What's the difference in a sweet restaurant concept turning out treats like cupcakes versus a full service business? How do you build your brand around a "treat" versus a "meat"? We asked these guests to tell us where the market for these sweet sensations is heading and how to keep customers coming back. Nichelle Stephens who authors a blog on the cupcake industry and created a one day food enthusiast conference called, TECHmunch says, “if you’re going to have a storefront, you have to have other things.” Both guests stress that cupcakes on their own aren’t going to be enough in today’s competitive environment. Nichelle discussed strategies with the restaurants brokers like cupcake pairings with both beer and wine as new and unusual ways to bring in customers.
These guests discuss how to develop a menu around sweets and what it actually takes to run a bakery or restaurant based totally around some of our favorite treats. Elfie Weiss, winner of Cupcake Wars says, ““It’s not easy, it’s a hard business.” Despite a number of lean years where she admitted to leveraging her home with the use of a home equity line of credit to fund her business and taking the courageous step to open even though she was a single mom, her business HotCakes Bakes, is now a huge success. What was the catalyst? She says, “Cupcake Wars was the turning point.” Since we can’t all land a spot on national TV, our guests offer their sweet advice on other strategies to be success in the business.
Listen in as our guests discuss sweet restaurant concepts and how these concepts attract loyal customers and keep them coming back for their sweet tooth fix! Listen to the entire restaurant radio show live on Atlanta radio station WGKA, TALK 920 on Saturday at noon or the rebroadcast Sunday at 1 PM on Biz 1190.
This Week’s Guests:
Elfie Weiss, HotCakes Bakes
Back in 2005, recently divorced mom Elfie Weiss took a gamble and threw caution to the wind when she branched out and started her own small business. She took a loan out on her home (something most advise against), and bought her first bakery.
Now in its 9th year, Hotcakes has become so successful that Elfie is expanding the 825 sq. ft. location to 2600 sq. ft. and will soon begin baking French bread in-house, add a new coffee program, and reshuffle the bakery to allow for a sit down café experience complete with breakfast and lunch items!
Today, she is not only the winner of a major network show, but her company Hotcakes caters major events including the Grammys and The Emmys! She also has a number of celebrity clients including Weird Al Yankovic, Ron Howard, Madonna, Lindsay Lohan, Justin Timberlake, Quincy Jones, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Anne Heche Barbara Streisand and Tori Spelling to name a few.
Nichelle Stephens, Cupcakes Take The Cake
Nichelle Stephens is a blogger, editor, event producer, and social media strategist. Nichelle is the co-founding editor of Cupcakes Take The Cake, the most popular blog about cupcakes. She is a member of the Atlanta Food Blogger Society and the local producer of TECHmunch Atlanta.