Smart Solutions for Driving Profitable Growth in Front and Back of House Bakery Operations

Long before COVID became an ever-present consideration in our daily lives, the bakery industry was adapting to growing labor shortages. Today, those gaps in skilled labor are increasing with no end in sight, potentially outpacing the bakery industry’s consistent levels of contributions to our national economic health. Our industry employs more than 800,000 people in the US, generates over $44 billion in direct wages, and has an overall economic impact of more than $154 billion*.

Challenged with more than a shrinking work force, bakery operators are also pivoting to reopen safely as they emerge from COVID, adapting to new consumer behaviors, and continuing to innovate their products to keep pace with tastes and trends. Combine these factors with the atypical hours typically asked of bakery workers, specialized skill sets required in baking and decorating, and the salary constraints experienced by small businesses versus larger, corporate foodservice operations, and you have a complex puzzle that bakers must solve to stay profitable.

Dawn Foods is tackling this and more in our series “Tips for Thriving During the Labor Shortage”. Over the next few weeks, we’ll share insights and information on how to address reduced labor, streamline daily operations, ensure the product mix is setting bakers up for success, leveraging technical expertise from partners, and packaging considerations to keep bakeries one step ahead.

Key Challenges in Addressing the Labor Gap:


In the absence of having a large talent pool to hire from, bakers need to get more creative. To balance out traditional recruitment efforts, bakeries are turning to technology, products, and processes that can help fill the gap.


Strapped for time and talent, comprehensive training can and often does fall by the wayside. Bakers are now looking beyond traditional training and turning to other solutions that help them get the most out of the skillsets available to them.

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If bakeries are fortunate enough to have a fully staffed team, efforts should turn toward retaining them. Bakers are looking for products and processes that streamline and simplify their staff’s workload without sacrificing quality, meaning everyone gets more done with less, ultimately building team satisfaction.

Consumer Delight

Reduced teams and skill sets lead to the risk of dissatisfied customers. While bakeries focus best on managing the back of the house, equal efforts must be placed on maintaining levels of customer service, consumer engagement, and the appeal of the bakery case and overall store environment.

Keeping all the moving parts working together seems daunting. But there are answers for reducing risk and improving chances for lasting success. Now is the time for bakeries of all sizes to step back and assess how new ways of working and fresh ideas can keep them in business today and growing tomorrow.

*American Bakers Association

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