colelady Posted 16 Sep 2008 , 10:16am

HI,

Thought with all your business savvy, you gals (or guys) might be able to help me.

I am now working at a Walmart. The bakers at present are not organized, but one woman working in the back told me there was one woman there in the past who was great! She said she prepped the icing bags, made back-up cakes, etc. which is not being done now.

I would like to do my BEST, but am not being shown these things, among lots of other "stuff". I do not want to offend, or take over, as I am only a part timer, and my dh is retired...just want to have fun but do things correctly and in the most organized and efficient way possible.

Any advise out there?

Thanks!
Colelady

23 replies
onthedot Posted 16 Sep 2008 , 9:31pm

I do

I'm the main cake decorator at my store. I am very organized and specific about the backups I want done each week. Sunday afternoons, Mondays and Tuesdays we do all the backup for the week. We make 12 deco buttercream 1/4s, 12 deco whipped 1/4s , 8 1/4 kits, 4 deco 1/2, 4 of each 24 ct cupcake kits and deco cakes, 15 each flavor of 6 ct cupcakes and 12 ct cupcakes, and all the other random stuff. We also try to make around 100 packages of peanut squares a week (my store is the #1 seller of peanut squares in the whole company).

I can't imagine not having backup done. I guess if a store doesn't have many orders for the week then you can kind of work as you go. I average about 20 orders for Friday and 30 orders for a Saturday though so I have to start those on Wed. which leaves no time to do cakes for the case the second half of the week.

I also always have fresh icing bags made every other day as I can't stand to not be prepared when I get started working.

I'm sure I'm far more anal then most Walmart decorators but I love what I do and I'm sure a lot of people are there just for a paycheck.
Someday I'd love to have my own shop and be done with crappy Walmart.

littlecake Posted 17 Sep 2008 , 1:07am

i worked at several different bakeries...but not wal mart....some of them were like being in the military ,they really ran a tight ship.

the last bakery i worked at had a bunch of slackers....so i took over, they never even had any back up before i got there...when i worked at albertsons we kept about 3K worth of backup at all times.

i think you should go ahead and take over, if everyone else is slacking off.....that last one i worked at, the other decorator was always out in the lounge smoking and talking....she'd come in a hour before me, and if she had a cake due at the time i was due to get there...she'd just smoke in the lounge, knowing i would get there early and do her work. ugh.

some people have no pride in their work, maybe you could set the tone there....and things could get better...

by the time i left the last store, they went from having like 2-4 orders on saturday, to around 25....a good decorator can really make the difference.

good luck

Mike1394 Posted 17 Sep 2008 , 10:18am

Don't be dismayed by others. Go to work, and do the best you can. If the chance to show others by all means do it.

The work ethic in this country is dismal at best. People just don't know how, or want to work any more. It is very disheartening to have one of these people standing right next to you. You just need to do YOUR best every time you go to work.

Mike

terrig007 Posted 17 Sep 2008 , 10:54am

I second everyone else and Mike-it's not just in a bakery either, it's everywhere.
I wish you good luck in this endeavor.

Jocmom Posted 17 Sep 2008 , 11:18am
Quote:
Originally Posted by terrig007

I second everyone else and Mike-it's not just in a bakery either, it's everywhere.
I wish you good luck in this endeavor.




Amen.

I work my butt off regardless of how lazy someone else wants to be. Some of my coworkers were in for a rude awakening when review time rolled around. Laziness does get noticed, and a hard worker does get rewarded.

There's nothing wrong with being the shining star. Don't feel like you'll be stepping on any toes. You'll just be setting the bar higher for your coworkers. If your boss can see the amount of work that you generate on part-time basis, they're bound to wonder what the full-time slackers are doing.

colelady Posted 17 Sep 2008 , 11:26am

Thanks Everyone,

I really appreciate your help. I will take all this great advice with me today at work. I will just prep and do back-up, smile, clean and keep decorating!
(since I am part time, I also have to do break-out and bake bread!)

I will conquere this,
Colelady

cutthecake Posted 17 Sep 2008 , 11:41am

Onthedot,
What are 8 1/4 kits and cupcake kits?
Thanks
Good luck, colelady! You will surely turn their bakery into something special.

onthedot Posted 17 Sep 2008 , 11:59am
Quote:
Originally Posted by gdlgdl

Onthedot,
What are 8 1/4 kits and cupcake kits?
Thanks
Good luck, colelady! You will surely turn their bakery into something special.




the 1/4 sheet kits are the ones we decorate using decopac or bakery crafts kits to just have in the cake case
same with the cupcake cakes, we put kits on those as well

we sell far more of the plain decorated but we have to keep two of each above in the cake case at all times anyway

onthedot Posted 17 Sep 2008 , 12:04pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by colelady


(since I am part time, I also have to do break-out and bake bread!)




wow.. so you're baking as well?
I guess that doesn't leave much time to actually decorate. On of my co-workers can spend her whole day doing just bread breakout because she is so slow. It's really hard to work with lazy people. I have a very strong work ethic but I also get annoyed easily when I see people not working to the same ability that I am.

