Bakeries and restaurants have faced many similar challenges over the course of the on-going pandemic. Bakeries who provided wholesale service to restaurants, hotels, and banquets suddenly had a surplus of products and ingredients, while those same establishments who were accustomed to a flow of customers had to close their doors and evaluate how to safely provide their services.
As operators have come up with creative ways to expand their offerings to weather the storm, there has been a dedicated trend toward optimizing operations for efficiency. However, bakeries have had to consider their strategies a bit differently than restaurants. The most significant difference between restaurants and bakeries lies in the style of production in the kitchen. While a restaurant kitchen may be busy with many dishes, a bakery is saddled with bulk production.
Across the foodservice industry, organizing workstations and storefronts with social distancing in mind presented a challenge, but finding new ways to make use of the space at hand has paid off for many operators. Aya Pastry is just one example: where once was a window, Aya Fukai saw the opportunity to add a drive-thru service to her business.
Bakeries have an added stressor in the nature of creating baked goods and pastries - it is messy work. Food safety requires bakery employees to be even more mindful of splatter and cross-contamination because yeast, flour, and dough can foster different pathogen and allergen risks than you typically would see in a restaurant setting. Businesses that have set up a culture of food safety through regular training and conversations have seen the most success in smoothly integrating advanced sanitization and disinfection procedures into their operations.
"We own a restaurant. Our job is to feed people, that's what we do. And every good restaurant has a heart behind it. That’s the only way you can survive and thrive in this world is to care about the people you serve, and so that’s why we’re doing it."
Co-Owner, Crema Bakery and Cafe
Bakery operators could teach a master class in picking your battles. The success of their businesses is directly tied to the items they choose to put on their menus. This means that they may have had to put experiments and favorite creations on hold throughout the last year to focus on fan favorites that can be produced at a low cost, with minimal waste, and no errors.
Bakeries provide a meeting ground in the morning for local communities to see one another and gather over coffee and a pastry, and a way for us to celebrate special moments with cakes, cookies, and various other delicious delicacies. Many bakeries served extra items and offered relief throughout the difficult times of the last year and their community-minded behaviour has only served to further endear them to their customers.
The operational challenges of a bakery may be different from a restaurant’s, but they certainly continue to go above and beyond when it comes to providing for their communities –
one sweet treat at a time.