Bakers Journal

Features Business and Operations
Lace Makes Cents . . . Increase Bakery Sales With Doilies


November 14, 2007
By Bakers Journal

Topics

It’s quiz
time. How much do you know about paper doilies? You probably use them,
but most likely you don’t think about them too much. You should,
because they can help increase your bakery sales.

It’s quiz
time. How much do you know about paper doilies? You probably use them,
but most likely you don’t think about them too much. You should,
because they can help increase your bakery sales.

How and why to use doilies

OK,
here’s the first question: name seven ways to use paper doilies in food
and beverage presentations, and explain why you should use doilies in
this manner. There’s really no wrong answer, but here are a few
suggestions:

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  • As a place mat or under cakes, pastries and desserts, because they create a sanitary surface when displaying or serving food.
  • As
    a liner in a breadbasket or on a dessert cart, instead of using linens,
    because it’s economical. One fine dining establishment claimed to save
    over $5,000 annually, when supplementing its linens with paper doilies!

  • Between a cup, or soup bowl and saucer, because they help reduce the noise of dishes “clanging” together.
  • If you have an eating area, use to accent a centerpiece, or salt and pepper shakers, because they add elegance to any setting.
  • Under a mint or check, to leave one final impression of elegance.
  • Under glasses, coffee or tea cups, lemons for ice tea, and wine bottles, because they’ll protect table linens from “drips.”
  • On serving trays, because they’ll protect fine serving trays and china from scratches.

Linen versus lace doilies

On
to the second question: do you know what the difference is between a
“linen” doily and a “lace” doily? Yes, there is a difference. Linen
doilies have been embossed to replicate linen cloth (they have no
“holes” in them). Lace doilies have been die cut to replicate dainty,
hand-crocheted cloth doilies (they have “holes” in them).

Here’s
a practical idea for using linen and lace doilies in any establishment
that serves coffee: in order to differentiate between regular and
decaffeinated coffee, place a linen doily under one type of coffee cup
at the dining table, and a lace doily under the other. This way,
servers wouldn’t have to bother the guests to say “decaf or regular?”
Customers will appreciate not being disturbed during their meal.

Glassine versus grease-proof versus bond doilies

Time
to get more technical. Do you know when you should use a glassine, or
grease-proof, doily, versus a bond doily? And what’s the difference? As
a baker, this is especially important for you. The answer is that you
should choose the doily based on the type of food to be placed on it.

Glassine
is a dense, highly calendared paper that is grease resistant.
Grease-proof paper is treated paper stock with a very strong resistance
to grease. It is even more grease resistant than glassine. Both are
good for your “buttery” or higher fat items, so you don’t end up with
unsightly grease stains on the doilies. Consider this when putting
together your next bakery display – do you want your customers to
notice your beautiful, tasty creations, or the grease stains around
them? With today’s more health-conscious consumers, this would not be
good for sales.

White bond paper has limited grease resistance,
but is used in most applications due to its bright white appearance and
its lower cost.

So many varieties of doilies

You
may think you know the answer to the next question, but perhaps not….
Do you know how many styles of doilies there are? Many bakers are
familiar with round, white doilies in various sizes. In fact, they come
in many shapes, to best fit the presentation — such as square, oval,
rectangular, or even heart-shaped for special occasions, like
Valentine’s Day. In addition, you will find them in a selection of
sizes (from as small as four inches to as large as 22 inches), colours
and designs.

“Face up” or “face down”?

This is a
tricky question. Do you know if there is a correct “face up” and “face
down” on a doily? Yes, there is! Doilies are placed in their boxes
“face up.” Take a look next time, and notice which is which, so you
know how to properly place that doily.

One final question…

And
the final question…. How can you make your baked goods look more
appetizing and increase sales for just a few pennies? Use paper doilies!

If
you would like to learn more about increasing your sales with appealing
presentations, check out the “Doilies Make the Difference” web page www.fpi.org/jahia/Jahia/pid/231.
There, you’ll find more information on the many benefits and uses of
doilies and where to buy them. In addition, you’ll be able to watch the
10-minute “Doilies Make the Difference” video, and download the
accompanying brochure.

Lynn M. Dyer, also known as the
“Duchess of Doily,” is the director of research and communications at
the Foodservice Packaging Institute, Inc., based in Falls Church, Va.
She works closely with the Institute’s Linen and Lace Division, which
represents North American manufacturers of doilies and other tabletop
items. Lynn may be reached at ldyer@fpi.org .