Following on from BB’s sandwich forum in 8 May issue, we ask:

How do you increase the amount your customers spend with you?

MY: By offering great value meal deals - this drives both extra eat-in and take away sales. Staff will also ask customers if they would like a drink with their sandwich or remind them about our delicious freshly baked muffins.

AV: Sandwiches should always be placed immediately above savouries in the fixture, so that you encourage consumers to shop both categories and therefore increase spend.

While meal deals have a role to play, it’s important to note that they are not the be-all and end-all. Good range, good availability, good service and value for money are also important.

You need to be clear exactly what you are trying to achieve with the meal deal and who you are trying to attract. For example, research shows that 18- to 35-year-olds are more responsive than other age groups. The meal deal needs to be refreshed on a regular basis, or menu fatigue will set in and you will be ’giving product away’ without achieving any long-term growth in sales.

’Eye level is buy level’, so put your best-selling, high margin SKUs on this shelf to drive sales. If necessary, double-face the top sellers to ensure they are always in stock.

BA: Customer service is key to the purchasing process and our staff should engage the customer without being pushy and politely suggesting ’add on’ products, such as impulse sweet and savoury products at a low price point and highlight any ’Buy 2 for £x’ deals to ensure our customer walks away feeling like they’ve just got value for money.

JJ: To gain extra sales, we use monthly promotions - a meal deal or adding a drink for 60p or introducing a new flavour.

SW: We offer several meal deals - these include our Baguette meal deal at £3.25 and sandwich meal deal at £2.99. Wenzel’s has always offered a variety of sandwiches to suit different people’s budgets. Starting with our 99p range - which is made up of thin bread with a single filling such as ham - to our premium range, which includes products such as New York deli and chicken club.

Our latest marketing campaign is a credit crunch lunch which includes a filled petit pain, bottle of water and a jam doughnut for £1.98. We have to ensure that we keep up with our competitors on deals, such as M&S’ new £2 lunch.

Industry bread-heads

Michele Young [MY], retail and brands director, BB’s Coffee and Muffins

Andy Valentine [AV], head of brand marketing, Ginsters

Britta Ashu [BA], brand manager, Upper Crust

Jason Jobling [JJ], product development manager, Warrens Bakery

Sarah Wenzel [SW], owner, Wenzel’s Bakery