“When you walk in, the pie case is right there,” says Chris Tzaferos, owner of the Silver Coin Diner in Hammonton. The reason is simple. “Everything’s psychological,” he says. “When you walk into a diner, the first thing you smell is the coffee, and the first thing you see is the pies and cakes.”
Seeing and smelling spur wanting, which leads to ordering, say diner owners. As Marian Feldman, owner of the Ritz Diner in Livingston, states emphatically, “It’s not for show.”
Leading diners pride themselves on doing all their own baking on-site and often devote large amounts of space to the baking operation.
As to display, small diners sometimes place on the counter a single cake under glass, but the iconic revolving carousel might be falling out of favor.
“We used to have the spinning thing,” says Peter Ganiris, owner of Sherban’s Diner in South Plainfield. “But it was in the way.” The new normal is the wide, glass-front case, which shows more product at a glance for more temptation.