Just a Bite: The Mini Dessert

How many times have you found yourself at a fabulous dinner, enjoyed a few too many bites of the appetizers and entrée when the dessert topic arises? It’s hard to say, “no” when the meal was so delicious. Instead you relent and order dessert and claim, “Oh, I’ll just have a bite.” This practice can be expensive, wasteful, and in some cases, unhealthy – overeating is not good for you.

For restaurant owners, having a successful dessert menu can be quite lucrative. Unfortunately, the “too-full diner” makes it difficult to be successful all too often.

Across the foodscape, chefs and restaurateurs are wising up to this phenomenon and have cleverly crafted an entirely new perspective on post-dinner sweets: The mini dessert. With confections ranging from mini macaroons to deconstructed, shot glass-sized key lime pies, there are plenty of bite-sized dessert options out there.

Now, the “too-full diner” might say, “Oh, you have mini desserts? Well, I think I can manage that.” Congrats, you have officially obtained the elusive “add-on” and can happily send your guest home on a sweet note.

With the holidays rapidly approaching, caterers, chefs, and home cooks are brushing up on their mini dessert presentations. Whether you are hosting a party for 5 or 500, you can give your guests a presentation you’re proud of in a portion they’re excited to tackle. Even if your guests do want more than a bite, this gives them the option to taste multiple sample-sized sweets.

Still confused how it’s done? Follow along for the top ten reasons to add mini desserts to your menu and for a few presentation pieces.

Mini Desserts 101: Top Ten Reasons to Add Mini Desserts to Your Operation

1. It’s hard to say, “no” when it’s just a small bite. Increase your profits with this mini-upcharge for dessert.

2. Presentation is not something the consumer is willing to sacrifice. Guarantee a great presentation with perfectly sized portions. It’s a great way to avoid guests destroying an entire cake or pie at a catered event.

3. If you are tight on space, opt for mini desserts to offer a variety of sweets without the need for an abundance of display real estate.

4. Consumers are calorie-conscious these days. Provide them with an alternative to giving into a half-pound slab of chocolate cake with these bite-sized sweets.

5. The golden rule in restaurant service, still holds true: the customer is always right. In this case, “right” means choice. Give your guests multiple options without committing to baking multiple large-scale desserts.

6. Prepare these dessert shots and forget about them. That’s right, no last minute plating. Simply prepare the mini glasses, plates, etc., cover in plastic wrap and have them ready to go when the final course rolls around.

7. Serve up a flight of desserts for a crowd. Instead of the double-dipping nightmare that occurs over a shared apple pie alamode, send out a flight of different desserts. Each guest can choose the one they prefer and double dipping becomes a thing of the past.

8. Why wait until dinner to enjoy dessert? Fast-casual restaurateurs are finding that mini desserts make a great mid-day and after-work snack for busy customers.

9. Experiment with buffets and dessert bars at catered events with these creative serving options. Allow guests to decide when to enjoy their dessert and avoid the awkward wait.

10. Lastly, properly portioned food means less waste. Cut down on unnecessary preparation and simply serve what is needed. Talk about a cost savings.

Mini Presentation Ideas

Mini Dessert Tableware

Serve up dessert in bite-sized portions to cut down on waste and to showcase creative display options. These can be served at a buffet, delivered to the table, or offered by a waiter in the crowd at a cocktail party. Versatile serveware cuts down on the need for storing multiple pieces when not in use.

Mini Flatware

Prepare canapés and appetizers on these convenient miniature pieces of flatware for quick serving options. Utilize these pieces for before the main meal and after. Consider the benefits of miniature portions for every course.

Mini Cocktail Glassware

This use if mini presentation pieces can be particularly beneficial for catered events. Allow guests to sample unique cocktails without having to provide the full-sized beverage. This also allows hosts and hostesses to select a wider variety of cocktails for a guest list including a wide range of preferences.

Chelsea B. Sanz
Chelsea B. Sanz

Chelsea Sanz has lived in East Tennessee since her family moved here from South Florida just before she started high school. While she initially begrudged her new home state, she eventually realized she had come to not only love it, but to “bleed orange” as University of Tennessee Volunteers fans here like to say. She and her boyfriend Hunter, a trail worker for Great Smoky Mountains National Park, enjoy exploring the nation’s most visited national park and coming up with their own farm-to-table recipes.

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