Running a Bakery Cafe: Post-Opening Support
Getting to opening day is just groundwork. What about support for day-to-day concerns while running your bakery cafe, over the long term? After your store is open you will work with a designated advisor (we call this a Post-Tracker) to solidify the foundation established during your opening. Your Post-Tracker will become your main contact at the home office and will help coach you through your first couple of years in the Bread Business. Their mission is to help you grow your bakery cafe.
On an ongoing basis, Great Harvest will continue to provide you with operational support, including:
- Production guidance
- Training materials for employees
- Recipe development
- Practical business advice
- Expert field visits
- Benchmarking tools
- Access to specialized experts (including our Registered Dietitian and Corporate Chef)
- A supply chain management program
- Ongoing training via individualized learning plans
We also provide you with the best wheat available by identifying suppliers who meet our strict standards for wheat quality and business practices. The Franchise Agreement requires you to buy wheat only from our approved suppliers, which maintains quality standards and helps you produce the freshest, most nutritionally rich and phenomenal-tasting bread!
Our Sharing Community is a core part of what makes Great Harvest so special. Great Harvest’s Sharing Community has been helping people to make phenomenal whole grain breads and sandwiches for nearly 40 years. Through this network, tried and true ideas are handed down to a new generation, while the incoming franchise owners contribute their fresh ideas and perspectives. The Sharing Community has enabled an exchange of great ideas, fostered product innovation, and has been a support network for our family of franchise owners.
Here are some of the more tangible features of our Sharing Community:
- Annual convention, a/k/a “family reunion” (every year since 1993!)
- The Great Harvest secure website where you can download information, learn new skills, and post queries to other franchise owners
- E-mail bulletins with operations and marketing tips
- Informal regional meetings and get-togethers
If you are familiar with Great Harvest, you probably know that we often talk about how our Mission Statement and Freedom Franchise have drawn some amazing people to the Great Harvest brand. Ultimately, it is our franchisees who make Great Harvest what it is, and it’s because of the high quality of these people that our Sharing Community is such an asset to future Great Harvest franchise owners.
Great Harvest franchisees participate in a marketing fund. Unlike the traditional advertising funds found in most franchise systems, our marketing funds are not spent on national marketing campaigns. Great Harvest’s stores are locally oriented, and so are our marketing efforts. Our fund goes beyond traditional advertising to support brand management and offers practical benefits to our franchise owners. Marketing fund contributions also reduce your cost of attending Great Harvest’s annual franchisee convention.
We believe in using systems for customer benefits across the brand. Accordingly, marketing funds are used to enroll you in an iPhone and Android app-based loyalty program that rewards your customers for their purchases. The app also allows you to extend targeted offers to your customers. It is tied to an order-ahead program that lets customers order in advance, pay and get rewards in the app, and then go straight to a pickup station without having to wait in line. The app’s benefits extend beyond marketing. It is also connected to a POS system and time clock, allowing you to manage your labor and ingredient costs.
Local Radio & Digital Display Advertising
We develop advertising plans per store and per market, with the deployment of marketing funds on a local basis driven by market pricing and Great Harvest’s market coverage. Franchise-supported advertising takes two primary forms: local radio or local digital display advertising. Radio is planned and purchased for franchise owners by Great Harvest’s Marketing Group and is developed as live, unscripted reads, keyed off of product deliveries made by local owners. Digital display advertising is developed and executed by the Marketing Team on an individual store basis, in direct collaboration with owners.
Leverage Our Resources to Go Local
The balance of the marketing fund is deployed on your behalf to draw customers through your doors. Periodically, we undertake public relations efforts on a national scale to attract customer attention to seasonal news and product developments; these are designed for individual stores to amplify and tailor to their market and their local media opportunities.
Additional marketing is your responsibility. As a locally owned and operated business, you have a great opportunity to create an authentic, personalized representation of the Great Harvest brand in your market. Great Harvest provides the following support for your independent marketing efforts:
- Complete systems of turnkey marketing kits for special events and holidays, and for each month.
- Professional tools to execute your marketing plan.