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How to adapt to the current situation?
Tips and tricks

In the current context, if you - as bakers - made the choice to stay open, you inevitably face multiple constraints: limited staff, lower average basket, declining attendance, falling revenues, rising unsold and waste, decrease in product assortment, etc. How to deal with this situation? Here are a few tips.

The challenges of bakers in times of coronavirus

1. Make your hygiene standards visible to reassure customers

Your customers need to be reassured about the measures taken on your side. In addition to barriers gestures, be sure to wear a face mask, to wear gloves, to report by a poster on your storefront to maintain a 1m safety space, limiting the number of people in your shop ... All these measures will reassure customers about how serious you face the situation - and a confident and serene customer will be more conductive to buy at your shop.

2. Limit waste, reuse unsold products

It is time to return to some anti-waste yesteryear recipes:

  • You have croissants of the day before? Turn them into almond croissants! Do the same for pains au chocolat.
  • Think also of diplomats or pudding with leftover buns or bread.
  • You have brioche of the day before? What about doing a promotional offer with a "pain perdu" recipe!

More than ever, be creative and bold! And get inspired with our recipes below.

Diplomate recipe by our ambassador Pascal Molines with unsold brioche :

Ingredients for 12 moulds of 10 cm :

  • 15 brioches of 250 g
  • 4 l milk
  • 1 l Debic Stand & Overrun
  • 1,2 kg whole eggs
  • 500 g egg yolks
  • 1, 2 kg sugar powder
  • 100 g liquid vanilla
  • 150 g rum
  • 175 g gelatine mass

Step by step :

  1. Mix all the ingredients except the milk. Afterwards, add the boiling milk with the melted gelatine.
  2. Cut the stale brioche, add in grapes, rum or candied fruit and soak with the preceding mixing.
  3. Let the preparation swell in the fridge during one night in a gastro container. After, mould in genoise moulds and bake at 180°C during 45-50 min.
  4. Unmould when lukewarm and decorate as you want.

3. Review your assortment cleverly but do not limit yourself to bread

You definitely had to reduce your product offering, refocusing on core products such as bread and viennoiseries. To generate more revenue while offering a low-cost offer, opt for:

  • preparations that require little manipulation (so few staff), such as entremets in frame.
  • products with a long shelf life: cakes, madeleines, financiers, shortbread, travel cakes. Feel free to make certain products in small format and to offer them in bags of 10 pieces - more suited for impulse purchases.

Financier recipe by our ambassador Pascal Molines :

Ingredients for 90 pieces of 45 g :

  • 480 g almond powder
  • 1, 320 kg icing sugar
  • 120 g inverted sugar
  • 1,2 l egg white
  • 520 g flour
  • 16 g baking powder
  • 720 g brown butter

Step by step :

  1. Mix all the ingredients except the brown butter. Afterwards, add the brown butter.
  2. Bake in a silicone mould at  210°C for 7-8 min.
Financier recipe by our ambassador Pascal Molines
Financier recipe by our ambassador Pascal Molines

4. What about proposing baking kits?

Lockdown is a time for home baking - the perfect activity for kids ... and adults! Get on board of this trend and offer kits to bake at home: offer the possibility for customers to make their chocolate fondant, their cookies and all other simple pastry by preparing kits with the right amounts of flour, butter, sugar, chocolate, etc. An opportunity for you to generate additional revenue.

For packaging, you can even communicate upstream or on social networks and ask your guests to bring their containers - perfect for zero waste!

5. Adapt your merchandising

Today more than ever, you are looking to generate an impulse purchase to increase your sales. Remember that impulse buying is done most often at the cash register just before payment. The waiting time (in the queue) is also an important time to stimulate the desire of your customers. So remember to stake your products throughout the queue.

6. Communicate outside your shop

If your customers are required to wait outside the store, consider placing a sign outside with your product offers or to promote the product of the day (or even your home baking kits). Indeed, if your clients are entering one by one in the bakery, they are more likely to go straight to the point by ordering what they initially came for without looking at your display and therefore without being tempted by other products. Why ? Just because they probably already waited, have no more time to lose and know that other people are waiting behind them and do not want to be the source of a long wait. Most of the time this will therefore result in a sale of bread. To you then to make them aware of your offer right outside the shop to give them new ideas - so they enter the shop with these new orders in mind!

7. Use social media

We have never been as connected as now - if you did not make the leap yet, maybe this is the perfect timing right now. Instagram or Facebook can create an ideal digital display during this period: the opportunity to promote some products (to increase the average basket), to continue the dialogue with your customers (team photos, new opening hours, etc.), to communicate about services (deliveries, pre-orders, etc.).

8. Opt for home delivery

Many people prefer to opt for home delivery shopping. If you are not used to doing this kind of delivery and want to keep it easy, set your conditions: orders with a minimum amount, delivery zones defined and limited, delivery scheduled only during certain time slots (from 11 to 12 for example - a time slot where you can free the baker to tour), etc.

Specifically, how to take orders?

  • If you have a website, create an e-shop or publish your products offer and choose an order mode (phone, email). If you go for a digital ordering system, be sure to be reactive and to send a confirmation email to each order.
  • If you are present on social media, publish your products in order to promote and communicate the possibility of delivery. Again, set an ordering mode (phone, email, Facebook or Instagram message). Be sure to be reactive and to send a confirmation email to each order.
  • You can communicate in your shop with a poster.

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