A decade ago, brunch in Baton Rouge was limited to a handful of restaurants and hotels, but today, full-service restaurants of every type, as well as some quick-service spots, have jumped into the brunch fray, capitalizing on reliable crowds who seek it out every weekend.
Along with places you’d expect, as Business Report covers in a new feature, eateries as varied as T.J. Ribs and White Star Market are part of the game, as are bars like Olive or Twist, Duvic’s and The Overpass Merchant. More special event pop-up brunches have emerged as well.
“It has absolutely become a cultural phenomenon,” says attorney Franz Borghardt, who started a social media movement in 2015 called Baton Rouge Brunches as a way to raise money for charitable causes. “It’s the one meal of the week that people are willing to not order out, but to leave their house, go out and enjoy.”
City Pork Managing Partner Stephen Hightower agrees. The restaurant added Saturday and Sunday brunch shortly after the launch of the Perkins Road overpass location in 2013, and included it in its Jefferson Highway location, where it now also serves weekday breakfast.
“There’s no question that brunch has grown,” Hightower says. “Any restaurant that hasn’t done it yet is probably thinking about it.”
It’s not an easy task. Serving brunch is known for its frenzied pace, high volume surges and logistical challenges. But operators and consultants say it has two valuable upsides: delivering predictable traffic and boosting revenue without substantially increasing food and labor costs.