How to open a bakery

The demand for baked things has been growing in recent years. Some people get inspired by a huge number of extremely popular baking shows, others simply have a passion for cakes and pastries and want to make a living from it. No matter what your motivation is, if you want to open your own bakery but don’t know where to start, keep reading.  

How to start a bakery? 

As with opening any small business, opening your own bakery business requires careful planning. Don’t jump into opening it before you do research and make a detailed plan. When you’re thinking of the concept for your business and deciding on what the next should be, you can ask yourself the following questions: 

  • What things will you bake? 
  • What will the prices be? 
  • What appliances and equipment will you need? 
  • Where will your bakery be based? 
  • How will you advertise your bakery? 
  • Who will your target customers be? 
  • How will you beat the competition? 
  • How will you fund your bakery? 
  • What training and qualifications will you need? 

How much should you charge for your cakes? 

Pricing of your products is extremely important. Before you decide how much each baked thing will cost, you should conduct market research and check what prices do your competitors offer. This will give you an overview of what the prices are like and will help you avoid over or undercharging for your services. If your bakery is new, you should avoid charging more than your competition.  

First, you will need to encourage customers to try your things and show them that you offer good quality products. As you build up your reputation, you will be able to charge more. At the same time, when you first start, you should be careful not to charge too little. After all, you want to make a profit and cover costs like: 

  • Rent 
  • Energy bills 
  • Insurance 
  • Wages 
  • Taxes. 

In addition to checking the competition’s prices, it’s a good idea to work out how much each cake should cost and how many of these caked you would need to sell each month to cover all the expenses and earn some money.  

If you’re looking for help from experts in cake pricing, you can use tools like Cake Pricing Plus

Where to sell your products? 

As a bakery, you are not limited to your business’s premises. There are other places that provide you with the opportunity to make yourself known and sell your delicious cakes.  

Cafes and Restaurants 

It’s always a good idea to reach out to cafes and restaurants in your area and interest them in your products. If they like them, they might want to sell them, which will help you expand your customer base.  

You can form long-term agreements with these venues and commit to, for example, supplying cakes for them to sell each week.  

Street Fairs 

If your town organises events during which small business owners can have a stand and sell their products, you should definitely participate. Not only will you be able to sell your things, but you will also connect with other businesses that can help you promote your bakery.  

What permits will you need? 

If you’re starting a food business, you will need to register with the local authority to be able to legally serve food to people. Moreover, you might have to apply for a food premises approval licence if eggs or dairy are used on your premises.  

If you want your bakery to be trustworthy, you should apply for a food hygiene & safety certificate. Food hygiene is crucial to offering services that require handling clients’ food. There are many online courses that will give you all the information you need to know about the food and hygiene of your business. Many of these courses will give you the option to download the certificate once you complete them. 

If you want to create a nice atmosphere in the bakery and play background music, you will also need a music licence

What additional services can you offer?  

As there are likely to be several bakeries in your area, you have to make sure yours is unique. You can do it by offering a range of extra services in addition to selling cakes and pastries.  

Free delivery If you have a vehicle and you think you will not be overpaying for petrol,
free delivery is a great way to reach customers who live further away.   
Similarly, people hosting bigger events might use this option to place large orders. 
Entertainment events If there is enough space in your venue, you could host live music or
poetry reading events. That would encourage people to visit your premises
and buy your products during the events. 
Vegan options More and more people are becoming vegan now and they often lack a good
selection of baked goods and cakes.
Having a special vegan menu could help you get more customers.  
Membership If you had a membership scheme, you could encourage customers to be
loyal to your bakery.
They could have access to discounts or free cakes every once in a while
as a thank you for regularly using your services.  

What equipment will you need? 

Having a well-equipped kitchen is very important to your bakery being successful. A list of equipment essentials to start a bakery includes: 

  • A commercial oven 
  • A commercial mixer 
  • Bakeware like baking pans, cookie cutters, baking sheets, loaf tins, muffin tins 
  • Baking tools like pastry knives, pastry rollers, spatulas, sieves, graters 
  • A refrigerator and a freezer 
  • Food bags and storage utensils 
  • Shelving  
  • Serving trays 
  • Cutlery and plates 
  • Packaging for takeaway cakes 

Alternative types of bakeries 

If you want to open a bakery business but you think starting a traditional bakery is not for you, you might consider a few alternative types of bakeries. 

Online bakery It’s a great choice for those who don’t want to or can’t afford to rent a place for their business.   Online bakeries can be run from home and people can come to pick up their orders or you can offer delivery. 
Sit-down bakery To open one, you will need to rent a bigger space. Sit-down bakeries are a combination of a bakery and a cafe, where people can sit down and enjoy your products. 
Speciality bakery You should open one if you want to specialise in only one type of baked goods, for example, wedding or birthday cakes.  

How to market your bakery online? 

As a bakery business, you should pay particular attention to Instagram where you can post pictures of your cakes and pastries. If you make your Instagram profile look good, you can be sure people will come to try your products. It might be a good idea to hire a professional photographer when you first start to make sure the pictures are of good quality and are staged well.  

Once you have the Instagram account set up, be sure to follow similar businesses and interact with them – share their pictures, comment on their posts, and they might do the same. This way you will make your bakery visible to a big number of people.  

It’s also a good idea to set up a website where you will post your offer and prices. There you should also include contact information and tips on how to get to your bakery. You could also create a blog section where you would post recipes. This way you could easily increase traffic to your website. 

Tips for opening a bakery 

There is no strategy that can guarantee that your bakery will be successful. There are, however, some tips that can help you quickly develop your business.  

  1. Maintaining a good degree of cleanliness – it can seem obvious but when the place gets busy it’s easy to forget to wipe tables and floors. Customers pay a lot of attention to that so keeping the place tidy should always be your priority.  
  1. Set up social media accounts – nowadays the best way to advertise your business is on social media. Building a social media presence and engaging with followers is extremely important as based on what people see online, they will form their opinion about your bakery. 
  1. Engage with reviews online – as more and more customers come to your bakery, they are likely to comment on their experience online. If you get a positive review, make sure to say thank you and tell them you’re hoping to see them again soon. If you get a negative review, don’t ignore it. Reply, say sorry and promise that the situation will not happen again.  
  1. Keep a positive attitude – even when you’re stressed or in a bad mood, you should be friendly and positive when you interact with customers. Building relations with them is crucial to your bakery being successful.  

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