What Do Bakeries Use for Display? 

You have likely been in a coffee shop, bakery, or grocery store and been tantalized by a pastry or baked good in a display case. Businesses utilize bakery display cases to merchandise their baked goods and show them for sale. These glass display cases are used to create tempting presentations in the hopes of encouraging impulse buys while customers wait in line to check out. Bakery cases are also excellent for displays in restaurants to sell house-made desserts. There are different kinds of bakery display cabinets for all types of business needs, from refrigerated floor cabinets to small countertop cases.

Why Use a Display Case? 

Pastry and bakery display cases are beneficial to the customer and the business owner. Customers receive fresher, more sanitary products and business owners can display their beautiful baked goods for sale. There are many benefits to using a bakery display case in your business. 

Keep Items Fresh 

Baked goods have a short window of opportunity to get the tastiest and freshest product to the customer. Display cases help keep pastries and other foods fresher for longer, which increases the selling window for your products throughout the day. Refrigerated display cases are especially useful for keeping your foods fresh while still showing them off.

Display Items to Attract Customers 

A beautiful display of pastries and breads can show customers what they need to indulge in your business. The best displays can make your business stand out. A well-designed display can also encourage customers to make a purchase when they’re standing in line to check out. Some ways to best utilize a display case include: 

  • Have employees refer to the case when a customer is checking out. They can point out a specific item that you are looking to sell or point out their favorite pastry for a recommendation. Example: “Have you seen our fresh scones this morning? Would you like to add one to your order?” 
  • Display any baked good available for sale in the case. This way if a customer is interested in anything, they’ll also see your other offerings that are nicely displayed. 
  • Use a display case that requires an employee to pick out an item. This will increase interaction between the customer and employee and allow them an opportunity to make recommendations.

Increase Purchases 

Many businesses utilize display cases for selling baked goods, packaged foods, and other pre-made food like sandwiches. These cases can offer a quick grab option for customers at the register, or act as a tempting display of your best baked goods. Whatever you’re selling, a bakery display case can assist in making product recommendations and last-minute purchases. Cases are especially useful for selling when a customer is standing in line. 

A well-maintained and presented display can give the right impression to customers. It will allow you to present your best products for purchase and encourage patrons to take a second look.

About Display Cases 

There’s a display case for every need, whether you want customers to serve themselves or for employees to serve customers. If you’re looking to keep food longer and warm it up if needed, consider a refrigerated display case. Try a non-refrigerated case if you run a bakery and are selling or throwing out of pastries before they stop being fresh. 


A refrigerated display case is ideal for keeping food at a specific temperature until you need to serve it. Many businesses utilize refrigerated cases for prepared foods like sandwiches and salads. Others use them to keep pastries fresh until they’re sold, and then they are either served cold or warmed up to serve. Some refrigerated cases can be accessed by customers to self-serve, but most are designed to be accessed only by employees. This helps to control inventory more carefully and keeps away unwanted germs from the baked goods.

The average temperature range of a refrigerated bakery case is 33°F to 41°F.

Type Best Used For Service Access

Enclosed Case


  • Register sales
Back (employee)


  • Self-service
  • Packaged/ready-to-eat goods
Front and Back (customers)


  • Displaying daily offerings
Front (employee)

Slide-In Countertop

  • Register sales
  • Smaller spaces
Back (employee)


Bakery cases that are ambient, or room temperature, are designed for customers or employees to easily access food items for sale. These cases are typically small and can fit on a countertop. It’s common for this type of display case to be accessed by employees but will sometimes be used for self-service. Non-refrigerated display cases and boxes are meant for fast-moving baked goods and are not meant to store food for long periods of time. It is recommended to refresh food in display cases multiple times per day if you are serving baked goods all day. This keeps items fresh and tasting the best for your customers.

Type  Use For  Service Access 

Display Case 

  • Countertop displays 
  • Register sales 
  • Fast-moving product 
  • Back (employee) 

Bread Case 

  • Selecting slices of bread for warming/toasting, back of house 
  • Self-service bagels or toast, perfect for buffets 
  • Front (employee or customer) 

Display Bin 

  • Self-service cookies or rolls 
  • Register service 
  • Front or Back (employee or customer) 

Cake Stand 

  • Display fresh-baked cakes for purchase by slice or whole 
  • Top (employee) 

Bulk Bin 

  • Register service 
  • Daily offerings 
  • Front or Back (employee or customer) 

More on Bakery Displays 

Looking to add a Display Case to your business? Check out our wide selection of Bakery Display Cases and Refrigerated Display Cases.

Want to learn about the difference between a glass door merchandiser and a bakery display case? Check out our buying guide on Merchandisers and Display Cases.

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