Unique but Familiar: Planning Your Brunch Menu

Developing

The Public School C.C.B. (the handheld cobb)

You’ve created a killer brunch cocktail program. Your promotions are all set. You have an effective plan to engage with customers and get them through your doors for brunch. What about the food?

The standbys are great. Who doesn’t like French toast, waffles, and eggs Benedict? But what about circumventing your customers’ expectations? Give them something to talk about while staying true to your concept.

Creating a sense of intrigue is one way to draw in customers. Pizza Rock, for example, leverages both the social aspect for which brunch is known and people’s desire to try something different. Not only do they put a twist on French toast by infusing it with DiSaronno and Frangelico and offer a meatball hash, they have created a number of breakfast-style pizzas. The Triple Berry, for example, is made with mozzarella, mascarpone, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, honey, and powdered sugar.

“I think people are intrigued by the idea,” says Pizza Rock general manager Amanda Smith. “Pizza is a great shareable food, and brunch is a such a social environment that it goes hand in hand.”

Hot spot steakhouse STK’s executive chef Stephen Hopcraft has also approached brunch in a unique way. Rather than just offer the standards, he has reimagined them.

“[Hopcraft] approached the menu in a fun cinematic theme, so it’s divided into three sections: Previews, Featured Presentations, and Encores,” says general manager Jordan Mendez. “Some of the signature entrees include STK n’ L’eggs, pork belly Benedict on a bao bun, and the brunch club with avocado and herb mayo. Our pastry chef Brigette Contreras created desserts that fit into the brunch theme, including a cinnamon roll, milk & cookies and the infamous STKy Bun, which is a pull-apart monkey bread.”

Again, there’s nothing wrong with offering standard brunch fare. It’s probably safe to say that nobody is tired of the standbys. But there’s also nothing wrong with taking a look at your concept, comparing your food and beverage items to the usual brunch items, and putting your own unique spin on them. It’s up to you how far you want to push the envelope, and it’s important to not go so far that you confuse your guests, but executing a creative menu can pay off big and make your brunch the talk of the town.