Dawn Foods Shares Four Training Strategies to Bring Out the Best in Your Business

Dawn Foods Shares Four Training Strategies to Bring Out the Best in Your Business


For many bakeries, the time to train is when a new employee comes on board. Learning the ins and outs of the business, mastering the recipes, and performing other tasks are top priorities to help new hires become part of the team. But Dawn Foods believes that training is a continuous, mission-critical function for bakeries that want to be their best and grow in ways that improve profitability and increase team loyalty and retention. 


So where can bakeries start if you want training to be more than a one-time event and become part of your company’s culture?


Here are four strategies for implementing training practices that boost all areas of the business.

1. Assess Team Skills to Identify Training Opportunities. 

Most bakeries have employees with various skills and levels of experience. Now is the time to assess your mix of abilities so that you can best focus team members and empower them to contribute. According to Dawn Food’s Melissa Trimmer, CEPC®,

Corporate Executive Chef, the best way to assess team member skills is to get in the shop and bake together.  “In fact, I don’t hire anyone unless I’ve baked with them,” she said, adding, “spend time getting to know your employees and spend time working shifts with them to evaluate for areas where they shine and areas where they may need a little extra help.” Trimmer noted that once you’ve determined who needs to build additional skills, it’s time to implement the training plan.  


2. Consider Cross Training to Build Skills and Build Community.

In Trimmer’s experience, she sees cross training as having the biggest impact on the bottom line.  “Employees feel valued when they get to know every inch of the bakery and tend to take ownership of results,” she said. Even more importantly, when staffing issues arise, the team can “plug and play” into open slots.  This ensures that quality and production levels don’t fall, helping bottom-line growth.


“I find that partnering team members who have skill gaps with another, more experienced baker is really helpful. Not only does this train team members, it also builds team relationships,” Trimmer added.


3. Trust Dawn Foods to Train on Products, Equipment, and More

The Dawn Foods Technical Sales Representatives (TSR) team trains bakers and bakeries of all sizes - from small, local bakeries to large facilities.  The training can encompass anything from mixing batter and frying cake donuts to setting up your bakery for optimal operation and everything in between.  


“Efficiency is something that we weave into all our training to support optimizing customer profits and labour,” said Erik Enyedy, Dawn Foods Senior Director, National Technical Sales & Service. Enyedy adds that the Dawn team works with bakeries upfront to establish their goals and identify what they see as their biggest needs to make the best use of each bakery’s time.


He also said that Dawn focuses heavily on product training, noting that most TSRs are experienced bakers. “We train on existing and new products that the bakery may not have any experience with.  For example, fritters have been a hot product over the last year and some bakeries have never made them. We teach how to make up the dough and or/use scrap, adding the fruit and cinnamon, glazing and even cleaning the fryers afterwards.” 


4. Put It In Writing

In-person training is invaluable, and a surefire way to keep team members on track with what they’ve learned is to develop training documents. Dawn also works with bakeries to turn their training plans into actionable workbooks. 


“We can help create manuals on what we teach so it can easily be refreshed for those who’ve been trained, duplicated for other people in the bakery, and used as a training introduction to the business as turnover occurs,” Enyedy said. “This helps address labour concerns, which are always top of mind for bakers.” 


For Dawn Foods, training is more than a task to be completed. It’s a foundation for creating a bakery that grows and attracts loyal consumers. “Our objectives are based on supporting Dawn customers in a way that no other competitor in the industry can do. We offer a national team of experienced bakers that solve problems, train bakers, and optimize sales and profits for our customers, Enyedy added.

Let Dawn Foods Help

If you’re ready to jump start your training program, reach out to Dawn Foods to get started. Connect with us today! 

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