Hiring help

Discussion in 'Professional Pastry Chefs' started by anna w., Aug 22, 2002.

  1. anna w.

    anna w.

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    Good news is- business exploded this year (I do custom cakes and edibles, mostly wedding cakes from my legal home). I was twice as busy as I thought I would be and even my off season has filled up. I am anticipating next year being even busier. Bad news- I am afraid I will lose my mind. I have been hiring occasional help (family and friends) to work under the table when I need it. They basically do a lot of cleaning and other grunt work (zesting lemons, chopping chocolate etc). I have been considering hiring someone else to do the baking so I can just deal with decorating and be able to take on more. What are your opinions for paying someone "per job" as an independent contractor vs. paying someone hourly?

    Just to give you an idea of my long term goals- I would like a shop in a year or two (sick of having this mess in my house, I'm running out of room) but would like to have as much business as possible before making a leap like that.
     
  2. momoreg

    momoreg

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    That is what I do; I work when needed, so that my employer doesn't have to have me there when I'm not needed. Obviously, if I were a FT employee, I'd make a lot less per hour. But I'd also (hopefully) reap whatever benefits are offered. The way I work, I get no company benefits, but I make double the hourly rate of most other employees, and I sometimes go a full week without a call. It works out well for the employer and me, and it allows me to do jobs for other caterers as well.

    Good luck with your expanding business! That's great news!
     
  3. peachcreek

    peachcreek

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    However you do it, BE LEGAL! Get your EIN#, pay ALL of your taxes and insurances! If you don't, eventually it will come back on you. Working under the table is not a stable employment position for anyone. It could jeopardize your business. Even if everyone you hire is a 1099 "subcontractor" YOU are liable for insuring them while they do work for you, and you must file your paperwork with the IRS and probably with you state and local agencies. You could also hire temps where the hiring agency pays all of the insurances and fee and you pay a flat rate per hour for each person you hire. I worked with an agency once where I interviewed and hired the employee but I hired them for the agency. They only worked for me and when they no longer worked for me the were simultaneously terminated by the employment agency. I was given a bill for the payroll + management fees every pay period, so instead of having employee expenses I lumped it all together as "professional services". It was a real timesaver for people who are better at cooking than accounting and bookkeeping. Good luck and congratulations on the booming biz....
     
  4. w.debord

    w.debord

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    Good for you Anna, you deserve all that business! I hope you'll understand what I'm about to write may sound un-do-able, but it isn't. I don't know exactly how much business your doing so I'm just guessing and could be all wrong, so forgive me please????

    The main thing I'd like to get you to think about is how you can NOT hire someone and push yourself further (with-out killing yourself). Since you plan on opening a business in the future, buy somethings now.

    You mentioned 2 things that I can already tell you how to go about saving time with-out loosing quality. 1 buy your chocolate in coins and grind them in a cusinart until it's almost powder (why? it's faster to melt/work with this way and cheaper in the long run then hiring extra hand to do this). Do this to a whole box of chocolate so you have 1 or 2 weeks worth on hand. Buy yourself equipment that speeds you along, it's cheaper then employees. Buy several extra mixer bowls 2 kitchen aids, a huge hobart and paddles, etc...Buy bus boxes and pile up the dirties until you have a break and feel like washing, instead of needing to wash. Buy that commercial refridgerator now and put it in the basement or garage.

    Buy lemon rape' instead of buying lemons........

    If you must hire someone I'd look for someone to wash your dishes and clean your whole house (housekeeper), watch your children after school (in your home if you want). Do less around your home in general, once you have a shop you'll be force to take these steps.....Try to find a person help you deliver your cakes. Look at Junior colleges for culianry students. Set rules about client meeting, do them only during your professional day time hours.

    Anna, I hope this didn't all sound too dumb? I know your a very smart person, I just don't know if you've thought about simplfing other aspects of your life? HTH
     
  5. snakelady1

    snakelady1

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    Anna would it be possible to find a bakery to bake your cakes for you? Then you could concentrate on your decorating.... you might luck out and find one that will do as you ask as far as ingredients....
    Congratulations on all the business
    Sandy
     
  6. anna w.

    anna w.

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    Thanks for your input!

    Memoreg- how much notice do you get that you need to work?

    Peachcreek- never thought about a temp agency, hmmmm....

    W- yes, I am smart, and smart people always listen to wise advice, thanks again.

    Snakelady- most of my cakes are from scratch and I know of no bakeries in my area who do this (they say it is too complicated) and only one other person who is in the same boat I am (I have actually been helping out her). Although, I live in a huge city- I have not been able to truly find an upscale bakery here.
     
  7. momoreg

    momoreg

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    I usually ask a week in advance, to see what's booked, but I try to call again 3 days in advance, to see if there have been any last minute cakes. They usually won't have me come in unless there's at least 4 hours of work. The business is predictable, so we usually can tell the week before whether or not I'll be needed, and I can sometimes tell her that I won't be available, if it looks like it'll be slow on a given week. It really is ideal for me, since I'm a new mother. It's 4 minutes from my house, which is very convenient. Also, my style is very similar to my boss', so she usually just lets me do my own thing, no questions. :)