The bakery industry is a large and varied one here in Australia. In order to push back against the rising competition, many bakers are carving out their own speciality to keep their businesses profitable. Many bakeries are adding coffee and sit-down dining blurring the lines between the traditional bakeries and cafes. While we’ve also seen an increase in bakeries focusing on artisan bread and other speciality products, the bakery-cafe is one trend that is here to stay.
But what is it about the bakery-cafe model that attracts so many business owners? And how can you use it to grow your bakery business?
Easy & Low-Cost Diversification
Overhauling your entire bakery in order to make specialist products is a huge commitment for your business and your finances. It can be scary and not always the right move to jump in with huge changes to your business, and it’s hard to predict the way customers old and new will react. The bakery-cafe model allows businesses to expand and diversify without changing their existing products.
Many Australians are picky about their coffee and serving up cheap filter or instant coffee won’t help attract new customers. With modern automatic coffee machines, you don’t need to be an expert to easily serve quality coffee in your bakery. Fully automatic coffee machines can grind coffee beans, froth milk, and dispense a range of styles of coffee from espressos to cappuccinos fresh for your customers with just the press of a button. Premium models even allow you to customise your coffee strength, grind texture and temperature without the need for a barista.
Adding coffee to your bakery doesn’t disrupt your existing bakes or product range. You can continue serving your regulars all the products they love and still attract new customers. The lower upfront costs and reduced interruption to your business gives you the opportunity to experiment and be reactive to your customers. You can clearly see what your customers like and don’t like and adjust accordingly.
Customers Love Sit Down Service
Shifting from counter-serve to offering sit-down service is another relatively simple change that can add value to your business. Creating a place for your customers to sit and linger at your shop increases street appeal helping turn passing foot traffic into paying customers. Casual dining options can also lead to existing customers spending more when they decide to come back for additional food and drink.
While sit-down and dine-in options have been heavily reduced in the last year due to COVID, the popularity of outdoor seating has flourished. Previously offering sit-down service was exclusively for business that could afford large premises with room for a kitchen and dining area, now small counter-serve bakeries can reap the rewards as well. Depending on your premises, even if you don’t have room inside your shop, you still have a few options for setting up your seating area.
If you’re part of a centre or complex you may be able to set up in common spaces like the walkway in front of your shop. Centre management will usually have rules regarding where and how much seating you can set up, so it’s always best to check with them. If your shop opens onto a public street, you can get permits from your local council to set up seating on the footpath or even convert a parking space into a dining area. This process has become easier in the last year with the growing popularity. In fact, many companies around Australia are now specialising in designing and installing these so-called ‘Parklets‘.
Is A Bakery-Cafe Right For You?
Every bakery business is different and there is no single answer on the best way to run a business. You know your business and your customers better than anyone else. While it can be a big and scary decision, ultimately you know what changes, if any, are right for your business.
Expanding to a bakery-cafe can be done in small stages and can be a great way to cautiously experiment with growing your business in a new direction. The smell of fresh bread and hot coffee is a powerful combination sure to bring new customers through your doors.
How Australian Bakery Equipment Supplies Can Help
No matter what kind of bakery business you run Australian Bakery Equipment Supplies can help you with the equipment you need. We have a huge range of new and second-hand equipment and we offer trade-in deals on your old equipment. Contact us today and discuss your needs with our experienced team.