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Bakery Owners, I would love to hear your thoughts...

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
A little Background first:

I bake cookies at home. I do not sell them, they are gifts or donations to local bake sales or organizations. I do NOT sell, or try to make a profit from them. I decorate cookies simply for the love of it. icon_biggrin.gif

I used to work in the medical field for many years. I gave up that job to stay home with my son when he was born almost 2 years ago. After a few months, I took a part time job at a fantastic bakery near my house on thee weekends, just working behind the counter. I am in love with my job and consider myself very lucky to be able to work in an environment that means so much to me.

A few months ago, I made cookies for a co-workers nephew (as a gift icon_biggrin.gif ) and she showed my boss. I was extremely flattered at her reaction to them, and the co-worker showed her more of my cookies. (they are all on facebook) We talk 'baking' a lot now, and share recipes and ideas, and she asks my opinion about things and it's great!

We do not make many cookies. It is a family-owned Italian Bakery, so we of course have the whole case of 24 or so tray of different authentic Italian cookies, but our sugar cookies consist of the gigantic round cookie dunked in yellow icing with a smiley face kind of piped on. They are delicious, but not fancy. Recently, she has been having our bakers cut out different basic cookie shapes and pulling me out of the store to decorate them. I am very happy to do something I love "on the clock" for once. It's just that at first it was more like "could you show me how you would do that?" and now it's more like "here- i think you should have time to finish these before you have to go close & clean the store- in between the customers, of course.".

Lately it has been weighing on my mind that I am getting paid nearly minimum wage for an additional service that she nor her cake decorator (who gets paid more than double what I do... which I understand she completely deserves!) would even attempt. With my 'help' she has done quite a few rather large orders of pricey cookies.... Should the warm fuzzy feeling I get having that kind of responsibility in her kitchen be enough? Or would there be an appropriate way to bring up that I believe that the time I spend decorating for her is worth slightly more than the time I spend in the storefront?

Another reason that I bring this up is that all the rest of her store employees (there are 8 of us) are paid roughly the same, but none of them decorate or prep anything.

I am not so livid about this that I would consider leaving my job, and the non-confrontational side of me is perfectly content to just chalk it up to gaining additional experience in the event that I do decide to venture out into the business world one day...

What do you guys think?
post #2 of 15
I think your extra talents that you are providing to the shop warrant extra pay - and I'm a shop owner. It's perfectly acceptable to sit down with your manager and say "I've been here for XXX now and am not only fully trained and functional in the job I was hired into but am now providing an additional service. Do you think I could have a raise?"

The worst they can do is say no icon_smile.gif
post #3 of 15
If you feel you are being undervalued as an employee, that is a major issue for a number of reasons.

My advice is meet with your boss. Just say, hey, I really like doing these cookies, and I know you like me to do them too. I think now that I am taking on more responsibility, I should be compensated accordingly. Hopefully she will listen to you and give you what you deserve. Be prepared to give her a number if she asks what you think is fair.

Good luck!
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the positive responses! I hope when I speak to her she will see things from my perspective, and if not, it still can't hurt!
post #5 of 15
It would also be helpful if you can do some research and get some concrete numbers for how much your talents have directly impacted the company's revenues and profits.

Instead of just asking for a raise, you can emphasize your value-added talents by suggesting a new position be created (something like Cookie Decorator or Specialty Pastry Decorator) which you could then fill at a higher wage.
post #6 of 15
Your cookies look great! I am not a bakery owner- but I don't see any harm in asking for more money to make these- or at least less responsibility in other aspects....
"here- i think you should have time to finish these before you have to go close & clean the store- in between the customers, of course.".

You don't want to let this go on without saying anything- because pretty soon you will feel taken advantage of- you should be compensated and recognized for your talent- I am sure your boss will agree.

PS -I love your cookies! I just tried this technique for the first time over the weekend- and although it was fun- it was very time consuming -and mine were nowhere near as complex as yours!
I've learned so much from my mistakes..... I'm thinking of making a few more!
Reply
I've learned so much from my mistakes..... I'm thinking of making a few more!
Reply
post #7 of 15
You've already gotten good advice....I just wanted to say that your cookies are so pretty I couldn't eat them!

Hope you let us all know how the talk with your boss goes...
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
I will keep everyone posted! And thanks again, I feel better hearing your opinions- hopefully I'll work up the courage to talk to her next week!

and THANK YOU for the sweet compliments. i love cookies and though they may not all be perfect, my heart goes into each one. icon_smile.gif
post #9 of 15
It would help if you could find the rate that someone with your talent would make in your area. It may be that the cake decorators make only a little more than you. In that case, you may wish to talk about changing your responsibilities since a raise may not be in the budget. Would you have taken this job if the description read cookie decorator? You probably would have taken the job and liked it better for the same pay. She is not asking you to work without pay and you are more valuable with more responsibilities.

