How to run a bakery that Bakes fresh everyday ?

Discussion in 'Professional Pastry Chefs' started by Keki2017, Sep 26, 2017.

  1. Keki2017

    Keki2017

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Exp:
    Professional baker
    Hi,
    I'm opening a new bakery in a few months and trying to work out how would it possible to bake fresh muffins, cookies, brownies and cupcakes every day,and still turn a profit. I previously worked at a bakery that used high quality ingredients but would freeze everything, muffins, coffee cake, cookies the cupcakes both frosted and unfrosted. We would bake all day and freeze what we didn't sell, to sell next day. Some things were still good, others not so great with this system. I would like to sell as fresh as possible but worried about food cost and time management. I should mention I will be divided my time to focus on labor interesive custom cakes as well.
    I'm just wondering if any one has experience running a bakery that bakes fresh everyday and how do you prep for it? What happens to goods not sold at end of the day? I'm worried I'll lose too much money or spend too much on labor...
     
  2. foodpump

    foodpump

    Messages:
    4,906
    Likes Received:
    474
    Exp:
    Professional Pastry Chef
    I hate to say it, but if you haven't anticipated that particular problem before you signed the lease, you've got a rough ride ahead.

    You will have to work fast and smart, one aspect of this is to convert all your recipies to metric weight, and use the(electtonic) scale for everything, even liquids. What I like to do is get a p/t in and spend a morning of say, rolling and cutting out tart bases, interleafing them with parchment, and freezing them for a weeks supply st a time. Same for cookies, this way you can still bake fresh.

    About day-olds.....
    If you sell day olds at a reduced price, you are training your customers to buy day olds at a reduced price. Find out which charitable organization in you area picks up food, and get them to pick up your day olds.

    Hope this helps...
     
    LlewellynCooks and Keki2017 like this.
  3. chefpeon

    chefpeon Kitchen Dork

    Messages:
    656
    Likes Received:
    122
    Exp:
    Professional Pastry Chef 27 years
    It's really easy to create a streamlined production schedule where you can bake most things fresh in small batches every day and throughout the day. A lot of that is done by freezing items BEFORE you bake them off. For instance, cookie dough. You make a giant batch of it, then use a scoop and scoop it into the individual balls. Put them on a sheet pan. Freeze. Then you take what you need out of the freezer, stick 'em on a sheet pan spaced the appropriate space apart, let thaw for about 30 minutes, flatten slightly and bake. You can use this method for croissants, danish and puff pastry as well. Make the doughs, form them as you would, then freeze. In the case of croissants and danish, you just pull what you need out of the freezer, pan up, fill with fruit if needed, egg wash, proof.....bake. It's made in advance but baked fresh at the same time. Best of both worlds. A lot of muffin and even some cake batters hold well in the fridge. There is a big muffin recipe I use in which I make a giant batch and hold in 30 lb eggs buckets in the walk in. Every morning I scoop the batter into my muffins tins and bake them off fresh. Having a neutral muffin batter is great because I can add whatever I want to it. Blueberry muffins one day......cinnamon crumble the next. Or maybe throw some raspberries and white chocolate chunks into it. I do the same kind of prep for scones and biscuits as well.

    I would always split my day up into two parts: production and prep. Production was done in the morning, where I'm baking all things off to fill the cases for sale that day, and the latter half of the day was spent doing prep which involved making up the big batches of cookie dough, muffin and cake batters, scones, biscuits, danish, puff pastry, and croissant that I'd be getting low on.

    Also, track your sales carefully. When you see that you are overproducing any one item, scale it back. It will take a while to read your market and produce what your customers are signaling to you that they are interested in. In regard to waste, there will always be shrinkage. However, closely tracking sales and streamlining production in the ways that I have mentioned will greatly reduce shrinkage.
     
  4. chefpeon

    chefpeon Kitchen Dork

    Messages:
    656
    Likes Received:
    122
    Exp:
    Professional Pastry Chef 27 years
    I agree with foodpump regarding day olds. If customers know they can buy them at a reduced price later, they will be reluctant to buy at full price. I've always sent my day olds to the food bank.
     
