The recent changes we made in the bakery to emphasize the more popular products by eliminating low selling products has been an overall success. Certainly there are some who are disappointed by losing their favorite item. We don’t like to disappoint customers. But the positives of this change outweigh the negatives. Overall our bake should be more consistently appealing with fewer types of product. By making more of the remaining products our techniques become more consistent, more staff can bake during the day, and our bakery sales forecast is more accurate. Eliminating low sellers eliminated numerous inventory items that, because they were low sellers, sometimes went out of date before being used up. We also eliminated the time it took to prepare those items for baking and finish them off after baking.
There were a few items that we brought back due to unexpectedly higher demand. The mocha holiday bread is always popular close to Christmas. Our chocolate offerings are limited so we added the mocha muffin back. We also found that eliminating the almond croissant and the bear claw left us with no products with an almond flavor profile. We will add the almond croissant back into production within the next few days.
The merchandising counter is an important area of our bakery where we can show customers packaged items that we have for sale. There is a new plan-o-gram which shows exactly how the counter should be arranged. We need to keep it set up and stocked with fresh product. We are currently merchandising Holiday Breads (Pumpkin, Banana nut, and cranberry Orange nut), cinnamon raisin bread, Lingonberry preserves, cinnamon crisps and our house made granola. We will add a few more items during the holidays.
We have begun daily production on holiday breads. We will focus on pumpkin, cranberry orange walnut, and banana walnut. As part of the bakery display we are selling slices of the holiday breads to get customers to try them. These will be replenished throughout the day by slicing a loaf into six equal weight portions. Remember to make the shorter end pieces thicker slices than the taller middle slices.
Holiday bread packaging has changed from previous years. The breads have a two day shelf life packaged. They should be completely cooled before being placed in a cellophane bag. Tie the bag closed with raffia and with a “Joy tag” hanging down onto the loaf. Do not cut the cellophane bag shorter. Just flare the bag open. Place a nutrition label on the back of the loaf. There is a different label for pumpkin, banana, and cranberry orange. Do not place a red sticker on the bag. Write the day of the month that the loaf expires on. Do not write the month, just the day number (1-31). See your manager if you are unsure how to mark the loaf for shelf life.
Be sure to suggest these breads to customers and mention that they make great gifts for neighbors and office co-workers at Christmas.