Looking For Best Practices For Hiring A Cake Decorator

Business By MikeyP Updated 16 Dec 2014 , 12:54am by theresaf

MikeyP Posted 15 Dec 2014 , 7:18pm
post #1 of 10

Hi everyone,

My family opined an ice cream shop early this year and we'd like to start doing cakes.
Early on we'll probably only need someone on an as needed basis, probably once or twice a week to work orders.  
I mean I hope to heck we need a full time cake person quickly but I have to be realistic and expect some time to build demand

I should mention, none of us have prior experience with food service so just getting the ice cream shop up and growing has been a wild ride of mistakes.  
So what I'm really asking is for the basics...where's the best place to find someone?  Not knowing what the demand is going to be, do we hire them as an employee or contractor?  Better to pay hourly or per cake?  Any advice for the interview?  Things to ask/look for?  Sorry if this is a rambling mess but the shop is pretty much just me 6 days a week so trying to get this all down on the fly :-)

Thanks for any help

9 replies
-K8memphis Posted 15 Dec 2014 , 7:30pm
post #2 of 10

while they're there they can make up some goodies for the case too -- not just straight orders of course -- i would say hourly -- i would offer some counter hours in addition to decorating to offset any slow times or the ramping up period if they want them -- make it their choice -- give them a minimum of hours per week in order to make it enticing -- you can switch from decorator pay to counter help pay too -- just hash it all out in advance --


ideally you want to hire a person with experience in a grocery store, costco, sam's -- people who can work fast -- typically home decorators' even if they have their own business are too slow -- too slow to make money and too slow for the ice cream--


best to you

-K8memphis Posted 15 Dec 2014 , 7:35pm
post #3 of 10

so they should be able to fully ice and decorate a cake, bottom and top border, flower spray and writing in 10 minutes at least -- that's with all the icing and colors already made up in advance -- ice cream cakes usually go in and out of the freezer so you have to time the actual work time -- an ice cream cake decorator will be doing several cakes at once -- so you need to keep that in mind when you test candidates on it 

-K8memphis Posted 15 Dec 2014 , 7:36pm
post #4 of 10

and if they have the grocery store/big box experience they can easily switch gears to doing ice cream cake but they don't need actual experience in ice cream cake --

MikeyP Posted 15 Dec 2014 , 7:54pm
post #5 of 10

THis is really helpful, thank you!  I hadn't even considered the speed piece.  I know the 10 minute window but I hadn't thought about a person going in and out wasting too much time per cake.  

-K8memphis Posted 15 Dec 2014 , 8:00pm
post #6 of 10


Originally Posted by MikeyP 

... but I hadn't thought about a person going in and out wasting too much time per cake.  


what do you mean?

MikeyP Posted 15 Dec 2014 , 8:03pm
post #7 of 10

I meant in my head I envisioned working on a cake for 10 minutes, putting it back in the freezer, working on something else, pulling it back out and working on it again, and so on but if I'm reading what you wrote right, they should be able to do the whole thing in the 10 minutes?

-K8memphis Posted 15 Dec 2014 , 8:10pm
post #8 of 10

yes -- the cakes baked, the ice cream layers have to be made/inserted, the icing ready, the colored icings mixed up ready to go in the piping bags -- then it should be 10 total minutes or less to ice and decorate the cake -- you might want to have the tests done with just cake no ice cream?

-K8memphis Posted 15 Dec 2014 , 8:14pm
post #9 of 10

10 - 15 mins


we got our cakes already iced so...gotta allow enough time for them to ice them too

theresaf Posted 16 Dec 2014 , 12:54am
post #10 of 10

AWow K8. That's a fast decorating time. Especially for a lil ole hobby baker like me! But you'll need to ask your accountant if employee or 1099 contractor is the way to go (assuming you're in the U.S.!) in short, my acct tells me if I set the persons hours and work at my office they're my employee. But I'm not an accountant so you should ask one! Best of luck Theresa

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