Business and Operations
Concepts for success: Five easy tips to increase your bakery sales this autumn
Autumn is an excellent time for bakery operations as it is jam-packed with festivals and events
October 17, 2022 By Diane Chiasson
Most bakery businesses start experiencing a low season at the end of the summertime. Whether you own a bakery store, restaurant, food truck or bread shop, you know how slow business can get during the off-season. However, autumn is an excellent time for bakery operations as it is jam-packed with festivals and events, including many Indian and Chinese cultural and religious festivals, Thanksgiving, Halloween and Christmas.
Nothing keeps your customers away more than a stale and outdated store, so if you want to increase your bakery sales, one of the first things to do is freshen up your windows and in-store displays to reflect the autumn season. It’s also the perfect time of year to make a few changes to your menu by adding seasonal menu products and developing new marketing strategies.
Additionally, follow these five easy tips to increase your bakery sales this autumn.
1. Keep up with the autumn season look and feel
Autumn is my favourite season! Albert Camus said, “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” There is something special about autumn because of these wonderful heartier meals, seasonal vegetables, tasty pumpkin treats, festival costumes, and rich, deep colours exploding into beautiful hues of gold, red and orange.
Depending on your products and customers, you could incorporate these Indian and Chinese cultural events into your displays. Dedicate your entire front window to have some prominent in-store displays. You should also create special colourful signage to draw customers inside your store. No matter the type of display, be sure to keep it simple and on brand.
2. Change your menu design to introduce fun food and drink specials
Try to get in on the spirit of the season. Consider adding new, fun and even “spooky” food and drink specials throughout the entire month of October, particularly around Halloween. It’s the perfect month for pumpkin pies and cakes, pumpkin spice lattes, and other great Halloween goodies like cobwebs brownies, creepy crawlers cupcakes and bat cookies.
Redesign your regular menu by renaming your menu sections and products. Adding seasonal specials to your menu will certainly delight your customers and get them talking about your bakery.
3. Stay on current trends
Try to identify current bakery trends or “hot items” that align with your products, and if you notice a bakery product trending, see if it fits your brand offering. What about grain-free products, vegan or vegetarian? Take time to learn about diets such as gluten-free, low-carb and paleo.
Use the free Google Trends tool or follow baking-related hashtags. Don’t forget always to check out what your competition is doing.
4. Create an exclusive takeout and delivery menu
As you know, even while the restrictions have been lifted worldwide, many consumers still feel more comfortable eating at home. Your bakery restaurant could cater to their needs by creating a special take-out and delivery menu. Consider simplifying your dine-in menu version with items that are easy to prepare and travel well. Make your food items unique and tasty, and you will have a loyal line of customers waiting to eat their dinner!
If you want to make take-out and delivery orders easier for your customers and staff, consider adding online ordering functionality to your website. Take some time to shop around for a web designer that will meet your needs. Once your website is properly set up, you will have a whole new venue to drive revenue through.
5. Stay on top of social media
Since people will spend more time at home during autumn, social media is the best way to reach them as they will be checking their newsfeeds. Social media is one of the most effective forms of free advertising that your bakery can take advantage of. You should always maintain your social media platforms during your off-season period. Never let your social media presence go into hibernation mode.
If you haven’t already done this, create your bakery account on Facebook and Instagram. Then, take some time to understand these social media marketing tactics before posting mouth-watering pictures of your bakery products, discounts, giveaways or competitions several times a week. Don’t forget to repost any tagged stories or mentions by your customers. Then, find a way to make your content relevant to the current season. Finally, whichever platform you use, make sure to update it regularly.
Following these tips will help you to increase your bakery sales this autumn.
Diane Chiasson, FCSI, president of Chiasson Consultants Inc., has been helping foodservice, hospitality and retail operators increase sales for over 35 years by providing innovative and revenue-increasing food service and retail merchandising programs, interior design, branding, menu engineering, marketing and promotional campaigns. Contact her at 416-926-1338, send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org , or visit www.chiassonconsultants.com
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