How to make bottomless brunch work for your restaurant

scene setting in a restaurant

Take a look at hashtags like #Brunching or #BrunchLife on social media and you’ll see that Londoners love going out for a mid-morning meal on the weekends. For restaurants, offering brunch is a great opportunity to add this profitable meal service time to your existing menu. And a bottomless brunch is a way to differentiate your brunch service from nearby restaurants. Here, we share some handy tips on how to make bottomless brunch work for your restaurant.

What is bottomless brunch and how does it work for restaurants?

Bottomless brunch is a popular concept among brits and one of the favourite weekend activities. Usually a bottomless brunch menu includes top-notch food paired with unlimited and free flowing drinks, from unique cocktails to more traditional Prosecco and Mimosas. Bottomless brunches usually come with a time limit – around 2 hours – to ensure restaurants can accommodate as many guests as possible.

Why is bottomless brunch an opportunity for restaurants?

Offering bottomless brunch is a chance to showcase aspects of your menu, both food and drink. Brunch is typically seen as an opportunity for a more laid-back vibe in the dining room because the atmosphere is less formal. People come in and have a good time, whether it’s celebrating a special occasion or catching up with friends to talk about the week that was.

It encourages guests to stay longer, potentially ordering more beyond the fixed menu. Furthermore, by filling tables during traditional off-peak hours, restaurants can maximise their revenue. Additionally, the buzz around bottomless brunches – often shared on social media – serves as effective free marketing, enticing new customers and creating a vibrant, attractive atmosphere.

Tops tips for a successful bottomless brunch

Brunch is a fun way to offer your guests something a little different than they would usually get at dinner or lunch service, but it comes with challenges if you want to pull off a successful brunch offering. Here are some tips to make bottomless brunch work for your restaurant.

1. Choose cocktails wisely

You want to show off your restaurant’s excellent cocktails, but you don’t want to make them too complicated. A brunch setting probably isn’t the time for a twenty-ingredient cocktail.

It’s about ease of service and making sure that guests can get their cocktails quickly to really feel like they’re getting a value. Aim to balance creating bespoke cocktails with quick options that keep guests happy.

2. Make sure everyone is set up ahead of time

Like any service, make sure that your servers and kitchen are all set up. Brunch can be even more hectic than traditional meal times, so you need to be absolutely sure that you have all of the drink prep done and waiting at the proper stations.

The speed of a bottomless brunch service is high in demand, so if cocktails can be pre-batched, do it. It’s about being as prepared as possible – garnishes can be set up ahead as well for servers to finish before bringing a drink to the table.

3. Empower your servers to step in if guests have had too much

While it’s rare, some guests do have one too many drinks and may need to be cut off. It’s a delicate situation to approach, but it’s worth keeping an eye out for. One suggestion is to encourage guests to eat some more food before drinking again, just so things don’t get out of hand.

Having guests take a break from the free flowing beverages to have something to eat can help sober them up. You can also offer coffee or tea. Again, it doesn’t happen very often, but ensure your team is trained to keep an eye out for that during service. Having a time limit can also help cut down on guests overindulging.

4. Make sure you can deliver

If you run out of mimosas during a bottomless brunch service, you’ve probably lost that group of guests forever. Make sure you can actually deliver and give what you’re offering. Consider testing with their team to make sure you can handle the new task of offering unlimited beverages quickly.

When planning for cocktails, make sure you’ve got enough ingredients on hand to make three to four drinks per person. As for your team, you’ll need plenty of hands on deck to keep up with diners and their orders. Remember, these shifts can get pretty busy, so it’s important to have enough staff ready to meet on demand head-on. It may also be worth taking prepaid bookings. That way, you don’t have to worry about overstocking and can avoid costly no-shows because guests have paid in advance.

Brunching with the best of them

Brunch is a balancing act for chefs and restaurant management. To make bottomless brunch work for your spot, be prepared to step in with creativity, patience and dedication.