By Barbara Olejnik
Poultry Times Staff
GAINESVILLE, Ga. — While restaurants have normally served eggs during breakfast hours, it wasn’t until recently that some food establishments, particularly the quick serve restaurants like McDonald’s and White Castle, began the service of all-day breakfasts.
This has led, in turn, to full service restaurants beginning to add breakfast items to their menu options.
The trend, however, has not yet taken over the entire chain of food establishments.
According to a 2016 Keynote Report by Datassential, only a quarter of operators offer breakfast beyond lunch.
While breakfast as a menu option may not be available at all restaurants, the operators of these facilities are including the breakfast experience in other ways. — They are putting eggs on everything.
They are doing this by offering eggs as a topping or an add-on option on a particular dish.
Eggs as add-on toppings are up by 4.8 percent since 2015.
Late 2016 Technomic research shows fried eggs are the most common style used as an add-on option,
Eggs answer consumer demand for cleaner labeled, more natural ingredients in their food. They also fill the consumer desire for higher protein foods.
Technomic found that 75 percent of people perceive foods high in protein as being healthier, and 39 percent are willing to pay extra for it.
The versatility of eggs means they can be added to a wide variety of sweet, salty and savory flavors.
People are ordering egg-topped pizza, burgers, sandwiches, bowls and salads in increasing numbers.
An example of eggs as an option is found in Chili’s 2017 Winter menu which includes three separate suggestions to “plus up” an order by adding a fried egg to any of the chain’s Craft Burgers, steaks or enchilada dishes.
Some of the newer restaurant chains are focused primarily on breakfast foods throughout the day. One of these is San Diego-based Breakfast Republic which serves a Vietnamese Chicken Wing Breakfast Bowl made of wings, white rice, Asian vegetables and three eggs.
Forty-six percent of consumers surveyed in 2016 by Datassential said their reason for choosing breakfast foods during other dayparts was craving a specific food, like eggs.
The American Egg Board points out that an egg topper provides many advantages. It reshapes an old favorite, adds natural unprocessed protein to vegetarian dishes and supercharges the protein quotient of a meat dish.