Bakers Journal

Concepts for success: Implementing bakery Systems

May 17, 2021
By Diane Chiasson

Last installment in the series on the power of bakery system checklists to improve your bakery’s efficiency.

Bakery chains have systems in place and procedures for every facet of the business. This may be the main reason chain operations are generally more profitable than the independent bakeries; they have efficient, short and precise written checklists for everything. Every bakery chain began as a single, independent operation that was able to duplicate their first operation’s success by putting efficient systems in place. Efficient systems will also help you with your cost control. By streamlining the everyday operations, you will reduce and eliminate waste and inefficiencies. 

1. Preparation checklist
Here are some points to consider:

  • Ingredients received in good condition, and stored at properly
  • Detailed recipes for all products
  • Recipes are organized and easily accessible
  • Bakery item photos are properly displayed
  • Inventory levels checked daily
  • Prep and portioning tools available
  • Kitchen staff wearing clean uniforms
  • Staff using hair nets, masks, gloves
  • Staff wearing slip-resistant shoes
  • “No cut” gloves used in cutting areas
  • Sanitizing solution available at every station
  • Prep lists posted prior to each shift

2. Storage checklist
Here are some storage checklist points that you should consider putting together:

  • Apply the FIFO rule: first in, first out
  • Label all your ingredients and supplies
  • Store food away from direct sources of heat and sunlight
  • Place supplies by category
  • Keep storage rooms clean, organized, and locked
  • Check temperature, light, air circulation, and moisture in your storeroom

3. Safety checklist
Remind your staff to follow all safety regulations, not only in the kitchen but throughout your bakery. It should cover steps to keep employees safe from harm and customer safe from improperly prepared food.  

  • Clean spills as soon as they occur 
  • Handle powdered products carefully
  • Identify all hazardous substances
  • Use the correct cleaning products and proper equipment
  • Repair any damaged surfaces
  • Use the handrail on steps and stairs
  • Make all steps the same height, non-slip and visible
  • Post warning signs/cones for wet or slippery surfaces
  • Ensure regular gas, electrical, and equipment safety checks
  • Ensure staff members are trained 
  • Take time to disuss health and safety issues with your staff

4. Cleaning checklist
Cleaning isn’t a daily chore, but a continuous practice throughout the day. While major cleaning cannot be done during busy shifts, or when the bakery is open for business, make a list of the after-hours and during business cleaning tasks. Remind employees that they all should keep their workspace clean and organized as they go about their duties. Your bakery’s cleanliness affects how your guests perceive your business and whether they choose to become repeat customers. Here is a list of things you need to consider:  

  • Implement and maintain a robust and thorough cleaning programme
  • Prepare a daily, weekly and monthly cleaning schedule
  • Assign employee schedules and frequency of tasks
  • Rinse, wipe and sanitize sinks/faucets and all food contact surfaces as well as prep areas, including cutting boards, with an approved sanitized solution
  • Empty grease traps
  • Wipe clean, sanitize, and disinfect grill, griddle, range and hoods, flattop, fryers, coffee makers, beverage dispenser heads in the soda fountains, microwaves, toasters, meat slicers, ingredient bins,  ovens, racks, vent hoods, refrigerators and coils, large equipment machines, and storage areas including shelving and floor pallets 
  • Deep-clean shelving, free standing units, counters, tables, seats and benches, ceilings, walls, floors and baseboards, glass windows and sills/ledges, doors and door handles, light fixtures, mirrors, decorations or wall art,  and restrooms
  • Clean out and sanitize the ice machine and the freezer every few months
  • Wash rags, and towels in the washing machine, and put aprons and uniforms in separate laundry area
  • Refill soap dispensers and replace empty paper towel rolls
  • Clean any anti-fatique mats
  • Take out the trash and recycling
  • Desinfect the waste disposal area and clean all the trash cans
  • Don’t leave mops in buckets of water; the mop heads should dry by standing them up
  • Have a deep power-wash cleaning program every six months.

Diane Chiasson, FCSI, president of Chiasson Consultants Inc., has been helping foodservice, hospitality and retail operators increase sales for over 35 years by providing innovative and revenue-increasing food service and retail merchandising programs, interior design, branding, menu engineering, marketing and promotional campaigns. Contact her at 416-926-1338, toll-free at 1-888-926-6655 or , or

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