The baking industry, much like the rest of the country, is facing a difficult next few months and perhaps much longer. As the coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads and governments look to “flatten the curve” of infection cases, Americans are quarantined or practicing social distancing, and foodservice establishments are forced to shut down in-person dining, retail bakery owners may be wondering where to go from here.
This is the time to get creative. Food delivery will be a major revenue source in the coming months for establishments. In our March/April issue, we look at third-party delivery and how it’s transforming the industry. With a variety of delivery platforms to choose from, bakers see this as a sales opportunity.
“Cupcakes across the board are our top-selling item, then sandwich bread, specifically keto bread, and then pizza crust,” says Taylor Nicholson, co-founder of Unrefined, a Dallas/Fort Worth bakery, about delivery.
Other bakeries across the country are finding creative ways to encourage delivery orders. Seattle’s Piroshky Piroshky in the city’s Pike Place Market teamed up with another business, Pike Place Chowder, to do home delivery. At its website, customers can order a family deal that includes a 32-ounce chowder of their choice and four Piroshkies and Piroshky bread rolls.
Another Seattle bakery, Trophy Cupcakes, began offering cupcake decorating kits, available through delivery. This is a great activity for families stuck at home. The kits include a dozen cupcakes (6 unfrosted chocolate and 6 unfrosted vanilla cupcakes), a tub of Madagascar vanilla buttercream (enough to decorate all 12 cupcakes), 3 small disposable pastry bags, 3 bags of sprinkles, and 12 sugar toppers.
Austin, Texas bakery Easy Tiger is looking to increase its bread deliveries while also giving back to the community. Customers can order a regular-priced bread loaf (for curbside pick-up or delivery) and Easy Tiger will match each bread purchase with a loaf for the community, up to 2,000 loaves. These loaves are being donated to food banks and other non-profit organizations in the area. Customers are also encouraged to donate a "community loaf" from the menu without ordering curbside or delivery.
This will not be an easy period for anyone, but bakery owners can ease the pain of lost revenue by utilizing what is available to them to reach customers. Check back to bakemag.com as we’ll continue sharing creative and inspiring ways bakeries are navigating this challenging time. Find your inspiration, stay as positive as you can, and we’ll get through this together!