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Social Media & the Restaurant Industry

Social media is one of the most relevant ways to reach customers and promote your restaurant business. It has changed the way we experience everything from day-to-day communication to eating out. 

With the rise of Instagram and Facebook, restaurant owners are seeking social media platforms to attract customers, get customer feedback, and to build customer loyalty. 

Let your customers eat with their eyes. Sharing pictures and videos of your restaurant’s menu, food preparation, and venue attracts the attention of young consumers and creates brand recognition.

  • Increased Control – Social media marketing can be controlled on a computer in the back of house or via iPhone. Studies show that 1 billion people use IG every month and while 63% of the users login everyday, 62% of people say they’ve become more interested in a brand or product after seeing it on their IG stories. 
  • Responsive Campaigns – Planning an upcoming event for your restaurant? Last minute changes? Luckily social media plans can be edited online within a matter of seconds, ensuring that your customers will get the correct information quickly. 
  • Ongoing Interaction – Whether positive or negative feedback, it is important that you acknowledge criticism and be openly grateful that you are listening to your customers. By taking the time to read and respond to comments, you can learn a lot about your audience is enjoying and what they want to see more of. 

From GrubHub, 45% of customers say they’ve tried out a new restaurant after seeing its post on social media. Everyone loves having something to celebrate. Incorporating micro food holidays into your social media strategy can lead hungry diners to check out your cuisine. 

#ShareSweetness on social media! 

The purpose of our toolkit is to provide insights, tips, and resources for promoting your offerings on social media. Let us help you connect with takeout and delivery customers and build higher check averages through the lusciousness of Sweet Street desserts. From our Sweet Street Fall/Winter Mix-Up magazine, 60% of American consumers order delivery at least once a week which leads to 40% of restaurant revenue that makes up for online orders. 

Leveraging social media is one of the most affordable and effective ways to promote your restaurant and build customer loyalty. Word of mouth is the most powerful form of advertising. Using go-to hashtags like #ShareSweetness can help encourage your customers to mention your restaurant in their own posts. 

Check out our Social Media Toolkit for more marketing solutions!

Social media has completely revamped the way we build connections. It lends a helping hand to many who need support or services when it comes to digital marketing. Most importantly, it has opened doors for various industries to gain the exposure they need to build a thriving business. 

All businesses should utilize social media marketing practices. By doing so, they can maximize opportunities, reach people in need, and provide the resources to drive more business and revenue.

Resources: Diner Study, Aging of Social Media, Social Media Holidays




Cranberries: Health Benefits & LTO Favorites

Cranberries, a small tart fruit, commonly used in baking to make juice and cranberry sauce, penetrates 41.2% of all US menu’s. While they have a short season, it is best to get them fresh in the grocery store around mid-October. They are grown primarily in the northeastern states and are harvested mid-September and October. As some describe them as bitter and sour, they stay fresh from October through December, which is why we only see them around the holidays. It’s never too early to start freezing some!

Fall is the time to get to know these tart berries and their wealth of nutritional benefits. From immunity to brain health, cranberries are worth adding to your healthy eating routine and/or to add to your Thanksgiving and Christmas desserts as they add a sweet, tart tang to delicious sweets. 

People call cranberries a superfood for a good reason; They have all kinds of health-boosting benefits: 

  • Immune system benefits
  • Cardiovascular system benefits
  • Anti-cancer benefits
  • Digestive benefits

Immunity Benefits:

  • Cranberries are one of the top antioxidant foods. As it is rich in vitamin C, this will help keep your immune system healthy and functioning properly. They also contain five categories of natural chemical compounds, known for their antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties. 

Cardiovascular Benefits:

  • These berries have a concentrated source of both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients. A study from Food & Function, included 45 men who either consumed cranberry powder equivalent to 100g of fresh cranberries per day, or a placebo for one month. Those who consumed the cranberries, had significant progress in flow-mediated dilation (FMD) that signals improvement of heart and blood vessel function. 
  • The results in this study demonstrated consumption of cranberries as part of a healthy diet that can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by improving blood vessel function. 

