How To Run A Bakery

Business By lovinkakes Updated 18 Jun 2008 , 12:35pm by imakecakes

lovinkakes Posted 11 Jun 2008 , 10:50pm
post #1 of 28

So I got a job at a store bakery and I realize I don't yet know how to run a bakery. I mean, I'll decorate the cakes

But the girl tomorrow will have 9 orders to fill. We have to stock all of the supplies, stock the ready to go desserts in the front. Print up tickets for people selecting products from the deluxe trays. I was some help today, but boy, the woman who has been there 11 years will be able to do about 20-100x the work I did today. Thank God! The place would shut down!

So, I'm compiling a list of tasks that have to be done to run a bakery, which I'd like to do someday.

1. Bake cakes
2. Decorate cake
3. Order supplies
4. and then Put those supplies away
5. Take orders

Ready to go items if you have them
1. Stock ready to go items and keep them stocked throughout the day.
2. Label such items
3. Help customers when they select such items
4. Routinely discard items when shelf life expires
5. Decorate items for ready to go shelf and keep in backstock


Is that about it? 'Care to add to this list?

Thanks

27 replies
Mike1394 Posted 11 Jun 2008 , 11:10pm
post #2 of 28

The absolute very first thing you better know. If you don't know how to cost out a recipe, nothing else matters.

Mike

plbennett_8 Posted 11 Jun 2008 , 11:26pm
post #3 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike1394

The absolute very first thing you better know. If you don't know how to cost out a recipe, nothing else matters.

Mike




You have an easy way to do that, Mike? icon_smile.gif

Mike1394 Posted 11 Jun 2008 , 11:33pm
post #4 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by plbennett_8

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike1394

The absolute very first thing you better know. If you don't know how to cost out a recipe, nothing else matters.

Mike



You have an easy way to do that, Mike? icon_smile.gif




I pay 2.88 for 32oz of H cream. One recipe for two 9" layers takes 15 oz of H cream. 2.88/32=.09. So that means H cream is .09 an oz. Now no matter how many ozs I use I just multiply it by .09. So I'm using 15 oz. 15 x .09= 1.35. You can do that for every ingredient. Then just add all your totals up. That will be the cost of your ingreds.

Mike

indydebi Posted 12 Jun 2008 , 12:27am
post #5 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by lovinkakes


So, I'm compiling a list of tasks that have to be done to run a bakery, which I'd like to do someday.

1. Bake cakes
2. Decorate cake
3. Order supplies
4. and then Put those supplies away
5. Take orders



Not sure if you are interested in how to prioritize, but if you put things in the order that they need to be done, my list would be:

1. Take orders (or you have no reason to even bake a cake). Although...... I would change this to "make sales". There's a BIG difference! I don't take orders .. I make sales.
2. Order supplies (so you have what you need when you eventually bake a cake)
3. Put supplies away (so you can find them when you eventually get to bake a cake
THEN.......!
4. Bake cakes
5. Decorate cakes

Then of course is all of the stuff involved in 'running' any business .... the interuptions that prevent you from gettign done what needs to be done:

clean and sanitize the displays daily; become the company Training Officer as you train everyone in proper cleaning procedures; in proper baking procedures; in proper overall working in my kitchen procedures. Switch hats to be the company babysitter as you deal with squabbles among the staff. Switch hats to be the purchasing guy to order what you need; switch hats to be the financial guy who yells at the purchasing guy for spending too much money. Don't forget to allocate time to make the work schedule, figure and submit payroll; research payroll when employee says they are shorted 30 minutes of overtime.

Oh yeah... and if you're lucky, you can squeeze in time to pursue your passion of decorating cakes! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

momsandraven Posted 12 Jun 2008 , 12:29am
post #6 of 28

Let's see... some things you've forgotten...

Pay bills
File taxes and government paperwork for employees
Advertising
Deal with countless vendors who want to stop in to talk about something you don't need
Deal with countless charities who want you to make a donation to their cause
Answer the phones, wait on walk-in customers while not burning the cakes in the oven
Clean, clean, clean...
Bridal consultations
PIA customers
Deal with employees who show up late, work too slow, talk too much, or are poisoning your staff with bad attitudes
Pay more bills

Sorry to sound so negative, it's been a long week for me and it's only Wednesday! icon_sad.gif

indydebi Posted 12 Jun 2008 , 12:43am
post #7 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by momsandraven


Deal with countless vendors who want to stop in to talk about something you don't need



Had two of those today! While I was trying to work on a cake I am donating to a fundraiser auction that is due tomorrow!
icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

fiddlesticks Posted 12 Jun 2008 , 12:58am
post #8 of 28

indydebi.. Where did you fit in time to check into CC ???LOL!!!Thats important to !!

