Bakers Journal

Concepts for success: 8 ways to Mom’s heart

March 21, 2016
By Diane Chiasson

Here are eight great ways to help you make this Mother’s Day a special event at your bakery.

Spring is just around the corner, which means it’s time to get started on plans for one of the biggest holidays for bakeries: Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day is second only to Christmas and even surpasses Valentine’s Day. Try out some of these promotions to easily increase sales in your bakery, provide value for your regular customers and even earn some new ones!

1. Start planning today
To put together a viable marketing plan for upcoming special events, it’s essential to start preparing about two to three months ahead of time – which means now! The right marketing plan can mean big sales for your bakery. Decide what specials you want to offer your customers and begin promoting these inside your bakery and out. Now is not the time to skimp on advertising. Start promoting these special days on your website, newsletter, blog, and on social media. Put up posters and signs around your establishment. Talk to your local media about giving your bakery a plug in return for a Mother’s Day or Father’s Day package. Start a direct mail campaign.

2. Gourmet gift baskets
Create gift baskets filled with baked goods including small packages of cookies, muffins, shortbread, scones, crackers and pastries. As you do not want all the contents of the gift basket to be perishable, include packages or jars filled with your bakery’s mixes for Mom to make her own homemade goodies. Package together some savoury biscuits, scones and gourmet cheeses, and add tins of gourmet coffee or looseleaf tea, small boxes of chocolates or candies. And most importantly, put a $10 gift card in the basket to ensure that Mom visits your bakery again in the near future. Make sure that you offer gift baskets at different price points to suit all types of budgets.

3. Breakfast in bed
Making Mom breakfast in bed is one of the more typical Mother’s Day traditions. However, Mom may not be so appreciative when she finally goes downstairs and sees a huge mess in the kitchen from the kids attempting to cook! Consider offering a breakfast-in-bed special consisting of ready-made croissant dough or pastries, scones, French toast or waffles that Dads and kids can just pop in the oven to bake or reheat. Package these together with gourmet coffee, freshly squeezed juices, chocolates and flowers and you’ve got a winning combination.


4. Cross-promote
Mother’s Day is all about eating lavish sweets and getting pampered. Work with a local spa or salon in your neighbourhood to cross-promote your businesses. Sell a packaged deal that includes a Mother’s Day treat or gift basket and a spa service for one fixed price, or offer coupons to each other’s businesses. Either way, it’s a low-cost promotion for you and an easy way to gain additional exposure and increase profits right away.

5. Hold a contest for kids
Younger children may not choose a bakery or pay for a cake, but parents might select a place that appeals to kids. You could hold an essay-writing contest, where children can write a short essay on why they think their Mom is the greatest. You could have kids create something special for their mothers right in your bakery. It could be something as simple as decorating cookies or something more complex such as making a cake or cupcakes. Organize space and a time for this, and have teenagers on hand to help supervise children so parents have plenty of time to select a range of baked goods for the occasion. You can also make additional retail profits by ensuring that all the materials used by the kids are for sale. Determine prizes that will help bring that family back to your bakery later.

6. More than just cake
As more and more people choose to stay home and celebrate special occasions, a bakery can take advantage of this trend by offering complete meals for a special brunch at home. Put together a visually stunning merchandising display of your quiches, meat pies, bagels, croissants, breads, coffee cakes, pastries and other brunch-friendly items, and promote your “Mother’s Day Brunch at Home” offering on your website and social media outlets. You can also add non-bakery items like pre-made stratas, bacon, smoked salmon, cream cheese and house-made vinaigrettes.

7. Decorate for the occasion
Add fresh appeal to your bakery’s décor in celebration of Mother’s Day by placing some pastel floral arrangements throughout your bakery, along with fresh-cut long stem roses and seasonal fresh fruits. Consider partnering with a nearby florist. Place some fresh homemade orange and pink marmalade jars, heart-shaped cookies, soft pink and yellow high-heel cupcakes, mini fondant cakes, and mini double heart shaped white chocolate cakes near your cash register. Make a huge montage of boxes and bags all wrapped and filled with fancy tissue paper, beautiful ribbons, and heart-shaped stickers.

8. Bring customersback for more
For all your Mother’s Day or other spring holiday customers, offer a coupon to encourage them to come back or pass on to friends. If coupons aren’t your thing, make sure you tell your service staff to invite them back to your bakery to try out other baked goods from your selection of offerings. 

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, or visit

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