Anti-Cancer Benefits:

  • Cranberries provide an average amount of vitamin C, but the main source of cranberries potential for cancer prevention comes from the package of phenolic compounds. This includes polyphenols that are found in the berries as well as a unique type of proanthocyanidin. From the University of Rochester Medical Center, “proanthocyanin may protect the heart and cardiovascular system. They may work as antioxidants and block nitrosamines from forming. They work with vitamin C to lower the risk of breast cancer, reduce the risk of blood clots, and may lower the risk of a heart attack. 

  • Individuals may differ in cancer protection from cranberries as many of the compounds are complex molecules that are broken down by gut microbes.

Digestive Benefits: 

  • Consuming cranberries have played a role in traditional treatments for the protection against urinary tract infections (UTI’s). They are the most common bacterial infections that are among women. They are mostly caused by E. coli which attaches itself to the inner surface of your bladder and urinary tract.
  • Native Americans were the first to use the cranberries for their medical conditions such as complaints, including blood disorders, stomach ailments, liver problems, and fever. 

Holiday & Menu Additions:

Want to be creative for the upcoming holidays or add desserts to your fall menu? Here’s how you can incorporate cranberries with our desserts. 

NY Cheesecake & Cranberry Pomegranate Sauce – An elegant New York cheesecake topped with a festive touch of a luscious cranberry- pomegranate sauce. Great for romantic fall dessert menus.

Iced Vanilla Bean Cupcake w/ Raspberries: Our natural, buttery vanilla cake filled with a vanilla bean-flecked cream and finished off with fresh cranberries. Perfect for Thanksgiving and Christmas parties.

Resources: Health Benefits, Cranberry Facts, Cancer Research




Pumpkin Season

It’s pumpkin season! The star of autumn, our fall celebrity. Pumpkins are more than a cute decoration for suburban homes or Instagram-worthy activities. These famous gourds are a robust source of nutrients with medicinal properties. This is the time of year when customers jump on their favorite pumpkin-flavored LTO’s returning to the menu. Here’s a few reasons to incorporate pumpkin flavors in your restaurant’s menu concepts. 

Nutritional Benefits

Research has found several health benefits of pumpkins including the positive effects on stabilizing blood sugar and its ability to lower blood pressure, serve as an antioxidant, and decrease inflammation and fight chronic disease. The seeds are high in protective essential fatty acids and amino acids. While the pumpkin fruit is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals ranging from potassium, sodium, magnesium, zinc, vitamin E, vitamin B6, iron, selenium and the precursor to vitamin A, beta-carotene. Beta-carotene can help boost immunity and protect against sun damage and conditions that may negatively affect eye health. Speaking of eye health, pumpkins also contain two additional phytonutrients, lutein and zeaxanthin, which have been linked to lowering the risk of developing cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.

Menu Additions

The nutrient density of pumpkin leads to versatility in the kitchen. Pumpkin can be used in a range of dishes and with many different flavor pairings that will spice up your recipes. The soft sweetness of a pumpkin makes it a fan favorite in custard, pies and pancakes. It works equally as well in savory dishes such as soups and pastas. Here are some ideas for incorporating pumpkin into your seasonal menu:

  • Season chopped pumpkin with fresh or dried herbs and throw it on the grill.
  • Simply sprinkle a spice blend of cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and ginger on your roasted pumpkin.  
  • Add brown sugar, molasses and walnuts to pumpkin pancakes.
  • Use onion and garlic in a pumpkin squash ravioli, soup or chili.
  • Puree pumpkin to use as a festive baking ingredient instead of eggs or oil.
  • Combine canned pumpkin with coconut milk and spice for a curry base.

Transformational Fall Toppings:

Pumpkin Chai Caramel Sauce: The iconic flavor and nutritional value of Pumpkin make it a favorite among bakers. This chai infused recipe is easy to cook-up and enjoy atop our NY Cheesecake or your favorite dessert, even delicious drizzled on fresh, crisp apple slices.

Pumpkin Whipped Cream: Quick and simple whipped cream recipe with spiced pumpkin folded in. Whip it up and top your favorite holiday dessert!

Salted Caramel Apple Pasta w/ Pumpkin Cream Sauce: Mixing our three favorite things: pasta, fall, and dessert.

Carrot Cake Corn Dogs w/ Pumpkin Sauce: A unique fall LTO bar guests will love!

Seasonal flavors, like pumpkin, offer a sense of comfort. Nostalgic seasonal flavors are widespread on LTO menus and some become so popular they stick around year-long. Pumpkin spice can trigger pleasant memories in your customers, so make one or two of these additions to your menu this fall and appeal to the masses.

