Sponsored by Dinova
In today’s “always on” business culture, a relaxing sit-down lunch is a luxury. It’s not uncommon for busy executives to power through their triple-booked work days with takeout, caffeine, and whatever they’re able to grab from the break room. When decision makers do manage to escape the office for lunch, they’re often rushed and distracted -- hardly the ideal setting for a productive meeting.
Business diners are discovering that the most effective deal-making and collaboration happens over “power breakfasts” -- early morning meetings that offer better networking and productivity, as well as much-needed fuel to start the day.
A recent Scientific American study explains why power breakfasts are so effective:
In the morning, we start off feeling fresh and rested (ideally, at least). As the day wears on, sustained cognitive engagement depletes our mental resources, and our behavior changes for the worse.
Restaurateurs who can tap into this growing segment of business diners stand to drive serious incremental revenue. Here’s what you need to know.
Setting the scene for power breakfasts
White tablecloth establishments, take note: power breakfasts are usually fairly casual in nature. It’s a chance for diners to ease into the day and have meaningful conversation away from the stuffiness of the office, and you’re more likely to see return visits if you create a relaxed environment. Casual chains like Bob Evans, Au Bon Pain, and Pot Belly are increasingly popular with business diners.
You can also facilitate collaboration by minimizing noise levels, ensuring adequate lighting, and offering tables with more privacy.
Using technology to draw business diners
Customers increasingly turn to mobile technology to ensure smooth and efficient dining experiences; if you’re looking to attract executives, keep your technology up to par. While free WiFi is a must-have, technologies that offer mobile food pre-ordering, online reservations, and mobile payment can help attract business diners.
How are your online reviews? Potential business diners will want to know, as they’re looking to impress their guests and clients. Reviews, particularly from others like them, will grab their attention and help your restaurant perform better in search engines.
Preparing your staff
Customer service is equally important to productive power breakfasts, and there are steps you can take to ensure everything runs smoothly (considering these customers haven’t had their coffee yet.)
Train your wait staff to recognize power breakfast meetings, and how to offer impeccable service without interrupting during important moments. They should know how to pick up on the tone and cadence of a meeting, and how to provide prompt service without making patrons feel rushed.
Tailoring the menu
To appease the corporate crowd, you can start by speaking their language on the menu. Some popular establishments feature dishes with “power breakfast” in the name; others take a tongue-in-cheek naming approach (e.g., “We dare you to expense this $32 frittata.”) Calling out popular or signature menu items can help out-of-towners and first-time guests make confident selections.
Healthier, protein-packed choices are also popular among the white collar crowd. An analysis by Make it Cheaper revealed that CEOs typically start their days with steel cut oats (Cheryl Bachelder of Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen), a smoothie (Birchbox’s Brad Lande), avocado toast (Clique Media’s Katherine Power) and other light fare.
You can also consider including express menu options, or a buffet, to appease time-crunched business guests.
So, just how big is the opportunity for restaurant owners?
Considering that business customers spend, on average, 100% more than other customers, the opportunity is huge.
In summary: the more you tailor your breakfast experience to business diners’ needs, the more you’re likely to attract these coveted guests. See more ways to attract business diners, with Dinova.