Not all businesses can date their origins to ancient Egypt, but people been baking since at least 3,500 B.C. And oh, how far we've come.
Breads, scones, muffins, bagels, cakes, cookies, tarts and pies can all help bakeries make a name for themselves. But behind the scenes, it's the bakery software that's really running the show.
Bakery software gives bakery owners, operators and managers the ability to streamline operations with automation, while also improving customer experiences. Bakery systems enable bakers to get rid of paper-based bakery orders, manual spreadsheets for inventory and scattered recipes. Bakery management software centralizes all this information, along with valuable customer and delivery data, for easy access across devices.
But, there's a lot of different bakery software on the market. And not all these systems are necessarily a fit for your business. For example, some systems are more focused on catering and delivery-based baking businesses, while other systems are a better fit for walk-in neighborhood bakeries. Read on to learn which system and key features you need.
In this guide, we'll cover:
Bakery software enables businesses to automate tedious manual processes, which removes human error and leads to better overall customer experiences. These bakery systems help manage inventory for all the various ingredients and products used at a bakery. This software also provides a centralized database for managing regular accounts and repeat customers. This way, bakers can spend more time ensuring that their product is top notch and that their customers are having an amazing experience.
Most bakery systems feature capabilities to support both in-store and catering-based operations. This includes managing calendars for one-off and repeat pick-ups and deliveries. Point of sale components, like those used by restaurant operators, are a key feature that supports in-store bakery sales.
Regardless of what you choose, your new bakery software should enable you to:
Bakery software provides users with the tools necessary to optimize key processes of the baking operation in order to achieve business success. Key features include:
|Recipe management||Store detailed recipe information, including ingredients and amounts/ratios. Include costing so you get an accurate projection of costs for each product and/or batch of product.|
|Inventory management||Track the quantity of every ingredient and product you have on hand.|
|Order management||Centralize all outstanding bakery orders into a searchable database and calendar. Gather critical information such as order details, customizations and customer and delivery information.|
|Production scheduling||Set a schedule for when processes must be completed to ensure baked goods are ready when expected. Leverage upcoming production schedule to ensure proper inventory and staffing.|
|Forecasting||Accurately project upcoming needs to ensure the right amount of inventory is on hand. Reduce overbuying to avoid losses from food spoilage.|
|Vendor management||Create a centralized database to house information on all the vendors used to purchase ingredients, paper goods and other products.|
|Point of sale||Complete transactions at your bakery store or off site at mobile locations such as farmers markets.|
|Online ordering||Enable repeat and first-time customers to place bakery orders online. Set pickup/delivery dates and times.|
|Nutritional information||Track the nutritional information for all ingredients that go into a product.|
Let's take a closer look at some examples of the three must-have features for your new bakery software:
Recipe management capabilities help standardize the baking process so bakeries can achieve sought after consistency. And by adding cost information, bakers can get an accurate count on their margins for every product.
Example of recipe management via CakeBoss
Accurate inventory counts are crucial for bakeries, and restaurants in general, to ensure all ingredients are in stock. Inventory systems found in bakery software can include in-house inventory, supplier/vendor information for reorders and current and past orders.
Example of inventory management via BakeSmart
Bakery operations need a detailed account for every product they must produce in a given time. This includes one-off customer orders (accounting for any customizations), regular customer orders and products for the storefront. Order management features house the core information such as quantities and varieties.
Example of order management via FlexiBake
There are many different types of bakery businesses out there, and these different types of bakeries require different bakery management software. It's important to realize the distinct nuances that make up your bakery business and how that affects your software needs. Some of these distinctions include:
Single-location storefront bakery. If your bakery operation consists of a single location from which you sell primarily to walk-ins, your bakery software should be more heavily focused on point of sale. You'll still want must-have bakery features such as recipe, inventory, and order management, but a focus on POS will better assist employees completing many transactions throughout the day at the register.
Offsite bakery. If you operate a bakery that primarily supplies restaurants, cafes and custom orders, you'll want all the specialized capabilities of bakery software. Recipe, inventory and order management functionality will build a firm foundation for you to build your business.
Multilocation bakery. Bakery businesses with multiple locations are primarily concerned with integrating business information from all locations into a centralized database. This enables the necessary transparency to optimize the business across all operations.
Regardless of which type of bakery software buyer you are, the benefits that these systems bring your organization are similar across the board. These benefits include:
Greater organization. By integrating changing daily orders with repeat, everyday baking prep, bakeries can leverage bakery software to find greater organization. Stop running out of best sellers—and don't miss another order deadline.
Newfound forecasting capabilities. Better understand upcoming business needs to ensure your bakery is ready for the tasks at hand. This includes ingredients and necessary food prep, labor, packaging and delivery capabilities. By accurately forecasting these needs, inventories can be properly stocked, employees can be on hand and managers can get an accurate picture of what's coming down the pipeline.
Improved customer experiences. Operating with greater efficiency will enable bakery managers to focus on ensuring quality product and exceeding customer needs. All these newfound capabilities will lead to a greater overall experience for customers, whether they're walk-ins or repeat visitors.
Mobile POS. Bakeries and other restaurants are turning to mobile POS (mPOS) systems for many newfound operational advantages. These mPOS systems operate on tablets and phones, enabling businesses to save from buying costly countertop POS hardware. The mobility of mPOS also enables bakeries to easily sell at farmers markets, pop-ups and other off-location settings.
Delivery management. Bakeries that have other businesses as primary customers often fulfill these orders via delivery. Some bakery management software includes delivery management capabilities so that delivery details integrate with production calendars to provide one unified front for bakery managers.
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