Resources: HoustonChronicle | NutritionalOut




Indulge in Cold Weather Adventures

With fall and winter just around the corner, it’s time to plan ahead for all of the guests that cold weather adventures bring. 

Lodges, hotels, resorts and indoor amusement parks are primed to get a business boom in 2022/2023. “Domestic leisure travel spending has already surpassed pre-pandemic levels, even when adjusted for inflation.” Along with a more immersive guest experience comes upgrades to the food experience.

Great Breakfast Leads to Great Reviews

Breakfast is a daypart to win the hearts of your hotel guests. A recent Google survey found that 42.4% of guests picked breakfast as the hotel feature they most looked forward to. Before the family hits the slopes, make sure to provide an excellent experience with wholesome, luscious options. 

A mainstay of breakfast, brunch and break indulgence is our Pullman Loaves.

  • Purposeful, better-for-you ingredients
  • Thaw and serve, ready to indulge
  • Comforting flavors and format
  • Versatile, breakfast, grab-and-go, plated, parfait, grilled, catering, etc. 

 

Pullman Variety #9 is available in national distribution and contains mouthwatering flavors: Orange Poppy, Lemon Glazed, Marble Chocolate Chip and Cinnamon Streusel. Pre-sliced for operation ease, this variety case offers fresh flavor options for guests while providing chefs with a canvas fit for creativity. Cross-utilization of sku’s remains key in the ever changing foodservice landscape. Whether a grab-and-go option or transformed into french toast worthy of their cravings, guests will keep coming back for more Pullmans.   

CLICK HERE for more information on Pullman loaves, including Individually Wrapped. 

Satisfy Seasonal Cravings

As guests coming off the ski lift are looking for a break and indulgent Après snack, satisfy them with a warm Sandy’s Amazing Chocolate Chip Cookie or a local hot drink favorite paired with an aromatic Cinnamon Streusel Pullman. What’s better after a long-day of indoor amusement park fun, than capping the night with lasting fireside memories in the lodge? Feed their nostalgia with a hot chocolate bar featuring Chewy Marshmallow Bars with a chocolate fountain for a new take on s’mores perfection. 

National Hot Chocolate Day – January 31st 

Why Sweet Street is Perfect for You

Sweetness is best shared and creates an unforgettable experience that is cherished by family and friends. Whether it is our Molten Chocolate Cake as a decadent end to a fine dining experience, a wholesome grab-and-go snack from your cafe or kiosks, or Pullman French Toast so out-of-this-world it becomes a signature on the menu…Your guests are guaranteed to revel in our ready-to-indulge desserts, worthy of their cravings with wholesome ingredients they can feel good about. 

  • Readily available in National Distribution and Redistributors. 
  • Craveable solution to be cross-utilized throughout your property.
  • Thaw and serve. Labor savings. 
  • Fresh options, with better-for-you ingredients for cafes and kiosks.
  • Indulgent add-on for catering and events.

 

Click here for French Toast Recipe

Resources: Travel Forecast




Fall-ify Menu’s with Limited Time Dessert Offerings

Crisp cool air, crunchy leaves, and spiced aromas are filling the air around us. Autumn is in full swing, which means PSLs are back, sweaters are front and center in our closets, and boots are ready for wearing. Much like the leaves changing colors, our palettes evolve as well, allowing us to explore new foods, new ingredients and new experiences.

Let’s not forget the desserts! It’s the time of year when fall desserts are the star of the show, and your taste buds can delight in the variety of rich after-dinner sweets. We’ve rounded up some of our favorite fall recipes and desserts to add to your fall menu. They’re so good, you might be tempted to skip dinner and head straight for the dessert table.”

Sweet Street Fall Products

Pumpkin Swirl Pullman

Our seasonal moist Pumpkin Swirl cake is spiced up with Chai spices of ginger, coriander, cardamom, cinnamon and clove. GMO free, Free of artificial colors and ingredients with 5 grams of protein, and less than 300 calories. Pair this delicious loaf with a pumpkin spiced latte.

 

Caramel Apple Granny

Buttery caramel and toffee-studded custard hug fresh Granny Smith apples piled high in our melt-in-your-mouth shortbread crust. Reminiscent of Nana’s recipe, one bite will make you feel right at home.

