Bakers Journal

Concepts for success: Opening Day Window Dressing

October 18, 2019
By Diane Chiasson

Part two of opening day tactics: Attention-grabbing décor for your first day in business

Continuing my last month’s article about your bakery’s grand opening strategies, I will now touch on other quick and easy offline first day promotion ideas to provoke interest, curiosity, and help build relationships with the community. Whether it’s your first bakery or your 10th, opening the doors to your new bakery should be all about building a large and excited clientele as quickly as possible.

1. Start with some attention grabbing advertising
How are you going to get all the traffic driving past your bakery every single day to know about your grand opening? You can certainly make your bakery look festive and attract attention. Use advertising products such as branded ‘grand opening’ banners, flags, tents, official ceremonial ribbon, and small as well as large balloons.

What about a custom-made inflatable cake, cupcake, or a mascot? Being different is the only way to get busy customers to notice your bakery. Set your business apart from the competition and increase foot traffic with an attention-grabbing inflatable that just screams ‘look over here!’ You should consider placing these items on your storefront or in your windows. I can guarantee you that with these advertising products, you will see an immediate return on investment and sell more without blowing your budget.

2. Hang pennant strings
Why not decorate your bakery store with some eye catching pennant strings? Pennants will certainly create visual excitement, add a wow factor, and will not only get customers talking but will also attract them your direction. I am sure that you have seen these strings of flags flapping in the wind. They usually are tied from one end of a pole to the ground or the building to a pole. The pennant strings are an excellent way to change the look of your bakery storefront; they are also very durable and could be kept for future promotions.


3. Set up food displays all over your store
Few things keep people around more than free food. You could organize your event where you hand out free food samples of your breads and other baked goods to help convince your customers to make a purchase. You could also set up some small round tables strategically placed where your customers will pass by, filled with small plates of food samples such as cookies, muffins, cupcakes, breads, etc. As you know, one great way to get customers in your bakery on your grand opening is to offer discounts and specials. I would suggest that you fill some cello bags with these items to sell at a lower price point; it will give your customers to bring something back home for members of their family to try. Make sure to pack a display case full of bakery items, and add as many products as you can.

4. Give goody bags to all your guests
Free gifts get attention. Treat your bakery grand opening guests as if they were attending the Oscar or Emmy Award by giving them a treat bag from your bakery. Ideally, your give away free merchandise such as T-shirts, hats or goody bag itself should be well branded with your bakery’s name, logo and website to remind customers about your business and to gain free advertising in the community. You goody bags should contain mini food samples along with your brochure and a coupon for a special deal redeemable within the first few days (or weeks) of opening. You need to start making money right away, so don’t make a completely free offer. Make sure it’s a promotion that requires a purchase, i.e. “buy one get one free,” or free bonus with purchase of an item, or ‘X’ per cent off on orders over a certain dollar amount.

Ask your vendors and suppliers for help and to also contribute some items that your bakery could give away to your customers. You could also partner with local movie theaters for some coupons as thank-you’s for coming to the grand opening.

5. Have a photo booth for kids
Every new business needs pictures for promoting their services, for marketing their products, for creating brochures, or simply for sharing on social media. You should have some nice, cute and funny photos to use on your website or in your windows during your opening. Why not have some hats covered with cupcakes or muffins? Just take some straw hats and cover them with muffins or different coloured cupcakes. Get some funny oversized glasses as well as some mustache props against a backdrop, and you will have a photo booth ready for your customers accompanied with their kids. These will be fun additions for kids as they will stand in line for a photo and their parents will shop and buy while at your bakery.

6. Enjoy the grand opening with your staff
It’s finally time, the BIG day has arrived, and it’s your bakery’s grand opening!

You have done everything properly; it’s now the right time to have a toast with your staff members and to enjoy yourself. Congratulations! Félicitations! Felicidades! Zhùhè!

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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