Auntie Anne’s is expanding its rollout of a limited breakfast menu to its units in transit hubs in an effort to boost morning sales.

“We started playing around with the breakfast menu items in the early part of 2012,” said Carl Hornberger, director of menu management at Auntie Anne’s. By November 2012, the menu was available at 13 airport Auntie Anne’s units.

“That really got us started with the product line, and since then we’ve been focused on growing it throughout our transportation venues,” he said. Today, the breakfast items are available at 30 units.


RELATED
New menu items from Auntie Anne's
Auntie Anne’s to franchise 109 units overseas
More restaurant industry food trends


The company aims to have the menu available at 50 units by the end of 2013. About 100 Auntie Anne’s locations are in transit hubs, he said.

“We think [the breakfast menu] can be in all of our transportation locations, “ he said.

The breakfast menu likely won’t be rolled out systemwide due to the fact that many Auntie Anne’s are located in malls that don’t open until after the morning daypart rush, Hornberger said.

The morning menu currently includes two egg-and-cheese sandwiches — one with bacon and another with sausage — served on artisan pretzel bread. The suggested price for the breakfast sandwiches is between $3.69 and $3.99.

“We want to build the sandwich line more,” Hornberger said. “We’re looking at other ingredients there, including egg whites and other meats and cheeses to use.

“In terms of where the industry was going, a trend that we were watching was artisan bread,” he added. “The unique spin we felt we could put on it was pretzel rolls, freshly baking them every morning.”

The menu also includes Breakfast Sausage Stix, which are sausages wrapped in pretzel bread. The item is a play on the company’s pretzel hot dogs and is sold in five-piece servings for customers on the go, Hornberger said.

At select locations, Auntie Anne’s also sells pretzel waffles, which are made with the company’s pretzel flour. The items come in powdered sugar or cinnamon sugar flavors and cost a suggested $1.99-$2.49.

Breakfast locations also serve Auntie Anne’s coffee for a suggested price range of $1.99-$2.49. Yogurt parfaits and other grab-and-go items will likely be added to the breakfast menu over time, he said.

Hornberger declined to discuss specific sales numbers but said that breakfast has been selling well at Auntie Anne’s. “It’s really been a big success for us,” he said. “The breakfast lineup has exceeded our expectations.”

Auntie Anne’s is owned by Atlanta-based Focus Brands Inc. and has 1,370 locations systemwide.

Contact Erin Dostal at erin.dostal@penton.com.
Follow her on Twitter: @ErinDostal