The price of breakfast

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St. Louis Browns fan
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2003/11/26 00:39:41 (permalink)

The price of breakfast

To me, breakfast is often one of the most overpriced restaurant meals. A one-ingredient omelette with toast and potatoes (all the food ingredients are cheap) can be $5 or $6, and pancakes and waffles aren't much cheaper. I could go to a good Chinese or Hometown/Old Country lunch buffet for the same price.

What do you Roadfooders think?
#1

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    scbuzz
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    RE: The price of breakfast 2003/11/26 09:09:18 (permalink)
    Breakfast out for me is a treat !! I will gladly pay $5 or $6 for a freshly prepared breakfast meal ! A good hot omelette with bacon and cheese, some hot grits or hash browns and toast and/or biscuits with some fresh hot coffee !! I don't do it often, but when I do, I really enjoy it !! (no breakfast buffett for me !! YECH !)

    #2
    dendan
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    RE: The price of breakfast 2003/11/26 09:22:24 (permalink)
    Wonder what would be on a Chinese breakfast buffet?
    #3
    i95
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    RE: The price of breakfast 2003/11/26 09:25:10 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by dendan

    Wonder what would be on a Chinese breakfast buffet?


    EGG rolls !!
    #4
    dendan
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    RE: The price of breakfast 2003/11/26 09:26:23 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by i95

    quote:
    Originally posted by dendan

    Wonder what would be on a Chinese breakfast buffet?


    EGG rolls !!

    Should have seen that one coming...thanks for the wake-up!!
    #5
    kland01s
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    RE: The price of breakfast 2003/11/26 09:39:47 (permalink)
    I just tried a new pancake/waffle house type restaurant near me and breakfast for the two of us was $16 and that was with one coffee and no juice. We have two family run independant places that we go to that we can have a similiar breakfast and spend $9 for the two of us. Why the difference with nearly the same ingredients?
    #6
    scbuzz
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    RE: The price of breakfast 2003/11/26 09:50:02 (permalink)
    Overhead ???

    Maybe special eggs laid by special chickens !!!
    #7
    Sundancer7
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    RE: The price of breakfast 2003/11/26 09:52:45 (permalink)
    Breakfast buffet at the Courtyard by Marriott is $7.99. time you pay tax and tip, it will exceed $11. Always good though. They usually have a good fruit bar, several different types of breads and pastry, grits in the south and oatmeal inn the north. eggs, bacon, sausage, waffles, breakfast potatoes and gravy.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
    #8
    dendan
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    RE: The price of breakfast 2003/11/26 09:55:18 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Sundancer7

    Breakfast buffet at the Courtyard by Marriott is $7.99. time you pay tax and tip, it will exceed $11. Always good though. They usually have a good fruit bar, several different types of breads and pastry, grits in the south and oatmeal inn the north. eggs, bacon, sausage, waffles, breakfast potatoes and gravy.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN


    This is exactly what St. Louis means...this is WAY too much to spend...in my humble opinion, of course..
    #9
    skylar0ne
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    RE: The price of breakfast 2003/11/26 10:01:03 (permalink)
    Okay, don't stone me, but I like the rooty-tooty breakfast at IHOP, and it's fairly cheap. You get sausage, eggs, hash browns and pancakes for 3.99. Of course the coffee or juice is extra, but it's not included most other places either. The only thing I don't like about this is that you get pancakes instead of toast. I like pancakes, but when I eat eggs, I want some toast with them. The omelettes at IHOP aren't bad either, but they're not that cheap.
    #10
    dendan
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    RE: The price of breakfast 2003/11/26 10:06:08 (permalink)
    skylarOne - Boy you are right, sure do get WAY too much food at IHOP for the $." /> Well, I guess that depends on your capacity... I can never finish it all. I get the omlet, which in itself is enough for breakfast and they had 3 pancakes to the table. WOW
    #11
    EdSails
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    RE: The price of breakfast 2003/11/26 12:30:00 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by dendan

    Wonder what would be on a Chinese breakfast buffet?


