Simply the word “bakery” sends out a warm and comforting feeling. So running your very own must be quite the living dream! However, starting and managing a thriving bakery business requires numerous employees with different job descriptions. As such, every bakery- big or small- is the result of the excellent teamwork of your pool of bakery staff.
From the people engaging customers to the ones placing ingredient orders, a bakery’s success is a combined effort of all bakery employees. The size and extent of your bakery’s niche will help you decide what bakery jobs are needed.
It is possible to have a bakery function at total capacity with just two or three staff members. However, if you offer specialized bakery goodies or if you begin to expand, you will need a more hands-on deck to fill specific profiles. Learn about the essential positions you need to hire for your bakery!
Key Roles of Bakery Employees
Before you delve into the details, consider some essential bakery jobs you will need to consider when hiring.
- Counter staff
- Production bakers
- Specialized professionals
- Kitchen help
- Outside help
These are just a few requirements of a bakery’s staff composition. A significant part of your employee recruitment depends upon your bakery’s unique needs and characteristics.
Are you ready to explore these roles in detail? Let’s begin!
The Counter Staff In A Bakery
If you plan on managing the baking on your own, you may not be able to stay at the counter and talk to customers! This kind of multitasking can prove to be exhausting and diverting.
So, one of your first hires will likely be someone who can work at the front counter. For this job, you will want to look for a pleasant and amiable person who is skillful at navigating social situations.
Hiring Tip: Personality Matters
A naturally sunny and upbeat personality will help create a good bakery environment, leaving a lasting impression on the customers. It is also necessary that your front counter employee can keep their cool and remain diplomatic.
A bakery that may sometimes fall short in terms of goods can still retain customers if the customer service staff makes the experience of customers memorable and delightful!
The production bakers are the ones who will hold your bakery together. They’re the ones who do the baking; at first, you may only need just yourself or one employee. However, if you begin to expand or grow or your production baker calls in sick, there may be trouble.
So, having two production bakers is always in your best interests. You can start with just one formally trained bakery employee.
In some cases, it may be a mandatory requirement that your bakery food preparation staff hold all the necessary food safety certifications.
Hiring Tip: Consider Shifts
In addition to this, you may also need different bakery employees to work during various shifts. Is your goal to have fresh bread ready to be served to eager customers right when the bakery doors open in the morning? If yes, then you may have to run a night shift or a very early morning shift.
In the morning, the baker will need enough time to bring the pre-prepared loaves of bread from the coolers and bake them to perfection.
It is also crucial to know how much of a baked item you need to prepare to make profits. With that, you can start working from your estimated numbers to determine how many employees you will need as production bakers to meet your operational goals.
One of the secret ingredients to a successful bakery that beats all competition is its ability to capitalize on particular skills. These unique skills will define your brand’s appeal and make it stand out in the crowd.
If you do not have the skills of such a nature, then you will benefit quite a lot from an employee who does have them!
An essential bakery staff member will be a professional with specialized training. It could mean welcoming a talented pastry chef, a gifted cake decorator, or even an artisan bread-baker into your team.
What Can They Offer
When present in your bakery, such skills will attract customers with hopes of finding personalized or aesthetically pleasing yet palatable items.
In most cases, such employees will ask for a premium salary, which is justifiable and well-deserved! However, it may also pose some challenges for you as a business owner if you are trying to maximize profits while still recovering from losses or repaying loans.
It may also not be immediately business-efficient if your bakery business is slow. However, it can have its advantages and also helps improve the visibility of your bakery.
Hiring Tip: What Specialists Mean For Your Business
Before hiring a professional with special skills, you must consider some other aspects.
Firstly, you need to be confident that you have a good market for the products your skilled employees will produce. It will ensure that your sales can sufficiently cover the cost of salaries, ingredients, and other expenses. Remember that you may also need to invest in special equipment for your baker to set to work- and work well.
Secondly, you must have a backup plan for the unfortunate event your specialist chooses to leave your bakery. It is crucial in case your specialist has irreplaceable skills. Your business may take a hit if your specialist is not around.
It may be helpful to keep an eye out for new specialists in different niches since a fresh batch graduates every few months.
Not all people in your bakery’s kitchen need to be certified bakers! As you grow and expand, or if you are looking for better efficiency, you’ll need more helping hands.
Hiring kitchen help will make it easy to take care of different tasks that demand undivided attention to detail. These may not necessarily be related to production. You will need to wash the dishes, sweep the floors, maintain the storage areas, and manage the flow of ingredients.
