Desserts offer great opportunities for add-on sales that increase check averages and raise profits – a definite win-win! So now is the perfect time to make your dessert menu shine by showcasing innovative ideas that are sure to tempt your customers. Miniature desserts are a hit all season long. They can be offered not only for post-lunch and dinner treats but as anytime snacks or on the go. Smaller desserts offer better portion control and allow guests to explore different tastes and a variety of flavors. They’re also easy to put together with thaw and serve and ready to bake scratch-ready products. Sysco’s Cutting EdgeSolutions now features two exclusives, new individual portion desserts that are perfect for any dessert menu, as well caterings, buffets, and to-go business. Dense, rich, and exceedingly moist, the Olive Oil Citrus Cake is made with real lemon and orange juice for a delightful citrus punch that fits beautifully with the season. The Basque Cheesecake has a light, souffléd interior and a delicious, caramelized exterior that can easily be customized with a variety of sauces, fruits, and nuts. Build dessert parfaits or shooters by layering different Sysco Classic Cakes, like our delicious Carrot Cake, Coconut Cake, or Double Chocolate Cake, with flavored puddings and fillings, cookie crumbles, fruit, and other toppings. Let your imagination go wild!
Another idea is to create “dessert bowls” by layering scoops of Sysco Imperial Old Fashioned ready-to-bake Blueberry Pie with Greek yogurt accented with honey and cinnamon and topped with a rich and crunchy pie crust streusel. Sysco has a wide variety of Imperial and Classic Meringue, Fruit and Cream pies that work great “de-constructed” into bowls, added into shakes, or used in parfaits.
Caterings and banquets are great ways to introduce large new items and flavors. As a sweet ending to all the savory selections, set up a dessert station where guests can mix and match options to create their own unique treats. Offer sliced or miniature servings of different cakes, pies, cookies, and bars along with a variety of sauces, dips, fruit coulis, and flavored whipped creams. Don’t forget to serve toppings like candies, crushed cookies, nuts, marshmallows, and fresh fruit to add color and texture to each masterpiece. Use this same premise to design dessert charcuterie boards as portable, to-go options for family gatherings at home. Guests still get to try and sample a variety of tastes, and operators can command a premium price point with an artfully arranged board. Baker’s Source Imperial Thaw & Serve muffins come in a variety of flavors and in small portion sizes that are perfect for catering.
Baker’s Source also has a fantastic selection of Thaw and Serve Cookie Dough with freezer to over convenience that allow you to serve fresh baked cookies with minimal labor. Cocktail-inspired desserts are increasingly in demand and a perfect option for guests looking to indulge. Add bourbon to Baker’s Source Classic Chocolate Cake Mix for a rich, luxurious batter, and top with an alcohol-infused “hard” sauce for a decadent spin on a traditional cake. No time to bake? Plate slices of thaw and serve chocolate or vanilla cake and add a boozy chocolate sauce or flavored whipped cream laced with liquors like bourbon, Amaretto, or Bailey’s. Spiked milkshakes are also an easy way to incorporate different liquors and create an endless selection of flavor profiles. As a creative twist to the childhood “Cookies and Milk” classic, add cookies to the blend, then top as a garnish for a nostalgic touch and “instagrammable” visual appeal. Themed desserts as a to-go option are also a great opportunity for customers to boost profits by targeting guests who are hosting backyard barbecues and other gatherings. Keep time and labor costs down using thaw and serve and ready-to-bake scratch-ready products. Create dessert skewers with Sysco Imperial New York-style Cheesecake cut into cubes and interspersed with strawberries or raspberries, blueberries, and marshmallows. Layer white cake with a homemade blueberry sauce or custard, whipped cream cheese topping, and a mix of fresh fruit for a fresh spin on a traditional trifle. Use Baker’s Source Classic Blueberry or Lemon Poppyseed Muffin Batter to make a classic Bundt cake and serve with a powdered sugar glaze and a side of macerated strawberries.
The warmer weather is also perfect timing to feature gourmet ice cream sundaes. Begin with Wholesome Farms Supreme Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and then add endless sauces and toppings, cake, pie, and cookie pieces, grilled or baked fruits, candies, and nuts to create the ultimate summer treat. Cross-utilize ice cream and keep the spirit of summer strong with ice cream cookie sandwiches. Sandwich chocolate or vanilla ice cream between two Baker’s Source Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies and roll in sprinkles, mini candies or chocolate chips, nuts, or other toppings. Experiment with different ice cream flavors and cookie varieties to create endless combinations.
Despite its sweet appeal and an endless array of options, dessert can sometimes be a tough sell, especially after a delicious meal when diners are feeling full and ready for the check. Here are a few quick tips for getting more dessert sales.
- Dessert Tray – Set up a dessert tray at the front of the restaurant so guests immediately see the decadent delights when they walk in. Encourage servers to bring the tray to the table at the end of the meal. Guests really do eat with their eyes. Who wouldn’t be tempted by the sight of a delicious cake, pie, or dessert mash-up?
- Encourage Sharing – Just as a table will share appetizers, the same technique works with dessert. According to Restaurant Business, 43% of consumers are inclined to share desserts at full-service restaurants.
- To-Go – If guests are too full after dinner, suggest taking a dessert to go! They can enjoy a sweet treat whenever they’re ready!
We hope these ideas and tips inspire you to create your own sweet success!