As others have said hard work does get noticed though. Keep up the good work!

sugarcheryl Posted 18 Sep 2008 , 2:57am

I will be working for Sam's Club. I wonder if they run there bakery like Walmart. This is a brand new store and I've never worked in a bakery before. I will take the tip about making my icing ahead of time.

sugarcheryl Posted 18 Sep 2008 , 2:58am

I will be working for Sam's Club. I wonder if they run there bakery like Walmart. This is a brand new store and I've never worked in a bakery before. I will take the tip about making my icing ahead of time.

sweettoothmom Posted 18 Sep 2008 , 3:38am

What time do you go in to work? I recently applied to work in the very early a.m. but I am not sure what the hours are for that department.

sugarcheryl Posted 18 Sep 2008 , 10:12am

I requested mornings only so I figured maybe around 6 or 7. I'm full time.

sweettoothmom Posted 18 Sep 2008 , 6:50pm

I was hoping to work EARLY AM. Like 2 am to 6 am. Just part time.
I have to commute to get there and in the winter it will be tough.

sugarcheryl Posted 18 Sep 2008 , 7:57pm

Yeah I told them if they want the best out of me it must be in the morning. Besides I want to work my business to the point I will not have to work at Sam's eventually. Also I'm only 15 min away which is good. I was also told that Sam's cakes are better than Walmart by a person who works for Sam's.

colelady Posted 20 Sep 2008 , 11:19am
Quote:
Originally Posted by onthedot

I do

I'm the main cake decorator at my store. I am very organized and specific about the backups I want done each week. Sunday afternoons, Mondays and Tuesdays we do all the backup for the week. We make 12 deco buttercream 1/4s, 12 deco whipped 1/4s , 8 1/4 kits, 4 deco 1/2, 4 of each 24 ct cupcake kits and deco cakes, 15 each flavor of 6 ct cupcakes and 12 ct cupcakes, and all the other random stuff. We also try to make around 100 packages of peanut squares a week (my store is the #1 seller of peanut squares in the whole company).

I can't imagine not having backup done. I guess if a store doesn't have many orders for the week then you can kind of work as you go. I average about 20 orders for Friday and 30 orders for a Saturday though so I have to start those on Wed. which leaves no time to do cakes for the case the second half of the week.

I also always have fresh icing bags made every other day as I can't stand to not be prepared when I get started working.

I'm sure I'm far more anal then most Walmart decorators but I love what I do and I'm sure a lot of people are there just for a paycheck.
Someday I'd love to have my own shop and be done with crappy Walmart.




I hope you know that you are my mentor now! lol
As a part time decorator, I will work two days doing decorating and two days baking bread. Then, in the afternoons I will decorate also. I have only been at the store one week. I am finding my own way around, since the full timer doesn't clean as she goes OR prep bags. She says she doesn't have time. I'll tell ya, we are nowhere NEAR as busy as your store! Getting info out of her is definitely done on the fly!

Would you be a peach and, when you have time, tell me about your day...how you prep, how you clean up after doing a cake, etc? MY decorator is so sloppy...I already clean up as I go, just want to do the best and most efficient job I can.

And how do you go about using your icing bags? Do you twist low to the tip, leaving most of icing above your hands? That is how they do it. I am finding my hand is killing me right now...my wrists, too. Hoping it gets better!

Thanks a million! (Wish I worked with you!)

moxey2000 Posted 20 Sep 2008 , 11:39am

Always, always do your best, regardless of what others do, and don't worry about stepping on toes. Just because they have a poor work ethic doesn't mean you can't do your best. You're the one who has to live with your conscience....you know, an honest days work for an honest days pay.

A few years ago I went to work for a new department in my company. There were a lot of slackers there, people who strolled in late, took extra long lunches, and took forever to complete a project. I just did things my own way, got my job done, and when the company was bought out there were layoffs. Even though I was the last person hired in my department the boss kept me over everyone else because she said if she chose one of the others then she'd end up doing all the work! She knew I could work on my own and get things done! It was a very nice testament to my work ethic.

Good for you wanting to do the right thing. I say "you go girl" and set the standard thumbs_up.gif ! The Wal-Mart bakery is a great place to learn how to make things work icon_biggrin.gif .

mandm78 Posted 21 Sep 2008 , 8:45pm

For any of you that are presently working at a grocery store bakery like Walmart/Sam's, can you sell your own cakes on the side? I guess what I'm asking is....if you get hired on with a grocery chain and you were already selling cakes for people will they make you sign a "non-compete clause"? I had a small bakery that I have recently closed and I have been hired at my local grocery store in the bakery dept. but I am committed to a few brides for their upcoming weddings. I also have quite a few people from my bakery that want me to make cakes for them. I haven't asked (nor do I want to bring it up) if I would get in trouble if I continued to sell cakes on the side. What is your take on this? Thanks for your help.

onthedot Posted 21 Sep 2008 , 9:05pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by mandm78

For any of you that are presently working at a grocery store bakery like Walmart/Sam's, can you sell your own cakes on the side? I guess what I'm asking is....if you get hired on with a grocery chain and you were already selling cakes for people will they make you sign a "non-compete clause"? I had a small bakery that I have recently closed and I have been hired at my local grocery store in the bakery dept. but I am committed to a few brides for their upcoming weddings. I also have quite a few people from my bakery that want me to make cakes for them. I haven't asked (nor do I want to bring it up) if I would get in trouble if I continued to sell cakes on the side. What is your take on this? Thanks for your help.




