Production Systems you need to run your Baking Business

Are you struggling with the smooth running of your bakery kitchen? This blog post is for you.

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I will breakdown some of the Bakery Production Systems and tasks you need to set up for the smooth running of your bakery kitchen.

We did a previous post that describes the five systems you need to run your bakery successfully. This is a follow up post on the breakdown of one of the systems required in your baking business. In this post; I’ll share the various production systems you can implement in your own bakery kitchen or your bakery workspace to make it a lot more efficient.

Below is a list of productions tasks that you can list down, execute and streamline; to start making sure that it is easier to run your daily, weekly and monthly baking production.

  1. Recipes for Your Baked Goods

The first list of tasks you need to work on are your recipes. If you’re baking for business, a recipe should be kind of obvious. You should have a list of recipes and in each recipe you should have directions for exactly how to bake that particular baked good.

 For instance, if it’s a cake, you should have the exact steps on how to get it done noted down. This includes the equipment you’ll use, ingredients, how to measure the ingredients, how to mix them, how to bake the cake and for how long as well as at what temperature and finally how to cool, pack and label the cake.

Have a set of consistent recipes you’re using in your baking

For this you need to make sure you have a checklist or recipe card with ingredients and mixing procedure.. It comes in handy in case you’re training someone. A checklist helps to make sure that person has done everything on the list and executed it well.

This way they can be able to check as they go, for example, have I made sure I have all my ingredients, have I made sure I have all my equipment and this way they’ll go step by step to ensure they’ve accomplished each task. The checklist will therefore confirm that everything on the list of tasks has been done.

You should also have a list of recipes with ingredient quantities and directions on how to measure, mix and bake.

2. Daily, Weekly and Monthly Cleaning Lists

The second list of tasks you should have are cleaning lists. You might have more than one when it comes to cleaning lists because there’s things you do daily and some things you do weekly and even monthly.

Have daily, weekly & monthly cleaning lists (Image: Arisa Chattasa – unsplash.com )

I would suggest having three lists that contain the tasks or the types of cleaning you should do every time.

For instance, a daily cleaning list could state the dishes, dish cloths and the different things that you have to clean every time you bake. The weekly cleaning list on the other hand might include scrubbing walls, scrubbing windows, that kind of thing. You can even have a monthly list for general cleaning for the bakery and cleaning out and scrubbing your oven.

Make sure you sit down, note what you have to clean in the different periods of time, then write them down as tasks. Make sure you even describe how you want these things cleaned.

If it is dishes, you probably want them cleaned in hot soapy water and rinsed in warm water. Ensure you describe exactly how you want it done, and then have a checklist to go with that. This way if somebody else is doing that cleaning, when they’re done, they can come and check to make sure they’ve cleaned everything that they’re supposed to clean daily or weekly, or monthly. Make sure you have cleaning lists in your production system.

3. Opening and Closing Checklists

The third list of tasks you need to have are your opening and closing checklists. This is a general checklist to prepare yourself to open the bakery workshop, especially if you have a separate kitchen space for your baking.

There are things you should always do before starting the process of baking. It might be just wiping down the tables because they’re dusty, maybe removing equipment from storage, that kind of thing.

You should also have a closing checklist. This will include the things you need to do before you close the door in your kitchen. Perhaps you need to put ingredients back, maybe you need to write an ingredient list of what you need tomorrow morning.

Oven Cleaning in Kitchen

Write a list of tasks for the various tasks in your specific workshop that you need to do to open and close the bakery and make sure you have a checklist to ensure that they’re actually done.

4. Stock and Inventory Lists

The other list of tasks that I would urge you to have, are your stock and inventory lists. A stock list is basically the list of ingredients you have that you would want to keep track of daily or weekly depending on usage.

If you’re not too busy you can actually do it weekly, but as you get busy, you need to start doing daily stock, especially if you have more than one Baker in your kitchen. You might actually have to do a closing stock by the end of the day, and an opening stock check every morning.

For inventory, you can take inventory of the equipment and the tools you have like maybe work tables, whisks, measuring cups & spoons, etc. You can do that monthly and if you’re a larger business you can do it at least twice a year or at the end of the year.

Make sure you have a list that helps you keep track of your ingredients, one that’s updated daily or weekly. Then have one for your inventory that includes your equipment, bakery furniture and other kitchen tools, periodically.

