Almost two-thirds of diners (60%) would take dessert over a starter if they were just having two courses, according to a survey by foodservice supplier Coup de Pates.
It polled 300 people aged 18-50, and said that the findings underlined the profit potential of a well-considered dessert menu.
"Dessert is your calling card; the final memory of a meal," said head of marketing and product development Miriam French. "If operators can make the experience truly memorable, people will keep coming back for more."
The firm outlined five key ingredients to a successful dessert menu:
- Keep it short and sweet
- Sharing is caring: Why should a sharer board be reserved for the starter menu? Mini desserts or taster boards for two can command a premium.
- Pairing is also caring: Highly drilled waiting staff can help sell paired drinks, or include pairing notes on the menu for each option. Even a beer can be paired with a dessert: porter or stout with a Bavarian chocolate slice, for example.
- The element of surprise: Every dessert menu needs a surprise element, so consider theatre and the Instagram factor - is yours good enough to share?
- Freeze factor: The best frozen desserts should never be a compromise, and give chefs time to personalise.
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