Posted on Friday, 9ᵗʰ February, 2024
The UFS team hit the road recently, visiting cafés, speaking with chefs and reviewing menus, to discover which dishes are maximising foot traffic and keeping cafés profitable. Eggs Benedict was continually nominated by chefs and owners as a reliable source of revenue.
In no particular order, cafés mentioned the versatility, creative scope, and profit margins of eggs Benny as driving its ongoing popularity among venues.
While many café kitchens happily serve a classic eggs Benedict—bacon, eggs, and hollandaise sauce on an English muffin—others embrace the adaptability of eggs Benny to create signature dishes that set their venue apart and keep customers coming back for more.
Let’s look at the trends in eggs Benedict that are driving this top dish ever-further forward.
Cafés looking to introduce intriguing new flavours to their eggs Bennies are embracing international influences. Sometimes an ingredient twist or signature sauce is all it takes to put an entirely new spin on eggs Benedict and excite customers with something new.
For example, the Pork Belly Benedict at Carlo’s Café in Wagga Wagga, regional New South Wales, features char siu pork, pickled cabbage, poached eggs, and mustard hollandaise on a buttermilk waffle to deliver a breakfast with Cantonese-style barbeque flavours.
Pier Street Kitchen, located in Dromana, Victoria, puts a Mediterranean twist on its PSK Benedict with an assembly that includes fresh prosciutto, roquette, two poached eggs, and hollandaise on toasted ciabatta.
MAKING MORE FROM MUSHROOMS
The mushroom-as-a-main-ingredient trend comes to eggs Benedict, with the humble ‘shroom continuing its shift from the side of the plate to the main attraction. Being nutrient dense and protein rich, mushrooms are popular with health-conscious eaters, add to overall dish appeal, and can justify a price premium and incremental margins.
The Mushroom Benedict at Port Lincoln, South Australia café L'Anse comprises poached eggs, sautéed mushroom with garlic, a potato rösti, hollandaise sauce, chives, and an enoki salad.
As Thick As Thieves in Albury on the New South Wales–Victoria border serves up crispy bacon, panko-crumbed eggs, sautéed spinach and mushrooms on roti bread, topped with Sriracha-infused hollandaise and chilli oil in its evocatively-name Pickpocket Sriracha Benedict.
SATISFYING THE HEALTH CONSCIOUS
The versatility of the eggs Benny means it is easy to adapt the dish to meet the demands of modern diners who have specific dietary needs, as well as those who choose to maximise the nutritional value of their meals.
In practice, this could mean an eggs Benedict with greens in place of bacon or a sweet potato hash instead of a muffin. Or, in the case of our Vegan eggs Benedict, tofu in place of eggs. The result can be an eggs Benny that welcomes everybody, meaning no one misses out on this in-demand dish!
The Fried Chicken Benny at Eatery by Frank’s in Queenstown, New Zealand, is heaven for health nuts, with an ingredient list that includes buttermilk fried chicken, sautéed spinach and kale, poached eggs, chipotle hollandaise, avocado dressing, and salted pepitas.
At Hunter & Scout in Graceville, New South Wales, an alternative protein is the name of the game in its Three-Cheese Hash Brown Benedict. The dish comprises wilted spinach, poached eggs, and hollandaise with salmon on a three-cheese hash brown.
THE LOCALISED BENNY
In recent times, cafés have been keen to show support for local producers and regional ingredients, and many have started incorporating them into their Bennies.
For example, Auckland, New Zealand café Crave includes house-cured NZ king salmon on its eggs Benedict, while locally sourced lemon myrtle is a central flavour in the hollandaise sauce that’s part of the eggs Benny at Bush Lolly Café in Karratha, Western Australia.
Other cafés choose to serve their eggs Bennies on locally made artisan breads or with regionally flavours, and they often make a feature of this fact on their menus.
IMAGINATION AND INNOVATION
Café kitchens across Australia and New Zealand are employing eggs Benedict to show off their creative side by extending this café classic into exciting new areas. Here are some inspiring ways cafés are reinventing eggs Bennies while building on the essence of what makes the dish popular:
Alternative breads — waffles, buttermilk biscuits, brioche, ciabatta, and roti
Seafood twists — panko prawns, dill-cured trout, and smoked salmon
Hollandaise additions — apple cider, Tabasco, chimichurri, miso brown butter, and peppercorn
Fresh salad ideas — fennel and red radish, herb apple, sautéed spinach, and rocket parmesan
WANT MORE INSPO?
There is no end to the ways in which your café can create an eggs Benedict that stands apart from the crowd and becomes a signature dish for your venue. In the weeks and months to come, UFS will do a deep dive into eggs Benny, sharing the secrets of a signature eggs Benedict and exploring ways to create enticing dishes that keep customers coming back for more. Get started with our collection of popular eggs Benny recipes here.