I just open my cake shop after working out of my home for 3 years and now that I have my shop, I'm getting more customers. In the past I baked, decorated, and did all of the admin work. Now, I need to get additional help, at no cost. I have no idea how to make this happen. But most of all I have one major problem.
Once I hire a baker, how can I let go of my receipes that has made my business what it is today. How do you give up your cake secrets and more so that you can have time to focus on decorating. How do you hire people that you know, whant to learn your craft to do their own business. What are your processes and do you have someone sign a wavier or something.
Definitely a time for a "non-compete" document. It would be worth paying a lawyer who has expertise in this area to draw up a legal document.
Or use interns from a local culinary school (if there are any in your area). They are free and the payment you give them is in the form of an evaluation or actual grade (depending on the school). They work hard because they know it is part of their education and they want that diploma!
As far as your cake recipes. One thing I have done in the past is pre mix all the dry ingredient and place each flavor into large dry goods bins (you know the bins for flour & sugar, etc). Then have a "recipe" where they measure out the pre mix dry and add the liquid ingredients to the pre mix. Yes it takes time to figure out on mass how much of each dry ingredient you need, and you need to make sure the all the dry ingredients are well incorporated, but it will save you tons of time to have someone else do your baking. The plus is they still do not have YOUR recipes
As an engineer, my DH has had to sign confidentiality and non-disclosure forms that protect his company's intellectual property while he still works for the company.
It allows the employer to prosecute if someone sells proprietary info to a competitor. I would imagine that your personal recipes would fall into "proprietary info" Def talk to a lawyer.
The others have given you some very sound advice. I also think the way to go for now anyway is to hire on a culinary intern who can go to work learning the trade and won't cost you anything.
It's hard to "let go", OTOH, there comes a point that it needs to be done and the good news is that you control it. What about hiring on someone for the admin instead of the kitchen part of things. First instinct answer - Life would have less stress if I didn't have to do ________________ myself. That's where the stress cog is... Or, is it something as simple as you need to upgrade a portion of your bakery/computer system that would help make it run more efficiently. Maybe it's getting a bigger mixer & oven to be able to bake all at once... Go through your business in a "meta" (outside looking in) position and really evaluate what you can afford to do and what you need to do for the business to be sustainable going forward.
Great advice for her CoutureCake!
Don't forget to get worker's comp insurance coverage for your new employees, even if they are unpaid interns.
FYI, in some states noncompete agreements are unenforceable. I also think it would be difficult to enforce an NDA/confidentiality agreement. You probably wouldn't be able to prove that someone didn't come up with the recipe on their own, unless they do something stupid like copy and paste out of your menu. Besides, there really isn't a market for selling proprietary recipes unless your products are difficult to make and unique.