Bakers Journal

Expanding your offerings?

April 28, 2016
By Diane Chiasson

Are you thinking of growing your bakery business? Here are six easy ways to introduce new products and services before summer.

Consider taking your catering online and offer corporate breakfasts and lunches. Photo: Fotolia

You have a reliable customer base and a profitable ongoing foodservice operation. Instead of going through the hassles of looking for real estate, dealing with major construction and suffering the headaches of opening another branch, consider whether it is time to expand your bakery’s offerings before the summertime. Here are six tips for expanding your lineup.

1. Develop new dayparts
People’s eating habits are slowly moving from the traditional three square meals a day to six snacks a day. Your bakery can benefit from this shift of the traditional meal by offering a wider range of options that can support all-morning breakfast, afternoon or late night snacks menus, as well as brunch on the weekends. You will need a marketing plan to promote these things and alert your regular and new customers about your new menus.

2. Rent out space
If your bakery is only open for certain times during the week, consider renting out any dining space you have or your kitchen space. Corporations are always looking for space to hold meetings or seminars, just make sure your dining room is equipped with LCD screens that can easily be hooked up to a laptop for presentations. There may also be several small or new business owners that are looking for commercial kitchen space to cook or bake their products, cook a meal for a catering job, or teach a cooking class without investing in the necessary commercial equipment.

3. Offer signature products
Work with a food manufacturer and grocery retailer to get your signature products on supermarket shelves. This will not only create a new revenue stream, but will also help boost your brand awareness. Whether you have a very popular treat or a particular signature cake, any kind of outside presence will help increase your sales.
4. Offer catering online
You can take an existing catering service to a whole new level with a custom platform online that allows customers to order all their baked goods and sandwiches for their event in just a few clicks of the mouse. Be sure to include set or boxed trays for corporate breakfasts and lunches, as well as platters for entertaining and parties.

5. Start a bakery truck
Instead of expanding your bakery to another location, why not get a bakery truck instead? A bakery truck can help market your brand, and the cost is minimal compared to investing in a new location. You can also use the truck to test the demand for your products in different neighbourhoods before you sign a lease.

6. Develop home meal solutions
In a recent survey, around 60 per cent of consumers said that they purchased takeout food at least once a week. In today’s fast-paced society, it’s not surprising that sales of foods that provide a home-cooked meal for takeout will continue to grow each year. Consider ramping up your home meal solutions business by developing and giving out a specialized menu and creating a special home meal solutions counter with a refrigerated unit for selling accompanying beverages inside your bakery. Design special boxed meals or value meals for your home meal solutions operation.

Diane Chiasson, FCSI, president of Chiasson Consultants Inc., has been helping restaurant, foodservice, hospitality and retail operators increase sales for over 30 years. Her company provides 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, or visit

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