Running a successful bakery business requires long hours, determination, and hard work. But often the key to success lies not only in raw skills and culinary talents, but also in a splash of creativity with business and marketing.
Promoting your bakery in every way possible will help your business grow and allow you to bring your delicious baked goods to a wider audience.
Here are six strategies for promoting and expanding your bakery business.
1. Show off your products
Many of today’s customers eat with their eyes — so showcasing your baked goods in an artful way can enhance bakery sales. Consider creating window displays to take advantage of foot traffic and draw in potential customers. Inside the store, do more of the same, with confectionery showcases of your best baked goods.
Sometimes, a particularly eye-catching display can pique curiosity and generate awareness, like the Star Wars-inspired ‘Pan Solo’ a six-foot replica of Han Solo made out of bread, which took the One House Bakery an entire month to create.
And when it comes to showing off your products, a picture can be worth a thousand words. Investing time and effort into taking high-quality photos that you can use in all of your marketing materials — menus, websites, brochures — will likely pay off in the long run.
2. Expand your online presence
Today’s customers rely on their mobile devices to help them navigate their daily lives, looking up information on the go during all waking hours. A website for your bakery can share helpful information such as hours of operation, driving and/or parking directions, as well as any time-sensitive promotions or specials you may be running. Rotating content frequently will encourage regulars to get into the habit of visiting your website once in a while to see what’s new.
Allowing your customers to shop an online storefront drives loyalty for today’s connected consumers, giving them an easy way to order their favorites for pickup or delivery.
Promoting your bakery business on social media is another way to engage existing and prospective customers. Whether you’re on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, or TikTok, social media allows your bakery to share entertaining videos, eye-catching imagery, and more to whet prospective customers’ appetites.
3. Scale your delivery capacity
Today’s customers also appreciate convenience — and that includes door-to-door delivery for whatever they may be craving, from pumpkin spice donuts to pizza babka, and everything in between. DoorDash’s 2023 Restaurant Online Ordering Trends Report found that 82% in the US, 71% in Canada, and nearly two-thirds of consumers in Australia and New Zealand say they are ordering delivery as much or more than they did last year.
Since delivery can introduce complexity into your bakery operations, one good option is on-demand delivery: a solution for bakery owners who may want to avoid the hassle of staffing a fleet of drivers. With an on-demand service, you can simply request a driver whenever you need to fulfill a delivery request, paying a simple flat fee each time.
DoorDash Drive integrates with the top online ordering systems, including Square, Toast, Olo, and others. Bakeries benefit from flexibility, convenience, and cost savings while increasing their sales.
Of course, bakeries can also explore DoorDash Marketplace to increase bakery sales while offering pickup and delivery to new customers in the neighborhood.
DoorDash is like having a whole team on-demand. Between customer support, the Merchant Portal, drivers, and other tools, it's like adding ten people to your staff for just the price of commission.
4. Cater special events
While your bakery may already have good local foot traffic due to a desirable location, you will find that you can expand your business significantly by incorporating catering into your menu, selling large orders of baked goods for events.
Weddings, parties, and corporate events all rely on delicious baked goods to please guests — and bakery owners will appreciate the operational convenience of advance scheduling as well as the benefits of advance payment for catering.
Selling a higher quantity of your products may also allow you to create more profitable desserts, like wedding cakes or other baked goods that aren’t single-serving. It can be easier to feed a crowd than to entice your customers one by one.
5. Give out free samples
After a long hiatus due to COVID-19, grocery stores like Trader Joe’s and Costco are bringing back free samples in an effort to win back in-store customer traffic.
Everyone loves freshly baked goods, and one way to draw customers in and build loyalty is to give them a taste of your product for free. You can do this by handing out free samples in front of your store or just inside the front door, or raffling off free bakery items on social media.
Alternately, you can take your samples on the road, heading to local events such as arts and crafts fairs or farmers' markets and setting up a tent or passing out baked treats. Either way, the free samples introduce customers to your brand and entice them to visit your bakery.
6. Host classes or workshops
Everyone loves baked goods, but not everyone knows how to make them at home, something you can work to your bakery’s advantage.
Incorporating baking classes and workshops can not only grow your revenue streams, but can also build community among your loyal customers. With the shift in consumer behavior towards valuing experiences over things, why not try attracting customers to your bakery to interact with your brand in a new and exciting way?
When developing your class curriculum, choose baked goods that aren’t extremely complex to give participants a sense of accomplishment upon completion. Create classes with themes that you can rotate throughout the year, like Holiday Baking or Cool Summer Desserts.
Offer recipes and other instructional items to take home, branded with your business name and logo, of course. And consider offering each student a referral discount or other incentives to return.
Boost bakery sales with delivery
Now that you have some ideas for promoting your bakery and growing sales, you’ll be on your way to success in no time. Incorporating Promotions and Sponsored Listings within your marketing strategy will also attract more customers who are looking for discounts or for something special.
If you’re not yet on the platform, learn more and sign up for DoorDash. When you think of DoorDash, you think of delivery — but we're delivering more ways to help you grow your business.