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.” If potential customers don’t know where your bakery is, or that it even exists, what can you do? The answer is to execute a more effective restaurant marketing strategy. Don’t worry, we’ll show you how. Here’s what we’ll cover:
- How to use video for marketing
- The value of photography
- Branding your bakery via your social media profiles
- Networking, even with your competition
- Running contests
- Hosting events
- Using Facebook ads
- Measuring the results of your marketing strategy
All the hospitality trends you need to know
Get cutting-edge insights delivered straight from over 2,000 restaurant operators and guests in our 2021 Global State of the Hospitality Industry report.
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 into your brand.
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.
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 way to increase sales, but don’t forget to show the great variety that your bakery is producing as well.
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? Check out our free restaurant marketing guide.
Tip #3: create a memorable profile image
The profile image for your business should be one that sticks in the memory of the reader. Select it with as much thought as you would put into the profile photo of a personal Facebook account. It should also match your bakery’s brand. In some cases, that 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 and stick in the mind of your customers browsing on Facebook. And, of course, it should also position 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.
It’s also a good idea to seek out and join professional groups and organizations related to both bakery management and food service management. This is a great way to meet professional contacts and share information related to marketing as well as most other aspects of bakery management.
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. Because their games are genuinely fun, and their incentive is delicious, More Cupcakes has no trouble getting hundreds of people to participate in their contests.
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.
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.
Tip #7: use timely Facebook ads
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 marketing, especially with their advertising tools, is a restaurant marketing tactic that increases awareness for any businesses and is perfect for reminding people that it’s time to order that special pie just in time for that big event.
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 its success? Luckily, a point of sale system can help.
1. Facilitate high traffic
For many customers, visiting a bakery during the holidays, or on 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.
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.
Within minutes, those lines will calm down, customers will be more satisfied, and the usual morning madness will finally turn the weekend into a time 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 US 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 faster lines and less 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.
Ready to learn how Lightspeed’s restaurant point of sale system can help power your bakery marketing strategy? Chat with our team to get started.