Business and Operations
Concepts for Success: Five proven strategies to increase your bakery’s average cheque
Tracking your bakery’s cheque average is the first step to improving your bottom line
July 4, 2022 By Diane Chiasson
Whether you are the owner or manager of a bakery, your main objective will be the same, which is to enhance its profitability. To run a successful bakery operation, you need to know how to boost your profits and increase your average bakery revenue. Tracking your bakery’s cheque average is the first step to improving your bottom line. The average cheque is the average amount spent by each customer who visits your bakery.
To help you along the way, I will share with you my five proven strategies to increase your bakery’s average cheque.
1. Analyze your sales data
To get a full picture of your bakery’s financial health, you should definitely start by looking at your bakery data. Review your sales numbers and your inventory management reports. These should also include your employee statistics and customer data. You should analyze every item on your menu to see what sells and what doesn’t.
It’s very important that you identify your best-selling products (in terms of quantity) for cakes, pies, cupcakes and anything else that you sell. You also need to understand which flavours are not performing well. You need to know which are your most profitable items and which products sell well but are not hugely profitable.
You need to keep an eye on your overheads, such as your bakery’s administrative, commercial and payroll expenses. Controlling these overhead costs is extremely important when it comes to boosting the profitability of your bakery.
2. Re-engineer your menu and pay attention to the Golden Triangle
As you know, menu engineering is critical if you want to increase your sales. Your menu should be a strategic tool you can use to quickly increase revenue. You should always draw your customers’ attention to more profitable items by including high-margin items in the Golden Triangle. The Golden Triangle is where you should have your high-profit-margin items. When customers read a menu, their eyes typically go first to the centre, then the top right, and then the top left. In the restaurant business, this is called the prime real estate area.
In addition to proper item placement, you should draw customers’ attention to specific menu items through bolding and italicizing. These small changes will capture your customers’ attention and guide them to specials, product upgrades and add-ons. Remember that when customers are faced with too many choices, they feel anxious and confused, and they are less likely to decide or buy a product.
3. Train your staff to upsell and cross-sell
Your staff must be well trained to upsell and cross-sell more products without pushing the sale. Upselling is to entice customers to buy more expensive items or more upscale products and add-ons to their current order than those that are most frequently chosen. In contrast, cross-selling involves the purchase of complementary items, side items or additional items such as a drink. Train your staff members to know your menu inside out. Each one of them should also know how each item tastes. Each time you introduce a new menu item, consider giving your team opportunities to taste the products. Then, show each new product to your staff at a meeting or tasting meeting. It will be an excellent occasion for all your staff members to meet together, taste and share every tip about these new products.
Don’t train your staff to use cliché phrases like “Something else?”, “Anything to drink?” or “Would you like a pie?” Usually, these phrases don’t sell. Train your staff to give details with affirmative language such as “I recommend our trifle cake. I tried it earlier, and it’s just delicious.” Language is everything when it comes to sales. It’s essential to train your team on how to address your customers when you want to persuade them to order more. Just keep in mind that making recommendations is not trying to push something.
4. Create a loyalty program
Creating a loyalty or a reward program system will motivate your customers to buy at your bakery more often as they will get a deal or a freebie. More than 70 per cent of consumers say they favour companies that offer rewards. You will have to consider whether to implement a card-based or digital rewards program, or perhaps both. It’s important that you build a program that benefits both your bakery and your customers. You can set incentives like “Every 5th visit, receive one free muffin,” or “Purchase 10 cakes, get 1 free,” or refer a customer and get a free cupcake.
5. Invest in online ordering
Over the past decade, websites have become a necessity for any small bakery operation that wants to boost its sales. Online ordering can significantly increase your revenue. With tempting food photos and lots of extras to click on, studies show that, on average, online orders are 20 per cent larger than your standard telephone or in-store order. As a bakery owner, you can offer an easy-to-use, streamlined ordering function on your website so customers can quickly get their baked goods on the go. People tend to spend more when ordering online as they have more time to peruse your menu.
Just know that people love customization options when it comes to ordering online. Make it easier for them to customize their orders with add-ons using a checklist approach.
Analyzing your sales data, re-engineering your menu, training your staff to upsell and cross-sell, creating a loyalty program and investing in online ordering will help you increase your bakery’s cheque average.
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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