I'm doing a lot of in depth research on opening up a cupcakery in west Atlanta. Thanks to the forums I've been able to research a lot of information and have begun to apply what I've learned here and am putting together a business plan and other essential items I've read about here. (Thank goodness they warned me when I signed up that this site is addictive!)
The one thing I can't find anything on is a general production schedule. I am extemely anal about being organized (I blame it on being a Virgo!) but I can't imagine opening shop (or even consider opening shop) without having a daily "routine" in place. I understand that you have special orders, etc. that need to be put into the production schedule, and possibly it's just the simple fact that the schedule changes weekly?
I'd really like to know how you guys stay organized, plan out the next day's items, etc. I want to have my items fresh baked daily, so any tips on getting it all done would be wonderful.
You'd probably need to figure out what you're going to be baking the folowing day and prep everything in the afternoons, then go in to bake in the morning. This will give you a bump in case someone has anything more specific to tell you...
I agree with costumeczar. I have a daily planner i use to put my items i need on the days they are due, then put prep stuff on the planner, leading up to the need to deliver date. Then as I get orders I put them on the planner, I can keep a running daily planner of prep items and end result days needed. Did I explain clearly?
Why not take a job at a few successful bakeries and see what it's like? Before going to nursing school I worked at a few restaurants and bars and after a year or two I had the time management down. The moral of this story is...time management is crucial in medicine and my instructors were always commenting on my skills (of course my lips were sealed).
I used to run a cupcakery and my day would go like this:
5 am take any order sheets for the day and stick them up on my board by order of what time they need to go out.
I scooped and baked all of my orders for that day (including everything for sale in the display case)
While the cupcakes cooled i folded any boxes i would need, rewhipped my frostings, and made sure all of my custom decorations were ready. (since we required 48 hour for custom decorations i had them all ready to go by the time they were needed for the order)
Then by order of what time they needed to go out, i would decorate them, box them and seal them up.
After my special orders were ready then I would decorate all the remaining cupcakes for sale in the display case.
After I did all of this I would clean, open shop and begin my prep for the next day.
I would look at my custom order sheets to determine how much of each batter and frosting to make.
I would make any custom decorations that were needed and set them aside.
Mix my buttercreams and batters. (yes i mixed my batters a day ahead of time and baked day of. there was no difference in finished product and it made life a hell of a lot easier at 5 am)
And that was it. I would do a nice cleaning job and leave the retail person there for the remainder of the day.
hope that helps
Virgo in the house! I understand what you mean, but at the same time...I think my anal virgo tendencies is what attracts brides to me.
For your production schedule, do what was suggested above and have a deadline, then work backwards. Make sure to add some "buffer" time in because you have to take into account the interruptions and such.
I don't have an operation like the one you're describing, but that's how I do it with every other cake project.