Bakery products are a symbol of cultural cuisine throughout the world and no matter what the occasion is, you have to present freshly baked goods to the visitors.
Are you the one who bakes killer cakes and cookies for every special occasion? Do you have a special passion for baking tasty doughnuts? And do you churn out delicious bread for every birthday? If yes, then you must have dreamt of opening a bakery and translate your talent into a profitable business.
Opening a bakery comes with a lot of How and What questions and thankfully, you will find all the answers in this guide. After having opened my first bakery a decade ago, I will share with you what I wish I knew while opening my first bakery.
Let’s find out!
Management is the Key
Having your own bakery running is not only about serving tasty treats, but it requires a hard skillset as well. You have to keep competitive prices, earn the customers’ confidence, and market your bakery regularly.
Bakeries are a special type of food service business that gives you full opportunity to demonstrate your culinary skills. You can start baking a plethora of goods to sell and earn profits. But owning a bakery also presents many unique challenges as well. Make sure you handle every aspect of owning, running, and promoting your bakery prudently.
Craft a Business Plan
Writing a detailed business plan is an integral part of any business – to which bakery is no exception. Your plan must include a layout of what menu you’re going to offer, how it’s structured, market trends, customer preferences, marketing strategies, financial projections, equipment needed, etc.
Before starting a bakery, you have to estimate the initial investment associated with buying equipment, leasing/renting a place, getting insurance, stocking your kitchen, hiring and training your employees, and miscellaneous expenditure.
Given the fact that you would need several months from opening a bakery to make it profitable, having enough amount of cash is a must to cover your expenditure for several months after opening. Most likely, you would need to bootstrap your early growth to kickstart the business without having to rely on banks and financial institutions.
Leasing a Commercial Space
After securing the necessary funding, look for a commercial place to set up your bakery. Location is probably the most important determinant of how much customers your bakery is going to attract in the coming months.
If you want to start a retail bakery, lease out a central location close to your target demographics. For wholesale bakeries, you can locate it in the suburbs since you’ll get orders directly from the businesses and for big parties.
It is recommended to rent an empty commercial kitchen, that will save you thousands of dollars in décor and basic equipment. In any case, consider the below variables while choosing a location:
- Location of bakeries you compete with
- Convenience for suppliers
- Size requirements
- Zoning and health considerations
Permits and Licenses
Depending on the city, state, province, you’ll need to obtain various local and federal permits to kickstart your bakery. Hire a lawyer, get legal counseling, and complete your paperwork beforehand to avoid any legal complication down the road.
Likewise, you may have to check any specific certification or approvals from the health department on selling a specific type of baked goods.
Equipment Needed for Your Bakery
The most important and the costliest aspect of opening a bakery is buying all the necessary baking equipment. It depends on what type of baked goods you’re going to serve and in what quantity. The specific equipment varies from bakery to bakery, but several types of equipment you need to buy in any case are:
Baking Equipment: The most important piece of equipment for any bakery is a convection oven because they bake fresh and evenly. Whether to buy one or more small oven depends on your requirements.
If you plan to serve a lot of freshly-baked artisan pieces of bread, then a deck oven would go a long way to give a crispy taste to every product. For wholesale bakeries, you’d need to buy high-output ovens such as revolving ovens or roll-in rack ovens.
Baked products and other bakery items need to be stored properly. You’d need storage racks and shelves in the kitchen and at the front décor where customers come, choose, and buy the items. You may have to invest in small trollies and carts to move around sugar and flour bags, and other heavy items.
Also, you’d need to visit the market to buy refrigerators no matter if your bakery is small or large. Generally, reach-in refrigerators are the best option. But you may also buy worktop refrigerators. These refrigerators come in handy for frosting and
Display and Sales:
Proper displaying of items is crucial in a bakery, as it gives a professional outlook and makes it easier for the customers to buy the items – boosting your sales. Make sure to display baked items in stylish packaging and boxes.
Focus on Marketing and Customers
Last but not the least, keep marketing your bakery on social media and other platforms. Online reviews play a critical role in attracting more customers so make sure, every customer is satisfied with your products and service delivery.
Remember, a happy customer is a repeat customer. So, pay foremost attention to making each customer experience memorable. Also make sure to have a professional website to give your business credibility and social proof. You can use platforms like Wix, WordPress and FreeWebDesign to build a free website effortlessly.
In a nutshell, opening a bakery from scratch needs rigorous planning and implementation. You need to get insights into every little detail of the services associated with the bakery. Make sure you buy all the necessary equipment, offer delicious and tasty items, market your bakery, and develop a long-term relationship with your customers.