Introduction: Bagel Jay’s, a locally owned-and-operated business has two locations in two places in Buffalo, New York. They serve a variety of bagels, juices, and other assorted breakfast items. They offer catering for special events. Their platters are gorgeous and taste delicious.

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Executive Summary: 

Backstory:

Bagel Jay’s is a bagel shop owned and operated in Buffalo, New York. The original store is located in Williamsville on Hopkins Road, and was founded by Jay Gershberg. Jay Gershberg opened the first store as an independent outlet of the Bagel Brothers chain, a chain he and his brother owned and worked. A second branch was opened September 19, 2002, on Delaware Avenue, in Buffalo, New York. The last branch, to date, was opened in Hamburg on May 18, 2004. In such a small environment, the store does not have real room for expansion. If the owners hope to expand in a society that is so Internet-driven, an interactive website would be a definite benefit. The website will keep the same small-town atmosphere, but help the shop to gain big-city fame. Bagel Jay’s sells a variety of bagels, pastries, desserts, sandwiches, and specialty drinks. The store offers catering for special events as well.

In applying Public Relations On-line, Bagel Jay’s lacks the interactivity that customers crave. Options to communicate with the owners and workers are at the minimum right now, with only a phone number and address online. Kelleher says in Public Relations Online, “You may not be able to judge a book by its cover, but you can learn a lot about an organization from its website” (15). By setting up a website, they could provide customers with a 24/7 chat and a place to leave reviews and ideas. They need to be truthful and ethical, and answer questions so that their customers feel satisfied with the service Bagel Jay’s provides. They should provide an e-mail address for their owners, so that any corporate questions can be answered there as well. On the website, an interactive map would be helpful so that non-Buffalo natives can find their shops, too! Bagel Jay’s needs a social media presence; nothing is up on Facebook or Twitter.

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How are bagels made? If you’re curious, check this out!

Suggestions:

1. Make a website! Bagel Jay’s, since it is only a physical establishment right now, should make an interactive website. If I designed their website, I would use Wix, and make it similar to this:

2. Add in a chat feature. They could add in a live chat feature, to add to their customer service. They could help customers out by asking them what flavors they want or would like to see in stores. They could also address any concerns or questions their customers have, and work to amend and correct to the customers’ desire.

3. Update the health info. They need to see what people are looking for in a bagel shop. Since the new health act has been passed, all restaurants have to post the caloric count and nutritional facts of each menu item. Since that will be available in the store, I think the website should also include a menu with approximate caloric information. Also, since so many people have become health-conscious, I would add in the conversion to the Atkin’s diet and Weight Watcher’s points system. (I’d probably highlight those with big stars or highlight them).

4. Highlight your assets! They already cater, which is a wonderful feature of any place that sells food, but they do not showcase that aspect of their store very well. I didn’t even know they did until I went into the store. I think they should take a cue from Bruegger’s website, and make a link similar to this one for customers to sign up: http://www.brueggers.com/catering

5. Social media: My last suggestion is that Bagel Jay’s add themselves to Twitter or Facebook, or both. At the moment, the only websites that showcase Bagel Jay’s are places around Buffalo. Facebook is constantly growing; today, there are 400 million users on Facebook, but that number is growing daily. As a business in a pretty technologically-oriented world, it would be futile to ignore that kind of marketing. Most people are on Facebook or Twitter, and if there is a business on there, they can use the features to make recommendations. Many people “fan” businesses on Facebook or “follow” business on Twitter, and are comfortable reading and responding to each other. For instance, I follow Starbucks coffee on my Twitter, and I can make comments about the coffee I get here in Pittsford and expect to see some feedback if an employee all the way in NYC sees it.

J. Crew’s website has a very user-friendly interface, and it is one that generates a lot of traffic because it is clean and clear. They also offered a discount to anyone who became a fan of their Facebook, which I think Bagel Jay’s could do to create more visitors as well. Here is their Facebook:

6. Brand yourself! In Media Issues, we learned a little about “branding” yourself. If a company brands itself correctly, it can not only generate more visitors, but also make the company’s reputation better and grow. Branding themselves means removing, or addressing, any unfavorable comments made online or in a public forum so that their company will have a better reputation in the long run.  

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Summary: As a bagel shop, Bagel Jay’s is spectacular. As for their marketing, it could use a little work. I definitely love and frequent their store, as do many of the people I know who live around the area, but not many beyond the immediate proximity know what it is. I think creating a website and developing a presence in the social media networks will help them to find more support and, hopefully, customers. Through these suggestions, I hope to make their presence more well known and appealing to more people. I’d like them to branch out a little more, and take credit where it is deserved. Bagel Jay’s, while an awesome place to visit, needs a little push into the Internet, where I think they can really make an impact. (And not just on people’s waistlines!)

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