WASHINGTON – Consumers continue to hunger for restaurant-prepared breakfast items to start their day despite tight budgets during the economic downturn. US restaurants are responding by enhancing their breakfast offerings.

Ethnic flavors will be the top trend on breakfast menus next year, predicts the National Restaurant Association’s recently released What’s Hot in 2011 survey of more than 1,500 professional chefs. The surveyed chefs are members of the American Culinary Federation.

Sixty-eight percent of the chefs say ethnic-inspired breakfast items will be hot trends, so keep en eye out for dishes such as chorizo scrambled eggs.

Fifty percent of the chefs said traditional ethnic breakfast items, including huevos rancheros, shakshuka and ashta, will be trendy. Other predicted trends in the breakfast category include fresh fruit items and prix fixé brunches.