Image courtesy of Bouchon Bakery
The grass is green, the sky is blue, and the time is right for being outside. Your customers are finding their way outdoors after months spent away from their favorite outdoor activities.

One of the most cherished activities of the summer is picnics. Whether for fun amongst friends and families, for a work gathering, or for a sports team celebration, groups will enjoy plenty of food and beverages in this nontraditional setting.

That’s where your bakery or bakery cafe comes into play. Not only should you look to provide them with the essentials of a tasty picnic meal, but you can expand on that in ways that will make you stand out from other caterers.

A report by Dinova reveals that business catering for all dining segments is increasing at an annual rate of 10 percent nationwide. Companies large and small are serving food more often at business breakfasts and lunches, as well as office parties and corporate events.

Those who can offer something nobody else can provide will be an appealing choice for the picnic crowd. For instance, Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken showcases its titular products on its catering menu. The shop, with locations in Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Virginia, pairs a dozen of its signature donuts with the customer’s choice of fried chicken BLT sandwiches, chicken fingers, or classic fried chicken pieces.

Additionally, Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken makes these combos available in miniature versions for smaller appetites. Customers can complete their orders with unique sides like tater tots, biscuits, egg sandwiches, fried Portobello mushroom sandwiches, and coleslaw.

Image courtesy of Corner Bakery Café
Variety is important in catering options, and few do that better that Corner Bakery Café. The company provides customers with a wide range of breakfast, lunch, and beverage custom catering options.

Corner Bakery Café offers different trays with an assortment of bagels, muffins, fruit, yogurt, and savory breakfast options for earlier in the day, while trays featuring pasta, sandwiches, salads, soups, chips, bakery sweets, and much more are available for lunch.

Another standout option is to partner with other companies to expand your offerings. If your bakery can supply another caterer with a specialty product, or vice versa, it can make a big difference in your bottom line.

Bake’s 2017 Retail Bakery Operations Study revealed a changing face of the specialty bakery. Specialty bakers surveyed in our report revealed a number of new business opportunities, especially when it came to catering options.

“We have begun working with a local farm-to-table company that produces a lunch box by supplying them with a rustic style bread option,” said one specialty baker in the Midwest. “The trial run has already increased our profits by 4 percent.” This report offers further credence to the idea that the time is ripe to branch out your business beyond your physical store and examine new opportunities in catering.