Microbakery Workflow

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There’s an overused quote about building a better mousetrap leading to people knocking down your door that applies to a microbakery in my area. A gravel driveway leads you past building materials to a little green shed, oh, and a long line of people waiting to buy bread & pastries. They make amazing products but by informally speaking to customers, staff and the owner, there are some pain points that some systems could help with.

Pain points seem to be:

  • they often sell out of all bread (this does help to breed scarcity)
  • they do sell out of individual types of bread with some being restocked during the day
  • weather can affect the number of people waiting
  • the line runs a little slow (even taking into account the extra time they take to speak to customers = a good thing)
  • planning production & staffing must be difficult
  • promotion is only via social media

Some Recommendations

To build a scaleable system, you need a workflow map that outlines the steps it takes to deliver your business. From this map, you’ll work to continually improve your workflow. Sign up to our Generous Projects newsletter to be first to hear about our workflow map products when they launch.

To summarise the key pain points for customers:

  • potential of travelling to get product and it’s not available
  • potential waste of time
  • potential for missed communication on social media

As a first step to addressing the above pain points, I’d recommend a customised online order form that addresses multiple needs. To create a demo of this form, I’ve used Typeform as it provides a conversational order form that can also be used as a simple payment option.

The demo below meets these needs for the business:

  • Provides a way for customers to place pre-orders (with the addition of ordering constraints and order cut-off times)
  • Provides incentive for customers to pick up their orders as they pay before arrival (with the addition of either payment questions or a second step where an invoice is sent via a mapped workflow)
  • Can be shared as a single Linktree-type link on Instagram and other platforms as it contains the key information on the business such as opening hours, menu, opening hours, social media pages and the main order form. Additional fields could also contain a video from the owners or the history/story of the business
  • Customers could opt-in to receiving email updates in one smooth process
  • Orders could flow through into a simple free tool like Trello where the orders/cards could be moved across the screen (like moving post-it notes across a whiteboard) and/or they could flow through to a Google Sheet where they are processed

Once the orders have been made, via one-step method with payment or a two-step confirmation workflow, customers could get an automated confirmation via email with a sequential number.

Demo Bakery Order Form

Pickup Workflow

For an improved flow during pickup, the team could potentially create a second window at the side of their shed that is clearly marked “pickup”. People who arrive could display their phone with their receipt open, showing their sequential number. The number would correspond to a numbered shelf/bin with the customer’s order pre-bagged (alternatively, the bread could sit in the bin/shelf and be bagged on collection, to prevent moisture in paper bag). The shelf would be accessible on both sides with numbers on both sides so staff can stock it from behind.

Summary

The above recommendations show how focusing on your workflow can improve the customer experience, alleviate their pains and help to plan production. It only represents a quick snapshot of the workflow mapping process. Get in touch if you’d like to discuss how mapping your workflow could give you more clarity in your business.

About the author

Rich Peterson

I've spent the last 10 years planning, mapping & reimagining the processes of hundreds of SMBs. Whether the goal is more money, more time, more clarity or more customer smiles, my insightful process is worth every minute for my successful clients.
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By Rich Peterson

About

For the past 10 years, we’ve worked with hundreds of clients and tens of thousands of students to help them get a clear picture of how to systemise their business. We’re not fans of spam, cheap mass-marketing tactics or automating your business to within an inch of it’s life. We are fans of a customer experience where humans deal with humans, skills are appreciated, personality is maintained and where clients get more value than they expected. We’re also fans of automating any process that doesn’t deliver client-facing value in a simple, easy-to-maintain way.

In a nutshell, we provide advice, implementation support & training to small to medium, service-based businesses to help them deliver a better customer experience & a more automated workflow. Everyone on the same page, moving in the same direction with a clear picture of who does what.