As an extra note, when it comes to your stock, especially your ingredients, you want to make sure you have an extra section or column where you can note the expiry dates of each ingredient.

 Everything that comes into the kitchen should have an expiry date, whether it’s your flour, even your food colors, they all have an expiry date. Make sure that as the ingredients come in, you’re writing the expiry dates. Another important item to note is the re-order level of each item. This means the minimum quantity of each ingredient you should get to before you order the item again.

Taking stock of your ingredients is very important

Writing and tracking the above information is going to help you keep track every month or every week or every day. Especially on expiry dates; this will let you know whether that product has expired. So make sure you have that little extra column for expiry dates.

5. Storage List

To Inform you on How Ingredients and Tools Should Be Stored

The other list that I would tell you to have is the storage list. You need to make sure you have at least a document that’s stating exactly how every ingredient should be stored, or even how every equipment should be stored.

For example, all of us, especially bakers, use wheat flour, so you should make sure you have a description of how you store your flour. When you receive it or when you purchase it what do you do? Do you put it in like a plastic sealed container? Do you empty it and put it in specific containers and store it somewhere where it’s clean and dry.

You need to make sure you describe every ingredient that comes into your bakery workshop, how it’s stored, where it’s stored and how you’re going to label each container. Perhaps you need to make sure you’ve written All Purpose Flour to differentiate it from the Self Raising Flour. Either which way you need to make sure you label your ingredients in storage.

 So please sit down and make sure you have a list, or at least a description of how all your ingredients are stored. This also applies to your equipment, for instance when people wash a whisk. How will you want it stored? Will you want it hanging somewhere? Will you prefer if it were placed on a dish rack?

Whatever the case you need to describe how you want it done. When it comes to equipment, how would you want them stored? When washed, for instance whisks, would you want them air dried and then after that would you want them put in a container for storage?

Make sure you have a list of tasks and a description of how you want your things stored, both ingredients and equipment.

Storage is important

 Just as a little note in addition to that, you need to have a place to store your packaging as well. As bakers we have brown bags and cake boxes, so you need to make sure you have a specific place that you’re putting those cake boxes because remember they’re going to be holding food, and so they have to be kept very safe and away from contamination.

Have a Food Safety and HACCP Plan in Place

The last thing I want to mention, although I don’t want to go into details, is making sure you’re ready in a food safety kind of way. As a food business, it is your responsibility to be totally ready in every aspect when it comes to food safety.

You should make sure you have a system or at least a list of tasks that you and anyone who’s working with you needs to follow. This includes washing hands, making sure you store things, and then making sure you have a HACCP plan that you have in place that deals with instances such as metal objects finding their way into your food as well as making sure you don’t handle wheat flour that has aflatoxins in it.

A HACCP refers to Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points which is a systematic approach to food safety from biological, chemical, radiological, and physical hazards that can cause a finished product to be unsafe. It is a plan that measures and helps reduce these risks to a safe level for any business or kitchen.

Having these in place will make sure that by the time you’re producing, manufacturing and selling your cakes to people, that it’s going to be safe for everybody to consume.

Get information about HACCP

What I would advice is for you to find an expert who can help you in setting up a HACCP plan or making sure you have a food safety and sanitary kind of system in your bakery. Even if you’re a home baker, make sure that whatever it is you’re creating is safe for anybody to consume, especially in this time of COVID. So make sure that you’re ready for food and safety and then make sure you’re HACCP aware.

I hope this video has been really helpful to you. I understand that this is a lot of technical information but if you’re baking for business this is something that is necessary for you to start doing/working on in your business. In the long run, it is good for efficiency and good for the safety of your customer as well as for you to make sure you’re running an effective business and not making any losses.

If you have any questions about the production system, make sure you comment below and we’ll be sure to help as much as possible.

If interested in Baking for Business Mentorship, please click here for more information.

If you don’t already have it; make sure to get our book on “How to startup a small baking Business successfully” – check here for details.

Published by Maureen Kamari

Amari Baking Center offers baking classes to those who want to learn how to bake. We train our students using Cookswell original charcoal ovens. We also offer basic business start-up training for those who want to start small baking businesses. We do groups vocational training anywhere in East Africa as well. We hold classes in our home-based bakery workshop located on Ndwaru road in Riruta, Nairobi; off Naivasha road, next to Pelida School. We use original Cookswell charcoal ovens to bake and train our students due to their efficiency, effectiveness and economy. They are the best option for anyone starting a small baking business on a budget.

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