How to Open a Bakery
The menu you will offer will be an extremely important decision. There are many ways to go about this decision, as long as you pick the strategy that matches your overall business strategy. If you seek to gain business by being unique in the market you serve, you should think about how the menu can set you apart, even if it is just with unique names for tried-and-true baked goods. If you seek to make profit through selling baked goods in high volumes, encourage this through bulk discounts. If you will spotlight a signature product, make sure you offer enough alternatives and complementary products to fill out the menu for those who don’t want it or want more.
Equipping and Designing the Kitchen
The decisions for kitchen equipment should flow from your menu choices and your projections for what your most popular items will be. Consider the storage space, prep space, oven space, and refrigerator space that will allow you to operate at capacity. The kitchen is your mini-factory and high quality ovens and mixers which help you bake faster or in higher quantities can save a great deal of money in the long run. However, it is no use to be able to bake a thousand scones a day if you have no space to store them. Pay special attention to any menu items that will require specialty equipment, especially if it will be bulky or require its own space. Make sure that it will be worthwhile to offer those items.
As soon as your business gets busy, you can learn from your bakers any specific problems with your kitchen design. You may not be able to foresee these specific constraints, but you can try to make your kitchen design modular and flexible rather than affixing items to the walls. This can let you continue to experiment to improve the flow of the space.
Consistency of your operations refers to the ability for a customer to buy a scone one day that will taste the same as a scone they buy a week later (and hopefully the taste is good, too). If customers notice the products are good sometimes and a bit off at other times they will most likely go to a competitor rather than gamble each time they visit your store that it is a good day.
Having clear, standard recipes and baking procedures, as well as standards for how long items are kept before they are discarded, are important steps to maintain consistency. Part of this means staff training and part relies on your suppliers to providing consistently good ingredients.
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