Does anyone have an intern working with them? Do you pay them? How do you handle it? I have someone who might want to intern with me once I open shop in January and don't know quite how to handle it. Any advice would be appreciated. TIA
Is this an intern that is currently in school or just someone that wants an opportunity to learn skills in your shop? If he/she is in school and will be placed as an intern, the school will have a protocol for you and can assist you with any questions.
In my experience, most internships are not paid, especially at small shops. The intern gets the benefit of learning skills and by not paying them, you aren't burdened by the extra labor cost of someone who needs more time/training, etc., and who very well might cost you real money in wasted/ruined product while they're learning.
We almost always have at least one intern on the staff since about July. They are not paid, but do get the benefits that I give the other employees (free beverages - we have a cafe - and 30% off whatever they want to buy). I generally set them up for two 4 hour shifts per week. Some last a long time, others only show up once. You get a bit of simple work done (and possibly an good employee out of the deal - 2 of mine are on the payroll for reals now) and they get their foot in the door of an industry where otherwise they would need experience. Good luck!
I have a question for you KoryAK. Do you stop what your doing & take time time to expalin things or just a quick explantion and keep it moving. I have someone who wants to be an intern, but I don't think I'ld be a very good teacher. I feel like I would just explain a recipe (for what ever it is), show them once, and have them keep doing it until they get it right. And if they wanted to learn techniques, then they would need to watch, cause I know I won't have the patience to explain things EVERY TIME. Thats how I learn, by watching, so thats how I would probably teach to ansd that might be a bad idea.
I have two interns right now and I am interviewing two more for the spring. They both need 18 hours a week for 11 weeks, so they are here quite a bit.
Both of my interns started out doing some very basic stuff (dishes, filling bags, coating cake pans with release). They have now moved on to more complex items. For example, one of them decorated a cake with fondant cutouts yesterday. I haven't had a chance to work with them on certain things yet, but we still have a few more weeks.
What I've done is start them off with some of the simple stuff and then once I feel like they've mastered that, I move them on to something else.
My interns are not paid, however I told them that there is the possibility of staying on after the internship is over, if it works for both of us. This, in my opinion, is a great way to build enough business to warrant a new paid associate.
Thanks for your feedback. This is someone who is still in high school so I don't believe it is for any credit purposes. She is just really interested in learning more and attending pastry school later. I know I am a good teacher, but wasn't sure what I was to start her with or if it is basically her getting taught everything I know for free.
my son is in high school but also attends a culinary program in the afternoon through the highschool. He now has to do his internship which is a total of 4hrs a week, during the regular school time. He is not paid but for him it is a great way for him to decide if he really wants to go into this business or not, or should i say its good for me before i fork out for his college expenses on something he may not enjoy in the end.
SinceI will be by appointment only, how do I decide her hours?
How do you find interns in the first place...do you solicit the schools?
I don't think the appointment only really matters in this case. You know what you're schedule will be for the most part in regards to when you'll be baking and such. So schedule the intern during those hours.
I'm super busy, so I don't have a lot of time for dedicated teaching... so the interns watch and learn and I try to give instructions in little snippets and then they come back and ask for more - I have found that after the first two directions the rest seems to go out the window anyway. Some can hack it, some can't. I also have my assistant do a lot with the interns. Since they are not paid, it doesn't hurt me to allow them to go slow or just watch or whatever. Like the others said, the interns usually start out washing dishes and mixing cookies. Simple stuff.
I have yet to have an intern that was doing it for school credit. Mostly when people come in looking for a job I explain that I don't have any paid openings at this time but they can intern. They usually jump on it, especially since most of my applicants have no real cake experience anyway :sigh: