Bakers Journal

Concepts for Success: January-February 2019

February 11, 2019
By Diane Chiasson

Luring clients in from the cold

Soft but clear lighting creates a welcoming ambiance, and pathways between tables prevent crowding.

Does your bakery make a good first impression? 5 easy tips to influence would-be customers.

A customer’s first impression of your bakery can dictate whether he wants to buy from your bakery or another business. Bakery owners often think that customers will visit their bakery simply because of the quality of their baked goods, but the space and interior design of your bakery are equally important in attracting new and old customers to your operation.

Remember that it only takes a few seconds for your customers to form an opinion about whether they like your bakery store, and whether they plan to return before even buying any of your baked goods. They will base all their opinions simply by judging your bakery from its presence and atmosphere. Here are five ways to make a first good impression with your new bakery:

1. is your bakery immaculate?
Make sure to train your staff to clean both the inside and outside of your bakery. You may presume that a customer spends most of his time inside your store, and it’s easy to forget that the outside of your bakery is literally a customer’s first impression of your bakery. Did you know that customers will always choose not to visit a bakery based on its exterior? Make sure that the outside of your bakery building is always a clutter-free area with no boxes, papers or debris on the sidewalk near the door and windows. For the interior of your bakery, ensure that your floors remain clean all the time, and that your displays and shelves are dust-free.


2. Attract outside traffic
It’s crucial to draw potential customers’ attention before they pass by. Your bakery should attract customers with a billboard or large signage. A car driving by quickly should be able to read it, so pay attention to its design. Use floor-to-ceiling window signage to give drivers a glimpse inside your space from a distance. Try to place a nice large sandwich board outside your bakery shop to catch pedestrians’ attention. It only takes a quick menu, and some promotional message to attract local foot traffic through your bakery doors.

Your display cases are a key element to your advertising strategy. Ensure that you have several displays right at the front of your bakery, loaded up with the most attractive bakery products.

3. Keep your customer service area spacious and inviting
Customers must feel relaxed in your shop and they should feel that way as soon as they walk through the door. Keep your entrance spacious, clean and free of clutter. Make sure you leave enough space for customers to walk around your displays with proper signs to direct them where to go for products they need.

Walk around your store as though you were a client, and assess your bakery’s environment and layout. Your shop should be well lit and feel welcoming. Your bakery’s lighting choices will have a huge effect on the ambiance you want to create for your bakery. Be sure that your lighting system showcases your space’s the best features. Don’t forget to add some soft music, comfortable temperature, clean restrooms and beautiful merchandise on display to create an inviting environment.

4. Use aroma to lure clients Have you ever noticed how people respond to the smell of freshly baked goods wafting out the door as they walk by a bakery shop?
You can immediately see their noses lift, and their heads turn. It’s only a matter of a seconds until that customer walks into that bakery. This is why your bakery should smell tantalizing all the time. There is nothing more welcoming than the smell of freshly baked breads or pastry to truly convey a feeling of comfort. For many people, the smell evokes pleasant memories of childhood, and it will be very hard for customers to resist. People want to linger (and spend more) where they feel comfortable. Don’t forget that most of what we taste we actually smell.

5. Offer something for the adventurous eater
People have a tendency to want to try something off the beaten path, and this is why people tend to go to a newly-opened bakery shop. If you are able to provide unique and authentic bakery products on a consistent basis, which no other bakery is able to in your immediate area, then you will automatically be able to increase your customer base in no time. /BJ

Diane Chiasson, FCSI, president of Chiasson Consultants Inc., has been helping foodservice, hospitality and retail operators increase sales for over 30 years. She is recognized as the industry leader in providing 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 , or visit

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