Building the Bakery Team You Need for the Holidays

Tips for Attracting Talents Now

The busiest time of the year for bakers is right around the corner. That’s right – it’s almost holiday season. In fact, 26 percent of out of home sweet baked good servings are purchased in the last three months of the year, with 11 percent alone in the month of December.* This year, more than most others in recent history, finding and keeping talented teams into the New Year will be a challenge. Dawn Foods is breaking down smart strategies for attracting and retaining the right mix of people to help you maximize profits all season long.

Let History Guide You

Often, the first step in building the right team for the holidays is understanding what you truly need. Look back at past years to assess what you baked and sold the most of, what days of the week were the busiest, and if there were specific promotions that drove foot traffic. Also pay special attention to the changes you observed during COVID. Are new patterns of behavior ones that have become the norm? Or were they short-term pivots during quarantine that have slowly started to return to pre-COVID behaviors? By using data, you can be certain you’re staffing for the skill sets and times of day your bakery needs.

Look Beyond Bakers

Not everyone on the team needs to be a baker or even have bakery experience. Expand your consideration set to include savvy customer service experts, marketers, social media pros, and others who can help support your business in meaningful ways. Customer service; integrated, consistent marketing; and online promotions definitely matter at the holidays and can help you gain and keep new customers.


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Reach Out to Previous Team Members

Often, the best first place to start is with seasonal help you’ve hired previously. If their employment was a good experience for your bakery, it was probably a good experience for them as well. Reach out to ask if they are looking for work this season and if they have suggestions on others in their circle who would make a good fit for your business. Rehiring and referrals are a smart way to get started.

Begin Early

Because labor resources are limited, businesses will be competing for holiday help. The best way to get ahead? Start early. Connect with online employment services, reach out to local universities, and share your information on social media. According to the employment website, there are more than 3,000 employers actively seeking bakers. Don’t let that statistic intimidate you – let it motivate you to begin as soon as possible.

Be Unique

One of the best ways to attract talent is to showcase what makes your bakery special. This can come through in how much you pay – try to be competitive or higher than average for your area if possible. It can also come through in how you interview. Look beyond the typical question set and dig for something interesting about each candidate. You can also include other team members in the interview process to help potential hires get a sense of your culture. Be a bakery that stands out so you can develop a standout team this season.

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Reward Your Regulars

In your effort to hire seasonal help, don’t forget to reward your current team. Consider holiday rush pay increases, incentives, or contests to ensure they know they are valued and are treated like top talent. By retaining your staff, you can reduce the amount of holiday help you may need to find and lean on them to bring the positive attitude and energy every business needs at the busiest time of the year.

* Source: The NPD Group/CREST®