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Eliminating Waste in a Bakery

Owning and operating a bakery can be a great way to put your great baking skills toward earning a substantial income. However, there are many things that can prevent a bakery from being a profitable establishment. Waste is the most common profit eater in a bakery. Inexperienced bakery owners may not realize just how much of their profits are being sacrificed to waste. If you want to boost profits in your bakery, consider implementing these waste management and elimination strategies.

Measure Accurately

One of the most important things that a bakery owner can do to reduce waste is to ensure that recipes are followed precisely and accurately. Accurate measurements can make the difference between a successful finished product and a finished product that must be discarded because it is unsellable. Use the right measuring cups, spoons and liquid measuring tools to ensure that dry and wet ingredients are measured accurately. Consider using a scale for dry ingredients to ensure a precise measurement.

Take Deposits for Preorders

Another common cause of waste results from customers who place large bakery orders and then fail to come and pick up their orders. Many customers order complex cake orders that are quite expensive to prepare. Atter ordering, these customers may decide that they simply cannot afford the cake they ordered, or they may find another bakery with better prices. A baker who loses customers after an order is prepared has lost a great deal of profit from wasted ingredients and wasted time. You can discourage this type of behavior by taking deposits from customers when an order is placed. When customers pay a percentage of the total order cost immediately after placing their order, they will be more likely to follow through after the order is completed. At the very least, your bakery will be able to recoup some of the ingredient costs for no-show customers.

Create a Baking Schedule

A baking schedule can be another effective waste reduction method. Certain bakery items sell much more quickly than others. Also, some bakery items sell quickly at specific times of the day or specific days of the week. Baking these quick selling items right before peak selling hours will reduce the amount of "leftovers" that must be discarded. Evaluate your customers' needs and preferences, and create a baking schedule with consumer trends in mind.

Service Bakery Equipment

Servicing the equipment in your bakery is another important way to reduce waste in a bakery. Equipment that is not running efficiently can result in burnt food, undercooked food, or even over mixed food. The moment you you notice a problem with your appliances and equipment, have them serviced immediately.

Donate Unsold Items

There is no way to completely abolish waste from a bakery. Weather conditions, the changing economy, and baking flukes can result in a bakery having a large supply of unsold food items. Instead of throwing this food away, however, consider donating unsold food to shelters and donation centers in your area.  Check with your donation centers whether or not these donations are tax deductable, and then you can get some money back for your good deed. While you may not be able to prevent waste from occurring, you can at least ensure that extra food is put to good use.