Running a bakery business can be hard but rewarding work. Whether you are just starting out or have been taking the cakewalk for years, it’s always useful to cut down on costs, no matter what stage in the game you’re at. Here are a few tips for bakery owners to save money where they can.
- Find discounted baking equipment. For those just starting out, or for those who may need to replace industrial equipment soon, finding the right type of large-scale baking equipment may be a huge cost looming over the horizon. These large pieces of equipment are usually expensive and therefore a substantial investment. If you’re looking to save money here, rather than buying an industrial oven from a wholesaler, try finding deals on the same pieces of equipment from restaurants going out of business, or restaurant auctions. These slightly used pieces of machinery will be much more affordable, with only a slight risk of defect. Make sure to do a thorough check before purchase and find out how old the machine is, but these are usually reliable since the restaurant had been using them successfully. Another off-the-radar place to check is Craigslist.com, but again, make sure to thoroughly check the equipment before buying, and haggle the price to the point of reason.
- Unplug equipment when not in use. Unless you’re a 24-hour bakery, you will probably have times when the store is closed, and in these times you can save a decent amount of money in electric overhead by simply unplugging machines and lights when not in use. Unplugging is more secure than simply turning off because even when still plugged in, an electric current runs through the wiring. This can also help prevent any accidental fires. And 24-hour bakeries can apply this to any machines or lights that may not be needed all the time.
- Buy paper products and utensils in bulk. Buying your supplementary customer supplies like to-go boxes, napkins and plastic utensils in bulk will shave off a considerable amount of dough in the long run. Since these are items that won’t spoil or expire, there’s absolutely no downside to buying in mass quantities. It’s cheaper this way, and assuming you have storage space, more convenient, as well. It may cost more up front, but the price per unit will be less, and over time you’ll see the difference!
- Get the best bakery insurance plan for your needs. Insurance is always necessary for any running business, but shopping around to get the most affordable plan is definitely worth the time and effort. Paying lower monthly rates on insurance will add up in the long run, and with the help of sites like BakeryInsurance.org, it won’t even cost you considerably more time or effort, since experts are on hand to sift through different policies for you, with your specific needs in mind. After a year of paying for great and affordable insurance tailored to your situation, it will be easy to see how the savings add up.
- Invest in employees. It’s a generally understood rule of business that a high employee turnover rate equals lost time and money. This is because the time it takes to train an employee is an investment in the future pay-off of that employee. Therefore, good and thorough training is essential, but even that is not enough to increase the likelihood of long-term employees. Treating employees well, like friends rather than servants, and giving them appropriate raises creates a strong personal bond between the employee and the store. Also, depending on their interest level, you can treat employees as bakery apprentices and show them the ropes of running a bakery business, so they also have something invested in their time there. Teaching valuable information and skills is one of the best ways to achieve employee retention.