 

Salted Caramel Vanilla Crunch Cake

Light, buttery vanilla-flecked cake has waves of caramel cake, and is layered with salted caramel crunch and a creamy custard layer. There’s something satisfying about a sweet and salty combination and we’re glad it’s cake.

 

 

 

Recipes to Fall-ify:

Iconic flavors that scream FALL are ingredients like: cinnamon, chai, cloves, ginger, pumpkin, pear, salted caramel, Maple bourbon, apple, dark chocolate, orange and cranberry. The sweet and spicy blends will transform your dessert items into Autumn must-haves!

Looking for fall LTO’s while maximizing your current menu? We have easily executable recipes to dress up your Sweet Street favorite for the Fall, while utilizing products readily available.

 

Xango Sushi

Seal autumn flavors into this fall chutney made with golden raisins, craisins, and apricots, spiced with cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice, then zested with white wine vinegar. Top this gem-colored chutney on sliced Xangos, our tortilla-wrapped fried cheesecake. The blend of spices and fruit contrasts the creamy cheesecake centers for a beautiful combination.

 

Morrello Cheesecake

Here’s a quick LTO item you can whip up in seconds. This showstopper exhibits a wonderful depth of flavor and texture. Enjoy silky, creamy cheesecake topped with sweet and tart Morello cherries. A mouth-watering combo!

 

Triple Threat Chocolate Torte

We introduced an unrivaled dessert – the Triple Threat Chocolate Torte. This elegant dessert marries three components: a rich flourless chocolate torte, a scoop of creamy chocolate Häagen-Dazs, and topped with rich olive oil ganache. A rich and sweet death by chocolate!

 

 

 

Find more recipes here!




World Central Kitchen: Supporting Ukraine

On behalf of the entire Sweet Street family, we have made a donation to World Central Kitchen (WCK) directly supporting their humanitarian work in Ukraine. Since the war began, WCK has served over 37 million meals at over 3,000 distribution sites across 8 countries. Our contribution allows WCK to provide 10,000 meals to refugee families and those who remain in Ukraine.

“Like most of us, since the beginning of this war I thought “What can we do to help?”. Then, Brice Holland, R&D Strategy Manager, suggested supporting the efforts of WCK. We began researching, to see how they utilize donation money and found that through their network and partnerships every dollar directly supports communities impacted by crisis. ” – Sandy

Founded in 2010 by Chef José Andrés, World Central Kitchen (WCK) is first to the frontlines, providing meals in response to humanitarian, climate, and community crises. WCK sources and hires locally whenever possibly, in an effort to jump-start economic recovery through food. “Sometimes you just need to decide to do something. Sometimes you just have to show up with a sandwich or some warm rice and beans.” – Jose Andres

At Sweet Street, The Power of Good Food Shared inspires all of us to create the most luscious, indulgent foods. But more than that, we know that the true POWER in sharing good food is compassion, togetherness and hope.  It is your hard work and dedication that make contributions like this possible.

Thank you for helping make the world a sweeter place to be.

For more information on how this donation will impact families in Ukraine follow #ChefsForUkraine on social channels.

 




Raise Your Spirits w/ Non-Alcoholic Bevvies

Something for everyone, from functional to flirty. Non-alcoholic beverages are on the rise. According to NielsenIQ, sales of non-alcoholic beverages jumped 32% in the past year, while non-alcohol spirits have grown 114% during the same period.

Pairing beverages with dessert enhances the after-dinner experience, complementing a slice of pie or contrasting the cheesecakes flavor. Coupling something bold and new with a classic – tried and true – is a great way to embrace trends while catering to your guests curiosity and cravings.

Popular Pairings for Every Stage of the Menu Adoption Cycle

New York Cheesecake with Golden Milk

New York Cheesecake (0021) paired with Golden Milk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Original Cheesecake Xango (7944) paired with Mexican Hot Chocolate

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie (0620) paired with Earl Grey Tea

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cinnamon Crumb Cake (EZ8 1526) paired with Spieced Mint Iced Tea w/ Lyre's Italian Spritz (non-alc spirit)

Cinnamon Crumb Cake (EZ8 1526) paired with Spieced Mint Iced Tea w/ Lyre’s Italian Spritz (non-alc spirit)




Welcome Back: Catering to Everyone’s Needs

Hotels and resorts provide a destination for relaxation, celebrations and gatherings; for both out-of-town guests and local patrons. As occupancy rates across the country continue to increase, large scale event bookings dominate. Customers of all types – business and pleasure- are hungry. They have an increased appetite for communal experiences and indulgent foods. You need desserts that evoke togetherness, are versatile, always delicious and most importantly AVAILABLE.

