Bakers Journal

Concepts for success: Implementing customer service

April 21, 2021
By Diane Chiasson

Part two of a three part“bakery system implementations” series, a guide to getting your bakery system in place.

As an independent bakery owner, you should be most passionate about building a successful business. Part of a successful bakery operation is implementing an effective system. These will ensure high quality customer experiences and give you the advantage over your competitors.

Focus on developing and improving your bakery’s systems and processes: This is the only way your bakery will be able to consistently produce and deliver high-quality food, service and an all-around great experiences for your customers. By streamlining daily operational activities, you will be able to reduce and eliminate waste in your operation. Then, you’ll be able to focus on growing your business. 

1. bakery checklists

Use checklists below as a guide to creating the quality products, eating experience and operating results you expect in every area of your bakery. consider implementing the following:

  • Ordering/Purchasing checklist
  • Receiving checklist
  • Utensil, smallware and equipment checklist
  • Customer service checklist
  • Manager opening checklist
  • Manager shift-change checklist
  • Manager closing checklist
  • Preparation checklist
  • Cashier/Server training checklist
  • Employees’ training checklist
  • Catering/Delivery checklist
  • Storage checklist
  • Safety checklist
  • Cleaning checklist

2. Focus on your customer offer the best customer service

Offering personalized service is the key to excellent quality customer service, where customers feel they are being valued and are looked after. Just remember, a little personal attention goes a long way. Train your staff members to remember the name of returning customers. Ask your customers about the products they are looking for, or ask them about their birthdays and anniversaries. Implement this customer service checklist to ensure a welcoming bakery:

  • Welcome guests immediately with eye contact and a smile
  • Make each client feel welcome, important and special
  • Allow guests time to look over the menu and be available to answer questions
  • Make appropriate personal recommendations and suggestions
  • Be genuinely interested in their responses
  • Suggest some specials and point to new, unusual or discounted products
  • Answer telephone promptly
  • Serve quickly, efficiently and courteously
  • Handle special requests and issues graciously
  • Reinforce guest decisions when appropriate
  • Thank them for visiting your bakery

3. assembling managers’ checklists

Managers use these documents to ensure essential management tasks are properly done from opening to closing. It is also used for checking off daily staff change and operational tasks. You can create checklists in an Excel or Google Docs sheet, print and place on a clipboard.

Manager’s opening checklist

  • Walk inside/out of the bakery to check for any damage or equipment failure during the closing hours
  • Check customers’ orders 
  • Check all the menus, and signage 
  • Unlock the cash register and turn on the POS system
  • Enter daily specials to POS system
  • Review cash flows and managers’ notes from the previous day
  • Check available inventory of food, beverage, and packaging 
  • Check the bakery’s voicemail/emails
  • Ensure that all employees are on duty and kitchen staff are completing their preparation sheet for the day
  • Make sure that every staff member follows your uniform policy

Manager’s closing checklists 

  • Check to make sure that employees arrive on time for their shift
  • Check voicemail and emails
  • Ensure that the first shift kitchen staff have finished their daily food prep list; check these lists at every station
  • Recheck the entrance area, cash area, counters, fridges, retail shelves, and restrooms to make sure that everything is cleaned and well-stocked
  • Check the inventory to ensure that the kitchen and retail areas are fully stocked for the next day
  • Review with the kitchen staff that food is stored according to the instructions on the food prep sheet
  • Follow the cleaning checklist so cleaning goes quickly and smoothly
  • Analyze the end-of-day sales report Compare the closing stock to the sales for the day, and try to find if there were any misappropriations in the bakery
  • Check that all equipment (ovens, gas stoves, and heaters) is turned off.
  • Lock all the doors and put the alarm system on.

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 visit

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