It comes to the end of the meal and you know what’s coming next. The waiter saunters over to your table, covered in licked clean plates and half finished drinks and says politely,
“Would you care to see the dessert menu?”
Of course you would! Because you’re a red-blooded, blue-collar American! You’re as American as the slice of apple pie you’re dreaming about devouring. But hold it right there, mister. Your palms get clammy, and a bead of sweat begins to drip down your brow. It’s then that you remembered you’re on a *gasp*…. a diet.
Never fear, though. There’s a new option in town; mini desserts!
Whether customers are watching their pants size or purse strings, smaller portions have become a fantastic decision maker when it comes time to order dessert. Trends such as dessert shooters, cake pops, and bite-sized pastries seemed to blossom a few years back and interest in them has been steadily increasing ever since.
Stan Frankenthaler, executive chef at Dunkin Brands, shed some light on why customers tend to go for smaller portions.“One of the appeals behind the mini desserts and behind Cake Bites is portion control,” said Frankenthaler. “[Also,] whimsy or fun … variety is also satisfying.” Budget-conscious diners are taking to the mini dessert trend also. Instead of paying full price for a larger dessert, smaller treats allow the customer to still indulge and keep and eye on the bill.
The mini dessert trend has taken an industry-wide hold as well. As early as 2010, Dairy Queen began to offer a new “mini” size to their classic blizzard treat. Places such as Applebees and TGIF Fridays often feature signature dessert shooters on their menus. Yet upscale restaurants such as Seasons 52 offer what they call “Mini Indulgences“, and even Delmonico’s Kitchen of NYC at one point offered a miniature version of their famed Baked Alaska recipe served in tiny cones.
Since mini desserts require fewer ingredients to create, the profit margins are often higher. Whereas a slice of decadent chocolate cake could go for roughly $7-12, if that same slice is divided into three or four smaller mini desserts at $4-6each, the profits more than double themselves as customer are more likely to order one or two small desserts as opposed to an entire large serving
It’s important to note that customers haven’t restricted dessert to strictly an after-meal treat. Restaurant and chain owners report customers ordering desserts at all times of the day, as either a quick pick-me-up treat or just because. For proof, look no further than Starbucks who offers their now-infamous cake pops at any hour of the day. A treat that customers see as good for any time of day or night means more sales of that treat for the business
So why not add mini desserts to your own menu? With so many options to explore fun new treats, it makes no sense not to.
What are your thoughts on mini desserts? Share them with us below!