Bakers Journal

Concepts for success: June 2014

May 23, 2014
By Diane Chiasson

Statistics show that around 25 per cent of restaurant and foodservice dollars come from tourists. Are you missing out? 

Statistics show that around 25 per cent of restaurant and foodservice dollars come from tourists. Are you missing out?

With summer nearly in full swing, there are probably dozens of tourists roaming the streets in your bakery’s neighbourhood. Are you taking full advantage of all the out-of-towners in your area in your marketing strategy?

Recent statistics show that around 25 percent of the restaurant and foodservice industry’s dollars come from the tourism business. This number is expected to continue to increase, and more and more people have access to travel around the world. Eating also tops the list as one of the favourite activities of travelers. Many tourists today will go to a particular destination just to eat one single item that they have seen on TV or read about on
the Internet.


Here are eight ideas that might help attract more tourists into your bakery operation.

1. Have a unique selling product

Your bakery should have one unique, signature product that is a “must-try” for tourists, especially if the product is symbolic of your city. Send information about your signature bakery item to food bloggers, travel bloggers, travel writers, travel shows or any other outlet that would promote your bakery as a must-stop site for travellers.

2. Advertise in hotel lobbies/magazines

Ask the hotels and motels in your area to place your bakery’s menu/brochures in its lobbies and/or guest rooms. Offer free delivery to guests staying at the hotel. Most hotel rooms also have a magazine or booklet for recommendations on where to eat in the city. Make sure to get your information into that guide. Also consider placing flyers and brochures at car rental agencies, travel agencies, bus charters and
event centres.

3. Create a packaged tour

Work with other local businesses to create a full package that includes hotel stay, a breakfast, coffee or pastry or sandwich from your bakery, and an activity like spa, golf, theatre, concert, wine tour, or anything else that is a must-do activity in your area.

4. Welcome tourists on your website
Tourists and out-of-towners are more likely to use the Internet to look for a good place to eat. Make sure that your website is up-to-date, fun and inviting, and make a special welcome for travelers with a 10-per cent discount for anyone who is from out of town. Send a link request to your local chamber of commerce and
tourism bureau. 

5. Offer rewards from existing loyalty programs
There are several rewards networks that exist, like Open Table, SkyMiles Dining or Rewards Network Restaurant, that can help you attract business from customers who frequently travel for business and are trying to
collect points.

6. Organize a street fair

Draw tourists to your area by organizing a culinary event in your neighbourhood. Hold a street fair or a culinary festival with other restaurants and shops on your street. Have carnival rides, clowns, bands, entertainers, etc. to ramp up the entertainment value.

7. Use billboard advertising on highways
If your bakery is nearby a highway exit or by a major airport, it might be a good idea to purchase billboard space to attract potential tourists to stop in your area for a bite to eat.

8. Use signage to lead them to you
If your bakery is located on a busy strip or nearby a tourist attraction, use sidewalk boards to direct tourists to your business. Be sure to make them an offer they can’t refuse. In cold weather, offer hot chocolate, tempting coffees and wintry treats; and during the summer months, offer iced tea, ice cream and other frozen food items that will draw in tourists who are looking to take a small break from their sightseeing.

Try some of these tactics to help draw more out-of-town customers into your store, and give it a helpful summer boost in business. 

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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