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Building dessert sales in a takeout world

Photograph: Shutterstock

Encouraging customers to buy a dessert with their meals has long been a challenge for restaurant operators, and it’s become an even bigger challenge in the era of digital ordering, meal delivery and grab-and-go dining.

The enticing displays of cakes and pies that have historically greeted diners as they enter a restaurant are impossible to replicate on the screen of a mobile phone, and tactics such as dessert carts and server incentives for upselling don’t readily translate in the digital environment.

However, the increasing prevalence of online ordering with in-store pickup, along with ongoing consumer interest in taking desserts to go, presents opportunities for restaurant operators to capitalize with the right dessert assortment and presentation. Operators need to make it as easy as possible for customers to add a dessert or snack to any purchase, whether they dine in or order ahead for pickup or delivery. Find discounted to-go packaging and merchandising materials that make it easy at BakeryAndDessertsToGo.com.

More than a third of consumers—34%—say that when they order dessert at a restaurant, they eat it at home later, according to Technomic’s 2017 Dessert report. Among fast-food customers, 43% get their dessert to go, while 23% of fast-casual customers and 16% of casual dining customers do so.

These consumers are looking for portability in the products they select for off-premise consumption. Thirty-three percent say portability is important when they order desserts at a foodservice location, according to the Technomic report. In addition, 48% of consumers say that portability is important when purchasing snacks, according to Technomic’s 2018 Snacking Occasion report.

The right packaging is key to portability, and can help make a big difference in closing the deal on an off-premise order, especially when it comes to dessert. Sixty-four percent of consumers say packaging quality is very important in the decision to purchase, according to Technomic’s Dessert report.

Some of the key attributes dessert packaging should incorporate include protecting the quality of the food; using packages with clear windows to prevent order mix-ups and enhance visual appeal; incorporating a design that accentuates the look of the product; and ensuring that temperature insulation keeps hot and cold items separate.

Sara Lee Frozen Bakery has an exclusive Bakery To Go program that offers a variety of dessert packaging in a range of sizes and styles optimally designed for the most popular dessert offerings. The packages also allow operators to add a creative touch, such as decorative parchment paper, baker’s twine and quality-crafted Bakery To Go stickers, all of which are designed to enhance bakery offerings and attract customers. Learn more and order your discounted packaging and merchandising materials at BakeryAndDessertsToGo.com.

Restaurants that use the program report an average sales increase of 20% from to-go bakery sales, which translates to an additional $10,000 a year for a bakery currently generating $1,000 per week in sales. In addition, 85% of users said the Bakery To Go program from Sara Lee Frozen Bakery has increased their bakery sales, according to a proprietary survey.

Selling desserts is never a slam-dunk, but operators can gain an edge by tailoring the offerings to today’s on-the-go diners with the right selection of items and packaging that helps move them out the door.

This post is sponsored by Sara Lee Frozen Bakery: Bakery To Go

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