Rental Kitchen Disaster :/

Business By fsinger84 Updated 18 Oct 2011 , 5:13pm by platinumlady

fsinger84 Posted 18 Oct 2011 , 4:32pm
post #1 of 5

So I have a rental kitchen space where i bake cupcakes, brownies, and cake pops in the kitchen I rent by the hour then I sell the cupcakes in front of house (it is a deli that also has breads cookies and coffees).

Today was the grand opening for the store so I went in last night to bake cupcakes at 2am. It was a total disaster. I baked up a batch of brownies that was supposed to be a four pan batch 9x13 somehow I only got 3 pans and a little left over. I over mixed (i guess?) the batter so it was more cakey than fudgy like it normally is and these new ovens are much different than mine so I ended up overcooking them as well. I had to throw out one pan but I was able to salvage parts of the other two (after cutting through the crack that was down the middle of one pan).

The cupcakes were not much better. I planned on baking 10 dozen. I made four dozen red velvet but ended up hitting one pan against the blender when turning around and dropped the entire dozen on the floor. The four dozen chocolate came out fine. The other two dozen I had baked first and the oven left the tops leaning because the fan was on.

I think it took me two hours just do do all the dishes and put them away (3 compartment sink no machine). I was in the kitchen a total of 8 hours just to make 8 dozen cupcakes and 3 pans of brownies! It took me forever to weigh out everything and mix it all ( scratch baker).

Besides the technical issues what can I do to make this go faster? This is seriously cutting into my profits!

I am going to order extra mixer bowls and change to a less labor intensive brownie recipe (it has like 5 steps each measured out in their own bowl) to cut down time but jeez it took forever!

4 replies
jason_kraft Posted 18 Oct 2011 , 4:43pm
post #2 of 5

When you rent by the hour it is very important to have your entire baking process mapped out to be as efficient as possible, that includes simplifying recipes as much as you can and identifying bottlenecks (like the mixing bowls). We spent months fine-tuning our recipes and processes at home before we rented a commercial kitchen and started selling products. For example, if you have slack time you may be able to weigh and mix the dry components of your recipes in advance.

As you discovered there is also a learning curve involved when using unfamiliar ovens, so don't worry too much, you will eventually get the hang of it. If you find that the kitchen space has an awkward flow, you may want to look into rearranging the space on paper and present those changes to the landlord.

ChefAngie Posted 18 Oct 2011 , 4:59pm
post #3 of 5

Convection ovens run hotter-Decrease baking time.
Theres a cookbook with excellent recipes- Food for 50-the recipes make 50 servings at one time.
Hope this helps.
Happy Baking and Decorating,
Chef Angie

coloradoflower Posted 18 Oct 2011 , 5:09pm
post #4 of 5

Couldn't you measure everything out at home before hand. Like all the dry ingredients in a ziplock labeled of course and then all the liquid in other containers. So that way when you get to the rental kitchen all you have to do is mix and bake. Wouldn't that save you time while in the rental kitchen and save you money.

platinumlady Posted 18 Oct 2011 , 5:13pm
post #5 of 5

fsinger84

I do understand your frustration. I'm really sorry this happened to you. I've been there in your shoes. There is a learning curve when transitioning to a commercial. When I first started where I was...they gave me a test run. That went perfectly...but I only baked a small 6in cake. The next time I was in there (to cook for an actual customer) I over baked the cakes & they came out dry ... long story short I refunded their money.

The good news is it gets better.

What I did was lower the oven temp. ex from 350 to 325... I also bake with the fan speed on low. It may take a little longer to bake than usually but that's the formula I found that worked for me.

I know it can be disheartening...but don't give up. After being there you will get your rhythm down. Once you find your rhythm in there you will be buzzing around there like a lil bee & everything will fall into place.

Were I rent they don't charge for the clean up ... don't know if it's the same there. But yeah Clean up takes forever & it's my least favorite thing to do. I do clean as I go. Even with cleaning as I go it still takes me about an hour to hour & a half to get things spotless again.

It really does get better. I was so frustrated when I first started at the commercial kitchen...now it feels weird to cook at home.

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