Bakers Journal

Concepts for success: April 2015

April 16, 2015
By Diane Chiasson

Feel-good marketing campaigns

Your customers will not only appreciate your charitable donations, but they will know they’re getting only your freshest products when they buy from your bakery. Photo credit: © fotolia/Monkey Business

Inspire customer loyalty by making your bakery a pillar of the community.

Research has shown that consumers are more interested in patronizing businesses that are involved with their community, which in turn, can create more loyal customers.

There are several ways your bakery can get involved in the community and help those in need; by doing so, you also give your customers the opportunity to do something that will make them feel good about themselves.

Consider the following ideas for feel-good marketing campaigns.


Help fight childhood hunger
As a foodservice business, it only makes sense that your bakery is involved with charities that address childhood hunger. Work with a local non-profit charity that helps feed hungry kids. Encourage your customers to drop any of their change from their purchase into a donation box by your cash registers, and/or make weekly bread donations to school breakfast/lunch programs in lower-income areas.

Encourage staff and customers to volunteer
Most people are willing to help out in one way or another, but often don’t have the time or make the effort to find a way to help. Work with your local food bank to arrange for two-hour volunteer sessions that your staff or your customers can sign up to do. Whether you post a sign-up sheet in your bakery or create an online form, make it easy for people to get involved. Your customers will appreciate your bakery’s commitment to battling hunger and will feel good about themselves for being able to help out a few hours.

Donate unsold bread and pastries
Instead of throwing out old bread or pastries in the dumpster at the end of the day, consider donating them to a rescue mission, food pantry, food bank, soup kitchen, senior citizens’ home, nursing home or school. You could even donate unsold products to a different nonprofit every night. Assign one staff member on your team to deliver the donated items at the end of his/her shift, or arrange with the non-profit agencies to come to pick them up at your bakery. Either way, your customers will not only appreciate your charitable donations, but they will know they’re getting only your freshest products when they buy from your bakery.

Pay it forward
More and more bakeries around the world are adopting a “pay it forward” system, where customers can buy an extra “pending” item, which can later be collected by people in need. Items can range from a simple cup of coffee to a loaf of bread or a sandwich. This gives your bakery a chance to get involved in helping your community in a direct and easy way. Your customers will not only appreciate the opportunity for them to be able to help those in need, but they will also appreciate the fact that your bakery is looking out for others. Submit your pay it forward stories on social media.

Good karma board
Similar to the pay it forward concept, give your customers the opportunity to buy a treat for someone else by putting their names up on a “Good Karma Gift Board.” The board should say to whom the gift is given, who it is from, why the recipient is getting it, and what they are receiving it. The marketing strategy here is that you will make your customers feel good about themselves for giving or receiving a gift.

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. Contact her toll-free at 1-888-926-6655 or at, or visit

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