We am looking to one day take the plunge and open our own shop, we do a small amount of cake now but nothing really big. I have a few questions for those own a shop or have real experience no offense to the home baker.
1) As we do now we would do all the cakes from scratch, its more expensive but I feel the quality and PR are worth it. For those who do bake from scratch do you recommend a number of flavors it would seem if you offer too many then you stretch yourself thi.
2) For scratch bakers what are you food costs generally at?
3) How do you stream like your baking week, when do you bake, frost and decorate?
4) What is your process for frosting cakes, I have found it more efficient to dirty ice all my cake get them in the fridge then finish ice them?
5) One problem that as a home baker slows me down is such a small mixer, for those who have a larger mixer do you make a large batch of buttercream in the morning and draw off of it to add coloring through the day?
6) How much of your revenue is made up of custom cakes vs. your bakery display items, is it a large difference or about equal?
7) If you have employees frosting cakes what do you find most efficient, one person ice only and another only decorates?
8) How do you pay them and how much? I have seen some people pay straight hourly wages other per cake and a combination of both, what do you find gives you and the employee the best results?
9) Thinking if we did do this we would be known for our scratch cake and fillings, we do a raspberry as well as a carmel mousse, in large batches in isn't inconvenient to make, would this be something built into the price of the cake or offer a cheaper one with just buttercream?
10) Cake tasting how do you deal with them, I was thinking once every 2 weeks and the cost is $20 and if you order a cake it goes towards the deposit.
I think thats enough questions for now once again thanks for your responses and sharing our knowledge.