Research from the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) shows that business travel, a key source of business for restaurants, should rebound to 80% of the 2019 level by the third quarter of this year. Analysis conducted for the group projects travel for business will increase overall this year by 14% from the 2021 level, with the tally topping pre-pandemic levels by 2024. 

Purposeful. Indulgent. Versatile.

Our Individually Wrapped Pullmans are strewn with wholesome, GMO-free ingredients, such as rich Saigon Cinnamon, freshly pureed, ripened bananas and scattered generously with the sweetness of sustainably sourced chocolates. All baked just-for-you with cage free eggs, pure cane sugar, rBST free dairy and free of all things artificial; colors, flavorings.

With a 10 day ambient shelf-life, you can offer an always fresh, on-the-go breakfast, afternoon pick-me-up or late night, better-for-you indulgence. Ideal for boxed meals, catered events, coffee and snack kiosks, elevating your brunch offering or a pre-portioned and contactless, signature item throughout your property. The convenience of thaw-and-serve indulgences with better-for-you ingredients, make Individually Wrapped Pullmans the ideal option to satisfy all of your customers’ cravings.

Click here to learn more about our entire Individually Wrapped Manifesto Product Line.

Cater to all of the needs. 

Wedding and event planners are getting creative with their menu offerings, as everyone is faced with overbooked venues, limited vendors, low supply, labor constraints and safety concerns. Individualized dessert offerings, such as cupcakes, continue to be trendy going into 2023. These “personalized” desserts provide a solution to the above obstacles while offering a variety of flavor options for guests.

With flavors for every occasion and craving, our Original Variety Cupcake (2090) is complete with Vanilla Bean, Chocolate on Chocolate, Jelly Roll, Peanut Butter, and Red Velvet.

 

 

Brighten up any moment with a “just for me” indulgence of our Sweet Street cupcakes.

  • Indulgent room service add-on
  • Festive menu addition to celebrate birthdays, personal milestones, anniversaries
  • Festive alternative to a traditional cakes or catered dessert display
  • Edible cupcake towers on tables as centerpieces
  • “Welcome” treat at check-in
  • “Thank You” to employees for going above and beyond

 

Satisfy Seasonal Cravings

Fall has consumers transitioning into sweater weather and comforting flavors. The smells of warmed cinnamon paired with everything pumpkin sets the stage for indulgent memories and satiated cravings. Not-so-expected autumn favorites to the menu include zucchini and legendary monster mash-ups in the form of shakes.

 

Click here for French Toast Recipe

Click here for Cupcake Milkshake Recipe

Click here for our Hotel/Lodging Brochure

 

Resources: Restaurant Business




Landfill Free by 2025

There is more behind out desserts than fine ingredients. There is a heartfelt commitment to our planet, our community and our people. Adhering to socially responsible purchasing, ensuring our world can flourish for future generations. This is our commitment to our partners and customers.

In 2022, Sweet Street announced the Landfill Free by 2025 initiative. By partnering with sustainable energy plants, the bakery’s waste stream will be converted to biodiesel fuel and all remaining materials will be recycled or used as fuel to generate electricity. 

Biodiesel is a renewable, biodegradable fuel manufactured domestically from vegetable oils, animal fats, or recycled restaurant grease. Biodiesel meets both the biomass-based diesel and overall advanced biofuel requirement of the Renewable Fuel Standard. Renewable diesel, also called “green diesel,” is distinct from biodiesel. (https://afdc.energy.gov)

We recycle cardboard, aluminum, metal, plastics and all paper. Rather than sending waste to a landfill, we either recycle or use it as fuel to generate electricity at a nearby power plant. It also lowers our number of hauls, which conserves gas and reduces emissions. By doing so, we reduced our waste hauling by nearly 1000 tons over 2 years. We are aggressively working toward our goal, being completely landfill free by 2025.

