Business and Operations

Puratos Canada, the Canadian arm of global Belgium-based brand Puratos has released some key insights into the consumer trends and the future of bakeries, with the results of a three-year study.
Times are changing in the bakery industry. It is absolutely necessary nowadays for bakery operators to take some time to analyze their menu, product mix, and pricing.  
Puratos' Taste Tomorrow event yielded a trove of information for bakers, pastry chefs and restaurateurs who want to know where the trends are headed. 
As leaders formulate and fine tune their strategies, it is important for them to sort through and prioritize the often bewildering array of opportunities that compete for their attention.  One of the biggest traps you can fall prey to is the belief that everything is “Priority One”.  The problem with this is that if everything is Priority One, then nothing is Priority One.
Spring is in the air! The weather is warming up, the snow is melting and people are coming out from hibernation. A lot of bakers say that spring is an extremely busy period for them especially during Easter, and the graduation/wedding season.
Pi Day, also known as Pie Day, is celebrated on March 14. When did 3/14 first become known as Pie Day?
Would you expect someone to give you all the time in the world to deliver an average product, while letting you charge as much as you want for it? Sounds absurd, right?
As you know, bakery sales are rarely constant. It’s inevitable that your bakery will experience some quiet periods. Keeping the competition at bay, bringing exposure to your brand and adding additional revenue is a constant challenge for any bakery owner.
When most people hear that the government gives money away as grants, their reaction is that it must not be true.
If you are struggling with sluggish sales, there are two critical areas you must review. The first is determining if the slowdown is due to changes in your target market. The second is determining if your sales and promotional approaches are ineffective.
Technology is bringing new opportunities and profitability to many sectors. It’s a driving force challenging the most established companies to modernize and to stay relevant. Compared to other industries, the food sector has been slow to adapt as brands continue to get away with misleading country of origin information, price fixing and erroneous labels.
Finding a space for your small bakery operation is one thing, but leasing a commercial retail bakery space will be one of your biggest operating expenses. Dozens of details could go wrong. It involves more than finding the perfect business location and signing an affordable lease; it will take careful planning, great negotiating skills, and proper budgeting to find a suitable place that will meet your needs.
When hiring a new person, it’s very likely that you will review their resume, CV or professional profile and assess how their experience might apply to what your team needs.
At the best of times, managing co-workers and dealing with conflict between staff members can be challenging.  What can a business owner do to smooth out business dynamics when the staff is a relative? The International Pizza Expo had recently explored some slices of life (see what I did, there?) with their panel discussion on working with your family.
Used poorly or ignored, investments can destroy a business. Of all investments, spiritual capital is the single investment that catalyzes all others. It serves as an internal power source to motivate people to work harder and smarter for an organization. Spiritual capital is not defined in a religious context here, nor as part of an organized belief system.
Doesn’t it seem that business is more competitive than it used to be? ABC, a company that previously dominated their marketplace, suffered staggering losses in their previous fiscal year. It became blindingly apparent that what had worked in the past was no longer effective, and the company president had no idea how to fix things.
Joan was sitting at a round table when a hand descended over her right shoulder and slapped a piece of paper down on the wooden surface. A permission slip lay before her. Joan wondered, “Why do I need a permission slip?” 
Tri-Mach Group announced the opening of their new Western Division, based out of the Winnipeg area.
Bill C-45, The Cannabis Act, had passed in Senate on June 20th, 2018. This allows adult Canadians to legally posses and use cannabis and THC or CBD-infused products. This creates both opportunities for people in the food industry, as well as some challenges.
Recreational marijuana will officially become legal in Canada on Oct. 17, 2018. Canada is only the second country in the world and the first G7 nation to implement legislation to permit a nationwide marijuana market. To the south, nine states and the District of Columbia now allow for recreational marijuana use, and 30 allow for medical use.
The end is nigh for hydrogenated oils in Canada. The writing is on the wall, the chickens are coming home to roost, the clock strikes midnight – you get the picture. Time is almost up.
This spring, rumblings in the United States about the labelling of genetically modified, or more precisely, genetically engineered, food products became louder.
Seven days prior to press time, a U.S.-based manufacturer called ABC Croutons Company* received a telephone call from a staff reporter of a high-profile American newspaper with national and international distribution.
If you export or import food across provincial or national boundaries, there are changes coming your way that will affect your wallet and how you operate.
I would like to introduce to you a little example of how some technology can effect major changes to even the simplest of operations.
May 12, 2014 – You know the scenario . . . your workday is running smoothly when suddenly you find yourself dealing with one customer in front of you, another on the phone, while a third arrives with just a quick question. Here are five tips that may reduce stress and boost customer loyalty.
July 30, 2013 – Find out five things that Marc Gordon recommends to never tell an angry customer.
Feb. 13, 2013 – Sometimes a manager's advice on customer care ends-up making bad service even worse. Here are tips from Jeff Mowatt on training your staff to make better decisions.
Jan. 17, 2013 – Technology is changing the face of customer service. Traditional ways we used to interact with customers, win their trust, and keep them coming back are becoming irrelevant. Jeff Mowatt offers three of the most significant trends in customer service, and how you can position your business to capitalize rather than capsize in response.
Dec. 6, 2012 – There are no absolute rules for juggling customers – you need to adapt to your workplace's business realities. Here are five tips from Jeff Mowatt that help reduce stress and boost customer loyalty.
When it comes to choosing the right heat exchanger, there is no substitute for professional advice, but you will have a better handle on the process if you understand which factors to consider. These can be divided into commercial considerations and technical considerations.
Interruption or complete loss of power in a food and beverage plant is estimated to cost between $100,000 and $1 million per hour, stressing just how dependent bakeries are on a continuous supply of electrical power.
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software integrates multiple business functions into one program, from accounting to traceability.
Food-tech company OAL announced the formal launch of the world’s first artificial intelligence-based vision system, APRIL Eye, for date code verification.
Dry ice cleaning is similar in concept to sand, bead and soda blasting, in that it cleans surfaces using a media accelerated in a pressurized air stream. But, dry ice cleaning uses solid CO2 pellets or MicroParticles, accelerated to high velocities to impinge on the surface and clean it. The particles turn from a solid to a gas upon impact, lifting dirt and contaminants off the underlying substrate without damage.
Bakers today offer customers a medley of fresh, unprocessed and pastries, from breads and cakes to biscuits, muffins and pizza crusts. These experts know one key to their success is having a reliable commercial mixer that creates the highest-quality product possible. What they may not know is that choosing the right mixer is even more important—it’s as significant as selecting the perfect ingredients for the recipes themselves.
Even if you don’t plan to move, looking at other locations will help negotiate a better price on the place you’re in.
10 Questions every bakery should ask the landlord.
8 easy negotiation tactics to find, get and maintain a lower rental rate on your bakery lease
Learning real estate law around starting a business is hard enough: Here are tips to help you recognize a lease that’s legit.
Food companies have been subject to more frequent audits, with both Safe Quality Food (SQF) and the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) completing annual audits to the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) standards: Here's how to keep your business running safely.
Readers of our book, Negotiating Commercial Leases & Renewals FOR DUMMIES will learn, in-part, that there is much more to commercial leasing than meets the eye! Before you even think of searching for commercial property to lease for your first bakery or another location to expand your operations, consider the following tips to help you get a better lease deal:

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