Grow Your Business This Month with Creative Halloween Treat Ideas

The weeks proceeding any holiday are always among the busiest of the year for bakeries. Whether it’s an influx of catering orders for Halloween parties or customers just coming in looking for a festive lunchtime treat, bakery businesses see an influx of sales come the cooler weather months. Capitalize on this by serving up some of the most creative spooky treats we could find!

Halloween Bat Shaped Cookie

Source: newyork.seriouseats.com

A bat-shaped Oreo like cookie that will be sure to put all your customers in a spooky mood.

Halloween Witches Hat Cookie

Source: newyork.seriouseats.com

A traditional s’more molded into a non traditional yet festive treat. Sure to enchant all your customers and appealing decoratively as well.

Halloween Pumpkin Cupcake

Source: newyork.seriouseats.com

A slightly oversized cupcake with an outer coat of frosting to make it look like a pumpkin. After all not much is more synonymous with Halloween than sweets and a pumpkin.

Halloween Cookie Monster Sandwhiches

Source: bhg.com

The marshmallow eyes are what sets this spooky dessert apart. Sure to frighten your customers, but guaranteed to taste good enough to keep them running back for more.

Halloween Peanut Butter Eyeballs

Source: bhg.com

Reese’s have proved that people love chocolate and peanut butter together. These eye-catching concoctions are sure to appeal to your customers sweet tooth’s.

Halloween Truffle Tarantulas

Source: bhg.com

This spooky take on the truffle will be sure to have your customers scurrying back for more.

Halloween Witches Hats

Source: southernliving.com

This take on the witches hat consists of a shortbread cookie, a Hershey’s kiss, and a frosting bow and looks equally parts festive and delicious.

Halloween Pumpkin Fudge

Source: southernliving.com

Fudge has been a bakery staple for generations. This festive take actually will keep customers coming back all Autumn long for a tasty treat to pair with their pumpkin spice lattes.

Halloween Chocolate Ghost Cakes

Source: southernliving.com

Ghosts are as synonymous with Halloween costumes as chocolate is with Halloween candy so why not combine the two to create a treat that will surely become just as synonymous with Halloween as a whole.

Halloween Jack O Lantern Rice Krispy Treats

Source: foodfamilyfinds.com

Turn the traditional rice krispy treat into the symbol most associated with Halloween around the globe, the Jack O’ Lantern.

Do you have any ideas for Halloween treats of your own? Leave a comment and share them below.

Holiday Cupcake Flavors

Jazz up your cupcake shop with these festive desserts this winter.

Chocolate Eggnog

Eggnog is a classic holiday drink that brings warmness to any cupcake case. Frost it with a nutmeg-infused vanilla cream cheese. This recipe does it with bourbon and coffee… YUM!

Cranberry Spice

Cranberries are a beautiful winter fruit and they contrast the sweetness, beautifully. Try it with a Chai cake!

Sticky Toffee Pudding

If you travel across the pond you’ll find Christmas cakes everywhere except they call them pudding. I’m on board if they taste like this!

Rudolph Red Velvet

You can’t beat the crowd appeal of a moist rich red velvet cupcake. Decorating it with Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer  is a great class holiday party platter waiting to happen. These from the brown-eyed baker are sure to please.

White Chocolate Peppermint

A candy cane cake with easy decoration. This easy holiday recipe is sure to make your spirits bright!

Christmas Cookie

If your bakery doesn’t specialize in cupcakes these pretty, white sugar cookie inspired cupcakes are simple enough and the perfect treat to leave out for Santa.

Butterbeer

As a Potterhead the holiday season also means Harry Potter marathons. This cupcake is essentially a brown sugar cupcake with cream soda and butter flavors filled with a butterscotch ganache. This is sure to satisfy any bookworm, witch or wizard.


Champagne (New Years)

These pretty little cupcakes are both delicious and toast worthy. Release them as your New Year’s 2014 signature flavor. Use a simple decoration atop the elegant italian buttercream.

Coconut Macaroon

My mom makes a version of these indulgent buttery cakes every Christmas morning. For my family it wouldn’t be Christmas without coconut.

Mini Pies

These little beauties are sure to brighten up any buffet table this holiday season. So pretty and a great opportunity to diversify your bakery.

Why You Should Get in On The Cronut Trend

What is a Cronut?

There seems to be a serious buzz around the newest baked good trend, the Cronut. Just in time for cold weather. Who doesn’t love croissants and donuts. This croissant doughnut hybrid is a creation out of the boutique NYC bakery, Dominique Ansel Bakery. After trademarking their hybrid earlier this year we’ve seen the Cronut sprouting up all over the country from retail chains and quick service restaurants.

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Getting in on the trend while it’s in demand and before the market becomes saturated is a good strategy. We’ve seen similar booms in bakery and dessert trends last sustainably with cupcake shops, frozen yogurt, and cake pops.

Check out ourCronut recipe with pictures here.

cronuts

 

 

 

 

How to Market Your Bakery: Doing Your Marketing Research (Part 2 of 10)

Now in this second post we are going to find out how marketing research will help your business. Conducting marketing research is important because it targets your customers specific needs at your location so you can focus your marketing and not waste capital on things that won’t work.

 

First off, lets separate marketing research into two categories. There’s primary research and secondary research. Primary research is research is research that you conduct yourself while secondary is research you gather from another source that has already been done such as on the internet or from a marketing research company. Since secondary research is widely available online cheaply through related industry blogs, google news, and marketing blogs we are going to focus on doing your own primary research that focuses on your bakery location.

 

Conducting primary research for your marketing campaign:

 

There’s a few things you’ll need to utilize this series. I imagine you have all the following, but I’ll just make a little inventory list for you.