    Keki2017 likes this.
  5. chefpeon

    chefpeon Kitchen Dork

    Messages:
    656
    Likes Received:
    122
    Exp:
    Professional Pastry Chef 27 years
    Regarding labor. You can reduce labor cost by delegating simple jobs to lower paid workers. For example, I would mix up my giant batches of cookie dough, scoop the dough from the mixing bowl into large cambros and my dishwasher would scoop them into balls throughout the day during slow dish times. Delegating low-skill jobs to basic skilled workers frees up the higher paid workers to concentrate on the higher skilled jobs which they're paid to do.
     
    Keki2017 likes this.
  6. chefross

    chefross

    Messages:
    2,698
    Likes Received:
    364
    Exp:
    Former Chef

    This is exactly what I used to do as a baker benchman. In addition we also made our own Danish and to that end, made the dough and created the Danish, and other products, placed them on parchment lined sheet pans and froze them on a rack.
    The next morning when I came in at 2:00 am, I would place these pans n the proof box for 3-4 hours, then bake, ice, and sell.
    We also sold bread. I would start them in the early am hours and they'd be out of the ovens and on to the shelves by 7:00 for opening. Puff pastry, Pate Choux, and baking powder doughnuts did not keep well, and we would sell them discounted the next day, however; I would have to disagree with the comment about training the customer to buy only day old items at a discount.....In our situation, it never happened. We were mobbed daily from 7-11 am and most days all the yeast raised products sold out.
     
    Keki2017 likes this.
  7. chefpeon

    chefpeon Kitchen Dork

    Messages:
    656
    Likes Received:
    122
    Exp:
    Professional Pastry Chef 27 years
    I think that’s a matter of where you’re located actually. I’ve been in places located close to business districts where selling out every morning was a usual thing and day olds weren’t an issue. I’ve also worked in places that were closer to residential areas and customers there would come in near closing to buy at a discount. Demographics count for a lot in that regard.
     
    Keki2017 likes this.
  8. chefross

    chefross

    Messages:
    2,698
    Likes Received:
    364
    Exp:
    Former Chef

    I'll give you that one..........location is very important.
     
  9. panini

    panini

    Messages:
    5,167
    Likes Received:
    283
    Exp:
    Owner/Operator
    Freezing has always held bad connotations. A freezer in the bakery is a good thing as long as you use it as a tool (holding/retarding)and not for storage.
    One important part of my business plan/concept was to go out and negotiate one or two contracts with upscale local caterers.
    Now entering our 18th year we still have a caterer who picks up our entire unsold stock at 4pm. I don't wholesale the product, I sell it to her at a negotiated (one price per any piece) reduced price. She then uses them for her Chef's Choice lunch desserts. Her business clients enjoy the variety, one day maybe a cookie/cupcake, one day maybe a creme brulee/napoleon.
    This also reduces labor. AM prep basically produces the same every day, except for special orders. No time wasted on inventory, not trusting someone to make a call on a perishables and preparing production lists.
    My main reason for this structure came from my own experience. I dreaded AM shifts, not knowing if I was walking into a blazing inferno. We stop taking special orders before they leave for the day. This way they know exactly what tomorrow brings.
    Just sayin. works for me.
     
    Keki2017, azenjoys and flipflopgirl like this.
  10. Cdp

    Cdp

    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    18 years Chef recent promo to Sous
    Hi, alot points on this,
    kick ass ideas above from the lads,
    i did see this done at a bakery basic terms he set it so he made X amount per day and the customers knew this,

    20 sour dough 40 std white etc etc
    this way the customers knew you had to get in there and get or you missed out.

    you were buying loyalty the other thing was
    with each loaf
    something was thrown in.
    muffin monday etc


    as someone mentioned i would be stock pile on frozen shells etc as this will buy you time at rapid rates

    personal note
    approach local schools to provide meat pies and more tea loaf ( bananna bread etc) you will get good return from parents
    ...gotta make vegemite scrolls...so yummy
     
