Bakers Journal

Five ways to bring customers into your bakeshop this fall

August 23, 2023
By Diane Chiasson

As temperatures cool, it is essential to increase sales opportunity and maintain customer interest

A highlight of the fall and winter dessert menu at Das Lokal is hand-pulled apple strudel featuring dried and a fresh garnish of blueberries. Photo by Sarah Farmer, Gumption Studio, courtesy Das Lokal

Summer is ending, and the temperature is cooling off – it’s time for fall flavours. This new fall season will change customer traffic, and as colder weather sets in, many of your customers will opt for warmer meals and beverages. It is essential to increase sales opportunity and maintain customer interest. Here are five easy ways to bring more customers into your bakeshop this fall.

1. Design a healthy autumn menu
Your autumn menu will largely depend on the ingredients you have available, and there are many ways to design an autumn menu that best suits your business. Comfort food should be a staple of your fall bakery menu.

Try to embrace the pumpkin season, as pumpkin is the best-known ingredient associated with autumn. Pumpkin spice is on the minds of many throughout the fall and it goes with pretty much everything: pastry, bread, desserts, savoury dishes and drinks. Do something outside the box and add a selection of pumpkin spice treats such as cookies, cupcakes, doughnuts and chai pumpkin drinks that will catch your customer’s eye.

Another food item that you should include in your menu is apple. Apples can add a lot of depth, texture and exceptional flavour to your sweet and savoury dishes. Warm up this autumn season with apple comfort food recipes. Here are some fall menu ideas that feature apples:  apple crumble, apple caramel Danish, apple strudel with oranges and cranberries, caramel apple cream tarts, apple cinnamon pancakes, spiced apple muffins, apple chicken with bacon and potatoes, apple and walnut pie, caramel apple galette, ginger apple almond cake and apple cinnamon multigrain bread pudding.


Add some savoury soups and stews to warm the heart. Many bakery operations love to offer butternut squash and thick vegetable soups. What about a creamy chicken soup with celery, carrots, and mushrooms or a leek and potato soup? You can add meatless food items by using hearty products like quinoa, lentils, chickpeas, beans and squash.

Incorporating other great hearty and healthy root vegetables such as sweet potatoes, carrots, turnips, cabbage, beets and buttercup squash into your menu is a great way to add nutrients, fibre and exceptional seasonal taste. Try also to use all varieties of potatoes and think about offering hearty pot pies and skillet dishes.

Don’t forget to add some cozy cold and hot autumn drinks to your menu such as hot cider with pumpkin spice, pumpkin spice latte, blood orange fruit juice cocktails, and pear, pumpkin and ginger juice.

2. Decorate your shop
Decorating your bakery shop with fall flowers, leaves, pumpkins and small gourds is easy. Place some on your tables and near the register. Get your team members to help you decorate, and make sure that whatever they use complements your bakery’s existing décor. Update your menu board signs by using vibrant colours such as orange, yellow and red.

Use social media to announce special offers, deals, discounts or free delivery over a certain amount. Don’t forget to include customer testimonials and fun captions to make your bakery marketing strategy stand out. By regularly posting updates on social media, you will keep your customers and tourists informed and generate excitement about your store and products.

3. Plan your signage and window display
Good and clear signage that clearly reflects your brand is very helpful, especially for new visitors! Make it exciting and appealing. Use creative window displays, banners or posters as an opportunity to let your bakery’s products and personality shine. You could also put a blackboard at the entrance. It doesn’t require a lot of investment and it’s very effective.

If you are allowed to use a sandwich board, use it to promote autumn-themed baked goods, gift cards or gift bundles.

4. Keep your bakery squeaky clean
Your shop should be spotless and free of potentially harmful bacteria. Cleaning up your physical space will increase the chances of making an excellent first impression. Keep all utensils and surface areas clean.

Clean all the small and large equipment, such as the mixers, sheeters, bread slicers and proofing cabinets. Sweep your floor and wipe your tables, chairs and walls regularly.

Make sure your staff members’ uniforms, including shoes, are always clean. Hair should be kept away from the face with either a hair net or cap, and nails should be kept short and clean.

5. Train your staff members
Try to have enough staff working on each shift, particularly during your busiest day and week like Octoberfest and Thanksgiving. Busy autumn periods can be hectic and quite stressful. Team training is an ongoing need for every bakery. With proper training, your staff members will know what to expect and understand what is expected of them.

By preparing your menu and bakeshop for fall, you can spread warmth, energy and a sense of community in your neighbourhood.

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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