How to Display Food

Properly displaying your cakes, pastries, deli meats, and cheese is essential to the success of your bakery or deli for a number of reasons. If done correctly, you can increase traffic into your store, provide a greater opportunity for point-of-sale and impulse purchases, and you can ultimately increase your bakery or deli’s revenue.

But what are some of the important considerations when displaying foods? Let’s take a look:


It goes without saying that safety is the most important consideration in any foodservice operation. If some of your products require refrigeration, make sure they are always displayed at the right temperatures. Serving contaminated food products can have a number of negative consequences.


Keeping your operation clean obviously relates to safety, but it also deals in aesthetics. A clean and sharp display will enhance the ambiance of your room, but more important, it will also highlight your products in a favorable fashion.


Speaking of lights, use it to make your food products look more appealing. Whether it’s outside light, ambient light within the room, or lighting from your refrigerated display case, good lighting will enhance the colors of your food and raise its overall appearance. This leads to increased sales.


People love stories. By placing signs in your display cases, you give yourself an opportunity to share part of your products’ stories. Where are they from? What type of milk is used in the cheese? How much do they cost? Display case signage will also save time for your staff by answering some of the common questions before staff/customer interactions take place.


Display cases provide an opportunity for suggestive selling and cross merchandising. For example, if you’re selling bagels out of your display case, it might make sense to display lox as well. Meats certainly pair well with cheese. And what about fruit cups with your pastries?


Just like realtors stage homes before an open house, you should stage your display case each morning before opening. Put your cakes and pies on stands. Create the appearance of “plenty” by showing your cornucopia of offerings. Even consider garnishing your displays with seasonal decorations like holly for the winter holidays or faux flowers in spring.


All of the elements mentioned above are dependent on the actual display case you use in your bakery or deli. Foodservice operations that take concepts like lighting and aesthetics seriously depend on their display cases to meet certain expectations.

How the display case fits with the interior design style of the operations is also important, as structural and aesthetic perspectives will contribute to a stronger point-of-sale. For example, jewelry-style cases with straight lines like the KT-24 and La Rossa go better with contemporary, modernist, and minimalistic interior design elements. Curved cases like the Koreia and Italiana fit better with classic design styles like baroque and art deco, allowing for more elaborate and ornamental elements to come forward. Or look for cases that are neither linear nor curved like the Trilogy or 365 to add a classic touch to contemporary rooms or tone down an ornamental design.

Take a look at some of industry best practices to help increase traffic and sales in your foodservice operation. Read our free guide.

Guide to Increasing Sales with a Refrigerated Display Case CTA