Are you making the most out of grab-and-go?

September 26, 2023

Bakers and other food retailers can fail to grasp the potential of grab-and-go because they fall down on freshness and availability.

The problem comes because in order to cater for this growing market, the majority of your products have to be freshly prepared, baked or otherwise made in your stores. Whether it’s sandwiches, doughnuts or croissants, the staff in each store are tasked with operating a mini-food factory.

In order to produce the most profits with the least waste, this mini-food factory needs to anticipate when its customers are going to want which type of product throughout the day. And, in reality, very few bakeries or grocery chains (or even single-specialty retailers) have an adequate system in place to tell store staff any of this information.

So, even if you fit your stores out like food-to-go outlets in order to capitalize on the modern grab-and-go trend, the production of the food made in them may tend to follow an all-too-traditional pattern, which goes as follows:

The day starts with your staff preparing and selling breakfast items. Then, shortly after the breakfast period, they will prepare the items for the rest of the day before the lunchtime rush. And then, that’s it, really. What gets sold during the rest of day gets sold and what doesn’t, does not.

In a hyper-competitive market, where freshness and availability are huge market differentiators, most operators know that this approach simply won’t cut it. Consumers are too picky. Yet this is the scenario that is painted to me pretty much every time I talk to a company that reaches out about Cybake ISB, our retail production planning and management system.

Best combination

Originally developed at the request of supermarket chains in the UK and mainland Europe, Cybake ISB tells in-store staff the best combination of products to bake or make at the right times via tablets or cell phones. Using forecasts and real-time sales data, the cloud-based solution plans optimal production for each store.

In fact, one of the biggest retail bakeries in England reports a 15% increase in grab-and-go sales since installing Cybake ISB to manage sandwich and other in-store food production within an estate of over 160 shops.

The key to Cybake ISB’s success is that it ensures multiple waves of production throughout the day. It also shows head office exactly how these production waves are going across your stores, with key KPIs and clear, accurate numbers .

Another important aspect of the software is that, right from the start, we developed it for maximum buy-in from store employees.

This has proved crucial and staff have proved happy to work to the plans required by the system. The solution also provides clear, step-by-step and easy-to-follow on-screen preparation instructions, which has been useful to our customers at a time of high staff turnover.

On top of that, Cybake ISB maintains and provides up-to-date, accurate recipe and ingredients data for each of your in-store products, including allergens, nutritional values, and claims like gluten free or vegan.

According to analysts, grab-and-go is here to stay. Soon after the start of the pandemic, the trend accelerated. It has shown few signs of slowing down since. Even at a time of high inflation, it seems that customers still favor convenience and indulgence over belt-tightening and austerity.

But, against this backdrop, if you get the feeling that you could be getting more out of your grab n’ go offering, perhaps it’s time to look at more closely at multi-wave production and how you can mandate it in your stores.

In-story bakery production control

Cybake ISB tells in-store staff the best combination of products to bake or make at the right times via tablets or cell phones.

If you would like to find out more about multi-wave forecasting and production planning, or to see a demo of Cybake ISB, please get in touch on our contact page, via the webchat below, by emailing us, or by calling us on the numbers listed at the bottom of this page.

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Retail expert explains how to maximize availability and freshness for in-store bakeries

Rachel Hindle talks to Netherlands-based retail expert, consultant and author Eelco Hos to talk about why he thinks retailers should move on from paper production plans for their in-store bakeries.

Categories: Blog
Tags: Cybake ISB grab-and-go production planning retail bakery sandwiches
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Rachel Hindle is the Business Development Manager of Cybake in the UK and the coordinator of the Independent Cybake Partners group.

Company profile

We started creating ERP-class software solutions for the baking industry in 1998.

Since then, we’ve gained a reputation for friendly and reliable customer support, a deep understanding of retail and wholesale bakery, and for our expertise in cutting-edge systems and technology.

Now, bakers of all types and sizes rely on Cybake® bakery software to control their businesses, cut admin, improve efficiency and increase sales.