How to Run a Bakery
Running a bakery requires a lot of things all coming together at once.
I prefer the term, “The Daily Operational Requirements of a Bakery” rather than “how to run a bakery”.
The word “running”, is a term used in the sports field and though we as bakers do a lot of fast movements and it might seem to some that we are literally running from place to place. It is structured and designed to make as much use of our production time as is humanly possible.
Also running in a bakery business is one of the top reasons for professional accidents. The only time anyone should be running in a bakery business, is in the event of an emergency!
Now as far as the heading is concerned we are running a bakery but of course as I have explained my preferred term is the day to day operations of a bakery.
For some, it is also going to be a headache. It is certainly going to be a fun and rewarding experience to others. But it can also be your worst nightmare!
I am telling you this right up front…
…NOT to scare you into giving up your business venture, but to open your eyes, so you can see outside the box.
You have heard that statement many times i am sure. But, if you can think outside the box then many of the challenges will seem like an easy crossword puzzle. (Unless you hate crossword puzzles of course).
Whatever you do will be imprinted onto your business and whatever your employee does will also have a bearing upon “YOUR” business. It is therefore up to you to know as much about that business as is humanly possible.
What you don’t know can be purchased, such as managers, accountants and lawyers.
You will need to oversee every aspect or employ someone with whom you have complete trust and I do mean complete trust. This person will be spending YOUR money. They will be operating YOUR business. They may not be writing the checks, but they maybe designing the production flow and controlling your staff so that is where I say they are spending your money.
So, just what is involved with how to run a bakery?
Or as I have already said, arrange the daily operation of the bakery production.
One of the first operations is to cost your purchases and then cost the recipe’s you will use to acquire a sale price to pay all the expenses of your business.
Of course I am assuming here that you have already written your business plan and you have arranged an ingredient supplier, these are the steps to become a profitable bakery business.
The daily operations of the bakery are going to change every day. This is because production will change daily. After-all the chance of selling out every product every day is unrealistic – NOT impossible, but not likely.
We of course strive to produce just enough so that few pieces are left over. That way the product is at its freshest.
In the bakery we produce bread dough’s, and some of those bread dough’s require a bench time and some bread dough’s are what we call “No-Time” dough’s. So it is important that we arrange our time to work all these productions times into a standard operation for optimum use of every piece of equipment as well as utilizing our oven space appropriately.
Besides the bread dough’s we also make cakes and cookies, pies and other products that require different operational procedures. They also bake at different times and temperature.
Breads bake at a temperature of 400 to 450 degrees. But if you were to put a sugared top puff pastry product into that same oven, three things will occur.
1. The sugar will burn
2. The puff pastry will not cook correctly
3. The time, ingredients, labor and product are wasted!
Similarly, if you make meringues, the oven temperature will be 150 – 175 degrees so trying to bake a sponge
cake or bread at that temperature will be the same result of number three above.
In most bakeries, that is a small bakery with just a few employees will use a system called “baking down”.
Baking down is a way to run a bakery by baking all the highest temperature products first then the cake production then the cookie products and finally the meringues.
The products are then cooled, decorated, packaged and sold.