September 11, 2020
By Ken Weir
Steadying Your Bakery for the Next COVID Wave
It’s no secret that everyone is looking forward to life “returning to normal.” However, many business owners – including bakers – know that returning to normal isn’t something that is possible or that makes good business sense. Savvy business owners are uncovering a new normal that capitalizes on social distancing, best health practices, and on giving customers the products and delivery methods they want to feel safe.
As you think about this new normal – one that will more than likely include a second COVID wave sometime this year, consider these strategies for staying ahead:
Delivery that Truly Delivers
Today, there are several options for making delivery a part of your business plan. Bakers can partner with providers like DoorDash or GrubHub to get their baked goods into the hands of your customers. Or, you can formulate your own delivery service that helps you connect with customers even more directly. If you’re thinking about implementing delivery, consider factors like your delivery radius, the days you’ll deliver, minimum order requirements, or delivery charges. Consider starting a weekly delivery – think of milk men from times past – where customers opt in for their weekly stash of doughnuts or other baked favourites.
Gift Cards: The Gift that Keeps the Giving Going
Many bakers ramped up their gift card programs as a way to stabilize revenue when doors were closed. Now that things are opening up, don’t forgo your gift card sales. These are a smart way to bring dollars into your bakery. Consider selling them individually or in packs. You can even develop gift cards for specific times of the year like
graduations, Thanksgiving, holiday seasons and other celebration moments.
Consider the packaging
Packaging took on many different forms in quarantine. From single serve containers, to kits, to no-touch options that kept customers and staff safe, packaging is definitely a smart business strategy for selling in these challenging times. Continue to offer and promote varying packaging options so that customers know you’re still focused on their welfare and safety.
Share on Social Media and In Store
No matter what your plans are for the next wave of COVID, be sure to share your best practices on social media. Customers want to know that safety is still top of mind for your business and that you’re creative in how you’re adapting your operations. Posting regular updates on your social distancing initiatives and communicating in your shop with colourful signage are smart ways to connect to your audience and help them feel safe to shop with you.
Ken Weir is the Senior Marketing Consultant for Dawn Foods
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