What to do (and what not to do) when running a ‘boozy brunch’ this Summer

The emergence of brunch as an acceptable mealtime has opened a whole new world for foodservice operators. It allows for a steady flow of patronage from breakfast to lunch and has forced many chefs to reconsider their morning menu. Plus, it’s a godsend for those that love a good sleep in.


With its considerable rise in popularity, cafes, pubs and restaurants alike are beginning to tinker with the formula. At first it was little things, like brunch specific menu items and the odd morning special, but the latest brunch craze could take the metaphorical cake.


Insert ‘boozy brunch’, ‘bottomless brunch’ … or whatever catchy phrase the in-house marketer is using these days. The point is you, know what we’re talking about because your local is either doing it, or thinking about it.


The idea is sound in theory, but if you’re managing a venue and are ready to jump on the wagon you might want to pump the breaks just a second. Because although it’s still a big-time trend, you’ll want to stand out amongst the crowd.


Your road to running a successful boozy brunch begins with nailing the basics. Then like most things in foodservice, will require a little creativity, flair and finesse. So, if you’re a boozy brunch virgin and would like a few tips (because who doesn’t love tips in hospo), here’s a few pointers to get you started:


1) Don’t underestimate the work involved

Any chef will tell you that one of the most important aspects of cooking is the prep work. The same goes for organising your boozy brunch. Many a venue have made the mistake of underestimating all what’s involved with orchestrating one of these successfully.


This is certainly a case of something that seems easy, when it’s really not. A few batch-made cocktails and a condensed breakfast menu won’t cut the mustard if you’re looking to ‘wow’ your guests. It’s important to consider every aspect, because the reality is that this isn’t your average Sunday service and requires an acute attention to detail. I think we need some examples of the work involved here – you’ve said don’t underestimate it, but could we expand what you mean?


2) Less is sometimes more, so try to keep the menu simple

Variety is hard to pull off when it comes to boozy brunch, so you should be really careful with what you choose to offer. Having a bunch of different things to choose from can cause headaches in the kitchen considering it’s often lots of large group bookings all within a 2-3 hour window.


Lots of places will advertise a particular cuisine, such as bottomless pizza or bottomless gnocchi (oh the bloat). By doing this, people will know what to expect and it will make the chefs’ life a whole lot easier when the orders for seconds are coming in thick and fast.


3) Don’t forget your vege/vegan diners

If you haven’t caught wind of the growing population of vegan/vegetarian diners, where have you been for the last few years? It’s important to accommodate all of your guests, because chances are you’ll have a few among the group. Try to go beyond the bare minimum, because at the end of the day they’re paying the same amount and deserve 2-3 items to choose from. Even your typical meat eater is becoming more open to veggie options, so they’re likely to be on board with plant-based options.


4) Go easy on the booze part, for the sake of your fellow hospo workers

If you have ever attended a boozy brunch before, you would have noticed just how excited some people get by the idea. But it’s important to remind patrons that they’ll still get their money’s worth if they drink at a reasonable pace, provided you’re running an efficient operation. You’ll no doubt be faced with trouble-makers intent on swallowing every schooner as soon as it hits the table and identifying these people early is important.


At the end of the day, it’s your alcohol licence on the line and RSA rules still apply, no matter what time of day it is. Have a 2-3 hour service window means you won’t have to deal with a rowdy bunch, but think of the next bar they might stumble into. Aim to make your experience more than just never ending alcohol, they’ll thank you for it in the long run.


These are just a few of the ideas that will help prepare for a successful boozy brunch, but perhaps you have more? If you’re working in foodservice and want to join in on the discussion with other industry professionals like you, follow our Facebook page today! We’ve got new products, giveaways, news, insight and much more.