Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Tip #139: Chocolate Party Spoons

This week’s tip is a quick and fun product idea that many candy stores have found to be quite popular. It is chocolate party spoons! Just take plastic or wooden spoons, dip them in chocolate a few times to create a nice, thick coating and then decorate them with embellishments, sprinkles, etc. You could also fill the inside of the spoon with chocolate instead of just dipping it. We’ve also seen these items marketed as coffee spoons, with stores encouraging customers to stir them into their coffee for an indulgent chocolate flavor. Plus, it's a fun way to flavor hot drinks by infusing the chocolate spoon with flavors such as cinnamon, peppermint, hazelnut and more.

Need a visual? We found a few photos on Pinterest to help inspire you!


P.S. This week RCI is hosting our Fall Regional Conference in Las Vegas. Check out photos from the event on the RCI Facebook page!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Tip #138: Train Employees to Use Customer Names

This week’s tip is a simple one that will help your customers feel important. And who doesn’t like feeling important?

So, here it is: train employees to use customer names. Don’t just mention it to them every now and then as a side not but make it a part of your training process and company culture to use customer names whenever possible.

If you have regular customers, employees should take the time to get to know them so that as they walk in the door they are greeted by name. Customers will notice they have been remembered and take notice of the extra level of service your store provides. Want to take it even further? Remember their favorite chocolates or candies!

Employees may say, “Well, how do I know their name if they’ve never been in before?” If the customer is paying with a credit or debit card, one idea is to have them glance at the card if you require them to check the card against an ID and then use the last name as the customer leaves. For example, “Thank you, Mr. Smith, we appreciate you coming in and hope to see you again!”

As much as is possible, use your customer’s names. They will take note and remember that your store thinks they are important.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Tip #137: Help Caramel Stick to the Apple

Caramel apple season is just around the corner and we have a quick tip for you on making this customer favorite. Do you have problems with the caramel you worked so hard to make just slipping off the apple as it sets? If you’ll take the extra step to wipe down each apple with a damp cloth prior to dipping then you’ll help to remove any of the waxy residue that rests on the apples.

Still need a little more help? One of our Chocolate Boot Camp instructors suggests adding white compound to the caramel at a 5 to 1 ratio to help it better adhere to the apple.

Do you have a tip for a solution to this common problem? Leave us a comment below! 

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Tip #136: Candy Key on Your Website

Many candy makers do not print a key or legend describing the specific pieces inside their boxes of chocolates because they want the flexibility to be able to change or update what goes inside the box as demand and supply for products change. However, that leaves your customers doing a guessing game of what they’re about to bite into. That’s why this week’s tip is to post a candy key (menu, legend, etc.) on your website.

Each of your chocolates likely has a specific marking or shape which allows you and your staff to know what’s inside. But how are your customers supposed to know? Of course, your loyal customers will know which their favorites are but new customers may need a little help. Take a moment to get quality photos of each of your chocolates and then create a quick key describing the centers of each piece.

Posting it on your website allows you to update the file as needed plus you will not have any printing costs. Additionally, if you reference it on packaging, inside packaging (i.e. small paper insert inside boxes of candy) or in the store, you’ll be driving traffic to your website. It’s a win-win situation for both you and your customers!

P.S. This week RCI is hosting our Creams, Fondants & Fudges course in Dayton, Ohio. Check out photos from the course throughout the week on the RCI Facebook page!