The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Bread Recipes

MercyLoo's picture

Bread Recipes

Hii there,

How could I increase my selling? I own a small restaurant in Toronto, "Hot Breads". We are providing hot & delicious food items. Last month, something occurred at our restaurant, food inspector came to our shop and he had done the inspection. They didn't give any negative feedbacks but the local people spread rumors. Now the people visiting our restaurant are few, some of our close relatives and friends. It is hard to live like this. We need to do something new. we planned to prepare new bread items and advertise them, such that few may come to us. I thought to do indoor distribution which I had found out from the google. I had gathered some ideas regarding the advertising from the site. But I need some ideas for preparing new dishes and also need to pack them attractively. I need your suggestions, guys!! Someone interested in experimenting, please share your recipes here.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

what you now offer?  

tom scott's picture
tom scott

Did the inspector leave any documentation or paperwork detailing the inspection?  If so, and your establishment passed the inspection, you should frame and hang the inspection report in a conspicuous place where the public can view it.

Danni3ll3's picture

and go to a public place close by that has a lot of foot traffic and offer samples with a coupon for something in the store. Make sure the coupon has a map or directions to find your place. 

Take out an ad for your place and somewhere put down in small letters something like inspected and certified by the health unit. I know this happens in my town and businesses put this right on their door especially if they have been shut down for an infraction. 

Arjon's picture

It gives people more reason to visit your restaurant than if they know nothing. 

Couponing is a good idea too. The most appealing type offers something free, but it's probably more common (although generally less effective) to offer something free with purchase; e.g. free entree with two purchased, free appetizer with entree, etc. 

One thing to remember is not to be penny-wise, pound-foolish. Yes, there's a cost to coupon offers, but if you focus too much on keeping the cost down, it will be at the cost of attracting fewer new customers and thereby decreasing the opportunity to turn them into repeat / regular patrons. 

Bread1965's picture

I live in Toronto, so I googled your "hot breads' bakery after reading your post. First, there's no website. Second, you're on burnamthorpe in mississauga. Third, how does anyone know you even exist?

First, the website and other social media. Set up an instagram account and look at places like 'forna cultura', or other places in the city. They post pictures of what they're preparing every single day. They're great mouth watering pictures of some amazing food. Go into their store, check them out, see what they do and get some ideas. You need a social media presence, this is a combination of a website or social feeds like instagram. If no one knows you exist, they won't buy your bread. Put up a sign in the store asking clients to find you on facebook, visit your site, follow you on instagram, etc.. Those don't cost much at all to do..

Which takes me to my second point. Do you sell bread? The name would imply it. But when i googled you, becuase you don't have a website, the google map image on the right of the google results page shows a map picture of the street location, and a picture of what looks like a series of pound cakes in clear plastic boxes. So do you sell 'hot breads' or hot cakes? The point is you need to not only decide for yourself what you want to sell, who you want to be known as, and then tell the world.

Third location. Burnamthorpe might as well be on the other side of the country for me. So I won't be your natural customer. Which means that most of your natural customers are walk in, or walk by customers. Or at least, drive by while I'm on an errand to the drug store around the corner, type customers. You bread has to be something insanely good to have anyone want to drive to it. Is yours? Any professional reviews or articles on blogTO? The image that came up on the google site looks like you're in an industrial strip mall. The rent might be cheap (don't know), but that won't help if no one wants to walk by. Back to forno cultura. They are downtown and on king west. In any given hour of the day hundreds of people walk by. With the condo craze in the city there are more every month. So you need to be where the customers are. If you can't get simple easy access then you won't get the full potential of customers you would otherwise be able to get - assuming your bread is remarkable. So you could give away all the samples you want, but to whom and where? And if the sample isn't memorable then no one will remember it. 

As a last thought, when you go visit forno cultura go visit Sud Forno on Queen. It is the bakery store that makes the bread for all the Toronto Terroni stores. You'll walk in, and if you love bread as much as I do, you'll immedaitely start to salivate when you look at the bread for sale on the wall behind the counter. It's incredible - truly. And the desserts they have, the sandwiches, the branded tomato sauce and jarred peppers - amazing. What's the experience I would have when I walk into your place?

These are all the types of things I would think of if I were in your shoes. You have my sympathies - I'm sure it can't be an easy business to run and build!

Just a thought.. hope some of that helps! Good luck!! And bake happy.. bread1965!

PS. But make sure it's amazing.. if people are like me, I'll try any bakery once. But to go back more than a second time, it needs to be memorable. So don't lose site of that issue..

Truth Serum's picture
Truth Serum

So I went on to the website YELP,  and  to check what people said and there were only two reviews! 




Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

some kind of temporary sign (standing during business hours)  big and bold needs to be on the street or at least as close to it as you can get from the parking lot.   Keep it simple  "LUNCH"  with an arrow or FRESH BREAD also with an arrow to guide people into the parking lot from the main street.  Might also neatly trim a few of the bottom branches off most of those trees blocking the view from the street to the shop.   They make every shop practically invisible from the street.   

clazar123's picture

3 ideas:

1. Get signage-I don't see any reference to "Hot Breads" on any of the signs on Google streetview.

2. Use other business's walk in traffic. There are several gas stations on your road that usually sell quick-to-grab food items. Can you sell your product through them? Get a test display and keep it stocked with fresh food daily. Donate the stale product to a local charity or food pantry.

3. Make a business plan. It will help you identify who your customers are so you know how to target your marketing. Your local Chamber of Commerce (I assume there is a Canadian equivalent) is always helpful. If not a Chamber, then possibly a local business school will be able to help.

You DEFINITELY need a social media presence. A bit of a learning curve for you but there are plenty of people that use all of them (mostly your potential customers). It will make you visible to everyone living in the neighborhood across the road. Ask for help-younger relatives, local colleges,neighbores,whoever.

Pay attention to every word of bread1965!  Excellent, honest advice. A business plan will help address everything he/she talked about. Definitely talk to the Health Inspector and read the report. I guarantee there is one. Inspections are scary but the rules are complex and every one is there for a reason. A good report gives your customers confidence. If it is not so good then you need to know! There is no hiding it as that info is public and anyone can access it.

If there is a language issue, then have someone help you with that-both learning the language of your customers and being able to communicate effectively with the Health Inspector.

Good Luck!


Truth Serum's picture
Truth Serum

It does nt cost anything for  you to  claim the business on yelp and post some digital pictures.

You have gotten some wonderful advice I can only imagine the trials and tribulations of running a bakery. Best of luck!