VickiChicki Posted 12 Jun 2008 , 1:02am
post #9 of 28

Let me add to that list:
Take out the garbage - several times a day,
Answer numerous phone calls,
Be courteous and friendly to well-meaning old friends who find out you now have your own business and want to stop by and "visit" - when you have orders out the "yin-yang" and really don't have time to visit!
(I will think of more - I know!) icon_biggrin.gif

indydebi Posted 12 Jun 2008 , 1:13am
post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by fiddlesticks

indydebi.. Where did you fit in time to check into CC ???LOL!!!Thats important to !!




Well SOME stuff just has to take priority!! (and once I get home, I am GLUED to my recliner with laptop running all night long!)

drowsyrn Posted 12 Jun 2008 , 1:20am
post #11 of 28

You all just made my day! How true it all is!!! icon_lol.gif

cohen1 Posted 12 Jun 2008 , 1:51am
post #12 of 28

thanks for starting and continuing this topic.
Saving for reference.

littlecake Posted 12 Jun 2008 , 2:00am
post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by momsandraven

Let's see... some things you've forgotten...

Pay bills
File taxes and government paperwork for employees
Advertising
Deal with countless vendors who want to stop in to talk about something you don't need
Deal with countless charities who want you to make a donation to their cause
Answer the phones, wait on walk-in customers while not burning the cakes in the oven
Clean, clean, clean...
Bridal consultations
PIA customers
Deal with employees who show up late, work too slow, talk too much, or are poisoning your staff with bad attitudes
Pay more bills

Sorry to sound so negative, it's been a long week for me and it's only Wednesday! icon_sad.gif




HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!!


i've been having customers come in and just "visit"....when they don't even need a cake.....that's ok...i don't have that much to do.....

just playing in the icing

jewelykaye Posted 12 Jun 2008 , 4:14am
post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

...Switch hats to be the purchasing guy to order what you need; switch hats to be the financial guy who yells at the purchasing guy for spending too much money.

Oh yeah... and if you're lucky, you can squeeze in time to pursue your passion of decorating cakes! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif





LMAO icon_lol.gif My inner purchasing guy just was ripped a new one by my inner financial guy today... Goodness that is so true.

Fridays are SUPPOSED to be my decorating days. I so look forward to Fridays. However, sometimes they are too rushed to enjoy. icon_confused.gif

fiddlesticks Posted 12 Jun 2008 , 5:43pm
post #15 of 28

littlecake... Love Love the avatar !!! I have two !

Trixyinaz Posted 12 Jun 2008 , 6:06pm
post #16 of 28

Debi, you have me cracking me! I love this thread!

lovinkakes Posted 13 Jun 2008 , 10:28pm
post #17 of 28

Hi all, thanks for writing in. Didn't know anyone responded. Wow, there is a lot of stuff to add to the list. At the grocery store, someone comes in about 3 times a day to empty our 2 big rolling garbage cans. That really is on the list of things I'd have to do!

I've relegated myself to "assistant" for now (I haven't told anyone, though). Just tell me what to do and I'll do it. Oh yes, and the order of things is important too. Sorry, I'm tired. I'm cutting back my hours starting next week, though! Thanks!!!!!

leily Posted 14 Jun 2008 , 3:34am
post #18 of 28

Don't forget when running a bakery you are working 7 days a week often 10+ hrs a day. Whether it be on paperwork, bills, shopping, working with clients, cleaning, decorating (which really is one of the smallest parts of running a business) working with the health department, worrying about keeping enough work to keep your staff (and yourself) busy to make a living.

I know there are other things... but you just said you are looking to cut back your hours... if you are looking to run your own bakery, you're hours for at least the first 3-5 years are 7 days a week most likely.

VickiChicki Posted 14 Jun 2008 , 3:45am
post #19 of 28

AMEN SISTER! AMEN and again I say, "AMEN" This is exactly the truth as I have come to know it for the past 8 months - NO DAYS OFF - PERIOD...yet!

