Bakers Journal

Concepts for Success: April 2012

April 13, 2012
By Diane Chiasson

Here are nine great bakery tips and tricks for fabulous presentation.

Bakeries already have a distinct advantage when it comes to display and presentation by having products that already have attractive colours, layers and shapes. Who can resist the temptation of a freshly baked cookie, a flaky pastry or a beautifully decorated cupcake? Surprisingly, many bakery owners and operators do not position or present their products in the most attractive ways, hence not capitalizing on extra sales opportunities.

Stack displays of cookies, biscotti, breads and baguettes in neat patterns to make your supply appear abundant. 


1. Stack your products
Stacking your products creates the impression of abundance, which people are naturally drawn to. Harder baked goods are ideal products to stack, especially baguettes, loaves of bread, cookies, biscotti and other treats that are not too fragile. Create neat piles or patterns, but make sure they are accessible so that if a customer selects one item, the entire pile of goods will not fall down.


2. Refill often
Refill your shelves and display cases throughout the day. Your bakery must always look full and abundant at all times. Keep in mind that no one will want to buy a product if there are only a few left, as it gives the impression of being old, stale and unwanted.

3. Rotate products
Rotate your products according to shelf life and use-by dates. Products with extra stock should be moved to the front of the store, and displayed prominently to sell.

4. Show off your handiwork
Many baked goods already have the qualities that make them visually appealing, so all you need to do is arrange them in an attractive manner. For cakes, slice off one piece so customers can see the delicious layers and frosting inside. Overlap cookies and pastries. For items with designs on the top, display them on a slanted tray or plate so that the designs are visible from far away.

5. Use relevant plates and platters
Creating displays with different heights and depths is a key merchandising point. For baked goods, this can be achieved by using a variety of different platters, two- and three-tier display units, and cake stands with pedestals. Avoid using large, commercial-looking plates. Your dishes should be small enough to look full when you place your pastries on them, but big enough so that they don’t seem crowded. Place your best-looking cakes on pedestal cake stands so that they attract attention from far away. Alternate your products by different colours, textures and shapes.

6. Use paper
Embellish your baked goods by lining your breadbaskets and trays with brown paper to give your products a more European and environmental feel. You can also use paper for marketing purposes by adding paper props around your displays including mini menus or recipe cards, upcoming events, advertising, or other relatable items.

7. Create party trays
Many people go to bakeries to buy for parties or gatherings, but have difficulty in deciding what to buy. Create party trays and packages that include a variety of your products, or ready-to-serve platters. Not only are you offering an element of convenience to hurried shoppers, but you are also offering a sampling of your products to a new group of people who may visit your bakery after tasting something delicious from your party tray. Ensure that your logo, brand and store address, phone number and website are displayed prominently.

8. Sell mini everything
Many customers visiting your bakery for bread will be tempted by your sweet treats but will not buy due to diets or other health concerns. Consider selling miniature versions of your most popular products, or create a line of 100-calorie products. Place these items near the cash-wrap area to increase your impulse buys.

9. Invest in a cookie warmer
The scent of a freshly baked cookie will draw in customers from the street. A warm cookie, however, will get them coming back over and over again. Consider investing in a cookie warmer that will allow you to serve warm cookies all day long. You can also develop promotional materials advertising that you are the only bakery on the block that sells warm cookies!

By using what you’ve already got – beautiful baked goods – you can showcase your products and build sales while you’re at it!

Diane Chiasson, FCSI, president of Chiasson Consultants Inc., has been helping restaurant, foodservice, hospitality and retail operators increase sales for over 30 years. Her company provides 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, or visit

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