Although desserts have often gotten mixed reviews when it comes to adding dollars to the bottom line, a strategically engineered dessert menu can increase check averages, driving incremental profits for operators. According to Datassentials*, 60% of operators say the desserts they serve help to drive profits. As you develop a strategy on how to market and price your desserts, it’s extremely important to keep your food cost percentage in mind. Here are some factors to take into consideration when pricing your dessert menu.
1. List and price out all the ingredients. Start by listing all the ingredients that go into your dessert. Include everything – from any scratch ingredients, mixes, or batters to the cooking spray used in the cake pan. Determine the quantity of each ingredient that goes into each serving so you can then calculate your cost per serving.
2. Factor in any overhead. Is there any special equipment required to make it? If an item needs to be refrigerated overnight, include the cost of the saran wrap used to preserve it. Add in your labor costs. If a dessert is being made from scratch, how much time does it take your kitchen staff to prep, bake, and plate the items?
3. Price it Out. Add your food cost and any equipment and labor cost for your total food cost. Add your desired profit margin to your total food cost to equal the price you should charge to a guest. Choosing a reasonable profit margin is delicate work. It’s important to choose a price that is fair – if the item is priced too high, guests will be unwilling to order it. If an item is priced too low, your establishment may not make enough of a profit. Make sure you know your target demographic and what they expect prices to be, as well as what nearby competitors charge.
4. Need help? Make sure to visit Sysco Studio, our all-inclusive marketing platform that includes an online menu engineering tool that helps operators take the guesswork out of creating profitable menus. Click here to learn more.
Now that you know how to price your desserts, what are some ways to optimize profits? Rather than raise prices or decrease portion sizes, operators can maximize profit by using speed-scratch products. Items like Baker’s Source ready to bake pies and scoop and bake muffin batters are timesaving solutions that require minimal prep, save valuable labor costs, and enhance back of house operations. Operators can serve with confidence as these products have a remarkable consistency and homemade taste that your customers will never know they were not scratch-made. “Deconstruct” a traditional dessert like carrot cake and give it a creative visual twist. Prepare Baker’s Source Sunrise Muffin Batter in square sheet pans, cut the cake into small cubes, then dress the plate with pieces of cake, dollops of spiced cream cheese, and candied walnuts. Build a towering trifle with layers of Sysco Imperial Old Fashioned ready to bake Apple Pie, Wholesome Farms Vanilla Ice Cream, and our Sysco Classic Caramel Sauce, topped with crumbled cookies or infused whipped cream. Looking to celebrate a hometown sports team? Baker’s Source White Cake Mix requires the user to only add water to create moist tender cakes with a smooth sweet vanilla taste. Add food coloring, different fruits, candies, or nuts, or top with colored frosting to reflect high school or college colors. A “plain” cheesecake such as Sysco Imperial Plain New York Cheesecake can be transformed into a swoon-worthy dessert with the addition of fresh, seasonal berries and unique sauces drizzled onto the plate. Simple customizations can enhance the appeal and command a more premium price point, adding more dollars to your bottom line!
*Datassentials, June 2021