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just got hired in a bakery and need to fix their business!

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

hi everybody!!!

Today I got a call from a famous bakery in town (new mexico), they hired me as baker and cake decorator! 

So I went this morning to check few things out.. it's a mess, a big, fat mess!

 

I realized they don't know how to price a cake: they use half sheet and full sheet cake price (???) and convert it into fondant round cake.. well it's just complicated and it doesn't make any sense!

they also don't know how many servings come out from a certain size of pan, they are totally undercharging or giving away a bunch a cake!

The new owner asked me to fix this mess, setting a price range, figure out the servings, talk to the costumers, write a contract, bake and decorate!

 

It's like having my own business, isn't it?

BUT I'm afraid that might be too much for me to handle, so can you guys help me to figure it out where to start? maybe sharing a contract I can use or telling me how do you set the price for the extra decorations?

Like flowers, bows, characters, little animals and so on?

 

any tip of any kind would be great! thank you!

post #2 of 13

I've searched the forums for contracts before and had luck, I would suggest that. 

 

Have you price out recipes before? And I mean exactly, not by guessing but my knowing the exact cost of a teaspoon of baking powder, an ounce of butter, a cup of flour, etc? 

post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

nope, never.. I also just moved to US from Italy few months ago and I don't really know the prices here..

but also how can I know how much THEY pay ingredients??  

post #4 of 13
This is the job of a business consultant, not a baker/decorator. If you will be baking, decorating, and fixing their business, I would ask for more compensation...for example your business consulting could be on a per-hour basis (over and above your baking/decorating work and at a higher wage) and/or you could become a partner in the company (if you have faith it will survive).

Check out the pricing formula link in my signature below for help on pricing. One of the foundations for any successful business is a robust accounting system, so make sure it is set up with a correct chart of accounts and both expenses and revenue are being recorded correctly.

I'm not sure how much of a business background you have, but if you aren't confident you can do this job right I would tell your employers so they can hire someone with the correct expertise.
post #5 of 13
This is not work you do for hourly bakery staff pay, this is a management position at the very least and I don't recommend you even consider taking this on unless you are being compensated appropriately. If you are going to be increasing their profits substantially you should be receiving some of the benefit of that.
elsewhere.
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elsewhere.
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post #6 of 13

I agree with everyone above, that if you don't know what you are doing, don't do it. This business is already struggling, don't drive them into the ground.

 

Though I also believe that people can be perfectly successful in a position where they don't have experience in every duty asked of them, you have to start somewhere. 

 

You need to seriously do some research on food costing. It is a huge deal that you know what you are paying for ingredients. You need to find out who the vendors are, and you need to find out the packaging sizes of what you are buying and the cost. You then do the math.

 

To be honest with you, this is a huge process.You better be good at math. In culinary school at Johnson and Wales University, this was the most dreaded class of all of the students. I excelled as I really enjoy math, so if you enjoy math like me, this will be fun for you to tackle. If you don't like math, back out now. You are messing with someone's livelihood. 

post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by erikabakes View Post
 

You need to seriously do some research on food costing. It is a huge deal that you know what you are paying for ingredients. You need to find out who the vendors are, and you need to find out the packaging sizes of what you are buying and the cost. You then do the math.

 

This would all be very true, if you were the owner. You aren't, and unless you are being well compensated for it, they have no business expecting it of you. That is just rubbish.

It's one thing to ask you about serving sizes, but seriously, they should spend 2 minutes to fire up google and check it out for themselves one day.

What happens to them if you leave? Having you do the work is both lazy and irresponsible on their part.

A contract would not be between you and a client, it would be between the owners and the client, I just can't fathom a business owner being so incompetent.

 

Sorry, apparently my lack of coffee today is showing.

In your shoes, I would probably find a pricing guide, there are multiple ones if you do a quick CC search, give them that and let them figure out their own business, or hire someone that is equipped to do so.

post #8 of 13
When you interviewed for the job, did you say you were capable of all this?
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post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheItalianBaker View Post
 

hi everybody!!!

Today I got a call from a famous bakery in town (new mexico), they hired me as baker and cake decorator! 

