Small is the new big on dessert menus, where independents and chains alike have introduced mini-portion sweets in an effort to drive post-meal sales. The few-bite offerings often are served in flights of three to five items, boosting check averages as well as dessert-order frequency. Mini treats, or “Mini D’s,” dominate the dessert menu at Houlihan’s, the 86-unit chain of casual restaurants owned or franchised by Houlihan’s Restaurants Inc. of Leawood, Kan. Dessert sales have doubled ...

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