Do you have a homemade donut to die for? An apple fritter that sends your customers into a frenzy? A cookie cake they crave?
Bakeries are stocked with sweet treats to commemorate any occasion, from birthday parties to graduations to…a really good Tuesday. No matter what the celebration, a slew of bakery promotion ideas can enable your customers to kick the party up a few notches.
Bakery Business Plan Template
Use this free bakery business plan template to easily create a great business plan that organizes your vision and helps you start, grow, or raise funding for your bakery.
What Are Bakery Promotions?
Sure, your treats practically sell themselves, but it never hurts to incentivize customers. Bakery promotions get people in the door and ready to partake in your delectable dishes. And being creative with your promotions inspire customers to also go out of the box with their orders.
How to Design an Effective Bakery Promotion
Ask yourself these five questions when coming up with promotion ideas:
What Time of Year Is It?
Bakery traffic sees an uptick when people have something to celebrate. Who doesn’t want a cake for a birthday or milestone, or a pie to take to a family gathering? Capitalizing on annual events or having continuous promotions establishes your bakery as a go-to for people wanting to ring in life’s special moments with something sweet.
Keep those special events in mind and track how they do from year to year to see how viable they are.
What Do Your Customers Like?
If you have regulars coming into your bakery every day, they’ll tell you what they like, don’t like, and what they want to see more of in the future. Building promotional specials around favorites can be a slam dunk, and assures that your specials will gain traction amongst customers.
Conduct regular surveys to make sure your customer insights are up to date and relevant. Then build bakery promotion ideas from those findings.
What Do You Have In Stock?
Sometimes, your specials can be as simple as trying to move something old out, in order to bring something new in. Look for ways to leverage stock into enticing promotion options for your customers.
Regularly check inventory and see how those items might coincide with customer favorites. If you see a chance to offload those ingredients, run an impromptu, limited-time special.
What Will the Business Gain?
What are your bakery’s goals? These can be monthly, quarterly, or yearly targets, or some number or benchmark you want to hit.
Assess your progress toward those goals regularly, and determine if a last-minute promotion can push you over the top. It’s a bit impulsive, but if you have the materials and means of getting the word out, it’s worth a shot.
What Do You Have Up Your Sleeve?
A new product could be the perfect hook to add to your bakery promotion. The novelty of the rollout coupled with the promotion can make your new treat an instant hit. As your product gets closer to its debut, do a soft sampling with your regulars to get their thoughts on how it might do with a full-fledged reveal.
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What Should I Budget For With My Bakery Promotion?
There’s always an unknown element to a special, but there are a few factors you can account for as you continue to develop promotion ideas.
First, how much will it cost to get your idea out to the masses? Word-of-mouth marketing is pretty cheap, as is a targeted social media campaign on any number of platforms. Keep the spending lean.
Next, make sure you have the supplies to fulfill the entirety of the special. That might be easy to do if it’s a single-day deal, but what if it’s over a week or weekend? You need to have the stock.
Finally, what’s your point for breaking even? This number should be built into your special’s rollout from the start. If you hit it great. If you don’t, determine why.
The 10 Best Bakery Promotion Ideas
Keep these 10 ideas in mind for your next promotion:
1. Celebrations: Get-togethers and celebrations are right in a bakery’s wheelhouse. Having regular promotions aimed at birthdays, graduations, etc. keeps your name out there.
Example: Provide discounts to anyone who orders a cake or a certain number of cupcakes if they place the order online.
2. Clearance Specials: Are you getting ready to close down for a holiday or something business-related? Mark down your products to get people in the store.
Example: If you’re shutting down stores for the week, post a 50% off sale on your social platforms to get rid of lingering inventory.
3. Bulk Deals: What’s better than one treat? Two! Run daily specials on inexpensive sweet treats.
Example: Offer buy-one-get-one-free donuts on orders of 6, 12, or 24.
4. Customer Appreciation: Regulars are the ones who keep your doors open. Provide them incentives to show your gratitude.
Example: Offer punch cards to customers with discounts based on a certain number of purchases.
5. Pop-Ups: Get away from the storefront and take your treats to the people.
Example: Is there a farmer’s market or chamber of commerce event nearby? Head over with free samples.
6. Partnerships: Are you new in town? Is there a local nonprofit with a cause near and dear to you? Connect with them and do some cross-promotional work.
Example: Run a discount on pastries, promising that all proceeds will go to a local charity in the bakery’s name.
7. Closed Events: Offer local tastemakers the opportunity to come in and sample new products to get the word out.
Example: Put on a closed event for the media to do some free-ish promotion.
8. New Releases: Keep experimenting with your menu and offer those items to regulars at discounted prices.
Example: If you have a new donut flavor, give it away as a free sample for any order of six or more donuts.
9. Gift Certificates: Offer free store credit in the form of gift certificates.
Example: Leave $10 cards at nearby businesses and tell them to come in and check out your store.
10. Coupons: Get your coupons in local papers or in the form of QR codes.
Example: If customers download a QR code, they can get a discounted cupcake when they visit the store.
How to Measure the Effectiveness of Your Bakery Promotions
Numbers really tell the tale of a promotion.
Make a note of major sales peaks. Go back to those baselines you set up and measure your impact against those KPIs.
Check the numbers against whatever you invested to really quantify how impactful those promotions really were.
Don’t rely on your delicious pastries and cakes to bring people in. Promotions will keep your bakery top of mind when customers crave a tasty treat.
Related Bakery Resources
- How to Open a Bakery
- How to Write a Bakery Business Plan
- Bakery Business Plan Template
- How Much Does it Cost to Open a Bakery
- Bakery Name Ideas
- Best Bakery Websites
- Bakery Marketing Ideas
- Bakery Branding
- Bakery Design Ideas
- Bakery Menu Ideas
- Bakery Licenses and Permits
- Bakery Floor Plan
- Bakery Equipment List
- Bakery Supplies
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DISCLAIMER: This information is provided for general informational purposes only, and publication does not constitute an endorsement. Toast does not warrant the accuracy or completeness of any information, text, graphics, links, or other items contained within this content. Toast does not guarantee you will achieve any specific results if you follow any advice herein. It may be advisable for you to consult with a professional such as a lawyer, accountant, or business advisor for advice specific to your situation.