Breakfast, brunch and afternoon tea occasions in the eating out sector are experiencing a huge surge in popularity, according to new figures from restaurant booking platform OpenTable.

Breakfast and brunch bookings in the UK have more than doubled over the past two years, up 65%, according to OpenTable.

Since 2013, bookings for breakfast increased by 276%, and brunch saw an even bigger rise, at 369%, it says.

Data from MCA’s Eating Out Panel (Q4 2017) revealed that breakfast accounted for the highest share of total out of home meal and snack visits on record, at 16.1%. Brunch accounted for accounted for 9.7% of meals, however this is actually a decrease on the 10.1% share it recorded the previous year. 

“Total out of home meals have declined in absolute terms over the same period so essentially we are seeing brunch with a flat share of a declining market,” said Gareth Nash, head of consumer insight, MCA. 

”Brunch tends to be a discretionary occasion, that was clearly gaining popularity when eating out was booming but is perhaps now often seen as an additional weekend visit that consumers will look to cut back on if feeling more pressure on their disposable incomes. Millennials have been a big driver of the brunch trend and the decline in overall eating out frequency over the last year has occurred most heavily among this millennial generation,” he said.

Afternoon tea is also growing in popularity across the UK, with bookings having increased by 54% over the past two year, according to OpenTable. Since 2013, it says there has been an increase of 258% in bookings for afternoon tea.