The importance of a good dessert menu at a dining establishment cannot be overstated, given that desserts are the final course and can either add to the enjoyment of the meal so far or cast a shadow over previous courses. This is why professional chefs try hard to offer a combination of desserts that aim to increase customer satisfaction.
Every hotel, restaurant, and cafeteria must be able to show how much customers matter, not only with the main courses on offer, but also with the desserts on the menu. In this day and age, having an attractive dessert menu increases the number of visits and gives any restaurant a competitive advantage, thus increasing profits.
What must never be absent from a dessert menu?
Some restaurants, bars and cafeterias opt to follow the latest trends when deciding what desserts to include in the menu; some prefer to offer traditional favourites, whilst others take the risk of offering a more innovative and original dessert menu. However, if you strike a balance between tradition and innovation, the desserts will be enjoyed by a greater number of people. Here are a few desserts that must never be missing from a dessert menu:
- Chocolate: offering various desserts with an element of chocolate is almost obligatory, seeing as it is one of the most widely used ingredients in baking. To avoid the chocolate becoming too overpowering, it must be mixed well with other ingredients and used in all sorts of desserts (cakes, flans, pastries…).
- Fruit: professional chefs often take creative risks with fruit, using either seasonal fruit or fruit in different formats to make one dessert or another: fresh fruit, candied fruit, glazed fruit, fruit in syrup, etc. Dessert are often made with seasonal fruit, such as cherry or blueberry pie in the springtime, or cupcakes made with passion fruit in the autumn.
- Ice creams, milk shakes and smoothies: these perennial desserts are not limited to the summer months, and their inclusion in any dessert menu will lend it a wide variety of flavours and textures. Clients will often also seek sorbets, which are slightly lighter than the others.
- Classic Spanish desserts: these are always in high demand and can appear on dessert menus in different formats. For example, crème brûlée can be reinvented, as can tarta de Santiago almond cake, apple pie, cheesecake or tiramisu. Add to this a final touch such as an attractive-sounding name, and the results are unbeatable.
Top tips on how to design the dessert menu itself
As a stand-alone menu, a dessert menu should be kept separate from the main menu. Other tips to make the dessert menu even more appealing is to include delicious dessert photography and to name the dishes with short, attractive-sounding titles. The ingredients of these desserts can always be listed underneath the image for clarity. Furthermore, images of the most innovative desserts should be placed on the right-hand page of the menu as this is where the diner’s gaze will turn first. Other practical pointers on how to improve your dessert menu include:
Offering a variety of desserts
It is important to have different options available, so as to meet the demands and tastes of many. This does not mean you need to make lots of desserts, but rather that the offering should be varied (cakes, cupcakes, brownies…) and also apt for those who have dietary restrictions. Even more added value is found in offering homemade desserts made using locally sourced ingredients.
Offering desserts of different quantities
Some diners desire a generous dessert whilst others prefer something light to add a sweet touch to the end of the meal, thus opting for smaller servings. Therefore, it is worth offering different portion sizes for your desserts: regular, mini or super-sized for those with a sweet tooth. Offering diners the opportunity to share desserts is also a good idea.
Offering different textures
Diners seek hot or cold desserts that crunch, or are spongy, or creamy, or light, or jellied. It is important to offer desserts with different textures as this could be an important differentiating factor.
Offering innovative desserts
Desserts that are original and creative always appeal and provide an added unique value to customers. Whether it is a film-themed dessert or one that is linked to a special day on the calendar, it is great to surprise diners with designs, colours, textures and flavours that delight. Some innovative dessert suggestions include yuzu, or ice cream flavours that are slightly unusual, such as parma violet.
Offering dessert soups
Dessert soups are used in catering and restaurants because of their lightness and freshness, which can be welcome after a heavy lunch. These cold soups can be made with ingredients such as cherries, blueberries, melon or watermelon. Demand for dessert soups is on the rise and not every establishment offers this type of dessert.
In order to have an attractive and profitable dessert menu, offering distinctive desserts and a having a variety of options are just as important as being innovative and using top quality ingredients. It goes without saying that the best brand in the market for preserved fruits for desserts is Lazaya.
This company has been offering the best preserved fruits and candied fruit to professional chefs and bakers since 1940. Lazaya has a wide variety of products and formats, including specially adapted fruit products that are suitable for those with celiac disease, food allergies, diabetes or who follow a vegan diet. Find out more about how your Horeca establishment can stand out from the competition by contacting us today.