TORONTO — A panel of industry experts took to the Restaurants Canada Show’s main stage on Sunday to shed light on the missed opportunities of coffee, tea and dessert.
Jeff Williams, strategic account manager – Canada at Bunn-O-Matic Corporation; James Kenny, senior foodservice and specialty channel manager at Tata Global Beverages Canada and Dufflet Rosenberg, owner of Dufflet bakeries highlighted these frequently overlooked segments as a key area where restaurants could be increasing their average cheques.
Panellists highlighted how these after-meal offerings can amp up a guest’s overall restaurant experience, but are so often underrepresented or lack emphasis on a menu. “[At most restaurants] people don’t know what’s on the dessert menu when they sit down,” said Rosenberg. “The trend has been to hand them the dessert menu at the end of the meal.”
Another key factor identified as hampering sales is front-of-house staff’s lack of knowledge and training, particularly when it comes to coffee and tea. “At the end of the day, it’s the staff that are presenting these products to the client,” noted Williams. “There is no doubt that part of the theatre behind our products is someone’s ability to represent them [to the guest].”
Ensuring that servers understand the various coffee and tea offerings at the establishment and how to properly prepare them is essential to the sale of these items, Kenny agrees. “If you don’t train [your staff], they can’t sell it,” he adds. “You wouldn’t serve a main item without running them through it first.”
In order to take advantage of these menu items, Kenny suggests giving them more prominence by putting more emphasis on plating and presentation. The idea is to extend the overall experience. “Have your staff lose the fear of letting people just hang around for 10 minutes,” he suggested. “If people are comfortable they will come back.”