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The success of television cooking shows dedicated to baking cakes and pastries, leaves little doubt as to the level of consumer interest in these beautiful-looking sweet treats.
Yet in your bakery, while you have regular customers who are faithful to your baguettes and pastries, there is a larger category who only come to buy seasonal specialities such as the Galette des Rois in January, Easter eggs and Yule logs. Why not take advantage of these occasions to demonstrate to customers that your specialities are so amazing that they may want to consider coming more often during the rest of the year.
Before presenting them in-store, start generating interest in your holiday products. For example, put up posters in December in your shop window or on the door, announcing the imminent arrival of the Galette des Rois.
Invite people to order their cakes in the traditional version or to sample some new recipes, specially created for the occasion.
This is the extra value that you bring, 365 days a year. So be sure to let people know that your products are made by hand, that you use natural, high-quality ingredients, and that you take pride in upholding traditions. Make it clear that your cakes are made with passion, with meticulous attention to detail, and have nothing in common with industrial products.
For example, organize an open day, during which customers can visit your workshop for a glimpse “behind the scenes”. Or, invite them to participate in adding a new product to the shelves, with a suggestions box a few days before the end-of-year holidays. Display the most innovative ideas, and prove to your customers that you are happy to respond to their suggestions.
Emphasize quality and expertise
Holiday specialities are excellent ambassadors for your talents. Through them, you can reveal your full range of skills and your sense of tradition.
Explain to your customers that you are proud to apply the skills that you learned as an apprentice. For example, use special lettering, or make a sign, saying: “Galette des Rois, according to the recipe learned during my training at xxx, awarded Meilleur Ouvrier de France.” You can also advertise the quality of your ingredients, such as 100% pure butter, local flour, free-range eggs, etc.
Show off your talents
One bite is better than a thousand words... make little tastes of your breads and pastries available to customers when they are paying. Try to cater for all budgets and all sizes of family, offering the possibility of different versions: from individual portions to XXL cakes, from tartlets to wedding cakes.
Reinterpret old recipes, mix flavours, try making a regional speciality from elsewhere, or incorporate new ingredients into your signature dessert. In short, innovate, surprise and offer people tastes!
Communicate on social media
If you don’t already have a Facebook or Instagram page, holiday pastries and specialities offer the perfect opportunity to launch a new communication channel. Take advantage of the occasion to post appetizing pictures and videos. You can also use this exposure to talk about your work methods, your suppliers or special events.
Invite your customers to share pictures of themselves enjoying your creations. To launch your new page, consider creating a competition, which is a great way to rapidly increase your online visibility. Whatever the message you choose, make sure it is relevant and coherent.
You don’t need to post every other minute, on the contrary, try to present a genuine experience, that will inspire people to visit your shop. Finally, engage with your customers by asking them to comment on your posts: this will help you to understand what they want and what motivates them, and to spot new trends.
Develop your signature style
From packaging to staff uniforms, from the shop-front to the display counters, take advantage of holiday seasons to redecorate and customize your store. And naturally, apply the same strategy on social media, customizing your logo or your home page, for example. Adapt your visual identity to reflect each event, and each seasonal speciality.