Opening a Bakery? 4 Tips to Help You Bring in the Dough

Opening a bakery requires a little more than talent and a few good recipes. There are many factors you need to consider. While the same strategies won't work for every business, these tips should help you get your new bakery off the ground and maximize your ROI. 

Offer Free Samples 
People come back for baked goods they enjoy. If they don't know what your pastries taste like, they'll be less likely to buy one, and especially less likely to place a large order. Make a consistent habit of offering free samples, from a small taste of today's fresh zucchini bread to a full on cake-sampling weekend once a season. Your customers already know they want to buy baked goods; they just need to know that they want to buy yours. 

Hire Support Staff 
Owning a bakery involves a lot more than just baking. Although it's important that you know how handle your own bookkeeping, you'll save yourself a lot of time and energy by finding an assistant. You want to spend your time baking, not filing paperwork; as your business grows, so too should the network of professionals you work with. 

Likewise, it's important to remember that your employees have been hired to do specific jobs. Kitchen staff expect to do a certain amount of cleaning, but consider hiring janitorial staff to take some of heavier work off their hands. When you pay employees to do what they're good at, you save both money and your employee relationships. 

Create a Comfortable Environment 
Bakery ovens generate a lot of heat, and can quickly make your work environment unbearable. A cool, air-conditioned workspace is important for food safety, customer comfort, and employee sanity. If your current cooling system isn't doing the job, repair or replace it sooner rather than later; businesses like MTA can help you find a solution that works with your building and budget. A good air conditioner keeps both temperatures and tempers down, and your customers will notice the positive effect it has on your storefront. 

Focus on the Flow 
From the moment they open the door and take a breath of fresh, cookie-scented air, you want your customers to have a pleasant and enjoyable experience. Make sure that your store's layout makes sense; there should be a comfortable walking path up to your display case, to the register, and then either out the door or to your seating area. When they're in the store, your customers should be thinking about pastries, not about navigating through a sea of tables and chairs. 

There are many steps between your decision to open a bakery and the moment you actually open the doors. Your talent is as a baker, but you'll also play the role of manager, marketer, and even interior designer. Plan ahead and take advantage of what makes your business unique; your dream will grow in no time.


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