Managing a Team of Bakery Employees
A bakery is only as strong as the employees who take orders from customers, handle the mixing and baking, decorate dessert items and specialty items, make deliveries, and handle ingredient purchasing. A bakery is like a small community, and each member of that community must pull his or her own weight. Many bakers, though, find it difficult to manage a team of employees while simultaneously handling the baking.
Divide and Conquer
If you are having trouble handling your employees, it may be necessary to use the divide and conquer strategy for your business. When a bakery first opens, the owner may hire one or two employees to handle all of the myriad tasks required during the day. This management style will not work when more and more employees are added to the mix. Employees require specific assignments, organization and structure, as well as the proper training to perform various tasks. Dividing the tasks of your bakery into three categories will help to eliminate much of the stress associated with managing employees.
Customer service is one of the most important aspects of a successful bakery. You need to hire and train professionals who are good with customers, who communicate clearly, and who can be responsible for answering the phone, handling transactions, and keeping records.
Direction followers are employees who may not have great communication skills but can learn and master the various steps and techniques necessary to create your signature baked goods. These employees are invaluable to your business, as they may be directly responsible for the quality of the products you offer to customers.
Cake Artists and Pastry Chefs
If you specialize in artfully decorated cookies, cakes, cupcakes, or pastries, you will need to hire pastry chefs and cake artists to handle these processes. Cake decorating is a special skill that requires a combination of training and innate ability. Hiring professionals to specifically to handle these tasks will make the bakery run more smoothly.
If your bakery business begins to thrive and expand, you may be required to hire a large number of employees to handle the vast amount of orders you receive in a week. However, it can be difficult for you alone to manage a large number of employees who work different shifts throughout the day. This is a good problem to have. It means that your business is growing. If you find that you are overwhelmed by management responsibilities, it may be time to hire an employee to act as manager. Typically, bakers decide to promote an employee who is already familiar with the company, the industry, and the baking process. However, you may wish to hire outside of your current employee group to find someone with good management skills and expertise.
Managing a team of bakery employees is often a full-time job in and of itself. If you are looking for the chance to spend more time baking and less time managing, you might benefit from dividing your business's tasks into different categories and assigning employees to handle those categories. If that doesn't solve the problem, hiring additional managers will take some of the burden off your shoulders.