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Bagel Envy

Updated: Jan 6, 2020

Small twists on your usual presentation make this mainstay more attractive, accessible & faster to serve.

In the spirit of the never-ending quest for small continuous improvements please turn a critical eye to your bagel presentation. How are they doing? Looking tasty or tired? Ready or a bit too relaxed? It's ok; there are easy improvements ahead. Choose your level of experimentation and read on.


Bagels: lots of potential, delicious, super popular, everybody’s savory go-to. But how do you make them irresistible & remove resistance to the purchase?

Work on the perceived time cost of the order and work on their. Increase their curb appeal on multiple fronts. Your first goal will be to increase sales, secondly you'll need to use day-olds to your advantage & hopefully you eventually won't have any day-olds. Let's begin.

First of all, cut them all in half ahead of time. Have them ready. Think about dealing with your prep in an assembly-line manner to save time consuming steps and you’ll always be that much ahead of your rush.



Making small changes to how your bagels are presented can easily persuade a reluctant customer to becoming a little more open to the idea. Slicing your bagels ahead of time alerts your customer to one new idea: this is going to be fast – it’s already sliced. Secondly, a customer obviously doesn't have to man the bagel slicer themselves at the self-toasting kiosk or worse, wrestle it into submission with a plastic butter knife.


It's basic but it's important. These small steps are game-changers in that they lead you into the next best steps on everything; it's a mindset. A simple case with few distractions will work to your advantage and put the focus on the food and make your styling the star of the show. And a few props will go far here as well. Take your time, find the right ones, experiment and have fun with it. Cost plus is a great place to start and specialty papers from online paper stores might have some parchments papers or patterned papers that work well for your shop. If you’re not the food styling artist you will do well by keeping it simple: waxed paper looks amazing and you can always throw in a few fun things that work well at room temperature like Roma tomatoes or Kirby cucumbers. And you’ll be experimenting with these things soon anyways. Yes, you’ll be prepping a few bagels each morning to see how they fare.

A simple waxed paper sheet looks clean and may even remind a few of us of those wrapped sandwiches from home we took to grade school.

I understand the appeal of the individually packaged cream cheese packets, but consider the look and feel of the hand-filled aluminum souffle cream cheese cup; they definitely take it up a notch and it feels fresher; this is the type of thing that can be prepped ahead of time during a lull; they have a nice little shelf life and plastic solo lids do fit the standard aluminum cups which makes stacking them for storing easy.

I’d be happy to experiment with pre-made bagels and see what the response was; sometimes the appeal of something already made up is all you need to get you rethinking your breakfast choice. Convenience is king and worth experimenting with.

Remember, this isn’t about being perfect or having the perfect amount of food made each day or predicting sales. That will hopefully be changing incrementally as you go along. The first goal is always going to circle back to getting your customers to associate your shop with quick and easy food options and if you offer bagels there’s no reason they can’t hop on the messaging & marketing for you. Get them on board.



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