Bakers Journal

Concepts for Success: November 2015

October 26, 2015
By Diane Chiasson

High sales holidays

December is a big month for bakery sales. Ensure that you’re doing all you can to reap and get repeat business this merry time of year.

The holiday rush will be in full force soon, which means it is the busiest time of year for everyone. Non-stop shopping, year-end parties, school concerts, family gatherings, out-of-town guests… the events are endless. As a bakery operator, December is the best month to promote your business, boost sales and generate more interest.

Here are 10 marketing ideas for how you can increase your sales and bring in more customers this holiday season.

1. Target office parties
Many businesses may be scaling down their party budgets this year and opting to throw a small party at the office instead of hiring out a ballroom in a hotel. Target all the office buildings in your area, and send them your menu, along with your holiday specials via direct mail, email, Facebook, or fax.


2. Give thanks
As a token of your appreciation, send all the clients in your database a holiday card with a voucher for free cupcakes or $5 off to thank them for being a loyal customer this year. Small gestures and gifts impress people, and they work to help keep customers loyal and convert prospects into customers.

3. Sell gift cards
Gift cards are great stocking stuffers. Make your gift cards visible to customers by keeping a stack next to your cash register with proper POP materials, or have all your staff mention the gift cards to all their customers. Make it worth their while by offering a $5 gift card for every $50 gift card they purchase.

4. Decorate your bakery
People go to your bakery all year long. Do something to get noticed! Get into the holiday spirit by decorating your bakery inside out. You can decorate without going overboard by sticking to a more natural holiday theme. Put up a decorated tree with real cupcakes, and play some great holiday music. Add a wreath and door mat to the outside of your bakery. This is a fun and festive time, and you want to evoke that feeling and holiday spirit in your bakery.

5. Create retail ideas
Save your customers an extra shopping trip by offering some retail products. For example, you could attractively package products that sell well with a beverage and jam to sell to your clients. You could also create your own gift baskets with bakery products, recipe books, branded t-shirts and aprons, kids’ items or hundreds of other possibilities. Be sure to include a $2 or $5 gift card in each gift basket to ensure that the receiver of the gift basket visits your bakery in the future.

6. Give holiday treats
Celebrate the giving season with your clients and customers by handing out free samples. Offering small samples of your Christmas bakery treats will help increase sales and promote a general feeling of good cheer.  Offer samples of your cupcakes, loaves, cakes, little cups of hot chocolate or cider, or gingerbread cookies

7. Spread joy by doing good
The holidays are also about helping others. Consider putting together a food drive, whereby you give customers a 10 per cent discount or a free drink to anyone who brings in a non-perishable item. Stack all the items at your store entrance, and put appropriate POS materials to let customers and passersby know what you are doing. You can also donate a portion of sales to your favourite charity. How about holding a toy drive for local kids?

8. Support your community
Consider donating day-old breads or left-over products to your local school, sports club, your local Salvation Army, or any other non-profit organization. This will give your bakery a positive image that will in turn improve your customer relationship.

9. Use recycled wrapping paper
Yo.u can find lots of wrapping papers, ribbons, as well as gift bags and boxes that are made of 100 per cent recycled waste. Think outside the box when you are wrapping something. Use magazines, old maps, wallpaper, old Christmas cards, posters, sheet music, and napkins to wrap a gift.

10. Get the word out
Incorporate the 12 days of Christmas to extend your marketing. Email your customers your “super Christmas bakery menu” on each of the twelve days. Make it a simple one paragraph email with a really catchy subject line including an offer they cannot refuse.

Enjoy getting into the holiday spirit and spreading merriment amongst your customers, family and friends. Tis’ the season!

Diane Chiasson, FCSI, president of Chiasson Consultants Inc., has been helping foodservice, hospitality and retail operators increase sales for over 25 years. She is recognized as an 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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