No, you don't have to sign a non-compete clause.
I don't try to steal any business from my store but if someone comes in asking about fondant (which we don't do at Walmart of course) then I mention how I love it and wished we could use it at Walmart. They then always ask me really quietly if I do it on the "side" and could make a cake for them. I don't feel like I'm stealing business because they're not interested in buttercream so they wouldn't be a Walmart customer.

onthedot Posted 21 Sep 2008 , 9:23pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by colelady



Would you be a peach and, when you have time, tell me about your day...how you prep, how you clean up after doing a cake, etc? MY decorator is so sloppy...I already clean up as I go, just want to do the best and most efficient job I can.

And how do you go about using your icing bags? Do you twist low to the tip, leaving most of icing above your hands? That is how they do it. I am finding my hand is killing me right now...my wrists, too. Hoping it gets better!

Thanks a million! (Wish I worked with you!)




My day usually starts by looking at any orders that came in since I left the day before, filing those orders in my file box by day of week or "future" if they are in the next week and beyond. Once I'm done with that then I fill my cake case, peanut square table, put out brownies, ect. I usually have to wait for the Telxon to put my sell by stickers on so I'll start on either my backup or orders.

I get the largest chunk of work done during the 8am-11am part of my day as I'm by myself and stay up front. I usually clean as I go most times. I keep a bowl next to me where I put all used tips when I need to change them and at the end of the day I wash them all at once. I don't usually have much of a mess because all our bags are prepped already. Once the other full time decorator comes in at 11 I'm usually answering questions,figuring out what I need to order, doing inventory, making lists for backup needed, ect ect. I

The actual department lead has nothing to do with decorating and has never even written on a cake in the 3 years she's been lead. I do all the "lead" duties for my area.

as for the prepped bags:
I have a plastic bin w/ lid that we keep our prepped icing bags in. There is one for each color we get shipped in and then usually a few if we've had to mix colors and had extras. Once a bag is empty or gets a hole or explodes then we replace it right away with a new prepped bag.

I do pipe the way you described above and I haven't had any hand issues. The only time I've had a problem is when we switched to that crappy Zero Trans Fat buttercream. We had to put up a rack next to the oven to store the icing because it was WAY to hard to work with and we were all having issues with wrist/hand pains. I find it is really easy to work with now.

hope this helps..

colelady Posted 22 Sep 2008 , 10:25am

My day usually starts by looking at any orders that came in since I left the day before, filing those orders in my file box by day of week or "future" if they are in the next week and beyond. Once I'm done with that then I fill my cake case, peanut square table, put out brownies, ect. I usually have to wait for the Telxon to put my sell by stickers on so I'll start on either my backup or orders.

I get the largest chunk of work done during the 8am-11am part of my day as I'm by myself and stay up front. I usually clean as I go most times. I keep a bowl next to me where I put all used tips when I need to change them and at the end of the day I wash them all at once. I don't usually have much of a mess because all our bags are prepped already. Once the other full time decorator comes in at 11 I'm usually answering questions,figuring out what I need to order, doing inventory, making lists for backup needed, ect ect. I

The actual department lead has nothing to do with decorating and has never even written on a cake in the 3 years she's been lead. I do all the "lead" duties for my area.

[quote]as for the prepped bags:
I have a plastic bin w/ lid that we keep our prepped icing bags in. There is one for each color we get shipped in and then usually a few if we've had to mix colors and had extras. Once a bag is empty or gets a hole or explodes then we replace it right away with a new prepped bag.

I do pipe the way you described above and I haven't had any hand issues. The only time I've had a problem is when we switched to that crappy Zero Trans Fat buttercream. We had to put up a rack next to the oven to store the icing because it was WAY to hard to work with and we were all having issues with wrist/hand pains. I find it is really easy to work with now.

hope this helps..

Quote:
Quote:



Let me get this right...you have a rack (what, a baking rack?) next to the oven in the back and store your icing bags there? Please describe so I can see about doing the same.

I don't have to do peanut squares (must be a regional item) or brownines...the donut ppl do them. I also don't do all the ordering and inventory...unless I just haven't gotten that far! I know the decorator gets to order tips, etc...what are your faves by the way?

Thanks sooooo much for all your help. You have no idea how much I appreciate it!


sweettoothmom Posted 22 Sep 2008 , 4:16pm

If you dont mind me asking, what is a peanut square?

onthedot Posted 22 Sep 2008 , 6:09pm

it's like a metal shelving unit thing... you can get them back in hardware
you could ask your Store Manager if you could store use one and explain that you're having wrist pains and something as simple as having the frosting a bit warmer could prevent workers comp. claims


a peanut square is a square of cake that is basically "wrapped" in frosting and then rolled in peanuts.. they come in 4 packs for $2.50

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