Before the pandemic, Caroline Casey, 45, a Minneapolis-based consultant says her work responsibilities sometimes bled into her weekends. But since she stopped working in an office, Casey’s workday has morphed into a 24/7 schedule, with clients in different cities and time zones. As she sees it, part of the unofficial compensation package for that lifestyle should be a chance to cut out a little early on a Friday and grab a Mimosa and some food. Casey is one of the growing number of people who have discovered the joys of the Friday brunch.

“I want ‘I am having a beer at 11 a.m. on Friday’ to be the gesture of luxury that those of us without subsidized health care get for our precarity,” says Casey.

Until now, brunch has been mostly the province of weekends—the sleepy, unchallenging meal. In urban areas it can be an essential part of restaurant business. Resy, the online reservation service, says the weekend meal made up 13.37 percent of all restaurant covers on the site in 2019. In 2020, that number actually went up to 14.05 percent despite the effects of the pandemic. It trailed off a little in 2021, but brunch has remained a strong force in a shaky industry.

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