We produce frozen desserts shipped around the world and we must deliver these in the finest condition with zero food safety issues. In addition to meeting food grade standards, over 95% of our plastic packaging is recyclable number 1 or 6. We have reduced the size of our packaging, and our mailing carton is made from recycled material. In fact, 46% of the fiber used to make all of our corrugated packaging is recovered/recycled. Our corrugated packaging suppliers are certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative.

Our bakery operates with an energy conservation mindset. We are constantly looking at ways to reduce our environmental footprint. Recent projects have included installing variable frequency drives to reduce fan speeds where possible (electricity reduction), automating cooling tower operation to better control water usage (water reduction) and utilizing heat dissipated by our product cooling system to heat our plant water year round.

Read more about our social and environmental responsibility here.




Menu Hacks: The Psychology Behind Menu Design

Your most valuable piece of marketing as a restaurant owner is a thoughtfully designed menu. It advertises your offerings while increasing your restaurant’s profitability. Menu engineering is the strategic process of designing a menu to maximize profits. It requires analyzing profitable and your most popular menu items. Using menu psychology techniques to highlight these items, restaurants can construct menus in the most effective way.

First, you must analyze menu items to find the most popular and profitable, which is important since you’ll be constructing your menu around these items. Ensure that your menu is priced correctly for maximum profits and understand item popularity using the menu matrix. After analyzing your menu items and pricing them appropriately, the fun can begin with these designing hacks.

Scannability

The first component to consider in menu design is its scannability. Therefore, restaurateurs want to grab guests’ attention with their high profit items. The research shows that customers are likely to order one of the first items that draw their attention. Since guests only spend an average of 109 seconds looking at your menu, it must be designed for guests to easily find key items aka scannable.

You want to avoid crowded layouts, limit item choices, and create a natural flow. Do you ever get overwhelmed at the sight of too many options? This is the psychological theory known as the “paradox of choice,” which assumes that the more options we have, the more anxiety we feel, whereas too little options make consumers feel misrepresented. The golden number for food options is 7 per category. Anything over seven items can ambush customers and lead to confusion, and confusion can cause them to revert to their “usual” by default instead of trying a new menu item. There is no shame in sticking with what you know, but a well-designed menu will entice you to try something different or more expensive.

  • Limit Options.Psychologists suggest that restaurateurs limit options per category to the golden number, around 7 items, based on the theory, “paradox of choice”. Limiting options can increase perceptions that consumers made the right choice, which in turn brings customers back. in an industry where repeat customers account for about 70% of sales, getting diners to return is the ultimate goal. (Mental Floss)
  • Declutter. Avoid crowded layouts and choose easy-to-read fonts and font sizes. Stick with visible dish titles and clear sections.
  • Location, location, location! Psychologists have studied consumer eye patterns and found that our eyes tend to move to the center of the menu first, then move on to the top right corner, followed by the top left corner. This is known as “The Golden Triangle”. Place your most profitable menu items in these prime real estate locations (Webstaurant)
  • Use glossaries if needed. Some patrons may feel intimidated by unfamiliar names and be deterred from ordering fancy-sounding dishes. A glossary can give more context so guests feel confident that they’re making an informed decision and the right choice.

Sensibility

Next, consider the menu’s ability to tap into the customer’s senses. Do the food items catch your eye? Does the menu evoke emotion? According to restaurant consultant Aaron Allen, colors can conjure different types of feelings and “motivate” behavior. For example; blue has a calming effect, while red can stimulate appetite and a sense of urgency, and yellow draws our attention. Entertain the use of borders, shaded boxes, and white space to highlight specific and profitable items. Crowding your menu with photos can cheapen the feel of a menu, but a nice-looking picture alongside a food item can increase sales by 30%.

Another tactic is writing longer, more detailed descriptions that persuade customers they are getting more for their dollar. According to a Cornell study, researchers found that more detailed descriptions sold nearly 30% more food. Customers also rated those items as tasting better. “People taste what you tell them they’re tasting” says menu engineer, Gregg Rapp (Mental Floss). So tell them a story! Detail dishes with verbiage that describes where it’s sourced and how it’s prepared to be effective in increasing the perception of quality in the items.

