One of the first steps a successful bakery and fast food entrepreneur should take is to acquire knowledge and skills about the business, its dynamics nature, prospects, and challenges.

You may want to do this by going to a small-scale bakery business owner and volunteering to work for him.  Alternatively, you can come to Big Smiles Bakery School, where we teach you the theory and practices of baking various varieties of bread and snacks.

We arrange an internship for interested trainees to work with experienced bakers and Chefs for a minimum of one month.  The reason is that most aspects of the bakery business can be understudied within a short time in a small bakery, where there is no strict division of labour among the staff.

When you have acquired some important skills and wants to start your own business, then remember the following:

1. Start well - Be original, be the best. 

These two words might seem like generic advice, but to survive, you can’t be a carbon copy of your competitors. “Be the best, and let your bread and snacks be of original taste and quality.

That will require that you develop a rich recipe for all your bread varieties and pies and document and standardize them.  Establish processes that ensure that each production batch complies with the documented recipe and has the same taste and quality.  

It might take a lot of time to establish this practice, but it is certainly worth the trouble.  Make sure your bread and snacks' quality and taste remain consistent over time and in productions.

2. Know your Competitors

Know the business and competition in your environment.

Know the kind of competition you have in your area and work to set yourself apart. How many bakeries and fast food shops do you have in your city or locality, not the entire state.  Know the product varieties of your competitor, weight, and taste.  Know their marketing and sales strategies and how successful each competitor has been within a period of time.

Identify their strong selling points and the level of customer loyalty they enjoy within your city or environment and why.  Identify their opening, closing, and holiday hours and services.

Look into their staff welfare and other internal processes and based on this information, develop a formidable marketing and sales policy to take the market by 'storm' and lead it.

3. Establish Quality Production Standards

You should set your health and production bar very high in line with regulatory standards.  Anywhere food is produced must have acceptable quality standards, and as regulatory authorities would say, good food cannot come from a dirty environment.  

So, GMP rules and standards must be followed to ensure:
1. That production is according to generally accepted standards.
2. That a clearly defined production process is followed
3. A clean and healthy environment and production processes.
4. Compliance with minimum production standards.
5. Total compliance with NAFDAC and other agency standards.

4. Hire and train your staff

After your huge investment in rent and equipment, the staff that will drive the vision is the most important asset you can have and retain.  The importance of having trained and experienced staff cannot be overemphasized, because of what they bring to the table.  They know what to do and how to do them, are able to work with minimal supervision, and able to avoid costly mistakes and errors.

In addition to training and experience, you want to make sure the person is trustworthy, willing to learn, and comply with bakery rules and standards.  You should never compromise soft skills with experience or training.  Any staff that cannot abide by the rules of the business is not worthy of your hire.  

5. Marketing

Where and how to market your bread is very important if your business will be sustainable.  Your customers are your key to success. Happy customers become repeat customers, so work to make each customer experience memorable.

To get your first set of customers,  you need to put your social marketing skills to work, announce the commencement of your business to your friends and relatives, as well as the community in general, using the most cost-effective means, don't forget to encourage them to visit and have a taste.

Ask your customers for feedback, talk with them at the counter when it is possible and encourage them for product suggestions.  Make sure their complaints are addressed immediately.  Make the customer experience with your bread and snacks always memorable.  Give them value for money and promotional gifts during festive seasons.

The CKA Butterfresh welcome bakery and fast food business employees, food entrepreneurs into our industry-specific training: 

1. Effective management of Bakery and Fast-food Restaurants:
    Time: Monday - Friday
    Nature: Theory and practical sessions
    Brief: This training will expose all the inherent risks and challenges
    that make many Bakery and Fast food outlets run at a loss, and eventually,        close down.
    It is a practical class covering:
    Internal controls
    Administration and Staffing
    Control over your stocks and products
    Financial and administrative controls
    Marketing and sales controls
    Physical and system controls.
    Reward systems

    Fee: N70,000.00
    It is an ongoing class of 10 -20 participants.
    To register, please contact:
CKA Butterfresh
Suite A7, 
Amina Plaza, 
Opposite NNPC Petrol Station,
Arab Road, Kubwa.
Abuja. Tel: 09092357268


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