Dessert can be a tough sell, especially after a delicious meal. Full diners may just give dessert a pass and ask for the check if presented with the standard offerings.
But restaurants don’t have to start from scratch to develop decadent-looking desserts. With some creative hacks, it’s easy to elevate quality prepared baked goods into eye-catching signatures that sell. But first, it’s important to understand why offering great desserts can be a game-changer for business.
Impact on guest satisfaction
Dessert has a big impact on guest satisfaction and repeat business: 58% of dessert consumers reported rating restaurants as excellent, thanks to sweet end-of-meal offerings, according to Technomic’s Q4 2018 Dessert: On-Premise Category Intelligence Snapshot report. Millennials have the biggest sweet tooth, with 33% ordering dessert, followed closely by baby boomers at 29%. Not only that, but 42% of dessert consumers said they intended to return for another dining occasion, and 39% indicated they would recommend the restaurant to friends.
By offering craveable desserts, restaurants can increase overall diner satisfaction and help spread the word about their businesses, which can increase patronage over time. Here’s a few tips for getting more diners onboard with ordering dessert.
1. Encourage sharing
A quarter of all consumers say they only eat desserts at restaurants if others in their party will order too, according to Technomic’s Dessert: On-Premise Category Intelligence Snapshot report. Just as servers will suggest that a table share appetizers, the same technique works with dessert—and 43% of consumers are inclined to share desserts at full-service restaurants.
One easy way to make a shareable option is by introducing the dessert bowl concept—dressing up a bowl of premade bar-type cookies with sauces, ice cream and sweet garnishes. Check out this video from Sweet Street for ideas using the company’s Toffee Crunch Blondies. Restaurants can also offer a gluten-free option made with Peruvian Chocolate Manifesto Brownie and crème fraiche to appeal to diners who may be following specialized diets.
2. Highlight dessert first
Eating dessert first isn’t a realistic strategy, but restaurants should let guests know about signature dessert offerings before they order their meal so that diners know to save room for something they might want. Tailor the specific strategy to fit the restaurant concept. A display at the entrance may work for some operators, while other restaurants may choose to have an employee detail the dessert offerings when listing that day’s specials. For a hands-off approach, place dessert menus on the top of the regular menu so that diners see the offerings before they even open the regular menu.
To make desserts more enticing, offer signature options with premium toppings and garnishes. For instance, the video below shows some trending and craveable ideas for dressing up Sweet Street’s delicious New York Cheesecake. Accompanying combos include topping a slice with figs and honey and garnishing with sesame brittle; a combination of balsamic and strawberries; and orange and grape with bee pollen and edible flowers.
3. Bring them back later
If guests are too full for dessert after dinner, restaurants can suggest boxing up a dessert to take home or offer them a coupon for a discounted dessert during their next visit; this may help spur repeat visits.
A full 12% of dessert consumers say they enjoy a sweet treat in the afternoon, according to Technomic’s Dessert: On-Premise Category Intelligence Snapshot report. Capitalize on these diners’ desire for a treat, as well as millennials’ propensity for snacking, with a dessert “happy hour” during the afternoon. These treats should be different in format than standard dessert menu offerings, and they should be fun to eat. One engaging idea is the Bar-sicle idea from Sweet Street.
In this video, check out how to make frozen confections by spearing various flavors of bar cookies with popsicle sticks and dipping them in coatings and candy toppings. The video offers step-by-step instructions for Lemonberry Jazz Bar-Sicles and Oreo Dream Bar-Sicles.
For more ideas on how to customize dessert components to increase dessert purchases, visit Sweet Street online today.
This post is sponsored by Sweet Street Desserts