    Actually-----to be serious (ok, it has to happen occasionally!) dimsum pastries are very popular for breakfast in the chinese areas here. That, plus a rice porridge and coffee (these days when I go to the chinese bakeries for breakfast it's much more common than tea) seem to be the chinese breakfast. After a few orders of the baked pork buns, coconut buns and other pastries for dessert, usually ruin me for having anything for lunch!
    #12
    EdSails
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    RE: The price of breakfast 2003/11/26 12:41:49 (permalink)
    To address the other issue though-----I think you are right. The only time I think a breakfast is worth the money is if it includes smoked salmon on a bagel. Otherwise, I find the only reasonable dish (and fortunately my favorite) is biscuits and gravy. That's usually listed as a side dish, but I find at most places it's definitely enough for a full breakfast. If I'm lucky it will be under $4.00.
    $9.00 omlettes! I can't think of any reason why they should be that much. Breakfast buffets seem like a good value-----but by the time you force yourself to eat your money's worth you are usually way too stuffed.
    As we discuss this-----why do places charge $1.50-3.00 for coffee? I can't think of any breakfast places that serve Kona or Jamaica Blue Mountain-----so why are we paying so much for Folger's? I think ultimately that breakfast much be a big moneymaker for many places because prices certainly seem out of line for the ingredients used. My other favorite, for example-----corned beef hash-----I've seen it anywhere from $7.00-12.00. For seventy-five cents worth of ingredients? I know there are other costs involved ----but it really seems out of line.
    #13
    lleechef
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    RE: The price of breakfast 2003/11/26 13:21:03 (permalink)
    From a back-of-the-house (ie kitchen) perspective, you all are very right, breakfast is an inexpensive meal that costs a lot. However, it tends to be one of the more labor intense food periods, especially if you're making your own Danish, muffins, bisquits, etc. You need to staff a lot of people at 4AM to pull off that 6AM breakfast rush. The industry standard is to have a 30-33% food cost. This would not explain the $8.99 breakfast, but when you figure in labor cost and overhead, it drives the price up. I used to have no problem getting $35.00 for a 14 oz. Angus filet mignon dinner but the same people would gripe on Sunday brunch about $6.99 for fresh corned beef hash and poached eggs and all the other pleasantries. So yes, breakfast is highly overpriced for what you get! I remember having breakfast at Brennan's in New Orleans, it was $100.00 for two " /> and that was over 10 years ago!
    #14
    tiki
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    RE: The price of breakfast 2003/11/26 13:27:52 (permalink)
    Any of you folks ever tried to run a restaraunt? Believe me---food cost is NOT the fairest way to judge what menu price will be. I know that when i see steak for 2 at $100 PLUS TIP---Peter Lugars for instance--i KNOW that there is no way in hell you can serve me $100 worth of steak and potatos!!! I know breakfast here in Oklahoma is alot cheaper then it is where i lived in California---in San Franciso you can figure at least $1 per breakfast just to pay the rent! and maybe more. ---then there is labor---cooks and wait persons dont like to work for free---energy cost--which have skyrocketed---and wonder breads cheap but if you want somthing special for that french toast???? I know i have paid $3 to 10 for breakfast that i have loved and $3-10 for breakfast that stunk! The only way to actually pay what the food is really worth is to cook it your self.Before i decide whether the price was high i need to consider ambiance,service,hospitality and convience. Hell, back in 72 a friend of mine was a waiter at Brennens in NOLA---lots of $100plus breakfast tabs there for a table of 4--or we could run over to Cafe D'Mond and spend a buck on coffee and beinet! they were both good!
    And btw---i dare you to make corned beef hash with 75cents worth of ingrediants! i know that6 mine has a buck and halfs worh of corned beef!
    #15
    tiki
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    RE: The price of breakfast 2003/11/26 13:32:09 (permalink)
    Lleechef-----Great minds!!!!!Well put!
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    Lone Star
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    RE: The price of breakfast 2003/11/26 13:53:54 (permalink)
    Case in point - I just got back from lunch at the Yale Drugstore Grill in the Heights, and we asked Barbara the cook (she was having a smoke break) if they were going to be open tomorrow just out of curiosity. She said no, as it would cost more for the power bill than they would make serving a few breakfasts.

    Our favorite is a little neighborhood Mexican place near our house. 2 eggs huevo ranchero style, fried potatoes, refried beans, corn tortillas and coffee for $3.50. You can add a barbacoa taco with pico for only $1.25 more.
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    Sundancer7
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    RE: The price of breakfast 2003/11/26 16:34:13 (permalink)
    I do not see how any restaurant can stay in business with a cheap breakfast. I would imagine that food cost would be the cheapest cost. I saw lleechef indicated that food cost was 33%. I would guess that labor would be more than that unless you staff with two casual labor individuals. The margins have to be attractive for a restaurant to stay in business. If they are 10% on a $1000 total breakfast, that is only $100. That does not even pay my light bill.

    The only way Waffle House can stay in business is they have thousands of those little restaurants. They make it on volume. Mom and Pop cannot survive except in poverty.

