Dessert is proving to represent a huge missed opportunity for the eating-out sector, including boutique hotels that could be doing more to make profit from puddings.
According to a new survey from ice-cream brand Amore di Gelato, 75% of diners suggested that they rarely or never ordered dessert when eating out, but most (80%) would if they felt the options would be of a guaranteed high quality standard.
The survey aimed to gain insight into diners’ attitudes to desserts across the Out of Home (OOH) channel including hotels, restaurants, pubs and casual dining outlets.
Results from the survey also revealed that 65% of respondents felt that menu options were too limited, and failed to answer their needs, the top of which were a light dish that complemented the meal they had just had without filling them up (70%) and a diverse range that matched the level of choice on the rest of the menu.
Diners also suggested that they would be happy to pay as much for a dessert as a starter at an average of £7 (65%) and that a well-promoted premium offering would command an average of an extra £1.50 (80%), evidencing the potential for boutique hotel operators to drive profit from this section of the menu.
“Given that consumers in the UK eat one in every six meals out of home, it’s clear that there is a tremendous loss of potential profit within this channel, which operators should be looking to capitalise on,” says Mike Godwin, managing director of Amore di Gelato. “Key to this is to take desserts seriously, and offer consumers the quality they expect – a great main meal will be forgotten in the case of a terrible follow-up dish.
“For a long time, the UK OOH market has fixated on the rest of the menu, neglecting desserts as a concept,” Godwin adds. “Well, the proof really is in the pudding – consumers want desserts and are willing to pay well for one, providing it is as high a quality as the rest of the food they are being served.”