What is it like to work in the bakery department of a grocery store? Is working as a bakery a demanding job? What are the duties of employees who work in a bakery? What is a typical day like for a person who works in a bakery? What do bakers do? How is bread made? Is experience needed to work in a bakery? What skills are needed to work in a bakery?
Many grocery stores have a bakery department. If you are considering working in a bakery you might want to know what you are getting yourself in for, as such this article is intended to provide some insight as to a typical day in an average bakery. Note that each bakery will operate differently according to the size and population it serves. Some bakeries employ staff 24 hours a day, while at other staff comes on early in the morning before the store is open and another shift works the afternoon, and there are no night workers.
Day to Day Duties when Working in a Grocery Store Bakery
The baker normally comes in very early in the morning and turns on the proofer, oven, and other equipment needed. While the proofer warms up they may remove outdated items from the shelves (marking it for discount). They take the dough out of a cooler (the dough being prepared the day earlier) and move it into the proofer to rise. Different products take different amounts of time in the proofer before being put in the oven to bake.
As the baking comes out the baker may move it in front of a fan to cool before putting it back into the cooler to cool further.
Usually other staff comes in to work later in the morning. As the baking is cooling, they may put it into bags and price it, putting it on the shelves. Bread is sliced using a machine. Depending on the volume of sales the store does, this can take several hours.
Other baking is done, cookies, pastries, and so forth.
As the day goes on employees may also replace sold items with frozen ones stored in the back of the store, or other items that they were not able to fit onto the shelves.
Once baking is done, the baker usually plans what they will bake the next day. Most grocery store bakeries do not actually make their own dough. The dough usually comes in frozen and the staff must “break out” the required amount of product for the following day. The dough will thaw overnight for the next days use.
Employees are responsible for making sure the products are fresh and look good. They may be responsible for decorating cakes, taking orders, filling orders, putting away deliveries, filling supplies, and general cleaning at the end of the day.
Other Jobs at a Grocery Store
Most jobs at a grocery store do not require specialized skills other than good with customers. One area of a grocery store that does require specialized skills would be in the meat department and or as a butcher.
Working in the deli department is one of the hardest areas of a grocery store to work in. This area of a grocery store requires constantly checking the temperature of the foods in the deli case, failing to do this more than one time, can actually result in getting fired.
Working in the deli also requires slicing deli meat, creating and putting together party trays and a great deal of washing plates, and clean up every night before going home.
Another simple job at a grocery store is gathering up the shopping carts. Usually this only requires going to outdoor bin where most customers place their shopping carts after loading up the car. But too many customers just leave their shopping carts all over the parking lot that you would have to track down and gather up.
At times you will have to help a customer unload their cars. Nothing is hard about working in the parking lot, except when the weather is bad, especially really cold and snowy.
Overview of the Job Requirements and Skills Needed to Work in a Bakery
The job is somewhat physically demanding (some heavy lifting may be needed, and workers are on their feet constantly), with a fair amount of customer service skills needed (although not as much as would be needed by somebody working in a smaller bakery where there are no separate cashiers). The rate of pay is lower, often just above minimum wage for new employees with no experience. Job security is generally good as people always need to eat. The ability to work as a team player is very important for somebody who is considering entering this field of work.