  • Use color. Choose a color scheme that reflects your sales and marketing objective. People emotionally respond to color, subconsciously, which can influence their behavior. You can use bright colors, which capture attention and trigger appetite, to draw focus to specific arrears of your menu.
  • Use photos. Use professional photography in your menu, but do it sparingly. People respond to images on display like they would if the plate was right in front of them and if you’re hungry the response is “I’ll have that!”
  • It’s all about semantics! Mind the language that you use to describe your dishes and tell a story. Adjectives like “line-caught,” “farm-raised,” or “locally-sourced” are big turn-ons for customers and can increase the perception of quality.
  • Make it nostalgic. Touching past time-periods can trigger happy memories of their childhood, family or traditions. “Grandma’s Chicken Soup” or “Campfire Hot Cocoa” stir feelings of comfort and closeness.

Another trick is to create space around high-profit items by putting them in boxes or otherwise separating them from the rest of the options. “When you put in a pocket of negative space, you pull the eye there,” writes Allen. “Putting negative space around an item can call attention to it and help you sell it” (Mental Floss).

Profitability

Finally, circle back to your menu’s profitability. Perspective is everything when considering menu design. Author of Priceless, William Poundstone, reveals the psychology behind menus, stating ”ultimately, it’s about minimizing the focus on price”. Making price tags as inconspicuous as possible, we can encourage guests to spend more. A Cornell University study found that written-out prices also encourage guests to spend more. Here’s a few more hacks that are designed to increase your menu’s profit potential.

  • Avoid dollar signs. Currency indicators are a pain point that remind customers they are spending money and make them feel like they are spending more than they actually are. Soften the price by eliminating the dollar sign.
  • Avoid price trails. Price trails are dotted lines that connect your menu items to their price and are the cardinal sin of menu design. This takes the focus away from your dish description and straight to the price instead. Try “nested” pricing, prices that are listed discreetly after the meal description in the same font size, so consumer eyes glide right over it (Mental Floss).
  • Avoid price columns. Placing prices in a column will draw focus to the cost of the food, instead of the dish itself, which could lead guests to choose the cheapest items on the menu.
  • Use price decoys. A price “decoy” is a menu item that would seem overly expensive to guests, placed near high profit margin items. This gives the perception, when compared to the decoy, that customers are getting a deal, a “better bang for their buck”.
  • Sandwich your menu items. D Studies show that customers tend to notice and order the top two items or the last item of each section more often than other items. Place your most profitable items at the top of the list and one at the bottom to optimize your menu categories.

Final thoughts

Guests will scan your menu in less than 2 minutes on average, which means you have a small window to set the menu’s tone for customer satisfaction and optimal profit. Using these psychological tactics of menu design, to revamp your menu can greatly improve your restaurant’s profits and guest experience. Our Sweet Street Design Suite provides you with the expertise and tools to sell more.

 

 

Sources: Aaron Allen | WebstauranteStore | Canva | Mental Floss | The Sydney Morning Herald




Spring Time! Dessert Secrets & Inspirations

With Spring just around the corner, we thought we’d welcome in the season by sharing our Spring-time secrets, holiday reminders, and LTO inspiration.

Seasonal LTOs rank #1 in consumer interest. The unique flavors available each season invite experimentation, with plenty of demand: 47% of diners (ages 18 – 34) say their menu preferences change with the seasons. As a result, restaurants can capitalize on the popularity of seasonal flavors and items that make sense. Here are our spring favorites, to help you prepare lively LTO specials. 

Springtime Desserts

Firstly, as Spring and Summer approach, we recommend adding some seasonal flavors to your menu, like citrus and berries. Our Lemon Blueberry Manifesto Cookie is a melt-in-your-mouth sugar cookie, plump with wild Maine blueberries and a burst of citrus flavor. Operators can order them for bakery displays, or for a bright tasting treat, to-go with individually-wrapped options.

For something a little more upscale, try offering the comfort of our Blueberry Cobbler White Chocolate Cheesecake. Surely a crowd pleaser, with moist chunks of vanilla-bean cream cake, sweet swirls of berry compote, and creamy White Chocolate Cheesecake. Topped with blueberries, whipped cream and white chocolate shavings.

 

Keep things fresh by plating this decadent dessert with lemon curd and a drizzle of basil oil (see recipe here).  

