Bakers Journal

Concepts for Success: Six quick bakery remodelling ideas for a tight budget

April 18, 2023
By Diane Chiasson

Freshen up your space by creating a new layout, revitalizing your furniture and using creativity

Changing or touching up your painted surfaces is one of the easiest, cheapest and most effective ways to impact your bakery significantly.' PHOTO: denisismagilov / Adobe Stock

Spring is almost here and it’s time to get ready and think of making some changes to your retail bakery’s look and feel. If your space is starting to look worn, it’s the perfect time of year to get your paintbrushes out and start your bakery renovation.

Your bakery may need a makeover if… 

  • you are seeing consistently lower sales and cheque average
  • you are not receiving media attention
  • other bakery and retail operations in your neighbourhood are getting facelifts
  • your guests regularly comment about your dated look
  • your competitors are taking away your existing customers
  • you are constantly losing members of your team (chef, manager, server)
  • the newest generation is not replacing your senior guests 

You may freshen up your space by creating a new layout, revitalizing your furniture and using creativity. Your bakery building and interior should reflect the service and quality of your food and drinks. Here are six quick bakery remodelling ideas on a tight budget.

1. Put a plan in place
The first step to giving your bakery a fresh look without breaking the bank is to have a comprehensive list of your renovation ideas. Spend some time in every area of your bakery. Get a good grasp of simple ways to optimize flow and space. A well-designed bakery floor plan can increase your profit margins by enabling your staff members to move between the front and back of the house faster, serve your customers more efficiently and turn tables more quickly. Have a tour of your outside and inside space and get feedback from your team. Write a checklist of what’s working and what isn’t. Do you wish to make your bakery an attractive business to sell in the future? Will you preserve the family business to pass on to the next generation? What are the most important things that you want to tackle first? What is your total budget?


2. First impressions are crucial
People feast with their eyes before they feast on your food. Before new customers decide to visit your bakery, they will first observe your bakery’s exterior. Before new customers decide to visit your bakery, they will observe your bakery’s exterior. The first impression can help customers decide to go to your bakery or to your competitor’s bakery down the road. Your exterior greets guests as soon as they drive up. If you have a parking lot, make sure it is well organized, attractive, clean and has landscaped walkways. The cleaner the area surrounding your bakery, the better your chances of customers wanting to come in and stay. 

On a tight budget, you can invest in a new colourful sign, painting doors and windows. But, whatever you do, your new exterior should be something that matches your brand. 

3. Change your colours
If you need a quick and inexpensive makeover in record time, an excellent strategy is to change your wall colours. Changing or touching up your painted surfaces is one of the easiest, cheapest and most effective ways to impact your bakery significantly. 

Check with your local paint store about types of paint that will hold up to the physical environment of your bakery, heat, spills and customer traffic. Choose the perfect colours that psychologically will encourage customers to feel happy, relaxed and hungry. A fresh coat of paint will brighten up the most tired bakery inside and out. Painting a particular colour also can affect how big or small the space looks.

4. Revamp the lighting
When choosing lighting fixtures for your bakery, there are certain considerations. Lights in areas that customers are exposed to should have different features than those used in the baking and staff areas. In addition, proper bakery lighting will be essential in creating the ideal sensory experience. A dining experience is all about ambience, that is, creating a warm, relaxing environment. Lighting plays a very important part in creating a warm, relaxing environment. This can be as easy as changing the light bulbs’ lumens for those on a very tight budget. If you have a bigger budget, you can replace old fixtures with new ones. Don’t forget to always direct LEDs and spotlights on the products you want to sell.

When choosing your light fixtures, try to maintain colour consistency throughout the areas that are connected to one another. Areas that are separated by a door or walls, such as the staff and customer areas, can have drastically different colour temperatures. Always check your staff’s eyesight before finding the right bakery lighting applications. The last thing you need is a staff member straining to perfect an icing job due to poor lighting. 

5. Update your furniture
If your tables, chairs and benches look worn out, it’s time to get new furniture. Usually, tables are the first items that need updating. Before buying new tables, and if you have wooden tabletops, consider sanding back your tables and giving them a nice coat of paint, varnish or stain. Repainting or changing your tables will make your bakery look more colourful and inviting. Your investment will be in the elbow grease, which will be a fraction of the cost of new fixtures.

If you can, re-upholster old chairs, touch up scratches and apply the same treatment as your tables.

6. Freshen up bathrooms
The bathroom is a very important space used by almost every customer who walks through your doors. Renovations could be as simple as a fresh coat of paint, new mirrors, counters and water-saving modern fixtures. Keep your bathrooms thoroughly cleaned and spotless and replace your light bulbs promptly.

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, or visit

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