While I am happy for you, there are a great many issues raised in this post.

 

So I went this morning to check few things out.. it's a mess, a big, fat mess! 

You didn't see the place before you were hired to do all this?

 

I realized they don't know how to price a cake: they use half sheet and full sheet cake price (???) and convert it into fondant round cake.. well it's just complicated and it doesn't make any sense!

they also don't know how many servings come out from a certain size of pan, they are totally undercharging or giving away a bunch a cake!

 

May I suggest that you immediately print out the information on this thread on hard copies, then contact the moderator to delete this thread.  Your (future???) employer may already be reading this thread.  The caking world is a VERY SMALL world after all....  This is the equivalent of posting on Facebook.

 

The new owner asked me to fix this mess, setting a price range, figure out the servings, talk to the costumers, write a contract, bake and decorate!  It's like having my own business, isn't it?

 

You are not the owner--nor will you become the owner.  If this is a famous bakery, then ANY upward pricing adjustments may shock the existing customer base and cause many or most of the existing customer base to leave.

 

 

BUT I'm afraid that might be too much for me to handle, so can you guys help me to figure it out where to start? maybe sharing a contract I can use or telling me how do you set the price for the extra decorations?

Like flowers, bows, characters, little animals and so on?

 

any tip of any kind would be great! thank you!

 

 

I agree 100% with everything said above.   You were hired prematurely and you may have accepted prematurely.  From a business perspective, this has "Danger Danger" written all over it.   You may wish to re-negotiate your hiring and re-negotiate the duties of the job.  If they are willing to pay you sufficiently for baking and decorating, then agree to that (and GET IT IN WRITING!).  The owners are the people who should be "setting a price range, write a contract, and figure out the servings".  This is money that will be going INTO their pockets OR taking money OUT of their pockets if the new, higher, pricing drives away customers.

 

Re:  Contracts--Search the Cake Central site.  There are many fine examples that others have freely shared. 

 

Re:  Pricing--If you don't already know how to set pricing, then you should not be setting pricing for an existing business.  Read the links below the JasonKraft post above.

 

Also read:  

 

http://www.cakeboss.com/PricingGuideline.aspx

 

http://articles.bplans.com/writing-a-business-plan

 

http://cakecentral.com/t/742057/new-cake-business-at-home-help

 

http://cakecentral.com/t/746866/how-much-to-charge#post_7308992

 

http://staceyssweetshop.blogspot.com/2011/08/howd-you-arrive-at-that-number.html

 

and

 

Make 100% sure you know the true definition of  "profit".   (It's probably not what you or your "future" boss(es) think it is.)

 

Good luck!

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 

during the interview they didint say anything about "pricing the cake", I assumed they already did it on their own.. We spoke just about talking to customers, which is totally my thing. 

I can do the math, it's pretty easy and I have a master degree in architecture, so I am totally comfy with math. But also I don't think it's should be my job, so I already mailed the pricing guide to the manager!

 

oh and the business is not struggling at all, they just want to fix what they do wrong! 

post #11 of 13

If they broke it, they need to fix it themselves because they aren't likely to appreciate your help, even if they've asked for your help.

post #12 of 13

If they want to hire someone off the street to bake, decorate, talk to customers, price their cakes and set up their contracts, more power to them . . . however they can't go complaining when it all goes to hell because they are clueless.

 

Best of luck to the OP, but it usually doesn't go well when you work for someone who doesn't know the BASICS of the business they are already participating in.  There is a disconnect there that I guarantee will carry over into other areas of your employment. :)

 

Liz

Follow me on my Twitter handle: @Sugar_Iowa

Or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SugarFineBakedGoodsAndConfections

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Follow me on my Twitter handle: @Sugar_Iowa

Or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SugarFineBakedGoodsAndConfections

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post #13 of 13
Quote:

Originally Posted by liz at sugar View Post
 

Best of luck to the OP, but it usually doesn't go well when you work for someone who doesn't know the BASICS of the business they are already participating in.  There is a disconnect there that I guarantee will carry over into other areas of your employment. :)

 

Liz

That is so true!

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