The rise in popularity of the dessert parlour in the UK has seen our towns and cities thriving with sweet-treat destinations. You’ll be pressed to find a friend, family member or co-worker that hasn’t wandered into a Little Dessert Shop or Creams at least once! The success of such stores has encouraged many entrepreneurs to open their own parlours, but with the food and beverage industry being so saturated, it’s important to ensure your business gets off to the best possible start. That’s why we’ve curated our top tips for launching a dessert parlour and making it a success – you won’t want to open your shop doors without reading this first!
Tip 1: You’ll Need A USP
Dessert parlours can be found in almost every town and city across the UK, with over 300 million servings of ice cream being served in 2018 alone, as well as 70 million cheesecakes and 131 million milkshakes. With this much choice available in the market, it’s important for your store and its products to stand out from the crowd, which makes having a USP extremely beneficial. A USP – or Unique Selling Point – doesn’t just ensure your brand is identifiable but can help you overcome competition in the busy dessert parlour market by becoming the preferred choice for customers.
Stuck for your USP? There are a few different ways to find your niche, from themed storefronts, unique flavour combinations and down-right bizarre desserts to get your customers through the door, to being the only local dessert parlour that offers genuine Italian gelato or a wide variety of options for customers with dietary requirements. Have a look at the dessert parlours in your area, what are their USPs? How can you differentiate your brand from theirs to attract your target audience?
Tip 2: Taste Counts For Return Custom
Getting first-time customers through the door is one thing, but guaranteeing return custom is the true recipe for long-term success. What better way to lure your customers back time and time again than by offering exquisite desserts that they can’t help but come back to! Premium products may cost a little more than your standard dessert but can help your parlour craft a reputation for quality that results in stellar recommendations and fewer complaints. Be sure to source products from reliable suppliers that truly care about their products, understand the value of supreme quality, and want your business to thrive alongside theirs.
Tip 3: Experience Is Everything
Imagine this: you have the best retail location, impeccable desserts and unbeatable prices. Sounds like a sweet recipe for success, right? Unfortunately, none of these brilliant features will pay off if your customers have a terrible experience!
It is vital to try your best to provide your consumers with an experience that they want to talk about and share with friends and family. So, make sure to scrub up on your customer service skills to not just sell desserts, but leave customers with a smile on their faces and a desire to come back for more sweet treats. Think speedy service, a happy workforce, a clean and tidy environment and tasty, high-quality food!
Tip 4: No More 9-5 Shifts
Dessert stores are typically open during unsociable hours, so be ready to say goodbye to your typical 9-5 shift. After all, as much as our Joe Delucci’s team enjoy an ice cream sundae at 10am, the average consumer is far more likely to eat sweet treats after dinner time. This is due to a boost of insulin that the body experiences after a large main meal, which leads to a decrease in blood sugar levels and encourages us to dig into the sweet treats. As such, expect to work some untraditional hours to grab the attention of those late-night sweet treat seekers!
Tip 5: Cater To Every Taste
With veganism and vegetarianism on the rise, as well as more people following gluten and dairy-free diets, it’s important to appeal to these audiences in order to guarantee custom. Consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of where their food products come from, how sustainable they are, and who is impacted during the manufacturing process, hence the increase in British vegans by 40 per cent. Having viable options for those with dietary intolerances, preferences, or cultural and religious beliefs doesn’t just make your clientele feel catered for, but promotes a sense of inclusion that creates a positive atmosphere – not to mention that nobody will have an excuse to skip dessert!
Tip 6: Marketing Is Everything
Now you have a USP, a fantastic menu full of options, and top-quality products: shout it from the rooftops with stellar marketing! Consider a launch event or an exclusive offer to get customers through the door during those crucial first weeks and months
It’s important to have a recognisable colour scheme and logo to boost brand awareness and make your dessert parlour memorable. Once you have your branding defined, be sure to encourage your consumers to share their experiences to boost your social media presence: aesthetically pleasing pictures of your desserts will leave customers with no choice but to see if your dishes taste as good as they look!
Ready to open your dessert parlour?
Joe Delucci’s has been fundamental to the opening of hundreds of dessert parlours across the country, providing businesses with the best gelato in the industry. To find out more about our exceptional products and range of services, and discuss how we can help you get started, get in touch today!