Friday, August 17, 2007

Bread talk- reviews and analysis

Having begun to patronise Bread talk outlets recently, due to the declining standard of products in competing bakeries like Four Leaves etc( the slice of ham and cheese toast was dry and slightly hard)

What is it about Bread Talk outlets that distinguishes itself from other bakeries?

IMO Bread Talk surpasses its competition in most areas- especially in branding. The bright orange-coloured logo is attractive and seen from far. Although the quality of its products might not be significantly higher than other bakeries, Bread Talk boasts a large and interesting variety of items with unique names, like Crouching Tiger, hidden bacon, moshi mushroom and Curry Curve not to mention many more. It constantly leads the field in innovation and creativity. Its outlets are brightly lit and have the open kitchen concept, which is said to boost consumer confidence. Bread Talk's stores are also in excellent locations, often at the main entrances of shopping centres or prominent landmarks to capture as much traffic as possible. Also it has opened a new outlet at Paragon, Bread Talk silver which has more varieties of products at steeper prices.

It has 73 outlets in the asia-pacific region including places like Dubai, Phillipines, China and Hong Kong. It is also part of the same group which owns Republic food courts and Din Tai Fung. From its Annual report, it says that Bread Talk had revenue of 123 million and profit of 4.3 million for 2007, an improvement over 2006.It is also a listed company on the stock exchange.

Most of the info can be obtained from its website here.

I bought several items from Bread Talk- a bun with cranberries, sunflower seeds, raisins and some rum for $1.50. Quite tasty but slightly too sweet. The moshi mushroom which was apparently the best selling item, a puff-like pastry with a chicken filling but was too dry and had hardly any mushrooms contrary to what the name suggested. And also a Nacho cheese bun with cubes of fried potatoes. Fairly tasty, and not too dry unlike the chicken puff.

Bread Talk's prices are generally higher than the market average, and depends on turnover. Although the basic ingredients are cheap, the bulk of the operating costs go to rental, staff wages and bills.

A rough estimate of the operating costs of an average bread Talk outlet:

-Raw materials ($0.20*1000 buns/day *30 days $6000)
- Staff wages ($15000- Bread talk outlets are well-staffed, usually at least 7-8 per shop)
-bills ($1000 including aircon, lighting, etc )
-rental ($15000, assuming an average of $15 psf and shop space of 1000+sq ft, considering that bread Talk outlets are quite large and in good locations)

Expense: $37000

Assuming an average item costs $1.50, that would mean selling about 25000 items, over 800 a day just to break even.
This may seem a lot but 800 items a day actually isn't that much if you have a constant stream of customers through out the day. Bread Talk also sells cakes but the majority of its revenue comes from the run-of-the mill products.

Food for thought indeed.

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