By Diane Chiasson
After the holidays, customers are more likely to hibernate. They may be paying off holiday bills and following healthy New Year resolutions, but there are still ways to bring in clients from the cold, with these easy tips.
By Diane Chiasson
Bakery owners and operators must always come up with more ways to bring in additional income particularly during the winter months. Instead of discounting your products or cutting back on labour/staff, it’s time to get creative and use all facets of your bakery operation to generate more money. You should definitely take some immediate steps to increase your bakery business and sales during the slow winter season. Here are 9 creative ideas in which you can create additional revenue streams during the winter months.
- Offer signature bakery products
Work with a food manufacturer and grocery retailer to get your signature bakery products on grocery and supermarket shelves. This will not only create a new revenue stream but will also help boost your brand awareness. Whether you bottle up a secret chocolate sauce or sell frozen cheesecakes, any kind of outside presence will help increase your sales.
- Sell pre-packaged home-meal solutions
Help control your food costs by freezing portions of your lunch meals and reselling them as home-meal solutions. Invest in a small refrigerated display case at the front of your bakery, and ensure that you market your new line of food properly during peak buying hours.
- Sell branded merchandise
Bakery stores, cafes, bars, and restaurants can add extra revenue by selling merchandise, whether it’s a simple keychain, t-shirt, mug, and more. Attract attention by thinking out of the box and making your merchandise an extension of your brand.
- Sell a cookbook
Creating a cookbook with today’s computer programs is as easy as can be. Take some good photos of your signature bakery products, and write the recipes, a short history of your bakery operation, and any other fun and interesting elements. And make sure each copy is autographed by either the chef or the owner, or both.
- Give seminars or workshops
Alternatively, you can give seminars and workshops in your bakery operation, such as cake decorating demonstrations, pie fluting techniques, and beautiful plating techniques. It’s a great way to get locals into your bakery, let them know who you are, try your bakeries items, and meet the owner. If possible, work with either a local wine or Spring Water distributor to get the company’s products for free in return for some free advertising.
- Host artist/author nights
Artists and authors are always looking for venues to exhibit their work. Many of these artists and authors tend to be extremely active on social media to promote their products and upcoming appearances. By hosting an artist/author event, you will not only generate extra income via a small percentage of the sales of the artists’ work, but you will also generate a lot of first-time visits to your bakery store.
- Organize and host events
Something as simple as offering a space for community events, like company parties, can go a long way towards building a relationship with the community. Hosting weekly trivia will encourage customers to come out to your bakery on a weekday. Booking live music is another great way to get customers to visit your bakery more regularly. Overall, organizing games or music will help people feel relaxed in your bakery and will encourage them to stay longer and purchase more from your menu.
- Start a vendor trunk show
Although trunk shows are typically held by retailers to showcase a particular product line, it’s possible to hold a trunk show in a bakery or any other foodservice operation. For example, if you use a particular type of cheese or confectionary items, have a rep from that company set up a small display area in your bakery so your customers will learn something about the products you use, and can also buy some to take home. You could also showcase the local farm where you buy your fresh produce for your bakery products or any cake plate/dishware/crockery/presentation plates from your suppliers. Remember that the host always receives a percentage of sales.
- Renegotiate your contracts
Generating extra income does not necessarily mean you have to sell a product or a service. You can also generate income by saving money. Take a look at all the contracts you have with your suppliers, vendors, landlord, Internet/phone provider, credit card provider, etc. Get in touch with each of these companies and try to renegotiate your contract. You might be surprised at how much you end up saving!
© 2020 Chiasson Consultants Inc. All rights reserved.
Diane Chiasson, FCSI, president of Chiasson Consultants Inc., has been helping foodservice, hospitality and retail operators increase sales for over 35 years. She is recognized as the industry leader in providing innovative and revenue-increasing foodservice and retail merchandising programs, interior design, branding, menu engineering, marketing and promotional campaigns, and much more. Contact her at 416-926-1338, toll-free at 1-888-926-6655 or firstname.lastname@example.org , or visit www.chiassonconsultants.com