Business and Operations
Concepts for Success: 4 Quick ways to raise revenue
By Diane Chiasson
Boost your bakery’s business and raise your revenue with these 4 easy tips
By Diane Chiasson
As you know, bakery sales are rarely constant. It’s inevitable that your bakery will experience some quiet periods. Keeping the competition at bay, bringing exposure to your brand and adding additional revenue is a constant challenge for any bakery owner.
Don’t dwell on the negative: It’s time to roll up your sleeves. You can stand out from the competition, attract new customers, and keep your existing clientele to come in more often with the following techniques:
Check your bakery products and expand your menu
The first step in making a profit is deciding which products to sell. A bakery should not only have a signature item that keeps customers coming back but should also add additional products on a regular basis to boost sales. Try analyzing your competition in your area to find out what they offer, and take some notes on their pricing and marketing techniques. I can assure you that in the process, you will find new revenue streams.
You should try to carve out a niche for yourself that isn’t currently being served, such as low-fat, gluten-and sugar-free goods, organic, vegan and any other dietary solutions. They could offer for some great sales opportunities for your bakery operation. You may also consider offering all-natural, high-protein, and low-carb alternatives. Some bakery chefs are now trying new bakery products for diabetic customers by offering items that do not include glucose or butter. A larger menu with more meal options can be an effective way to increase sales at your bakery. You should consider offering additional non-bakery items, such as fresh juices and delicious specialty coffees in the morning or healthy light salads, soups, wraps and sandwiches at lunchtime.
Raise your prices (slightly)
Raising your prices as well as properly pricing your baked items is the easiest way to increase sales. This will certainly impact and increase your profits. If you don’t know if you should raise your prices, then look at what your competitors are doing! You don’t need a reason or justification to raise your prices, just do it, and do it just a little at a time. I know that most operators are terrified to do this, but honestly, it’s very simple. First, increase your prices, even if it’s only a few cents per items. Don’t increase your prices too much at a time; it will not only annoy your customers but it will drive them away. When you increase your prices incrementally, your customers will not notice it. I repeat: Don’t be afraid of raising your prices!
You can also encourage customers to spend more by giving them a package deal on multiple products or by bundling your goods and services to increase your average sales price. One thing you should know is that selling your bakery products at the lowest price doesn’t make customers more loyal or happier. Never be afraid to raise your prices but do it in small increments. Raising prices is more effective than selling more baked goods. In other words, quality is better than quantity.
You should try to raise your average ticket by 5 to 10 per cent through upselling to get your current customers to buy more during their visits. Train your staff for the popular add-on sales phrase, “Do you want a coffee with that?” An extra pastry, sandwich or coffee will make a difference in your cash flow. Your staff should also point out the better deals and offer the largest cake size first. Always remind your staff that they are in a retail business and sales are very important to stay in business. Train your customer service staff to point out your best selling items. They should be able to simply describe each item on your menu as a way to help your customers decide about trying one of more options. Identify your top-performing salespeople and have them teach and mentor other members of your team.
Add complementary services or products
Selling something you are famous for as a branded product will inevitably generate a secondary revenue stream. In addition to your bakery store, you may consider having a whole selection of by-the-bag coffee beans as well as adding some cups, travel mugs, t-shirts, branded aprons, picnic boxes, gift baskets, packages of cookies, and gift certificates. This is a great way to quickly expand your brand and make extra money.
You should definitely consider branching out to baking for local special events such as birthday parties and weddings. Try to nurture relationships with your local restaurants, gourmet grocery stores, and catering companies as they may outsource their baking and desserts options, and would welcome this new business opportunity. You may also consider offering wedding cakes to florists and bridal shops.
Offering baking and cake decorating classes at your bakery would definitely be another way to increase visibility as well as revenue. This will also give you the opportunity to not only sell your baked goods to these students but to draw new customers in to your bakery shop.
Diane Chiasson, FCSI, president of Chiasson Consultants Inc., has been helping foodservice, hospitality and retail operators increase sales for over 30 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