In this economy, people with multi talents are the ones who are keeping their jobs. The day of doing only one job in the US has been rapidly diminishing. That is why the unemployment rate stays high. Employees became multi-taskers for job security.

Think of this when you talk to your employer as a raise may not be available.
post #10 of 15
It's simplejust ask, in a nice way, "What can I do for you to earn more money?"

Bosses don't like to hear "I was hired __ ________(s) ago..." or "I do ______ for you".

This might be helpfulit's what I included in my Employee Handbook:

ARTICLE 18 - PROMOTION AND PAY RAISES:

SECTION 1: Promotions at ______________, Inc. are made from within our organization whenever possible. Performance, merit and ability will be considered in determining the promotion opportunities.

SECTION 2: __________, Inc. has one of the best opportunities for salary advancement in the industry. We will try to always maintain policies superior to others, while providing fair wages. A great deal of your evaluation, promotion and salary review is based upon attitude. Attitude is defined as outward indications showing one's disposition and opinion.

A pleasant attitude toward your job shows itself in all situations...from dealing with prospects and customers, to being present and on time every day. Keep in mind that you will not receive a raise just because it might be the anniversary of your date of hire, or because you have been employed for a specific period of time, but rather are you dedicated, motivated, responsible, innovative and have you won the reputation as the keyperson in your department.
HOW TO:
Make tip #127D (giant rose tip) Ruffle cake,
Write with icing,
Make buttercream roses on a stick:
http://s984.photobucket.com/albums/ae322/Unlimited1cakes/
Reply
HOW TO:
Make tip #127D (giant rose tip) Ruffle cake,
Write with icing,
Make buttercream roses on a stick:
http://s984.photobucket.com/albums/ae322/Unlimited1cakes/
Reply
post #11 of 15
My husband is going through the same thing right now. He has been there over 4 years and works his butt off. If he calls in, there is a darn good reason. He has management responsibility and is first oin command when his boss isn't there. He has to schedule his vacation around his boss' vacation... My husband doesn't even have a title! He is preparing to ask for a raise, but he knows he will stay if he doesn't get it. Jobs are scarce... But, he may not be willing to work quite so hard anymore.

I suggest you ask for the raise, but if you aren't prepared to leave, don't threaten to. If they say no, I would suggest you tell them what your job description entails, and do not do the cookies anymore. It is t fair to you, they are taking advantage of you.
Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
Reply
Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
Reply
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
I am well aware of how much cake decorators in my area are paid, i know a few =], and OUR decorator is compensated well above that local average.

Yes, I'm sure I would have taken the job anyway, but i just cannot imagine a situation where an employer would hire someone and give them ABCXYZ responsibilities, and yet have them on the same pay scale as 7 other employees with only ABC responsibilities.

I don't think a new position is an option. Out of my 3 work-days (24 or so hours) I have been spending maybe 8-10 in the back. And it is always on Friday because weekends are too busy- we ALL work, and we're all in the store all day. Fridays I am the only one in the store for my shift, and It is becoming very stressful trying to get everything done on my own- it's beginning to feel like christmas every week! On top of that, my coworkers are starting to get frustrated at the situation. Sometimes small (but impoprtant things) that I should have done get left for someone else because I simply can't get to it. (restocking containers in the store, etc.)

I dreamt of a really good solution (yes, i really am stuck on this!) If she just had the other girls split my friday shift, (or hire another part timer, because we could really use the help saturday & sunday anyway!) Then, we could dedicate that shift to decorating. Saturday & Sunday would be normal.

OR- I will just show up at work this week and do whatever she tells me to do and keep my mouth shut because I really love my job. I'm just afraid to suggest anything to her, it's HER business. Not having any experience as a business owner, I would think my boss would just get annoyed thinking that I think I know better than her.... *headache*.
post #13 of 15
I can see you have given this issue a lot of thought, Nikki1201, Attitude goes a long way at the workplace, thus, be clear, polite when you bring this issue to your boss, (sounds like you are polite ang a great employee to begin with. Bosses can get really involved in other aspects of their business that you may not be aware of. By bringing them to her attention She can make an informed decision. I wish you the best, your cookies are so pretty and you deserve a raise and a new title. If a raise is out of the question, the title and respect will go a long way until you move to a different phase in your career as a cookie artist.
post #14 of 15
I can see you have given this issue a lot of thought, Nikki1201, Attitude goes a long way at the workplace, thus, be clear, polite when you bring this issue to your boss, (sounds like you are polite ang a great employee to begin with. Bosses can get really involved in other aspects of their business that you may not be aware of. By bringing them to her attention She can make an informed decision. I wish you the best, your cookies are so pretty and you deserve a raise and a new title. If a raise is out of the question, the title and respect will go a long way until you move to a different phase in your career as a cookie artist.
post #15 of 15
Thread Starter 
*happy tears*

thank you for the kind words!
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