 

 

Holiday Reminders

Also, Spring houses some important holidays, like Easter (April 17th) and Mother’s Day (May 8th). To prep your holiday dessert menu with a popular Easter dessert, choose four or six layers of carrot cake. Our Four High Carrot Cake is layer upon layer of moist carrot cake studded with raisins, walnuts and pineapple and then finished with cream cheese icing and a drizzle of white chocolate ganache. Another popular product is our Big Carrot Cake is six layers of moist carrot cake sandwiched with our smooth cream cheese icing all studded with pecans.

 

 

Don’t forget, presentation matters

 

 

Similarly, you’ll want to prep for Mother’s Day. To honor motherhood and celebrate maternal bonds that have made us into who we are, we salute our superheroes. They go by ‘Mom’. Here are some suggestions to make Mother’s Day extra special with dessert! Operators can offer our Raspberry White Chocolate Cheese Brulee on it’s own. A silken smooth white chocolate cheese, with a vibrant red raspberry swirl., hand-fired and glazed in simple elegance. Or layer pieces of the cheesecake with raspberry mousse and sauce, vanilla Chantilly cream with fresh raspberries in this trifle recipe. A beautiful dish with a modern twist!

 

 

Another indulgent option is this rich brownie bowl recipe made with our Honduran Chocolate Manifesto Brownie, but could easily be substituted with our Fabulous Chocolate Chunk Brownie. Top the brownie with Peruvian crème fraiche and ganache, shower with the crunch of Amaretto cookie crumbles, and finish with Amarena cherries. 

 

 

LTO Sprinkle

Finally, almost half of all restaurant consumers find it important for operators to keep menus fresh throughout the year by offering specialty items and LTOs. Read more about that here. Therefore, to make things easier for our customers, we’ve picked out some of our favorite Spring-inspired recipes and ideas. Revive classic desserts that will have your customers craving for more as a result. Reinvent what one sku can do for you with versatile products like our New York Cheesecake and Original Cheesecake Xango®.

 

Contact your sales rep today to get ahead of the Spring time buzz!

 

 

Barsicle Concept Video

Bonus idea! For our stay-at-home consumers, here’s a great idea for a Springtime gathering – barsicle recipes




Presentation Matters: Your Guide to Dessert Plating.

As we indulge in a delicious plate, our senses are heightened with aroma and visual appeal, before our very first bite. The presentation matters, so make it impressive. Artistic plating, when done right, makes a promise to the consumer: You’re going to enjoy this.

Why it counts:

Food presentation is essential to the success of any dish. The wayPlated Slice of Banana Toffee Bourbon Cake the food appears on the plate is what tempts the eye and makes the guest crave discovering its flavor. It’s a feeling that resonates with us. Plating food is like preparing for a first date, you want to make a good impression. You know that you’re delicious and worthy of seconds, but your date isn’t sure. Visual appeal is just as important in the dining experience as is the taste left on the palate. Texture, form and color are all used to invoke emotions and aid in telling a story. The plating should be designed to introduce you to that story.

Illistration of Celebration Cupcake with statistic, 87% think about eating dessert one or more times per day

 

Now, more than ever, food presentation is crucial. Gen Z makes up one-third of the population and continues to grow in buying power. Social media is where they find information about food trends, where to buy, and determine whether or not it’s worth their time. According to a national study commissioned by Hershey, Gen Z loves dessert and 87% think about eating it at least once a day, if not more. They also want to share their dessert experience with others. “Desserts are the number one food that Gen Z photographs and 46 percent of Gen Zers have a picture of a dessert on their phone right now” – Hershey Insights. The passion this new generation expresses for dessert, is even more reason to pay extra attention to plate presentation.  

 

Tips to perfect presentation:Lemon Blueberry Cookie Plated with berries and berry sauce

  • Make sure all plates are sparkling clean: Dirty plates are a quick way to deter guests
  • Adapt the presentation to the occasion
  • Balance variety and contrast with texture: Plates with a hint of complexity draw the eye.
  • Garnish where appropriate: Bring a pop of color to a cheesecake
  • Match portion size with plate size: If the plates are too big, fill in space with a beautiful design.
  • Manipulate dimensions to further intrigue.

 

Unique ideas for dessert plating:

Sources:

https://spoonuniversity.com/lifestyle/importance-of-plating-your-food

http://www.chefseanbone.com/why-is-food-presentation-so-important/

https://www.thehersheycompany.com/en_us/blog/worth-sharing-how-social-media-can-drive-dessert-sales-with-gen-z.html