With diners at the next table happily digging into luscious looking treats, who can resist the siren song of dessert? That siren song, unfortunately, quiets down a bit when the meal is ordered for takeout or delivery. As a result, consumers frequently need some extra motivation to add a sweet treat to their order.
Third-party delivery services like Grubhub, plus options like online ordering and apps, make it easier than ever for consumers to enjoy their favorite restaurant dishes at home or work. In fact, seven out of 10 customers will be ordering food off of restaurant premises by 2020, according to projections from the National Restaurant Association. Sixty percent of restaurant operators say that they are now receiving more takeout/delivery orders than they were two years ago, according to Technomic’s 2018 Takeout & Off-Premise report, and that offering delivery has generated incremental sales for them.
As the delivery market continues to expand, so do consumer expectations for quality and variety. Here are six tips for driving up delivery order totals by boosting off-premise dessert sales.
1. Pay attention to packaging basics. Desserts can be delicate, so maintaining their integrity during the rigors of travel requires customized packaging. Single cake and cheesecake slices need to stay upright, cookies can’t crumble, and parfait layers should remain separate. For desserts with sauces, choose two-compartment containers that keep everything together in one place. Fifty-four percent of consumers say it’s important to them that delivery packaging has separate compartments so foods don’t mix, according to Technomic’s Takeout & Off-Premise report. When filling bulk orders, make sure packaging is sized and configured to keep all items separate from each other and fresh.
2. Don’t be shy. Make sure every delivery customer knows that dessert is available. Train phone order takers to suggest adding dessert, and provide a pop-up dessert reminder to prompt customers who order online.
3. Bundle it. Consumers like bundles, so include desserts when creating meal combos for delivery. Technomic’s 2017 Dessert Report found that two of the most important factors that encourage dessert purchase are “a good value for the money” and “a special or deal being offered.”
4. Make ’em look. Showcase high-quality dessert photos on the restaurant’s website, app or online ordering platform to entice customers who might not have been thinking about dessert when they decided to order in.
5. Bulk up. Give catering customers different dessert package deals from which to choose, such as two dozen brownies for less than the cost of buying them individually or an assortment of dessert options they can mix and match for one all-inclusive price.
6. Elevate the experience. Deliver desserts that look and taste like their dine-in counterparts so customers will be encouraged to order again. Use clear plastic containers and bags with clear windows to enhance desserts’ natural eye appeal. Make sure the packaging for each dessert can maintain the product at an appropriate temperature, and put hot and cold desserts in different bags or boxes for delivery, so they arrive ready to be devoured.
This post is sponsored by Sweet Street Desserts