Technomic’s “Bakery Café Consumer Trend Report” has some good news for those who own and operate a bakery-cafe. According to the survey and an article from Nation’s Restaurant News, 43% more respondents had been to a bakery than when they last surveyed in 2008. 72% of those people said that they visit bakeries at least once a month.
According to the article, “…the most common reasons given by consumers who do not visit bakery-cafés have to do with location and unfamiliarity.”
How can your restaurant marketing strategies for your bakery be more effective?
If you’re on restaurant social media networks – such as Facebook – we have six tips to help familiarize your guests to your bakery without even leaving their house.
Tip #1: Post Videos (With Personality)
Forget the fancy equipment and the video budget, because most of us have a decent HD video camera on our cell phones. And if you don’t, you probably still have one on your digital camera. No matter how you choose to shoot your videos, they will show customers the integrity of your work and will also give you an opportunity to inject some personality.
Tip #2: Upload Photos Every Day
Just as bakeries put out fresh goods every day, the same rule needs to be followed for pictures on Facebook. In addition, the quality of the photos will reflect the quality of the goods to the online customer, so make sure the photos are top-notch.
Whether you are posting on Instagram or Facebook, you should be doing so frequently, but pay attention to what you’re posting. Not sure what to post? You can read some tips here.
Posting photos on a regular basis will remind readers to order that special cake or to check out a new cupcake flavor and will get them through the door. Many bakeries find that taking a photo of the best creation of the day is an effective habit that will increase sales but don’t forget to show the great variety that your bakery is producing as well.
Tip #3: Create a Memorable Profile Image
The profile image for your business should be one that sticks in the memory of the reader and selected with as much thought as that goes into the ‘prof pic’ of a personal Facebook account. In some cases, it will be a very professional, straightforward photo of the front of the bakery. For others, it may mean a photo of a great product they have created. And for others, it may mean a logo that is used with other marketing material.
Whatever image profile is chosen, it should be memorable in the mind of your customers browsing on Facebook and it should reflect your business in a positive light.
Tip #4: Network with Your Competition
A little healthy competition goes a long way. Using networking side by side with owners of competing bakeries keeps the creative juices flowing. It is also a great opportunity to explore what is working and has worked well for others. One of the most active groups on Facebook for bakeries is the North Texas Professional Bakers Guild. This group uses Facebook to encourage each other to attend special training so that they all get better at their skills.
Tip #5: Use Contests to Provoke Your Sweet Tooth Fans
More Cupcakes in Chicago, IL loves to play games with its customers. They often feature a fun, dessert-themed contest on their Facebook page and encourage participation from their fans with, of course, a sweet incentive for the winner. A past game challenged fans to name 30 songs with the word ‘vanilla’ in it. The first 30 correct answers were eligible to go to the shop and receive a free cupcake. Not only does this strategy make the customer feel included and connected with the company, it also encourages participation and eventually purchasing. More has no trouble getting hundreds of people to participate in their contests.
Tip #6: Host and Post Events
Hosting events and classes at your bakery will show off your expertise and also give you face-to-face opportunities to turn fans into customers. Mike’s Amazing Cakes offers weekly classes on cake decorating and doesn’t hesitate to use Facebook’s “Events” tab to post them for everyone to see and RSVP.
Customers often need a gentle nudge to order a cake for that upcoming special event which is why this is one of many reasons why bakeries should be on Facebook.
Facebook is a restaurant marketing strategy that increases awareness of any businesses and is perfect for reminding people that it’s time to order that special pie just in time for that big event.
For many customers, visiting a bakery during the holidays, or a chilly Sunday morning means long lines, ticket calling, and a general sense of frustration. Even the most organized bakery shops can get bottlenecked just by having 1-2 large orders slowing sales to a crawl.
Tracking The Success Of Your Bakery Marketing Strategy
If there was ever a food service in need of a POS system, it’s the old-fashioned bakery. Running a restaurant marketing promotion for your bakery is only half the battle. How do you know if it’s working? And once you have your bakery up and running, how can you ensure it’s success? Luckily, a point of sale system can help.
Here are 3 things a bakery POS can do for you.
1- Facilitate high traffic
With a proper bakery POS in place, bakery workers can walk through a growing line and take orders in turn, allowing back of house staff to get a jump on larger requests, while front of house employees can bag and box those simple requests.
If there was ever a food service in need of a POS system, it’s the old-fashioned bakery.
Within minutes, those lines will calm down, customers will be more satisfied, and the usual post-church morning madness will finally turn Sunday into a day of rest.
2- Handle large orders
Bakeries generally don’t have express lanes for the coffee and croissant crowd. Instead, people with small orders find themselves behind those people who want enough rainbow marzipan cookies to feed the U.S. Olympic team.
By allowing users to craft large orders to their exact specifications through a bakery POS system, it reduces the likelihood of errors, which only leads to slower lines and more frustration. In other words, if that cake says “Happy Fraduation, Mihcael” the mistake lies solely on the customer.
(Unless they are celebrating a “fraduation,” in which case your bakery can corner the market on a new holiday.)
3- Give back to loyal, longtime customers
Neighborhood bakeries are like institutions. They are often family-run operations that grow alongside the people around them, with the same customers coming in for the same orders each week. Isn’t it time you returned the loyalty?
Though these customers usually come in for the amazing loaves of bread and black and white cookies, you might generate some goodwill by offering them regular coupons and discounts to possibly get them to spread the word a little further.
They might still come in each weekend regardless of your promotions, but giving back to the people that make your business possible is always a good decision. And these discounts might just encourage them to buy a little more the next time they come in.