Tortes give the bakery a great alternative to the typical cake. Customers will, without a doubt, always buy cakes for special occasions and easy desserts. However, adding tortes to a menu makes perfect sense. The torte is the “fancy” cake. It’s the “sophisticated” cake. It’s the “European” cake. It’s all those things and it’s interesting.
Actually, torte and its many Latin based variants translate to cake in English. Some differences between cakes and tortes do exist. Some of the differences are real and some perceived. The general public understands that all tortes are cakes, but not all cakes are tortes. As a retail bakery, you possess the knowledge to explain the difference to your clientele.
A torte is denser and substitutes some or all of the flour in the typical cake recipe for ground nuts or bread crumbs. Not only will the texture be heavier, but the taste will be as well. Because of the flour used, traditional cakes will also bake up taller than a torte.
Bakers will often soak the torte in a syrup or liqueur before they decorate to give it a moist texture. And while cakes get decorated in an almost infinite number of elaborate and crazy ways, tortes tend to stay traditional. Basic frosting, glaze, creams and nuts cover the majority of torte decorating. Elegance reigns supreme in terms of torte decorating schemes.
The most important difference between the cake and the torte, as far as your accountant should be concerned, is the price. Because the torte represents something fancy and European, and there is a real difference along with the perceived differences, tortes require a premium price point. Ingredients will cost more, and it might take some customers a little time to get used to them, so add them to your lineup slowly to support your cake business.
Promotion and Marketing
Your biggest competitor is probably the local grocery store in-house bakery. It’s much easier for customers to pick up fresh bread, a birthday cake or cookies while doing their weekly shopping. The other draw is that the prices are usually lower. However, the products are not usually the quality and rarely, if ever, do instore bakeries offer tortes.
You have to encourage people to make that extra trip to your location and pay more for your high quality product. One way to do that is by engaging customers through social media. Tortes done right will be very photogenic. This makes them perfect candidates for online marketing and promotion through the usual Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels.
A professional looking website is a must. A Facebook page provides a format for you to share photographs of your mouth watering baked goods and share your latest creative torte offerings. Sharing these pages through mobile attracts even more customers because many people are searching for a bakery while out running errands, or stopping on the way to work to pick up something fresh and want to go beyond the usual muffins or donuts.
Always mention if your recipes were handed down through four generations, or have some other interesting story behind them. Mention any unusual or secret ingredients. That’s what will bring people in to your bakeshop.
When starting out with a torte offering, or any new product for that matter, always have small sample portions ready to serve at no cost. This will not only introduce your customers to the torte, but it gets customers into an eating state of mind. Also, always have single piece examples of your torte offerings as some customers might love it, but not want to purchase a whole torte at that exact moment.