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So you want to improve your offer?

British Baker - Published:  25 September, 2009

Page 14 

As a bakery shop how many times have you wanted to change, improve or review your offer and didn’t have a clue where to start?

The best place to begin is with what you are currently doing and, most importantly, getting right: look at what is selling well, with good margins and customer feedback.

There are a few critical questions you must ask yourself:

Are you looking to implement a hot food offer or a coffee station in-store? Has your operation got the right capacity? How will it benefit your business? And what type of customers do you serve?

Bear in mind that what you sell is directly related to who is shopping with you. For instance, corned beef products sell very well in Wales and some northern locations, whereas in the south, Cornish pasties and sausage rolls are the order of the day.

In terms of capacity, a one-metre counter is enough to cope with a coffee installation, whereas you need to have at least 1.5 metres available to include a food offer.
The last two points are crucial in terms of deciding which offer you should implement first. If your shop is mostly a morning destination for commuters, you must have a coffee station that allows you to serve the customer very quickly. Moreover, your breakfast offer will increase sales by up to 25% between 6am and 10am. Sweet and savoury bakery products and paninis are ideal to take away your customers love food freshly baked and prepared!

Once you’ve agreed your food and drink offer, it’s time to think about merchandising. We always advise our clients that products have to be visible, appealing and attractive. Don’t hide them away in a corner.

Finally, meal deals and products of the month related to a particular season are an excellent profit boost, achieving on average 35% more margin than individual product purchases alone.

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