By Max Jenvey of Oxxygen Marketing Partnership, a strategic management agency that focuses on business and brand development within the bakery, foodservice and convenience sectors.
Everyone seems in such a rush these days, but thankfully the majority of bakery customers still enjoy a well-earned rest and a sit-down with their favourite drink and snack.
Our colleagues at market researcher him! say the customers who like to eat-in form a very diverse group: the majority, 46%, are full-time workers, but there are also "at-home mums", students, singles and child-free couples visiting cafés and enjoying a breakfast, lunch or snack.
So how do we maximise sales opportunities within these groups? Simple: target full-time workers. him! tells us that only 10% of consumers actually prepare their lunch at home, so what are the other 90% looking for? Variety, quality and special offers and, if that’s not enough, they also want the old favourites, too. So think about a daily special sandwich or pastry and link it to a meal deal to increase your average spend, which will also satisfy consumers’ need for value. Speaking of value, ask your current suppliers for support with promotional material.
With over 25% fewer customers visiting food outlets than before the recession, customer loyalty is increasingly important. On average an eat-in customer keeps going to his/her favourite food outlet for almost three years, says him!
This said, there is every reason to enhance your customer’s loyalty with a loyalty card or reward scheme. Research shows that the accumulator buy 10 drinks and get the 11th free is one of the most valued reward schemes for your customers and a cost-effective way for you to easily implement a reward system. All you need is cards with your brand no bigger than a business card and a small stamp behind the till.
You can easily link the accumulator system with your lunch or snack offer. him! tells us that almost 40% of customers visit a café or bakery for their lunch, so why not encourage that extra visit to your store by offering something on the third or fourth purchase?
Finally, ask your customers what they want, why they keep coming back to your store and how could you improve their experience? Knowing what your customers think will help you get it right for their next visit.