It is advantageous to hire a person or two to devote their time and energy to such management and maintenance tasks. In doing so, your bakers can focus on turning out mouth-watering and delightful products, impressing your customers, and generating profits!
Hiring Tip: Proper Planning
You can start assessing your requirements by determining how much time your production bakers devote to these busy tasks in one day.
Will an additional employee boost overall productivity or will more people in the kitchen cause losses? Even a slight increase in productivity may be enough to pay the salary of the first employee you hire as kitchen help.
You must recruit every unskilled person with a plan for the future. These bakery employees can often be talented individuals who can train informally under your guidance. They can go on to become your full-time bakers or overall bakery managers when you expand.
They may even help you take some time off from your business!
Help On The Outside
Baking is a passion for many people who start their bakeries. While running a bakery is a job with a highly personal influence, remember that it is also a business at the end of the day.
You may be the best baker town with the most skilled employees, but that might not be enough for a booming, successful business.
Whom To Approach?
It would help if you learned how to run your business effectively. For that, you may need the assistance of professionals from outside the baking world. It means you will need to be in working relationships with people who can help you take care of practical details.
Over time, as you grow your bakery, it may be more profitable to hire experts to carry out such nuanced work.
Lawyers And Insurance Brokers
They will also be the people who will help you periodically in the later stages of your business after starting up. Make sure you survey your options thoroughly. Trust and reliability are critical characteristics of lawyers and brokers. These often develop into long-term working relationships, so that you will need reliable partners.
Accountants Or Bookkeepers
Eventually, you may need to hire an accountant or bookkeeper to help you manage your financial assets. They will also help you with taxes and other such things.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Formal Training Matter?
Yes, formal training does matter to a great extent when you are hiring bakery employees. It guarantees that people working in your kitchen know what they are doing.
Formal training as a baker also means that your employees have undergone several tests of skill and judgment. They will be well-versed in the art of running a kitchen and coordinating with other members.
However, it does not matter whether the baker holds a degree or has received training when it comes to the customers. For them, everything lies in the texture, look, taste, and aftertaste of the baked product.
So, it would help if you had a good eye for talented people and quick learners with a flair for baking. You may come across people who don’t have formal training but can still whip up some wonderful baked treats!
After all, the best teacher in a kitchen is only hands-on experience. Formal training in unique niches like cake decoration and pastry arts might be advantageous. Still, you’ll need to give it equal significance as you do to experience it.
What can Market Experts do for my bakery?
Suppose you need to focus on creating a brand and maintaining a solid presence. In that case, you can also hire a marketing executive or seek out a marketing agency. They can help you devise marketing strategies, maximize profits, expand your customer base, and promote your products effectively.
Marketing executives often look at your business objectively and give it a voice that appeals to you and the vast potential customer base out there.
However, you need to hire the right professionals for marketing and promotions. They must be perceptive people who pay great attention to detail, personalities, and aesthetics.
Is It Wise To Hire Freshly Graduated Baking Professionals?
Young people bring a fresh perspective to your team. They are usually full of passion and motivation. Novices are generally open to working in all kinds of bakeries, just eager to start working and test their newly acquired skills!
The need to pay off student loans also makes them driven professionals.
It is never unwise to hire fresh graduates as bakery staff since they are usually open to learning more.
To Sum Up
You’ll have to wear many hats as a bakery owner unless you hire bakery employees to help you! While this sounds manageable, it can also get tiring and reduce your efficiency. You don’t want to feel overworked while chasing your dreams! It is the reason why, even if it is just part-time, most new bakeries recruit a pool of bakery staff.
You need help to:
- Deal with the customers.
- Maintain public relations.
- Devise marketing and sales tactics.
- Carry out inventory management and bookkeeping.
- Take care of human resources.
It will be in addition to preparing and creating your bakery’s menu.
Not to forget, you will also need to consider the interior design and such aspects!
So, it is always a good idea to hire someone to undertake responsibilities you’re unfamiliar with or those you feel comfortable sharing.
A strong team running your bakery under your watch will save you time and money in the long run!
- About the Author
- Latest Posts
Mervin Manalo is a Chemical Engineer who graduated from De La Salle University in Manila, Philippines. He has over 20 years of experience in the food industry and currently serves as President and CEO of HICAPS Mktg. Corp., a provider of prime baking ingredients.
He also attended a mini MBA program at Guthrie-Jensen, which helped him broaden his business knowledge and skills. Under his helm, HICAPS expanded its business and helped more clients grow thru the years. He loves technology and new trends and is always looking for ways to improve his products and services.