    I stay at the Courtyard by Marriott very frequently. Their $7.99 breakfast is staffed by 3 people. One cook and two servers. It is buffet and I really wonder how they make it. My guess is they almost have to do it due to people who stay there.

    My guess is the days of a cheap breakfast is over. Breakfast prices have at least approached lunch prices.

    You can do it cheaper at home but I am sure you do not factor in the price of your mortgage, utilities, maintenance, insurance, gas to pick up your supplies, time you spent. and etc. Your breakfast you make for yourself probably cost you ten times your purchase cost.

    Believe it or not, the cheap breakfast at MacDonalds, Waffle House, Shoney's or wherever is probably a big bargain.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN
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    chezkatie
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    RE: The price of breakfast 2003/11/26 17:12:57 (permalink)
    We have found, most often, that you get what you pay for when you eat breakfast out. There are a few places that we have gone to that are such a bargain that one wonders how they stay in business. For example, one of the best breakfasts in Baltimore can be found at Jimmy's, over in Fells Point. For under five bucks, you can get a wonderful breakfast with fast, but not pushy, service. But that is not the norm. We have gone to a popular diner in the Baltimore area where we have had a bill of over 25 bucks for a very ordinary breakfast for 2 adults and 1 child. I do not argue with any price as I sit back and reflect on whether I would want to serve this meal to a person for five bucks. Usually, the answer is "No Way"! Another thing about breakfast is that so many people have special requests such as "sunny side up", "over easy". "Bacon. extra crisp", "dry toast", "buttered toast, and buttered while hot", "extra cream with my coffee", "I want some hot water only as I have a special tea that I have to drink", "Is your orange juice freshly squeezed?" (sure, for a buck we stand here with 3 dollars worth of oranges and squeeze to your heart's content". I could go on and on but I have observed that breakfast people can be the most demanding customers that there are.
    #19
    b-n-kchefservice
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    RE: The price of breakfast 2003/11/26 21:38:46 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by St. Louis Browns fan

    To me, breakfast is often one of the most overpriced restaurant meals. A one-ingredient omelette with toast and potatoes (all the food ingredients are cheap) can be $5 or $6, and pancakes and waffles aren't much cheaper. I could go to a good Chinese or Hometown/Old Country lunch buffet for the same price.

    What do you Roadfooders think?
    when you consider that it cost less then 1.10 for you to make a breakfast of 2 eggs 3 bacon 2 toast and a cup of jo at home. most resteraunts buy there supplies in lots that are way cheaper then retail and huge res chains pay even less for their food ansd supplies. breakfast is a huge profit maker.
    #20
    signman
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    RE: The price of breakfast 2003/11/26 23:06:07 (permalink)
    Next time you are in Niagara Falls, Ontario, stop in the Flying Saucer on Lundy's Lane for the CDN 99 cent breakfast special, 2 eggs, hash browns and toast. If you're hungry order 2 or 3. Just get there before noon. At 12:01 they add bacon and the price rises to CDN 2.99.
    #21
    St. Louis Browns fan
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    RE: The price of breakfast 2003/11/27 00:13:04 (permalink)
    I'm not unsympathetic to those of you who cited restaurant experience (I have some of that myself), but compare what is served at a $6 breakfast to the $5.69 AYCE buffet from the Chinese restaurant just a mile from my house.

    There are over a dozen Chinese dishes - some with shrimp - plus baked whole salmon, some American stuff, as well as moderate-sized salad and dessert bars.

    If none of that appeals to you, take any ingredients you like from the "Mongolian BBQ" and have a chef stir-fry your custom-made concoction. Whatever I make is always heavy on fresh whole pea pods, and they aren't cheap.

    This restaurant isn't connected with a casino or anything like that, so they have to make money on the food. The quality is high, and it's obviously a popular place.

    #22
    MikeS.
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    RE: The price of breakfast 2003/11/27 01:29:43 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Sundancer7

    Breakfast buffet at the Courtyard by Marriott is $7.99. time you pay tax and tip, it will exceed $11. Always good though. They usually have a good fruit bar, several different types of breads and pastry, grits in the south and oatmeal inn the north. eggs, bacon, sausage, waffles, breakfast potatoes and gravy.

    Paul E. Smith
    Knoxville, TN


    I spend a lot of time at Courtyard and almost always get breakfast included in the room price. The boss will pay the difference, isn't that nice! I agree though Paul, the breakfast are usually pretty good. The one I stay at most often will even cook eggs to order.

