Bakers Journal

Concepts for Success: Spice Up Your Bakery for Fall

September 11, 2020
By Diane Chiasson

Baked goods sell more in the autumn; Here's six steps to take advantage of the fall season

Autumn is peak produce time. Pumpkin, apple, cinnamon, plum and caramel cakes are features heavily during this season. Get your bakery ready for your customers’ fall favourites. Here are six simple ideas to get your bakery ready for autumn.

1. fall inspired decor

Add a sense of warmth and comfort by adding seasonal décor to your bakery operation with wreaths, fall foliage, real carved pumpkins and gourds aand multicoloured mini lights. Add small details like napkins with fall hues. Whether you look to seasonal produce or fragrant spices, you will find the natural hues of autumn never fails to create a cozy ambiance.

2. clean your bakery

When the weather gets colder, germs spread quicker. Start this new season off, particularly during this pandemic, in perfect shape. Your catchphrase should be ‘fall cleaning’. Recent research shows that restaurant cleanliness is more important to patrons than customer service.

3. Sanitation and health codes

Provide ways to properly clean hands, by providing access to soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Give cashiers, drive-through operators, delivery staff and other customer-facing staff with hand sanitizer for their use only. Have all employees and visitors wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water before entering the workplace and after contact with surfaces others have touched. Provide a safe place for customers to dispose of used sanitizing wipes and personal protective equipment. Sanitize shared equipment (where sharing of equipment cannot be avoided). Post hygiene instructions in English or French and the majority workplace language so everyone can understand how to do their part. Introduce more fresh air by increasing the ventilation system’s air intake or opening doors and windows. Avoid central recirculation where possible. Maintain a safe distance while handing goods and taking payment, minimize or eliminate handling of cash and eliminate at-the-door payment methods.

Assign staff to ensure customers are maintaining safe physical distances in congested areas like entrances/exits and check-outs.

4. farm-to-table menus

Farm-to-table is a national movement that helps consumers and food business operators understand where food comes from, and encourages customers to buy as close to home as possible. One of the most popular menu trends at the moment is a focus on freshness. Buying local food, using seasonal menus, and partnering with farmers’ markets. More and more foodservice operations in Canada embrace local farms as business partners. During these challenging times, there is a growing awareness among consumers about buying local and understanding where their food is from.

The farm food tastes much better and is healthier. It’s definitely a good marketing tool and can help spruce up your regular menu. I strongly suggest that you take the time to visit your local farmers’ markets. Why don’t you head to a local farmers market just to find inspiration and to also view the latest fresh and local produce? Introduce yourself to the farmers and find out more about the types of food they grow, and what they can offer you as a bakery/restaurant food supplier.

How about adding to your menu some delicious fruit galettes, apple dumplings, mini ginger snaps, potato leek soup served with brown bread in the wintertime, and other hearty fall food menu items. Whatever you do, make sure that you have endless combinations of flavours, textures and colours that will continually encourage your customers to buy from your bakery.

5. Keep training your staff

When you think your staff members have been trained enough, keep going. If they lose some precious minutes or prepare the wrong order, it could equate to a huge loss in revenue and also in reputation. If you have recently hired some new employees, you will want to properly train them before they hide behind your bakery cases. Make sure that your new employees can wear multiple hats, and are educated about the important elements of your bakery. Your staff members should know everything about every menu items that you sell, including seasonal items, the operations of your bakery, and the customer service standards. Even your well-seasoned staff members may need a refresher course. Offer ongoing training sessions to help your staff stay sharp, motivated, and become better customer service representatives.

6. Team up with local businesses

You should definitely work with other neighbourhood stores to pool your resources as well as your media reach. Try to throw an autumn-themed weekend event with food, entertainment, and lots of promotions. Email the members of your community and your best customers to invite them to this special event. Don’t forget to donate to your favourite charity organizations. You will not only raise awareness about your business but you will also become a good neighbour.

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 , or visit

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