The holidays aren’t the holidays without cookies, cakes, pies, and an array of many other sweet and savory treats. The end of the year brings higher profits to most bakery businesses and a lot more work and stress. The best way to prepare your bakery for the holiday season is to plan ahead. Consider the following tips and ideas to keep your business running smoothly through the season.
1. Analyze the Previous Year
Before making a production and promotion plan for the holidays, take a look at the previous year. Figure out last year’s holiday season profits, which products sold best, when you saw an increase in sales and traffic, etc. With data and analysis of the previous year, you’ll be able to predict better how the upcoming season will go.
Knowing your bakery’s past holiday sales information will help you decide how many seasonal staff members you will need to hire and when to bring them on. You will also be able to gauge how much to stock up on seasonal products and ingredients. Analyzing the data will hopefully prevent product overstocking or, on the other hand, running out early.
2. Get on Social Media
Marketing for the holiday season should be a top priority for your bakery. Social media marketing is inexpensive and highly effective for bakery businesses. Ensure you have a social media marketing plan going into the season.
Social media can help promote seasonal products, get customer feedback, networking, and even take orders. You do not need to hire a professional photographer, either. Clear photos and videos taken with a cell phone will work perfectly well. Remember to post about any holiday promotions, or limited-time products, show off your festively decorated bakery, or run seasonal giveaways.
Another important thing to share on social media with your customers and followers is changes to regular operating hours for the season. Be sure that your social accounts and website all reflect your holiday hours.
3. Deck Your Bakery Halls
Festive holiday décor can influence a customer’s purchase decisions. Creating a welcoming, celebratory environment can get people in the spirit to spend. Studies have shown that bakeries and businesses that decorate for the season attract customers who feel happier while shopping and buy more.
Holiday decorations can, of course, include trees, wreaths, and lights, but also things like holiday music playlists and even seasonal scents. Fun olfactory fact – studies show that the smell of citrus encourages people to spend.
A beautiful, festively decorated bakery is the perfect setting for photography opportunities. Sharing holiday décor online with your business’s social media followers will bring people in to take their photos. When they share, post, and tag your bakery, they will do some holiday marketing for you.
4. Introduce Festive Treats
As a bakery, the best thing you can do to celebrate the holidays and increase sales is to introduce holiday-themed festive treats. Think about seasonal flavors like peppermint, gingerbread, and hot chocolate. Add festive ingredients to store favorites. Consider using holiday-themed cookie cutters and creating seasonal shapes.
Remember that the holiday season starts in November, so don’t forget Thanksgiving! Pumpkin spice is not only for Halloween. Plan for all of the holidays that span the season and celebratory fall and winter themes.
Consider pre-packaging holiday treat gift boxes and putting them out near the register. These make great upsell products for those customers who haven’t yet finished their holiday shopping yet.
5. Revisit the Classics
The holiday season can bring up a lot of nostalgia for people. Never underestimate the allure of the classics. When the weather gets cold and the holiday music starts up, most will reach for the holiday treats of their childhood. There’s nothing like a great pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving or a yule log or sugar cookies on Christmas. Customers who aren’t great home bakers will appreciate being able to pick up the holiday staples from your bakery.
6. Get Staff in the Spirit
Making sure your staff is in good holiday spirits can go a long way toward keeping your customers happy and coming back. Happy employees give better customer service.
Being well-prepared for the season will be highly beneficial to staff morale. Keeping products well-stocked and knowing how many staff members you need and when will prevent your employees from feeling burnt out and overwhelmed.
Holiday decorations can boost the mood of your employees and customers. Making your bakery fun and festive can make the busier holiday shifts more enjoyable. Another surefire way of increasing staff morale is with holiday bonuses. If your bakery business has a successful season, sharing some benefits with your employees can bring a massive amount of holiday cheer.
7. Bring in Help with a Frozen Bakery Partnership
One way to cut down on production time and costs is by partnering with frozen bakery manufacturers for frozen breads, frozen pizza dough, wholesale cookie doughs, and other products that will help streamline your baking process. With the holiday rush, making all of your dough from scratch may be unnecessary and time-consuming.
Starting from frozen or ready-made dough still allows for a lot of holiday creativity. Put your bakery’s own spin on the classics by adding festive ingredients.
The holidays can be overwhelming for everyone. If your bakery is stressed about the upcoming season, being well-prepared, following these holiday tips, and creating a thorough plan, will help you keep your sanity.