All Operations In A Cake Business

Business By sochocklover17 Updated 23 Mar 2013 , 10:18pm by sochocklover17

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sochocklover17 Posted 23 Mar 2013 , 3:31am
post #1 of 7

Hi I'm new here but I am hoping for some help with a school project in my Operations Management class. My group and I are supposed to figure out all the operations involved in a Cake shop. I am to find out about the following:

  • Delivery - Should you buy a van/truck? What kind of truck? Pay for a delivery service? Deliver only for special cakes? How far would you deliver? How much would you charge per delivery? Is it based on miles or size/difficulty of cake? Do you hire a delivery driver or deliver it yourself? Would the delivery driver be also trained on how to fix the cake if something were to go wrong/if it was fixable?
  • Suppliers - Where do you get your supplies from? Do you get ingredients, equipment, packaging/labels all from the same store? Do you buy in bulk or as needed?
  • Inventory - Do you have an inventory management system software? Is it worth buying? How else do you control inventory ?
  • Seasons - What are the most popular seasons? How do you attract customers in the off seasons? How do you determine/predict what the demand is going to be/how many employees are needed/hours of work?
  • Total Quality Management - How do you hold your employees/suppliers/customers responsible? Do you reward/punish employees? Is there availability for upward mobility? Motivation to do well? Do you provide training for employees or require them to furthur educate themselves in any form?

    Are there any contracts with suppliers? What is stated in contracts between customers/what is expected of them and how do you keep customer expectations in reality? Do you offer customer rewards?

    TQM is based on the premise that the quality of products and processes is the responsibility of everyone involved with the creation or consumption of the products or services offered by an organization, requiring the involvement of management, workforce, suppliers, and customers, to meet or exceed customer expectations.


I was just wondering if you guys could either link me to information about this or describe your own experiences. These are not questions my teacher created either I thought them up myself, I will not be using your words to write my paper only to form a base and understanding because I have no idea about the basics of running a cake shop. Any information would be greatly appreciated.


6 replies
-K8memphis Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
-K8memphis Posted 23 Mar 2013 , 6:03pm
post #2 of 7

you can get a lot of information by doing searches here


then if you can break down some of your questions into smaller packets that might help


but there could be some peeps with enough time to tackle the list


look at cake boss software


delivery information could be garnered by picking several cake shops (in different parts of the country would be cool) often this info is listed on their website--then maybe they would respond to two or three quesions the website doesn't cover


but if you've ever seen the tv show cake boss (different from the software i mentioned upthread) he & his employees do the deliveries--most shops do--usually in their own personal vehicles


and define cake shop--only cakes or lots of other baked goods too--retail storefront or off-site by appointmeny only custom cake shop--it will make a difference in the answers you receive


lotsa work you got there!!

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DeliciousDesserts Posted 23 Mar 2013 , 6:11pm
post #3 of 7

AWow. That's a lot of questions. Most of the answers will depend on the size of the shop. For instance, I am too small for most I the big suppliers like Sysco. I purchase some things from Dawn foods, SAMs & Costco, & even Publix.

Personally, I deliver no more than 45 minutes (that covers several cities here) and use my car. My husband built a shelf for all my cakes so I don't need a van. My minimum is $50 and is based on travel & set up time.

I (sometimes my husband) am the only employee.

I keep track of my inventory as well as expenses & profits in excel.

My contract is 3 pages & covers: payment, cancellation, accidental damage, stand rental, hurricane policy, and so much more.

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BakingIrene Posted 23 Mar 2013 , 8:02pm
post #4 of 7

Beg or borrow or buy hte book Professional Baking by Wayne Gisslen.


Most of your questions are answered with the professional terminology there.


Some of us do work with TQM, but it would take several hours to write down how this works in a baking business...

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jason_kraft Posted 23 Mar 2013 , 8:33pm
post #5 of 7

ADepending on how comprehensive this project needs to be, you may want to simplify and talk about a custom cake business run by the owner with no employees.

IMO the most important process from an operational perspective is order fulfillment, from the initial inquiry all the way through to the final delivery and post-delivery followup. If you map out this master process first in a flow diagram at a relatively high level, you can drill down into details for each component of the process and continue up the supply chain or hook into pre-inquiry marketing processes as needed.

If you call around you may be able to interview employees or owners of local bakeries in person if you need help with the details.

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-K8memphis Posted 23 Mar 2013 , 8:47pm
post #6 of 7
Originally Posted by BakingIrene 

Beg or borrow or buy hte book Professional Baking by Wayne Gisslen.


Most of your questions are answered with the professional terminology there.


Some of us do work with TQM, but it would take several hours to write down how this works in a baking business...



what chapter are you in?



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sochocklover17 Posted 23 Mar 2013 , 10:18pm
post #7 of 7

Thank you all! My group has decided to do only cakes. We are doing both custom and standard cakes and there is going to be a storefront with a side area for appointments. I think that the shop would be small because we have to start from the beginning, but we have to have around 5-10 employees I think because he wants us to explain how we would handle employees and such.


My other group member has just informed me that she chose the location of Alexandria, Virginia so I am going to be researching stores around there to see if there is or anything like Sams & Costco, I kind of thought those would be likely options but wasn't sure.


I have been watching cake boss to get information and that is where I came up with a lot of my questions haha but thank you for letting me know about the Cake Boss Software, I saw an ad for it but I was not sure if it was something people really used so I will look into that.


I am leaning towards the idea of buying a box truck or van because I think in the long run a delivery service while easier and probably will remove responsibility for the cake during transportation it can be more expensive plus if something went wrong with the cake it would take longer to find out about it/fix it, and while I wouldn't be responsible for it it would still make customers unhappy.

My other group members are working on things like the building site, insurances, licenses, marketing, and competitive priorities, so I am going to get more info from them about the entire planned process. I will call around locally, my sister was a helper at a bakery so I will try to get connected with them to ask a few questions.


But I will try to find that book thank you very much!

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