When marketing a bagel shop, the first step is to know the target market. Is it people who want to sit for an hour while sipping coffee and typing on their computers? Is it the person rushing through on the way to work? The lunchtime crowd? Knowing the target market will help you determine how to reach that crowd and what to offer them.

Instant Coupon Technology

Social networking websites such as Facebook offer a wide array of advertising options. For smaller businesses with smaller budgets, buying an advertising package on such a site may not make fiscal sense; however, there are plenty of ways to reach customers for free through your business's social media accounts. Post a link to a printable coupon for a free bagel and/or coffee on your bagel shop's Facebook page, and you'll get lots of 'likes,' boosting publicity and in-store traffic. Give the promotion an offline boost by advertising the deal in the store's window, increasing traffic to the online coupon.

Forums and Social Media Conversations

Invest a little time searching the Internet beyond the company's webpages and see what people are saying. Check local message boards and restaurant rating websites. There may be a chance to join a conversation or answer questions. If you don't have the time for this, hire a freelancer to do the search and compile a list of places to visit. Consider contributing an article about your product to a local news or information website. For example, an explanation of the difference between New York-style and Montreal-style bagels, along with a section about the writer and a link to the bagel shop's website, may help boost name recognition and visits.

Build Customer Loyalty

Encouraging repeat business is the best way to build a small business's base. One way to keep customers coming back, aside from delicious food, is to introduce a loyalty card. For example, offer a free coffee or bagel with cream cheese after the customer buys a certain amount. Stamp the card after each purchase and let them save toward the freebie. This encourages customers to return to the store when they plan on buying that item. They may even bring friends, increasing business more.


For bagel bakeries located in densely populated business areas, offering delivery may be a way to stand out from the competition. Print fliers advertising the service and deliver them to office towers in the area. Include contact information and mention catering meetings and parties. Offering free samples during busy times may also boost walk-in business. Hire extra employees to stand outside and pass out bagels (with or without toppings) during the morning rush. This may mean fewer sales on the day of the promotion, but it will introduce the product to a large number of people passing by. The tasty bagels should draw some of those people back to pay for one another day.