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TECHNOLOGY | Kevin Santos, Australia
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Ahead of turning 40, Bakers Delight wants to stake a claim in the ordering game

The family-ran business is piloting its customer app later this year.

Ahead of its 40th anniversary next year, Bakers Delight is joining a slew of brands in the ordering space, exclusively telling QSR Media it will launch its customer app later this year.

“It will be a way of delighting and rewarding loyal customers, and ultimately will allow our customers to order their bread for pick up or delivery. We’re also upgrading our stock management systems to make things easier for franchisees,” Joint CEO Elise Gillespie explained.

Understood to be in its development stage, the customer app is also Bakers Delight’s bid to play catch-up with an industry that is seemingly evolving towards a path of speed and efficiency. Delivery continues to play a larger role in the QSR space every year, with third-party aggregators doubling down on data-driven personalisation.

(Also read: Menulog, Deliveroo and Uber Eats continue to bank on data-driven personalisation, variety as Australia's ordering and delivery market grows)

Aside from bread delivery, the 39-year-old bakery chain also teased new concept stores that are “under way.”


BCNA attempted to run a version of its ads on Facebook that featured survivors posing with Bakers Delight's Pink Buns that covered their breasts. Photo: Supplied

Pink Bun campaign buzz
Fresh from its Easter-themed initiatives, Bakers Delight has been getting mainstream attention for their Pink Bun campaign, which is raising money for Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA).

Facebook came under fire for banning an ad campaign by the Australian breast cancer nonprofit, saying the ads violated its guidelines on nudity. BCNA attempted to run a version of its ads on the social networking site which featured breast cancer survivors posing with baked goods over their breasts.

Joint CEO David Christie remains confident the campaign - running until May 29 - will reach its funding target.

“We’re extremely proud of the way our staff and franchisees get behind this partnership and it looks like we’ll smash our target of raising $1.5 million,” he said.

Strengthening health claims, improving franchisee profitability
Both CEOs also stressed the chain’s focus on strengthening their health claims and ways to improve franchisee profitability.

“Our main focus is...providing young families with delicious, fresh and healthy bread solutions. We’re also working on back end systems and processes like supply chain," Christie said.

“A lot of the food industry trends are very much in our favour: local ingredients, fresh, plant-based protein. These are all things that are a part of our DNA, but we haven’t talked about them as much as we could have,” Gillespie added. “The franchising sector is also under intense scrutiny at the moment. To have a sustainable business, franchisors must prioritise the profitability of their franchisees and importance of giving back to their communities.”

2017 saw David and Elise taking over the reins from Roger and Lesley Gillespie, who opened the first Bakers Delight in Hawthorn, Victoria in 1980. Since then, David says both he and Elise are learning every day.

“There are two lessons that keep getting reinforced: the importance of people in your business, and the importance of keeping things simple,” he said.

120 stores in Canada by end-2019 eyed
Currently, Bakers Delight has 549 sites in Australia, 24 in New Zealand, 114 in Canada, and one in the United States. The chain says it will reach the 120-store mark in Canada by the end of the year.

The chain previously mentioned its Gillespie Family vision for 2030, with plans to grow store numbers to 800 in Australia, 400 in Canada and a further 150 across other markets including New Zealand.

“We set specific targets for growing our foot traffic, market share and the profitability of our franchisees. But our simple goal every year is to delight more customers in more communities,” Gillespie said. 

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