late as 3 p.m. Depending on the mood, foodies can choose something sweet like pancakes or a more savoury dish like a ham-filled frittata.
A strong appeal for brunch is the social experience inherent to the mid-morning meal. The surge of social media has heightened the aspect of sharing tremendously. Pausing to take a quick snap of french toast or hash browns is key to successfully brunching in the 21st century. Instagram posts of popular brunch destinations can influence the decision of frequent brunch-goers who seek out aesthetically pleasing food for their own social channels.
The “brunching” culture is partially responsible for the resurgence of breakfast foods. Millennials are the likeliest demographic to go without the first meal of the day. According to a 2011-2012 National Center for Health Statistics survey, a quarter of teens and twenty-somethings don’t eat breakfast every day. Perhaps it’s the shift of all-day snacking becoming the norm or it’s the fall of breakfast, a window has opened and brunch is becoming increasingly more attractive.
Foodies hunting for rich food experiences while on a budget can be satisfied with brunch as chefs and restaurants are revolutionizing our ideas of breakfast foods. Restaurants are taking advantage of the popularity of brunch as an opportunity to reinvent the wheel. Toronto’s own Maple Leaf Tavern revamps brunch with unique menu options like Smoked Salmon Crudo served with beet and horseradish terrine, soft mustard and a soft egg.
The popularity of social media has contributed to the rise of brunch offering restaurants and PR companies new ways to connect with this generation of foodies. Taste isn’t the only thing that is paramount to making your restaurant successful. Ensuring your pancakes are picturesque and Insta-worthy is key to remaining top of mind in the competitive brunch landscape.