CelebrationsbyLori Posted 14 Jun 2008 , 3:54pm
post #20 of 28

#1 ORGANIZE, ORGANIZE, ORGANIZE!!! Your time, your work space, your life in general. Things get crazy and you have to be prepared!
My week goes something like this:
Monday: Bake & fill the fresh case. Order & pick up ingredient supplies (eggs, flour, etc.) for the week. Clean and finish putting away the emergency supplies from Saturdays deliveries. Fill any orders for the day. Prep my classroom, teach a class.
Tuesday: Bake & fill the fresh case. Order general merchandise to restock the store from the weekends sales. Fill any orders for the day. Record the previous weeks sales and reciepts. Check for bills due, general paperwork day.
Wednesday: Fresh case. Bake for Thursday and Friday orders. Make any flowers/ bows, etc. for the weekend. Fill any orders for the day. Turn out, level and wrap all cakes, wash all pans. Count in, price and shelve any orders that come in. Prep the classroom, teach a class.
Thursday: Fresh case. Fill all Thursday orders and Friday morning orders. Start baking any wedding cake layers for the weekend. Count in, price and shelve any orders that come in. Prep classroom, teach a class.
Friday: Fresh case. Finish all Friday orders and Saturday orders. Fill and ice all wedding cake layers, start on decorating depending on design.
Saturday: Fresh case. Finish any wedding decorating, deliver and set up wedding cakes for the day. Prep and cater wedding meal when booked. Put away clean dishes, try to leave the store in some sort of order!
Sunday: Try not to worry about the store! Sometimes come in to bake any early Monday orders and do prep work for the next day, sometimes not!
It's taken me 8 years to put the touches on my routine and make it work. I rarely am out of anything I need when I need it, or don't have something made up when I'm ready for it. It just takes time, pay attention to problem areas and come up with a plan to make things easier on yourself!
Lori

lovinkakes Posted 14 Jun 2008 , 9:57pm
post #21 of 28

You know, as soon as I hit send on that last one I said, uh oh! Don't you know who you're talking to?! Such a wimp!! You're right, I had better buckle down and get used to the hours! This is light, I'm sure!!!!!

mom2spunkynbug Posted 14 Jun 2008 , 10:26pm
post #22 of 28

I was going to say...um, what happened to all the paperwork/bookkeeping part of the business?!

I loved reading everyone's posts - keep 'em coming!

I especially loved reading CelebrationsbyLori's post - thanks for sharing!!

I hope to own a small shop one day!

kneadacookie Posted 15 Jun 2008 , 6:52pm
post #23 of 28

i think the organization thing is so important. sometimes i feel like i'm running in circles. i feel like things got so quick so fast, that i didn't have time to get organized from the beginning. now my house is a mess, i'm usually out of something, my kids never have folded clothes(rarely clean socks).....it makes me even more exhausted than i should be. take the time in the beginning!! i'm still trying to find that "extra" time

so, how many employees or helpers does everyone have??

indydebi Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 12:18am
post #24 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by kneadacookie

so, how many employees or helpers does everyone have??



6 high school girls .... 4 come in twice a week to make cookie dough balls (stock up for the week); 2 come in 3-4 days a week to work the front retail. In addition to these 6 girls, I use 2-5 folks (sometimes more, depending on the size) on caterings on the weekends.

kneadacookie Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 12:54pm
post #25 of 28

thanks debi!
do you have anybody that does your cake decorating with you, or is it just you

Cynita Posted 17 Jun 2008 , 6:47pm
post #26 of 28

Thanks to all you business owners for opening the eyes for us hopefuls; lots of times we only see the glamour of owning our own, but we don't sometimes understand what goes on behind those closed doors.

This is really appreciated,
Cynita

Cakebelle Posted 17 Jun 2008 , 7:53pm
post #27 of 28

[quote="CelebrationsbyLori"]#1 ORGANIZE, ORGANIZE, ORGANIZE!!! Your time, your work space, your life in general. Things get crazy and you have to be prepared!


Thanks for that part! You said it all! icon_biggrin.gif

imakecakes Posted 18 Jun 2008 , 12:35pm
post #28 of 28

Thank you pros for sharing all this with us wannabes!

I work in an mom and pop Italian bread bakery and the extended family and friends who come in to visit are always in the way! They don't realize that they are standing directly in the middle of the walkways and we are constantly saying "Excuse me, pardon me etc...to get around them to do our job ...especially at Holiday times when other professions have long weekends and regular people have days off. The owner realizes this, He says he's a sitting duck, they all know he's there and they mean well when they stop in. Maybe it's his cousin visiting from out of town or his dad or Grandpa stopping by with a buddy to show off their son's operation etc...What can he do, he loves his family.

--Hey, there's something I can add tho'...The owners of my place are so swamped during all the Holidays that they don't get to enjoy them with their families like regular people do. Forget trying to wake up with the kids on Christmas morning when you have spend the last 48 hours straight baking and decorating around the clock for all the extra orders.

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