Desserts are Due For a Rebound

­­­­­­­­­Bonji Foods Aficionado Smart Brief: Volume 38

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Hi all, welcome back to the Bonji Food Aficionado Smart Brief! We hope the weekend treated you well and you are ready for a new week full of new opportunities! Desserts seem to have taken a step back. How many times are we going to see a molten chocolate lava cake? Where has the creativity gone?! The final course of a meal, what we call dessert, was designed to be a delicacy. It seems we have lost the passion for this final course, only offering the most generic, often store-bought items. Let's throw the lackluster desserts out and start sending our customers off talking about the restaurant's food AND dessert.

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What Customers Want From Desserts Over the past decade or so, dessert orders has gone down but is still extremely prevalent. As of 2022, only 13% of restaurant goers never order dessert. That leaves 87% of customers that are at least thinking about that final course. Yes, 37% are rarely diving into desserts, but those are the ones we can persuade with the delicacies you serve. How do you get that large portion of people to order your desserts? Let's take a look at some tips from around the restaurant industry.

1) Elevated Classics It seems that simple pastries are a thing of the past, or at least in the restaurant world. However, that doesn't mean you can't elevate pastries into a new, innovative dish. Dessert Chef Freny Fernandes says that plating desserts opens the doors for creativity. Not only does plating desserts give the chef a canvas to work with, but it also allows for layers. Each treat should have multiple elements; whether that is crunchy and creamy, crispy and hot, or soft and cold. Simply put, the best desserts offer an explosion of flavor. People are looking for something new on the dessert menu. The classics are great, but we've all tried them before. There's nothing like the experience of seeing a dessert menu and saying, “wow, we have to try all of these” because everything is so new or has a special flair. Thus, elevate the classic cheesecake or pie in some fashion and you'll see an influx of orders. 2) Home Baking / Partnerships Sometimes, desserts just aren't your forte and that's just fine! This offers a perfect opportunity to either partner with a local bakery or brings in someone who can teach your chef simple, yet delicious desserts. Additionally, customers may want to support other local businesses anyway, so don't be afraid to reach out to locals for a partnership. In fact, home baking has increased by 24% in the past three years. There are more new dessert chefs than anything else, so tap into that realm! If you don't want to hire or partner with anyone, there are endless ways to learn how to make top-quality desserts. Youtube is flooded with information from high-end dessert chefs who only want to help, free of charge! 3) Pairing with Coffee Coffee and teas lead the post-meal ordering by far. Therefore, look to include desserts that are often paired with coffee. We know we sent a dig at chocolate molten lava cake earlier, but chocolate is not only a beautiful pairing with coffee, but has also soared through the pandemic era. Chocolate sales grew 12% in 2020 alone and are poised to continue rising. Other good pairings with coffee include a layered tiramisu, an acai bowl, or even an elevated french toast concept. Dessert menus should make the customers look twice and say, “We need to try that!” You may want them to feel familiar and comfortable, but you can take comfort ingredients and make them your own. Let the customers explore their taste buds, as people are becoming more and more curious about new flavors.

Tiramisu Dessert - acai wholesale Bonji Foods
Tiramisu Macaron from Chez Oi Patisserie

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