    They also include dinner in the price of the room. For 150 a night, they better!
    #23
    ToddH
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    RE: The price of breakfast 2003/11/27 12:18:03 (permalink)
    Sometimes it does seem like restaurants charge way too much for breakfast, but then I do stop and figure out what things cost and know that the way I do something isn't the way they do something.
    I guess the biggest thing I dislike about breakfast at some places is the rushed feeling they give you to hurry and finish. I don't mind tipping extra to cover the cost of a table while I finish my coffee or read the paper.
    A few of my pet peeves at breakfast: Restaurants who don't cook the egg white fully on sunny side up eggs(just pop um under the broiler or baste with butter for goodness sake). Restaurants that serve stale biscuits or bread in the South(sacrilege!). Cracker barrel gravy,made with God-knows-what. Food not served hot, or the plate is cold before you finish it( I'd love a HOT plate,and am willing to pay or wait for it). I also wish Dunkin Donuts would serve coffee in mugs instead of styrofoam. Don't get their coffee anymore because of that.
    The one main reason I will eat in instead of out is that I'm not craving a particular restaurants breakfast( this includes the atmosphere,crowd,and general service) and I have gotten more picky about what I eat. I am trying to eat no trans fats and only homemade baked goods qualify. All of the muffins,pancakes,biscuits,crackers etc have trans-fats. Shoney's doesn't even serve butter! So you know I don't eat there unless I'm desparate.
    #24
    Roy
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    RE: The price of breakfast 2003/11/27 13:45:15 (permalink)
    IMHO anything under six to seven dollars for eggs, toast, homefries, a meat and coffee is a fair price. Under four dollars, a bargain. These places do have to make a profit or else they won't be there long. When you get up around eight or more dollars for any breakfast, it's getting out of line. Get caught with that once, don't go back.
    #25
    RockyB
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    RE: The price of breakfast 2003/12/01 13:17:38 (permalink)
    Is it cheap to make bacon & eggs? Sure, but as it's pointed out, food is only a part of the cost. The labor and all other expenses take up the slack. A business is there to make a profit, and although I'm not in the resturant business, I would guess that when you expand into the lunch and dinner menus the profits go down, while the expenses go up. So breakfast may be a good place to make a little extra. I was in the milk business for a number of years, and there's very little profit in gallons and half gallons of milk. To make money, you need to push other products like cheese, or half-n-half and other dairy products. I am sure the resturant business works in somewhat the same manner. They maybe make a little more on the breakfast to make up in some other area.
    #26
    senor boogie woogie
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    RE: The price of breakfast 2003/12/12 06:42:06 (permalink)

    Southern Man talking,

    Go to Waffle House! Waffle House. Waffle House has the best breakfast served all day with good coffee at a good price. You can be a traveller, order most anything on a waffle house menu, have it served to you within 15 minutes, and if you want to swallow and go, be out within 45 minutes.Tip the waitress 15%-20% percent usually. One time we did not was when I, my landlord and his friend ate at a Waffle in jackson Mississippi, and the girl admitted to us that she did not give us our extra toast because it was her break. The food still kicked a s s but she did not get hr tip!

    I've eaten the "Waffle" on and off for 20 plus years, and I have never ever gotten a bad meal from them. If you are travelling alone, you can usually sit at the bar and watch your food being cooked fresh to order. Much better than Cracker Barrell (which will be 2X as expensive) or eating at some greay spoon where you don't know what will be fed to you.

    Waffle House! Waffle House! I live in China, heaven is Waffle House!

    SENOR
    #27
    nanster
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    RE: The price of breakfast 2003/12/20 00:44:49 (permalink)
    When I want to buy something in the morning and don't have much cash, I get coffee and a bun from the Taiwanese bakery -- various sweet and savory toppings (I like the ham & cheese, or corn & ham). Total cost: $3.00 to $4.50, and no tips since it's self-serve [|)]
    #28
    EliseT
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    RE: The price of breakfast 2003/12/20 03:01:02 (permalink)
    I think breakfast is a great deal! The exception is the biggest rip-off in the world: Continental breakfast! And the second biggest: orange juice!
    #29
    Jellybeans
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    RE: The price of breakfast 2003/12/20 03:36:34 (permalink)
    In Southeast Asia, breakfast is usually the cheapest meal, followed by lunch, followed by dinner. In fact, breakfast and lunch cost around the same on average if you want a cooked breakfast of noodles-in-broth or something else.

    Come to think of it, a lot of the dishes we eat for breakfast, we eat for lunch and dinner too.
    #30
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