Frozen Dessert Success - Blog by Sentry Equipment

School Daze: Autumnal Preparation, Products, and Promotion

Posted by Doug Lang

Oct 28, 2015 11:54:39 AM

School has been back in session for about a month now. But, with all of the scrambling around, most are just realizing it’s not summer any more. Hurricane Joaquin greeted the Fall with wind, rain, and dropping temperatures. Now is the time to make sure you have promotions in place, and new flavors to greet the new season.

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Flavors

Regardless of what Netflix says, orange is NOT the new black…. Pumpkin-spiced anything IS!! From ice cream to coffee, and all points between, pumpkin flavored treats have taken over Autumn and every other season. If you are not featuring Pumpkin flavored frozen desserts, you’re not competing. Once added to your flavor menu you can keep it going at least through Christmas, if not all year long. 

But, the Fall is not just about Pumpkin, though. When choosing your autumnal arsenal first think of other desserts that people indulge in at this time of year. Then think of the ingredients that make those treats so good, and use them to guide your flavor selections. Some ingredients to look for and consider:

  • Pumpkin
  • Cranberry
  • Coffee/Expresso
  • Maple
  • Brown Sugar
  • Apple
  • Nuts – Walnuts, Pecans, etc.
  • Candy Corn
  • Spices – Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Ginger, etc.

Any or all of these flavors would make great fall additions to your menu as primary frozen desserts or as toppings. You may also want to create special combinations - unique to your store - for the season, like an Apple Pie Sundae: Apple & Coffee Ice Creams topped with Pecans. You get the idea, now start creating – just think of the upcoming holidays and ideas should start flying!!

Decorations

This is not for those of you have an entire storeroom filled with plastic bins labeled by holiday (Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Flag Day, etc….). This is a brief overview for those who grumble whenever they walk into Costco and see the next holiday’s décor 3 months ahead of schedule. Whether you like to decorate or not, your customers like it! So, how can you get away with the least amount possible? First, size up your storefront and store. The last thing you want to do is crowd your entrance or floor – decorations should NEVER impede your customers from their job – buying!

You can get away with decorating your store once for the Fall-Halloween-Thanksgiving season. Simple is best. In terms of colors, use orange as the primary, then fill out with browns, yellows, even burgundy, and other earth tones. You can add some black for Halloween, but be sure to remove it November 1st. A nice setup of a couple of hay bales, a cornstalk or two, and a few pumpkins puts you in the clear through Thanksgiving. If you have the room and enthusiasm, add some more pumpkins of varying sizes or some multi-colored gourds. And, mums are ALWAYS a crowd pleaser this time of year!! Just remember: don’t overload your store, and don’t crowd your customers.

Tis the Season

No, not THAT season…. at least not yet. Any opportunity to cater to your customers should be seized. The changing of the season is as good a reason as any other. Use your newly added flavors to create your own specials – Harvest Sundae, Fall Pumpkin-Vanilla Swirl, Coffee Smoothies. Mix and match for flavors and toppings to suit the earlier nights and dropping temperatures – Have fun with it!

Now that the crazy summer is behind you, and the kids are back at school, it’s time for you to get to work too! If you haven’t already: Put that gift/rewards card program into action; Update your website; Start a Facebook/Twitter account; Update your Facebook/Twitter account; Create an smartphone App for your store. Do a walk-through of your store, and see if your store has at least 5 points of branding:

  • Outside Signage
  • Storefront/Window Signage
  • Proper “head-to-toe” Uniforms – every employee should, basically, look the same.
  • Branded Menu Boards – Up-to-date, modern, and changeable. Digital?
  • Logo Cups/Napkins
  • Logo Rugs/Mats
  • Logos on the wall, and incorporated into the décor – think color scheme.

This is the time of year you can start to catch up on those brilliant ideas you had over the summer, but didn’t have time to act on.

You’ve had time to catch your breath. Now it’s time to get back to work, because Summer is right around the corner….

If you need a little push, or just need someone to bounce ideas off of, don’t hesitate to contact Sentry Equipment. They’re there to help, and would like to….

Sentry Equipment 800.853.8026

www.sentryequipment.net

For Fall/Back-to-School Promotions & Ideas