I am in the process of purchasing a bakery. My brain is spinning with ideas to draw in more or new business. Have any of you ever been to or considered having a "Cake Bar" in your bakery. A counter in the bakery where you can sit & order a piece of cake, pie, cookie etc. & coffee, milk etc. This would give customer a chance to sample the sweets, enjoy the atmosphere, meet the owners, leave happy on a sugar high to spread the word regarding your bakery & possibley take something home with them or place future orders. I have no idea if this would work or not. Would you even have time to fool with sit down customers? Do you think it would work & add revenue??? Or cause more problems & frustrations???
Would like to hear what cha think. One more thing please---what colors do you think work best for interior decor. I want - warm, happy, inviting atmosphere. Thanks again for all your help.
i think that's a great idea. i saw something on TV about a shop called Lady M, and that's how they do it.
I love the idea of a cake bar. I wish there were something like that in my area. I'd love to have a place to sit down and relax with a cup of coffee after, or even during, a day of shopping or hanging out with the girls. Especially if you could put in a few little bistro style tables and chairs or even tuck them into a shady corner outside (maybe under an umbrella) for alfresco dining. It would be such a naughty little treat! I would keep the varieties of treats down to whatever your making that day/week anyways and maybe just offer milk and juice or coffee so you don't have a huge menu to worry about. But even if you just used leftover cake scraps to make cake balls or cupcakes, it still would be delicious. I like warm colors too, kinda like the ones you see in the fancy little coffee shops, greens, rust, browns. I think they're more soothing and calming.
Depending on how busy it was, it could be really time consuming, but I LOVE the idea! I just stopped in a new coffee/pastry shop in our town the other day (on a rare outing without small children!), and the atmosphere was so relaxing and friendly... I'm totally going to go back with some friends sometime... And the free fudge sample was DELICIOUS...
Also, most places like this are small and cozy, which is GREAT, but I wouldn't necessarily count on the walk-in customers bringing in the most revenue... They will likely sit around and gab for quite a while (or use their computers, if it's a hotspot), sipping their one drink. Not a lot of customer turnover in most places.
In short, it's a WONDERFUL idea to get people in who might not consider a custom cake (But will gladly pay you $5 for their own piece of decadent cake ). However, unless you hire someone to take care of the counter, you may not get much decorating done. Unless you did all your decorating after hours, but that's a LOT of time... I would be afraid I'd feel rushed to go back and forth myself, but if there's more than one person working, it may be an alright addition!
I agree with Kansaswolf. It's definitely a great idea, but might 'cost' you more time than you can spare for decorating! It depends on your area, demographics/clientele, and a few other things.
you can probably get just one person to "man" the cashier and you're the one doing the decorating and baking. if it's a slow day you can chat up customers.
Thank you all for your comments. This is a small town bakery that does quite well. They don't keep many products in their display shelves so I thought I'd jazz it up with cakes by the slice (I want to get away from the small stuff) My husband who is a "talker/chatter" & my daughter who is the same way will be working with me---so they would definitely be the "Bar" keepers--How about "whiskey tea cakes, rum balls & pina colada cupcakes?" Customers may have to give us their keys! I'll have to see how things go there & then decide what to do, but I like the idea. Thanks yall
I love your idea!! This is what I want to own one day. I love the old tuscan feel of small shops. I think you will do great with it!! I wish you the best of luck!
I think it is a really cute idea! I can see many different possiblilties besides just a cake bar. Maybe coffee house style, or a soda shop. But if you think that a cake bar can substain business then go for it. I think that if you offer WIFI then that would be a really big plus.
Something you might want to check into first, may not apply to you at all!
I know in some places, once you provide any seating, you then must provide public restrooms.
Good luck! Keep us posted on how it all works out for you!
Thank you all soooo much! We have been out today finding items to decorate with & use for displays. I'm so excited! I hope I stay this way--cuz I'll need all the energy I can get. Hope we don't eat all our profit to get enough sugar highs to keep going! My head is buzzin with so many ideas. It's going to be hard to contain them for 60 days while the current owners are training us. Maybe we'll be fast learners & they can leave early! HA! If you think of anything else let me know & I'll also keep you posted as to what's happening.
There is a bakery near me that sells cake by the slice and other pastries as well, and then they also have a tea room where you can take your yummies and sit and order a drink. They are very successful. The cakes they serve by the slice are all decorated one way, but they also have a very large staff. last year they did over $2 million in business!
Wow! I would be happy to hire more employees for $2 mil!