Opening a French Patisserie is every pastry chef’s dream! Thanks to the pandemic a lot of people have discovered their love for baking and with viral trends like Banana bread & Dalgona coffee, more & more people have stepped into the kitchen.
For a lot of people, baking has evolved from just being a hobby to a full-fledged passion and this is an amazing time for chefs & baking enthusiasts to open cafes & patisseries to convert their passion into their career & create a product for the post pandemic world.
Over the last decade the Patisserie culture has boomed in India, eating a croissant for breakfast has become as common as munching on poha. Thanks to TV shows, YouTube videos & of course, food bloggers promoting foods and food trends on Instagram people are now well versed with new ingredients and the demand for cafe, bakeries & patisseries is higher than ever before. But what would make your Patisserie different from others matters the most. One's French Patisserie should stand out in the crowd to attract potential customers. Although there are no hard and fast rules, there are a few distinct techniques to transform a basic bakery into a typical French Patisserie. Just stocking French goodies in the shop is not the only way to make you stand out, the way you market your products, the uniqueness of your brand makes it more desirable to potential customers. Let's learn a little more about this.
Location of the Patisserie: Any type of business necessitates a perfect location in order to be easily accessible to customers. You need to identify an area in your city that has a good amount of footfall, a decent amount of outlets that are similar to your brand value and is in a densely populated area to ensure maximum sales.
Designing your Concept: A random collection of baked goods doesn’t make a patisserie. One should ideate on their branding & selling points and come up with a solid concept. The idea can be to do a limited menu to focus on the dishes that are your strong points, or keep one particular item like Macarons or Viennoiserie as the star of the show complemented by a few more things. The Idea should be to put your personality into your baby!
Setting up the Kitchen: Once you’ve finalised the concept & the menu, the kitchen should be your next priority. I always suggest amateur bakers to invest in a good sturdy oven as that’s the backbone of your operations. The other equipment comes as per the needs of the menu. I would always recommend to start slowly and accumulate kitchen equipment over time as per the need of the business so that you’re not stuck with equipment you don’t need.
The Display of the shop: A customer is drawn in by the way the products are displayed as well as the shop entrance. For a Patisserie, that’s the crucial point that has to attract potential customers. Your interiors & store displays are only there to highlight how amazing your product is, they should be in line with your branding and concept but should never overshadow your products by being over the top. Remember, less is always more.
The Front of House: It is critical to make the consumer feel important; offering good service as well as having good Front of house staff would perform half of the work for the shop. Maintaining proper hygiene is the most important thing a customer notices when they enter the shop. That's why it is important to make the place more inviting by keeping friendly & professional staff.
Evolving with new trends: It’s extremely important to keep an eye on global trends to make sure your business catches the pulse of the market. Be it being well versed with new ingredients or trying new techniques, it’s important to adapt to new trends but one must also proceed with caution here and not fall flat on marketing gimmicks.
Remember as long as you’re passionate & innovative, use quality ingredients & care about your consumers, you’ll have very little room to fail. This industry looks very glamorous from the outside thanks to the movies but it’s sheer hard work, long hours and heavy on investment. As long as you’re sure this is the right career move, make a smart business plan & are extremely passionate about your food this is the right place for you. All the best!