Bakers Journal

Concepts for Success: June 2012

May 29, 2012
By Diane Chiasson

Business usually slows down in the summer, as people leave town for holidays instead of shopping in your store.

Business usually slows down in the summer, as people leave town for holidays instead of shopping in your store. However, summer is also a great time to utilize the great outdoors to market your bakery.

Hold a sidewalk sale outside of your bakery with irresistible treats that will draw passersby. Keep your table stocked and colourful to attract attention.


Here are eight marketing tips to make your bakery sizzle this summer:


Keep your doors open
Bakeries have the distinct advantage of being able to entice patrons with wafts of cinnamon and vanilla, or the scent of freshly baked bread. Take advantage of your natural (and free) marketing tool by leaving your front door and windows open and letting the scents draw in customers. If your products taste as good as they smell, you can convert an impulse buyer into a returning customer.

Hold sidewalk sales
Take advantage of the warm weather by selling your baked goods outdoors. Set up a table outside your bakery, and fill it with your freshest breads, muffins, pastries and other irresistible items that will make people stop and buy. Be sure to keep your table stocked, filled and looking plentiful. Attract attention by adding fresh, colourful flowers and produce to dress up the table, and be sure to include appropriate signage.

Offer free samples
Stand outside your bakery with a tray of your products and offer free samples. This is a great way to build up a new customer base, or to flog your new products. This is also a good way to establish more personal relationships with returning and potential customers, as you take the time to hold conversations with people outside.

Set up a lemonade stand
Who can resist a glass of fresh, ice-cold lemonade on a hot summer’s day? Attract more customers by setting up a lemonade stand outside your bakery, and use appropriate signage around the lemonade stand to advertise the products you have inside your bakery to entice customers to walk in.

Create picnic packages
Cater to your customers who are going on a road trip or planning a day at the beach by selling picnic packages. Use different themes: create a picnic package that features cheese, charcuterie and a fresh baguette, or a picnic lunch of sandwiches, drinks and a bag of freshly baked cookies or dessert bars. Increase your sales by selling the picnic hamper, reusable crockery and cutlery, blankets, plastic wine glasses and other gear as well. Market your picnic packages by setting up an eye-catching picnic display in your storefront window.
Set up an outdoor café

Place a few bistro-style tables and chairs outside your bakery, and invite customers to relax, read the paper, and enjoy a slice of cake or a pastry with a cup of hot or iced coffee.
Give away PROMO items to kids

Take advantage of the high number of kids walking the streets and hitting the parks during the summer by giving away free promotional items imprinted with your bakery’s logo, such as Frisbees, baseball caps, T-shirts, balls or other inexpensive items that could help spread your name around town.

Use balloons
Balloons are an eye-catching, fun, and inexpensive way to draw attention to your business. They are synonymous with celebrations, so when people see balloons they immediately think that there must be something special happening at your bakery. Be sure to have enough balloons to give away to kids. Parents with small children will be more inclined to shop at your bakery just so that they can get their child a free balloon. Make sure your brand/logo is imprinted on the balloons, and the colours match your brand.

Take advantage of the warm weather by opening your doors and offering customers new ways to interact with you and your shop.

Diane Chiasson, FCSI, president of Chiasson Consultants Inc., has been helping restaurant, foodservice, hospitality and retail operators increase sales for more than 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 at, or visit

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