Stay for Dessert: 3 Ways Quick Service Restaurants Can Increase Ticket Size with Solid State Cooling

October 4, 2019

Although Americans are eating out at restaurants less, and younger consumers are focusing on healthy options, research shows that most diners still eat dessert regularly. Dessert presents quick-service restaurants an opportunity to increase average ticket size and drive sales in a new or expanded category.

After dinner is still the most popular time to eat dessert, with 58% of people doing so at least once a week. But diners are also shown to eat it at various times throughout the day, including after lunch and as a late-night snack, so there’s good reason to be prepared to sell desserts after any meal.

Among the key takeaways from a 2017 dessert consumer report by Technomic: only 46% of consumers’ dessert occasions are planned, implying 54% of desserts are impulse purchases. This is a trend that quick-service restaurants can leverage by expanding their menu options to include dessert.

3 Trends Restaurants Can Capitalize On

Restaurants need to be innovative in order to capitalize on trends and bump up their dessert sales. Here are three approaches that restaurants can take when it comes to displaying and serving these tasty treats.

  1. Visual appeal at checkout: “Instagram culture” has a giant influence on food trends, with diners being enticed to purchase and consume desserts based almost entirely on how delicious they look. By keeping desserts visible and accessible in the checkout line, quick-serve restaurants will likely increase their dessert sales.
  2. Keep desserts ready to serve: Technomic’s 2017 report found that 48% of consumers want their desserts prepared and served quickly, and 33% would prefer desserts that are portable. Restaurants should offer pre-packaged, single-serve desserts that can be stored and served easily and quickly.
  3. Showcase popular brands: Diners are more likely to purchase desserts that are made with popular or familiar brands, such as a cake with Baileys® flavored mousse or a chocolate pie with Reese’s® peanut butter cups. Restaurants need to highlight these branded items to tap into consumer loyalty and sell more desserts. As natural, health-conscious options increase in popularity, these can be added to the mix.

Enabling Dessert Sales With Solid State Cooling

To unlock these opportunities, restaurants need to consider storing desserts in solid state refrigerators and freezers. They are compressor-free, so they have a compact footprint and can easily fit on top of ordering and checkout counters, or on top of bars and cafe counters at sit-down restaurants. Because they’re an easy fit for impulse purchase locations like quick-service restaurants, solid state fridges and freezers can help restaurants drive dessert sales.

Restaurants can also store single-serve, portable desserts right on top of the checkout counter, or in tight spaces that are conveniently accessible for food servers, so that they can be served quickly to diners who are on the go. Certain solid state refrigerators and freezers, like those from Phononic, are also revolutionizing product branding. Phononic’s solid state solutions can be easily customized with brand-specific colors and logos to drive brand recognition and increase dessert sales.

Ready to discover how solid state cooling can help you drive more sales with dessert? Get in touch with our Food and Beverage team.