Just wondering from those who have applied for jobs at cake shops etc.. what was your experience. Did they have you decorate a cake? What kind of question did they ask? What is the pay range for cake decorators?
The thought of looking for an outside cake job scares me. I'm self taught. I have kept a pretty detailed album of most the cakes and cookies i've made in the past. But i know i'm not as fast as some people and I still have issues with smoothing..thus i use a crusting buttercream and paper towels to get a nice finish and i still have issues with making a nice rose. I would be terrified if someone watched and critiqued me while i did a cake. Up until this point i thought i would start something out of my house...BUT..a call to the local health unit told me i'm not legally allowed to bake out of my house and sell the goods. So i'm struggling with pursuing the home business thingy illegally OR apply to a cake shop or grocer. I think i fear the interview process so much because i've never woked in that environment before and i have no idea what to expect from the whole thing.
I'd love to hear your experiences.
Focus on your *strengths*.
<...Did they have you decorate a cake? What kind of question did they ask? What is the pay range for cake decorators?...>
I worked at 2 bakeries before opening my own. One did have me decorate a cake, the other, not.
?s asked will vary by the person asking them
The might want to know how long you have been decorating? Ask to see your pix... and want to know if you can handle certain techniques they focus their style of decorating on.
Pay range is going to be all over the place too...but generally I hear the going rate is in the neighborhood of $9/hr.
I wouldn't worry about what you can't do well. That will be what the persons see when you decorate &/or answer their ?s.
If the grocery store is a well know chain you might have to deal w/union stuff
I was asked once to come to work at a gorcery bakery & they told me they would start me at $10-12 as I already had yrs of experience decorating; well the day before I was to start I got a call....
the union would NOT allow that. Everyone had to start at minimum wage \\& work up to top of $14. The requirements made it so it would take 6 yrs of FULL TIME hours to get top pay at a part time job!
Depends on where you live. I got a job just for one year, last year actually, at a really nice catering place. All I used for credentials was the fact I have college education (in teaching though) and my cake photo album. I got the job for $15/hr (here in Philly). It was perfect because I did several weddings per weekend and got alot more confidence doing weddings and also I learned alot more about baking and making fillings. Also learned about using non crusting icing. It was a wonderful opportunity, which I had to leave when I had my baby 8 mos ago.
I found it on Craigslist....check around, you may be able to find something really good. Now I do have a licensed kitchen though so I probably will not be going back.
In addition to what Kakeladi says..Depends to if you going to work for a grocery store, a bakery or a custom cake place. In a custom cake place the quality of cakes is suppposed to be high so they go for people that are really good and tends to pay better than your regulat grocery store.
I am in a similar position but for different reasons. I went to baking school and was taught all basic methods and can ice a cake prettysmooth and do roses without problems. However, for some reason when I am doing a cake not in my own home with some one watching over me I tend to freeze up. I have wonderful pics but I have usually talked to the customer myself and know exactly what they want. When in a shop I find it harder because sometimes someone else has taken the order and hasn't been super clear.
In my state WI you can't have a business out of your home without some major changes to your home(remodeling) so I am having similar issues. Sometimes you can rent out a kitchen from a church or school, just make sure it's license is good. I am looking into that option as well.
I think that working for someone else can have advantages because you don't have to worry so much about how much business your getting wheras it's all up to you if you have your own. You can get a lot of experience working at a shop with a lot of business but also becareful to work someplace that does the kind of work you're interested in. A grocery store might have a lot of cakes but it probably is more sheet cakes with kits and such. If you want to get experience in weddings and specialty stick to shops and maybe just go to shops you like and show them your portfolio. you never know they might like your pics enough to interview you even if they aren't hiring. Shops are always interested in talent!
BTW the only way you can stop freezing up when someone is standing right there is to do it! I HATED decorating in front of people when I first got my job but soon it became "normal".