Business and Operations
Fall Season Promotional Ideas
By Diane Chiasson
It’s time to celebrate the harvest of wonderful fruits, vegetables and delicious earthy flavours.
By Diane Chiasson
Fall is jam-packed with activities, holidays and events like back-to-school, Thanksgiving, Halloween, the start of several sports leagues and much more. And before you know it, the holiday season will be upon us. Fall is also the time to celebrate the harvest of wonderful fruits, vegetables and delicious earthy flavours.
There are plenty of opportunities this season to gain new customers and keep your current customers coming back for more. Take advantage of the power and low cost of social media, as well as e-mail marketing to promote your events and specials. Consider these seven ideas to promote your bakery this fall season:
Fall celebrates some of the best seasonal food products like squash, apples, pears, pomegranates and much more. Hold an annual Harvest Celebration at your bakery featuring local foods and develop a special Harvest menu in addition to your regular menu. Decorate your operation with pumpkins, gourds, sheaves of wheat, leaves and other appropriate items to create the perfect fall atmosphere.
October is ‘Sweet Month’
October is one of the most decadent months of the year. Did you know that October is National Dessert Month, National Cookie Month and National Caramel Month? You could start your day by serving some flaky all-butter chocolate or almond croissants, caramel brioche or some delicious peach mojito cupcakes. Then you could move on to a lunch or mid-day snacks menu with some chewy fudgy brownies, pumpkin cheesecakes, chocolate passion fruit macarons, followed by 12 different varieties of baked-fresh daily cookies and some full-size and mini-individual fresh fruit pies. Whatever your customers’ passion, your bakery is sure to satisfy their sweet tooth. You need to find a way to create a signature dessert or something unique and fun that will get your customers spreading the word to their family, friends and colleagues.
Host special events and classes
When you host special events and classes at your bakery, you will not only show off your expertise but it will also give you an opportunity to build strong relationships with existing customers and turn fans into regulars. You could offer weekly classes on cake and cupcake decorating, bread making, bow and dot fondant cake classes, and fresh fruit pie making. It’s the perfect time to share your favourite recipes, techniques, stories and secrets with your customers. Promote your classes through your website, e-newsletters, social media channels and in your flyers.
Nothing says fall like the smell of hot apple cider. Use scent marketing strategies by brewing hot apple cider near the entrance of your bakery to entice people inside. Create an entire menu of innovative alcohol-free cider alternatives and sparklers such as cranberry, apple-ginger, mango mint, Mayan chocolate or black-currant as well as apple-pie spiced, rosy cranberry and mulled ciders.
Start posting photos and videos
Believe me, you only need a mobile phone to take photos or shoot videos. Dessert photos are highly effective social media content, so make sure you post unique photos of desserts on your Facebook and Instagram pages. Facebook not only provides the best way to post photos to reach your regular customers, but it also helps your faithful reach out to a large number of people who may not have heard of your bakery before. Make sure your photos are top notch as the quality will reflect the quality of your products to online customers. Consider showcasing ‘how-to’ videos like, How to Easily Frost a Cupcake or How to Pipe a Rose.
Many community sports teams begin their seasons in the autumn, so consider sponsoring a team and hosting your team’s post-game treats every week. This will not only help bring in additional business on a weekly basis, but it will also get the name of your bakery out there in your community.
Start your marketing campaigns to get holiday business
Begin marketing to your customers about your holiday events as soon as the fall season approaches. Many companies begin planning their holiday parties as early as October, so now is the right time to start your promotions for the holiday season.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or visitwww.chiassonconsultants.com