Business and Operations
Concepts for Success: prep for your hottest season yet
By Diane Chiasson
Six steps to prepare your bakery for the summer and get clients looking for vacation-worthy treats
By Diane Chiasson
Summer is just around the corner. It has been a critical and tough time for many small bakery businesses for over a year. Some of you may be finding it difficult to get your customers back into your bakery. Summertime is all about bright, fun colours and sunshine. Kids are now off school, and families who in the past were planning their holidays out of the city or country, may not be going too far this summer. It’s more than likely that these families will stay near their home and will have more free time during the summer months to come by and visit you. Hopefully, soon, we will see more and more bakeries reopening seating areas and offering customers to eat and drink inside. Make summer a time of increasing both sales and interaction. Following are six steps to promote and get your bakery going for the summer season.
1. Clarify safety measures
One of the first things your customers are likely going to be worried about is the safety and cleanliness of your bakery. Make sure your customers to feel safe and welcome in your bakery by posting your safety guidance right at the front entrance door.
Display mask posters in your front door and windows. Display all the precautions your bakery takes to keep your customers safe. Always offer anti-bacterial hand gel at the front of your store. Ensure that all your staff members are wearing masks, visors or both. Have some of your products ready-bagged. Make sure to limit your customers in-store and have all your staff members enforce the rule. I strongly encourage that you move to card and digital payment system. Last but least, keep the proper distancing in your outdoor seating area, clean your tables and chairs frequently, and respect the maximum occupancy per table.
2. Make your entrance your patio super-welcoming
Make sure that your front bakery is spotless and inviting. Sweep the entire front area of your bakery, Ensure that your storefront windows are spotless, and wipe down all the outside signage and menu boards. Check to make sure that your patio is in excellent condition. You may need to touch up the paint on your fence, scrape up and pieces of gum or other dirt, and you may even consider sprucing up your outdoor area by planting some colourful flowers and plants.
3. Show off colourful bakery products
Summer yields a wide variety of fresh and colourful fruit items at the peak of their season and can be easily incorporated into your bakery items. What about raspberry chocolate muffins or cakes, peach or pears fruit tarts, blueberry galette made with local blueberries, strawberry shortcake cups, and your freshly-made strawberry pies?
4. Entice your customers with grab-and-go options
Many people will go to picnics and barbecues at their own backyard, poolside, or a nearby beach or park this summer. This is the perfect time to advertise your freshly-made pies to-go. I would even strongly suggest that you prepare some grab-and-go picnic options such as all-fruit brochettes ready for grilling. For those brunch, lunch or cocktail gatherings, small mason jars filled with hummus, dips, salsa, spreadable cheese, and a variety of crudites can appeal. You could easily put together some fresh sandwiches, drinks, and an assortment of freshly-baked cookies or dessert bars. Offer your customers a personal variety of to-go options that they can order and collect in-store; this will certainly set you aside from your competitors.
5. Spice up your displays
You will certainly draw attention to your bakery with the power of mother nature’s beauty. Fresh blooming flowers make for great displays, both inside your cold cases and in the windows of your bakery. There is also a big attraction during the spring and early summer months with edible flowers. Topping cupcakes with rose petals will certainly brighten up your products and will also warm up your customers’ hearts. Don’t forget to market your picnic packages by setting up an eye-catching picnic or barbecue display in your storefront window.
Balloons are an eye-catching, fun, and inexpensive way to draw attention to your bakery. Have your brand/logo imprinted on your balloons, and make sure the colours match your brand. People who see balloons immediately think that there must be something special happening at your bakery. Parents with small children will be more inclined to shop at your bakery just so that they can get their child a free balloon.
6. Expand your local advertising
Create some small posters and flyers to let your community know that they can now sit in again. As you know, the power of social medial during this lockdown has been incredible. Continue putting together some great content to promote the reopening of your bakery. You could also do some pre-wrapped little tasters to passers-by to regain their attention. Ensure that whoever will stand outside with a tray of your goodies and give out handouts has the proper safety equipment.
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, toll-free at 1-888-926-6655 or firstname.lastname@example.org , or visit www.chiassonconsultants.com