  11. flipflopgirl

    flipflopgirl

    Messages:
    4,436
    Likes Received:
    397
    Exp:
    Retired Hospitality
    Good solid advice you can take to the bank ^^^.
    I will add....re event cakes...if you are not already baking the layers and freezing until ready to build you should give it a whirl.
    IME frozen defrosted cake has a tighter crumb which makes trimming and torting a breeze.
    You can bake whatever you need for the cakes early in the week then defrost a few hours before your allotted build and decorate day.
    Like @panini said in his post the freezer when used wisely can be a valuable tool.

    mimi
     
    Keki2017 likes this.
  12. azenjoys

    azenjoys

    Messages:
    65
    Likes Received:
    53
    Exp:
    Pastry Chef
    Everyone above has offered fantastic advice..

    Two questions...

    Why bake everything fresh everyday? Is that absolutely necessary for each of your products to be at their peak of deliciousness? Or are you simply reacting to the bad practices of your previous employer by swinging completely in the other direction? To me, there's no right or wrong answer - just something I would try to be honest with myself about when planning my product mix. Personally, I love brownies and blondies that have been frozen and defrosted, they get super dense and a little chewy/fudge-y in all the right ways. Banana muffins defrost perfectly, cornmeal not so much. As @flipflopgirl said, event cakes are easier to handle and just as delicious when frozen earlier in the week. etc. etc.

    How are you planning your product mix?
    Are you starting with the items you like/think you are good at and then working backwards to how you will make them happen or are starting with the labor/space/equipment you think will let you be profitable and then making the best possible products you can to fit into that business structure? I'm in the very beginning of building my business (not a storefront, so somewhat different than yours, but mostly caramels and baked goods) and I have to constantly pull myself back from making stuff just because I love them/think they will be fun to make/think people will like them etc. and instead focus on creating items that are at the top of their category in categories that will work for my business.

    I love making ice cream and caramels. Ice cream has a low margin, the equipment for scaling up is super expensive, the product is perishable, the ingredients are perishable, transportation is difficult. Caramels last a long time, the ingredients have a relatively long shelf life, they're compact and ship cheaply, the margin is great, and I can scale up while maintaining quality bc I can make them myself and hire a part time employee to wrap them... So I make caramels for my business and ice cream for my family.

    Why not get your customers hooked on amazing biscotti, fantastic meringues, and beautiful shortbread? When stored properly those things have a great shelf life. Why not use the freezer for cookie doughs? Many people (including me) think certain cookies bake up better from frozen dough. Then you can focus on baking fresh the things that actually need to be baked fresh but still have enough product to keep your store well stocked.
     
  13. Cdp

    Cdp

    Messages:
    68
    Likes Received:
    11
    Exp:
    18 years Chef recent promo to Sous
    big fan of prepping cookies like this,
    esp if you have a big morning rush of school kids come through and you then can get on the way back through on the walk home.

    good call mate,

    shit lads we could have a massive cook up with all ideas
     
  14. Keki2017

    Keki2017

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Exp:
    Professional baker
    Wow! You guys are awesome, thank you for all the advice and input. I suppose I am going to the other extreme because of previous employer. I think I will probably mix and match stategies, bake most things fresh (prepped from fridge or freezer) and then bake and freeze certain items that defrosted still maintain integrity. I think dividing up the time between Baking first half then prep the second half sounds good. Never thought to refrigerate uncooked muffin batter. Will def try!
     
  15. Tom Caraher

    Tom Caraher

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    2
    Exp:
    5 years
    I've read other replies and lots of good advice therein. I think your solution begins with understanding your daily sales of each pastry item. We keep a sheet listing sales of cupcakes, scones, breads, etc for each day (M,T, W...) and review last month and last year to estimate what we will sell. Next, those items that can utilize a batter that is held in the walk-in allows us to pan and bake only what we will need for the day. Baking starts at 5AM and by 1 or 2PM we are setting up for the following day. This way we have fresh for all meal shifts and minimize our day old items. However, I do agree with the chef who suggested donating vs, training your customers to eat day old!