 

1. Your Bakery

2. Customers

3. A Point of Sale System

4. Inventory

 

Okay, great now that you’ve got these items all arranged, we can begin the exciting trek of strategizing marketing campaigns.

 

Some examples of research would be: determine your customer average demographic, your nearby competition, and what nearby businesses you may want to partner with or work with.

 

Research methods for these options:

 

What should you research? This park takes a little bit of detective work; how about some examples:

1. Make a questionnaire: Ask a few questions you think your customers might answer that could help your sales.

 

Offer them an incentive to filling it out, for example $5.00 coupon. Give them the questionnaire after they have placed their order. – Congratulations that’s your first campaign, this method builds some loyalty, your customers now have to come back to get their discount.

 

How to:

So then you have a few questions. How do you make a questionnaire? And who wants to print out all that paper and enter in the results later. Fortunately there’s quite a few sites now that help you make questionnaires, track the information and export it out to useable spreadsheets.

 

You could even import some of your info back into your point of sale, depending on your data and it’s capabilities. One site we have used is www.surveymonkey.com You could do a quick google search for survey’s to look at other survey help websites.

 

2. Add a loyalty program: Keep it simple and keep the method simple for it. By keeping track of your customers you can see their habits. If you don’t have a POS System that can handle loyalty, you can try punch cards, or consider getting a POS System, they are invaluable to your operation.

 

3. Your Credit Card Sales act as a loyalty program. Even though you don’t store all of your credit card numbers, you can group the last four digits and the first four, plus the expiration date and potentially the customers name from the card, to make a report that shows a reasonable view of what returning customers are spending on average, items they are buying, how often they buy and maybe what days of the week they come in. This is where a POS System really comes in handy.

 

Going back to the previous post, over time you may obtain research that may contradict parts of your current Bakery Marketing Plan if you have already taken a crack at laying one out. Don’t fret! Just go back and make proper adjustments. Gathering more research will only help you fine tune your analysis and marketing strategy and may even alter your ultimate goal. But, that’s a good thing because you are working with a clearer picture, which means you are better on track for success!

 

 

 

How to Market Your Bakery: Simplifying the Plans and Strategies (Part 1 of 10)

Where do I start in Marketing my Bakery?

In order to increase the success of your shop, some attention needs to be paid to your marketing strategy.This can sometimes be overwhelming and confusing but I’m going to try and break it down and demystify the process for you. A marketing strategy is a process or plan that your business can use to concentrate it’s money and divide it among opportunities to increase sales/ achieve an advantage in the marketplace. What this means is that by taking some time to determine and plan what ways you will be attracting customers to your new cafe, you will see increased returns to your profit margin. Here are a few things to consider when figuring out your marketing strategy:

1. Mission Statement: A mission statement defines the goals and values of your business. This clearly illustrates your ultimate goal, for your customers yes, but mostly for you. Referring back to your mission statement frequently insures a clear and concise direction for your business to constantly be working towards and improving upon itself. In writing terms, a mission statement is like your thesis: make sure it’s clear and all of the following business decisions and practices are reflective of the mission statement. Some examples of strong mission statements are:

  • “We want our customers to enjoy the best beignets around, and most fresh cup of organic coffee possible. We make it our job for our customers to leave our bakery feeling like they had an experience, not just a standard transaction.“ -Cafe Tourane http://www.cafetourane.com/
  • ”To maintain a Facebook business page of 5,000 individuals by the end of its third year as a sign of its community and to become profitable in its second year.”

2. Situation Analysis: a structured planning method used to evaluate the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats involved in a project or in a business venture. These consider all of the obstacles and how to overcome them when achieving a business goal.

  • Strengths are characteristics of the business or project that give it an advantage over others. For example: Customer Service, central location, great visibility.
  • Weaknesses are characteristics that place the team at a disadvantage relative to others. For example: No online presence, limited product selection, minimal advertising.
  • Opportunities are elements that the project could exploit to its advantage. For example: social media, advertising, promotional item demos, loyalty programs.
  • Threats are elements in the environment that could cause trouble for the business or project. For example: restrictive licensing laws, local competitors, downward economy.

3. Marketing Strategy: This is the meat of the operation. You take your intended goal (mission statement) consider your obstacles and opportunities (situation analysis) and create a plan in which to achieve said goal.

  • For example: overcome your lack of advertising by creating a vibrant and exciting facebook profile in order to achieve the goal of accruing 5,000 facebook likes by your third year.

4. Budgets: This is a plan for your allocation of money to meet your objectives without breaking the bank. Make decisions on what will help you achieve your goals by within your budget. What will work most effectively with your long-term goals in mind. Some short term solutions may be cheaper but more costly and time consuming in the long run.

  • For example: coming up with a loyalty program and implementing it absent mindedly as you go can 1.) be time consuming 2.) inefficient and 3.) could cost you money rather than add to your customer base. If you consider your loyalty program for your bakery ahead of time and integrate it with your point of sale system you will save yourself and your customers time, money and energy; managing points and rewards. This would also help you achieve your customer service goals as well.

5. Performance Analysis: Evaluating your results. Were you successful? What could you have done better? What strategies worked best? How could you make something work more efficiently/effectively? Consider this analysis when tackling your next objectives.

 

Marketing plans are flexible and should be suited to fit your unique goals and objectives as a bakery owner. Adjust as needed but be sure to follow your plan to success.

 

Keep reading in the following weeks for some follow-up blog posts on how to specifically market your bakery:

  • social media
  • defining your target market
  • and, search engine optimization tools.