Bakers Journal

Concepts for Success: Four easy ways to attract customers to your bakery

September 5, 2022
By Diane Chiasson

These strategies will help customers find and choose your bakery and your delicious products

Whether you just opened a new bakery or want to increase your existing bakery business, there are three major things you need to do to keep your bakery business growing: attract new customers, retain existing customers and provide impeccable service.

It’s no secret that the bakery industry is incredibly competitive, and you need to find various strategies to attract new customers if you wish to stay in business. Here are four easy ways to continue attracting customers to your bakery. 

1. Sell through aroma
You constantly have to tempt and attract new customers. One way to do that is to start using the power of scent in your bakery. I am sure you have experienced some scent tricks that Cinnabon has been using forever. The sense of smell connects directly to your brain’s memory and emotional centres, and that’s why the smell of warm cookies reminds me of my childhood. Scent marketing uses natural and artificial scents to draw in customers, enhance their experience and establish an ambiance. 

Perhaps it’s the right time to move one of your ovens near the front of your bakery so that the smell hits your customers when they walk in the door. Consider baking some of your most flavourful bakery items at a particular time of day to attract hungry customers. Consider heating sheets of brown sugar mixed with cinnamon, without any rolls, to keep the sweet aroma in the air. You may want to use small diffusers or even consider installing a few fans throughout your bakery.

2. Go the extra mile

While excellent food is vital in attracting and retaining customers, just keep in mind that their overall experience with you, your bakery and your team members matters a lot. Making your customers feel welcome is an important component of a positive customer experience. Acknowledge customers as soon as they walk into your bakery. Getting to know your regulars personally will significantly benefit your business. Greeting customers by name and with a smile or taking the time to chat with them will help establish more intimate relationships and keep them coming back over and over again. Make eye contact and smile if you are on the phone or busy with another customer.

Treat your customers like royalty. Offering personalized service is the key to excellent customer service. Ask for their birthdays and anniversaries so that you can surprise them with one of their favourite baked items. Make sure to thank each customer at the end of a transaction. These special attentions will also increase your chances of them sharing positive comments about your bakery with their friends and family members. 

3. Bakery design, presentation and ambiance
One of the most important things for attracting new customers is a big outdoor sign. You want to be seen. Choose an exciting and colourful branded design for your outdoor sign, but make sure it’s totally distinguishing you from other similar operations. For example, see if you could place a colourful chalkboard panel in front of your door or patio. All your signage should be consistent and complement your bakery’s image and brand. Don’t cover your windows with huge posters or loud graphic designs as your visitors will not be able to see anything inside.

When customers walk into your bakery will notice first the colours, lighting, food presentation, furniture arrangement, staff uniforms, cleanliness and so on. Will you be updating your menu for the upcoming autumn season? Are your tables and chairs comfortable? Is your bakery an open concept, or is it cluttered or cramped? How are your shelving and displays? Are they neat and full of products? Do they invite customers to buy? 

Try to find something unique and extra special about your bakery and mention it in your marketing; it’s a sure-fire way for customers to recognize and remember your bakery.

4. help locals find you
It is crucial to make it easy for customers to find your bakery. You should always use a combination of offline and online marketing tactics to reach your customers. As I said before, you simply cannot underestimate the power of the internet, and the fastest way to get more customers is to use both the internet and social media. Figure out how to promote your bakery on Instagram. Post colourful and interesting photos with a whole bunch of hashtags, as well as your bakery name and location. You should always encourage your customers to publish these posts. 

Create your bakery profile on Google, TripAdvisor, Facebook and other platforms. Fill it with your bakery photos, menu descriptions and other relevant information. 

Invest in search engine optimization (SEO) to appear high up in search results for relevant queries. Use the right keywords, create unique content that will offer value to your customers, optimize your website for mobile, make online ordering a seamless process.

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 , or visit

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