Love—and cookies—are in the air.
For Austin-based superstar baker Hayley Callaway of Hayley Cakes and Cookies, the weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day are some of the busiest of the year. How does she manage an influx of custom orders and a buzzing social media presence? We spoke with Hayley about how she prepares for and navigates the year’s most romantic season without skipping a beat.
ShopKeep: Do you run any promotions during Valentine’s Day and if so, what are they?
Hayley Callaway: We usually run some specials a week or two beforehand so folks have time to get their order placed and shipped if they’re not local. Our most successful promo this season was a 2 dollar deal on one of our Valentine’s sets.
SK: Do you decorate your storefronts for Valentine’s Day? What kind of seasonal signage/displays do you use?
HC: We have some amazing balloon structures up right now that look awesome, and we’ll usually do something for Christmas too, but usually our cookies are all the decorations we need!
SK: Being the social media maven that you are, what’s your favorite marketing platform to use for spreading the word about holiday specials and why?
HC: Both Instagram and Facebook are great platforms for us! While there is some overlap between users, the same post can resonate differently on the two different platforms. Sometimes, something that goes viral on Facebook might not on Instagram or vice versa.
SK: Do most customers order ahead of time or are there a lot of last-minute orders? How do you deal with the last minute rush?
HC: Any custom order must be ordered ahead of time! It takes us 72 hours from start to finish to make just one batch of cookies, and that assumes we have no other orders in production. That said, we always track the season, so anyone can walk in and grab sweets that are themed according to whatever the current holiday might be! We’ve been at it for a while so we’re pretty good at forecasting and ramping up our production and staffing accordingly.
SK: Are most customers buying treats for their significant others? Do you see a lot of friend-to-friend gifting as well? How has this changed over the years, if at all?
HC: It’s a free-for-all! People buy for themselves, their significant others, even their dogs…you name it! Haha!!
SK: Have you seen any noticeable shifts over the years in terms of what kinds of flavors and products people are buying? What are the most requested products for Valentine’s Day, typically?
HC: It’s the design trends that change. A few years back it was all about unicorns, then llamas. For all of our holidays it’s the snarky, funny cookies that people just have to get their hands on!
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SK: Let’s talk inventory management. How do you ensure that you’re not short on any supplies during a busier holiday?
HC: We plan out our entire years production numbers based on data from ShopKeep balanced against our growth curve so we’re on top of things in terms of making sure we loaded for bear and ready to rock!
SK: What’s your favorite thing about using ShopKeep during this time of year?
HC: Just having a quick, software based POS like ShopKeep that makes transactions for our guests quick and easy is the best!
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