Concepts for Success: Seven ways to prepare for the tourist season
May 31, 2023
By Diane Chiasson
Summer is here! That means planning, organizing and preparing for tourists and locals alike
Summer is in the air! Most people are ready to travel again after a few years of staying home. Summer tourism season is already here, and if your bakery is in a hot vacation spot or tourist destination, you are probably thinking about attracting the attention of visitors and locals alike.
For bakery operators, this means planning, organizing and preparing for the busy tourist season. Here are seven easy ways to get your bakery ready.
1. Draft a quick plan
The best way to see what worked for you in the past is to revise and analyze your previous year’s performance. You must look for ways to ensure your bakery store is operating efficiently and your baked goods are top-notch. Identify your previous successes and failures to see areas where you can improve. Make a list of your summer sales by month, day of the week and hours to get a good picture of your peak times. Gather data on your existing customers, and use tools like Google Analytics, social media reports and customer surveys to identify common patterns and trends among your customers. Identify details like gender, age, interests and buying behaviour.
2. Update your hours online
Take a look at your posted hours of operation as they may not be current anymore. It’s essential to fix this asap! When people are looking at visiting an area or are trying to figure out what to do and where to go while they are in town, often the first place they will look is online. As you know, many tourists will use Google, Facebook and other similar platforms to find places to eat, drink and celebrate. It’s essential your hours be up to date on these platforms.
3. Take mouth-watering photos
In today’s digital age, social media is a powerful tool for promoting your bakery shop and products. Visuals are everything these days. Take high-quality photos of your baked goods and make them visible on your social media platforms and website. Use bright and bold colours to make your baked goods look as delicious as they taste.
Use social media to announce special offers, deals, discounts or free delivery for orders over a certain amount. Don’t forget to include customer testimonials and fun captions to make your bakery marketing strategy stand out. By regularly posting updates on social media, your bakery will keep your customers and tourists informed and generate excitement about your store and products.
4. Review your summer menu
Study your menu to see if any areas can be improved, or perhaps it’s just a good time for a refresh. It’s essential that you take a solid and accurate look at what you need to make, when to make it, and how you can order supplies accordingly. Seasonal and summer-themed products are always popular among customers.
If you want to attract tourists and locals alike, it’s a great time to focus on any local specialties that you are known for and to tempt your regular customers with new products and recipes to arouse their curiosity. In addition, it’s a good practice to regularly assess your product mix to ensure you maximize ingredients and mixes. This will save you time, labour and money.
5. Give everything a good shine
Your bakery will initially be judged on its appearance. Cleaning up your bakery’s physical space will increase the chances of making an excellent first impression. Do you see signs of wear and tear? Customers make their choices based on everything they see, hear and smell outside and inside a bakery store. Sweep the sidewalk, knock down cobwebs, give a coat of fresh paint, add ambiance via lighting, change your tables, chairs and benches if worn out, create great merchandising and add flower planters.
6. Use clear signage, sandwich board, window displays
Excellent and clear signage is very helpful, especially for new visitors to your bakery! Whatever you do or use, make it exciting and appealing. Use creative window displays, banners or posters as an opportunity to let your bakery’s products and personality shine. You could also put a blackboard at the entrance. It doesn’t require a lot of investment and it’s very effective.
If you are allowed to use a sandwich board, do it! It’s an easy and affordable way to show off your summer-themed baked goods, gift cards or bundles.
7. Get extra help
Busy summer periods can be hectic and quite stressful. Team training is an ongoing need for every bakery. With proper training, your staff members will know what to expect and understand what is expected of them. Hiring and keeping staff these days has proven to be a significant struggle for bakery owners. If you can, invest in a self-ordering kiosk, which will give you peace of mind and will leave you more time to work on other things. Just remember, greeting customers with a smile is always appreciated.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit chiassonconsultants.com.
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