One of my biggest pet peeves is lack of signage on a bakery or deli case.
And by that I mean, a description, whether one word or one sentence, and the price of individual items.
I needed a special cake for a party. Price was not an issue. But, it had to look and taste fabulous. So on my way to work, I stopped at a bakery that is known for beautiful pastries. The display case was filled with several attractive options. However, there were no signs, so I didn’t know what anything was or what it cost. I then began one of my least favorite activities: asking what everything was.
Not only did the sales clerk not know. She had to consult a laminated sheet that described the cakes. That didn’t help much. When the second clerk got off the phone, she explained the first woman was new, and proceeded to point to and name every cake—with attitude. By then, nothing looked good to me, and I walked out. It is highly unlikely I will go back.
I realize many establishments feel that showing the price may scare people away. What scares me away is having to ask the price, of this or that… or that… or that. I also don’t like when they put up a sign listing everything. Then it becomes my job to figure out which price belongs to which item. And then if the items aren’t labeled, it becomes even more work.
I came in your store to buy something—not to work!
Let my decision be difficult because I can’t choose between a lemon custard tart or a caramel, pecan brownie. Not because I can’t figure out what the “red fruit thing is.” Or, can’t determine if that’s lemon or lime. Or, can’t tell if there are nuts in the brownie. And, how much is each?
I hear, “Oh, signs will spoil our display.” Nay, nay, I say. A good piece of marketing will never ruin your display. It can make sales easier. Increase the comfort of customers. And, enhance your brand. And, whether you have a store or a product, you are a brand.
But, you still have to do it right.
There is a bakery in town that blares its identity in everything it does. It is modern, hip, funky, organic and wildly popular. The shop explodes with color and young, hip attitude. It is fun. Everything looks delicious. For the most part it has the signage and pricing in plain view. And these signs reflect the company’s spirit. The 10 point, faded magenta and pink letters are in a “broken-typewriter” font. It’s very cool…
And totally unreadable!
I’m too embarrassed to ask what each sign says, and wonder if it’s just my “over 30” eyes. So every time I get the same thing: their signature Raspberry Almond Croissant. It’s a good thing I like it so much. In fact, that and a cup of their coffee has become part of my Saturday ritual. That said, I wish they would make their signs readable. There are so many other things I’d like to try.