Concepts for Success: The four pillars
By Diane Chiasson
These four rules can help you ensure your hard work is rewarded with a profitable bakery for years to come
By Diane Chiasson
Running a bakery requires a lot of dedication and demands a great deal of organizational skills. The industry is highly competitive with many new bakeries opening every year. Bakeries face major competition from supermarkets.
Bakery owners must be prepared to run a successful bakery to meet the demands of its customers, and be willing to work hard to achieve and maintain success in this ever-demanding industry. Here are four simple rules on how to run a successful bakery, stand out from the competition, and keeping your customers happy all the time.
Create a great ambiance
The ambiance of your bakery should be enticing, consistent and set the stage. Simply put, bare walls in a bakery are unappealing, but you need to remember that you have a bakery operation and not a nightclub. If you are looking to provide a place for your community to come, relax, and enjoy your bakery items, it’s best that you invest in good-quality tables and chairs and other comfortable furniture pieces. Tables should have enough space between them so that customers are not on top of each other.
The colours that you use should fit your concept, and the colours in your branding should be consistent with the colours that you use in your bakery such as floor and wall colours, window treatments and furniture. Proper layout and traffic flow path, music, lighting, food merchandising and presentation as well as artwork are elements that will create comfort.
Make cleanliness and organization a priority in the front and the back of your bakery, and remember to keep the bathrooms cleaned all the time.
Get and train the best staff
The most important thing to remember is that your customers keep your door open. People are extremely busy nowadays and they don’t like to wait. Customers like to receive immediate attention, and the better and faster service and food they get, the more likely they will continue coming to your bakery.
To ensure that your bakery is always a hit with your customers, make sure that they are getting served by skilled, courteous staff. You cannot run a bakery alone; therefore, you should train and coach your staff all the time so that they can still perform properly on your day off. Having great staff that will provide friendly service will translate into long-term repeat customers.
Find your niche
Your bakery has to stand out from the other bakeries in order to succeed. One major mistake many bakeries make is trying to sell too many different products. You should develop a niche – learn to do just a few things, but do them extremely well. For example, you could use and actively promote an old secret family cake recipe. You could also make everything in single portion or miniature, and/or develop a line of baked goods for pets. You could add an online storefront and sell your baked products via the Internet.
You could also differentiate yourself from the competition by offering top-quality desserts and sweets to an ever growing number of people who have food allergies. Why not offer a dairy-free birthday cake for the kids, gluten-free wedding cakes, or products baked in a nut-free environment. Consider offering some low-carbohydrate, egg-free, gluten-free, no-sugar-added, dairy-free, nut-free, organic, or vegan bakery products, using only fresh and natural ingredients.
Be unique and different, as selling niche bakery products will set you apart from your competitors, and will make your operation even more successful than you ever dreamed.
Build a website
Your customers will always turn to the web to research before visiting a bakery and/or to buy, and if they can’t find you, they will likely buy from one of your competitors. It is more important than ever to have an online presence for your bakery to help you boost your visibility, and having a website will surely legitimize your business. For your first website, make sure that you have a simple and non-complicated website that looks as good on a smart phone, tablet, and laptop as it does on your computer monitor.
You will need your logo, branded colours, telephone number, address with a link to Google Maps, hours of operation, specials and upcoming promotions/events, photo gallery, and your current bakery product menu. Don’t worry about extras like newsletters and social media links, as you can always add these things later on.
Choosing the right domain name is one of the most important decisions you will make when starting your website. Make sure that your domain name is your bakery name. For example, if your bakery name is Dream Cakes, then your domain name should be www.dreamcakes.com. Be sure to optimize your site with the most appropriate searchable terms to achieve a high level of search engine optimization (SEO).
Use these four pillars to build your bakery into the successful vision you dream it to be.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.chiassonconsultants.com.