Do you rebake your entire inventory everyday? What do you do with the items that do not sell that day?
This is the only thing that has me stumped. I bake cupcakes at home and usually they are gone by day 4, but, I'm not sure I want to leave cupcakes for sale for that long.
at the bakery i worked at the cakes stayed in the case 4 days. cupcakes where iced to order. However if you have cupcakes/pastries left over towards the end of the day you could give some free with the purchase of a dozen or something similar. tweet it or face book that you are giving some free with purchases from xx time to sell out. Also any left over cake, pastries were donated to the homeless shelter daily. they would come and pick them up. If your in a busy shopping center perhaps you could have someone outside with a sample tray too.
I never sell anything day old. I do bake ahead several hours so that at time of purchase/delivery, the product is at its best. That means 12 hours for many cakes and cupcakes, cheesecakes two days.
I do have one of my retail locations that does keep two cupcake flavors over for the second day. But this is not in my primary market. I would never allow this in the primary market. Even a day old, they are heads above the competition in taste. Other flavors are not allowed to carry over. In this case, she purchases the cupcakes for resale, but I maintain control of quality.
You have two choices. We use a combination of both. Give to customers as a bonus (goodwill) or to charity. It just depends on time and convenience. I never give anything old to charity. It is given while still in its prime.
Every product has its own shelf life. Cupcakes, Danish and donuts may only stay fresh for one day; but other products such as biscotti, sugar cookies, or granolas have a much longer shelf life. It's up to the owner/manager of the business to know how long each product can remain fresh. With experience you will become familiar with your recipes. For products that can no longer be sold (but are still tasty), you can give them to a local food bank. Also, there are recipes that incorporate stales.
My chocolate cupcakes last for several days and taste absolutely the same. Other flavors do not have as long a shelf like.
PS cupcakes with the icing swirl on top removed, filling left inside become cake pops on day two.