When executed correctly, brunch can be a profitable and vital daypart for full-service restaurants. However, brunch also brings with it a bevy of challenges.
“More than anything, staffing brunch can be really tough,” says Kevin Wassler, corporate executive chef for Nestlé Professional. “It’s sometimes frowned upon because it’s a different schedule and usually follows the morning after your cooks just worked a dinner rush.”
Brunch also traditionally requires a variety of new SKUs and line items which can raise food costs and add complexity into kitchens that are already reeling from supply-chain disruptions and a lack of skilled labor.
CHEF-MATE provides chefs a way to run a profitable, scratch-quality brunch program with fewer SKUs and labor required.
The labor woes that have plagued the industry have especially affected the brunch daypart. As Chef Wassler alludes to, most full-service restaurants offering brunch one or two days a week have trouble fully staffing the morning shift; and yet, it can be pivotal to have seasoned veterans on the line during the popular daypart.
“If you’re going to do breakfast and brunch and really do it right, you need dedicated breakfast cooks,” Chef Wassler says. “Brunch is just a faster pace, so you have to have well-trained cooks who are fast-moving. Or, you can use CHEF-MATE and get scratch quality out of a can. It’s as simple as that.”
Chef Wassler endorses CHEF-MATE® Corned Beef Hash as one of the company’s many versatile, scratch-quality products that can save kitchens hours of prep each day.
Inflation has been devastating in the foodservice industry, having a huge impact on the bottom line. Using a glass-half-full approach, Chef Wassler cites rising food costs as an opportunity for full-service restaurants.
“Rising prices also allow you to menu higher-end offerings,” Chef Wassler says. “You can design the menu that you want to execute and incorporate international trends with regional twists. Now you’re getting traffic through the door and they’re willing to pay a bit more.”
These breakfast enchiladas feature CHEF-MATE Country Sausage Gravy, a SKU with endless versatility that can elevate a menu item while keeping food costs down.
If there’s a theme here, it is that CHEF-MATE products are scratch-quality, versatile products. So versatile, in fact, that Chef Wassler believes they can help reduce an operation’s SKUs by up to 80 percent.
“If you’re doing a full-scale brunch, that could be 80 to 150 different line items that are just for brunch,” Chef Wassler says. “If you’re using CHEF-MATE, you may be able to get that number down to 30.”
Consider the above Southwestern Omelet, which leverages CHEF-MATE® Basic Cheddar Cheese Sauce and several ingredients kitchens may already have on hand for other dishes and dayparts.
One chef-hack Wassler recommends exploring is using CHEF-MATE products to offer appetizers. Brunch crowds like to linger and have a beverage or two, so something like Breakfast Nachos—or even chips and dip—can help grow check sizes.
“Not a lot of people think about doing appetizers at brunch,” Wassler says. “But you can do chips and CHEF-MATE® Que Bueno White Queso and people will order that and it can be taken straight to the table while they’re nursing a drink and waiting on the rest of their food.
Chef Wassler reports that the entire CHEF-MATE line is more consistent than anything chefs and their teams could make in house. On top of that, it’s a scratch-quality product with an 18-month shelf life.
“Some of our competitors cook their product in a can, and you can taste it,” Chef Wassler says. “It tastes tinny. But ours is made and cooked before it’s canned. Also, the hold times you can get out of our products are outstanding. They can last for up to 8 hours—it’s really an eye opening thing that a lot of chefs talk about.”
CHEF-MATE not only helps chefs put out consistently delicious dishes while keeping labor at a minimum, but it also provides a way to run a profitable brunch program while helping back-of-house operations remain smooth as ever, Chef Wassler says.
“With CHEF-MATE,” Wassler says, “Chefs will find SKUs that work for them.”
For more on making your brunch more profitable, visit the CHEF-MATE website.