Wanna get our awesome news?

Subscribe to our newsletter!


Actually we won’t spam you and keep your personal data secure

As the voice of the Indian restaurant industry, we represent the interests of 500000+ restaurants & an industry valued @ USD 4 billion. Whether a chain or independent restaurant, the NRAI is here to help every step of the way. Join us!


Chennai goes all out for breakfast



CHENNAI: Boardroom battles are now being waged in bistros and matches made in heaven finalised in hotels, as more Chennaiites choose to rise and dine. From the morning jogger to the corporate honcho — people are now preferring to go out for breakfast, the one meal that was traditionally cooked and consumed at home.
For architect Umesh Menon, it’s a matter of getting an early start to the day. “I prefer to meet my clients over breakfast so that once I get to office, I can work uninterrupted,” he says, adding that stepping out for a lunch meeting disrupts the workflow.

Breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dine like a pauper. That’s what the wise ones said and the world’s just waking up to smell the coffee, as people realise the importance of eating a healthy breakfast. The benefits are numerous — from fuelling your mind and body for a more productive day to being able to battle the bulge.

“Power breakfasts are popular as you are more focused in the morning,” says Vikram Cotah, COO, GRT Hotels and Resorts. But it’s not just business deals that are struck over breakfast as hotels often set the stage for meetings of a different kind. “We see a lot of matchmaking. The prospective groom and bride’s families book a large table while the couple is given a table for two a little distance away,” says Cotah.

At Writer’s Café, in Gopalapuram, youngsters looking to spend time before college, older couples strolling by and people with appointments in the locality are their clientele. “We offer all-day breakfast, and begin serving by 9:15am,” says Sharadha Dharmaraj, business development manager. “We get quite a few people from the nearby hospitals, who are waiting to get their tests done or for results to arrive,” she adds.

The ones who cannot step out, opt to order in. “We have diabetic-friendly food that’s also diet- friendly. For instance, we have idlis made of kattuyanam rice, a traditional variety that is suitable for diabetics,” says Kripa Devi Dharmraj of Lunchbox, adding that they also home deliver millet pongal and green gram dosas. “We get 200-odd orders and also have a new outlet in Ramanujan IT park for employees on the early shift,” she adds.

School managements, worried that children are coming without breakfast or just a glass of milk, are also roping in their services. “We provide nutritious food, such as beetroot parathas, ” says Kripa, adding that they have a tie-up with one school and are in talks with three others. “Working mothers don’t have the time to cook elaborate breakfasts so the demand is only going to increase,” she says.

As dietitian Meenakshi Bajaj says, the quality, quantity and timing of the breakfast (around 35% of your total energy needs), improves the day dramatically. “Eating breakfast improves memory and has a positive impact on behaviour,” she says. While a healthy breakfast reduces hunger throughout the day, skipping it makes you eat more during other meals, often making wrong food choices. “It has an impact on your waistline, contributing to metabolic complications, such as abdominal obesity, insulin resistance and cardiovascular disease,” adds Bajaj.

That’s one of the reasons why, according to a ‘Business Insights on Dining Industry’ 2017 study by American Express, the proportion of total breakfast spending rose in India by 56% in 2016 over 2015. A TOI report says that in Bengaluru, millennials bound for work, joggers and gym-goers are keeping restaurants busy in the mornings. And the situation is not very different in Chennai. “We have always had a steady stream of people for breakfast since we opened nine years ago,” says restaurateur Sandesh Reddy of Sandy’s, which opens for breakfast at 8am. “I think a lot of it has to do with convenience and the willingness to use breakfast as a way to catch up, which was earlier reserved for lunch or dinner.”

With changing palates, Chennaiites are also breaking their fast with not just dosas or idlis but waffles and baked beans. Breakfast buffets also offer more variety without punching a hole in your wallet. “At our hotels, the spread consists of different cuisines — south Indian, oriental and continental,” says Cotah. “We also serve cold pressed juices, low gluten bread, organic micro greens, and salads.”

Or, better still, jump start your day with a hearty fare of waffles, pancakes, sausages and eggs — any way you wish.

Recommended for you