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renting space to a pastry chef

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
it appears i have the perfect group to discuss this with-

i have a bakery that sells high end product wholesale, mail order and retail- we are expanding our pastry line but cannot devote the kind of time, energy, staff and learning curve to sell the kind of voluptuous tortes i want to do- that includes wedding cakes-

i am considering renting space during our off hours to a pastry chef who may be looking for a space

what would the pastry chef be looking for?
what kind of scenario do you think would work for both parties?

i wouldnt have a problem with the pastry chef having his own clients and orders

but i would want "him" available to me when i needed him

if one of my customers wanted a wedding cake i could turn him over directly to the p. chef
but i would want a percentage of the sale

i would collect a monthly rent, which would include all utilities and work/storage space, and use of all equipment- he would have to leave the space clean for the next shift....

he would have to supply own ingredients, containers, telephone.....

when i was starting out, i rented space from a pizza parlor and a caterer, and all is not rosy- it can be a tough scenario- but it also can work

how would the p. chef be paid for working on my products - free lance rate, special negotiated rate?

all you pastry chefs out there who want to go on your own- imagine you lived in Chicago and this opportunity came up- what would you want - how could we make this work?
post #2 of 23
Oooo! Too bad I caught this post on my way to bed! I'll post tomorrow when I get home from work. :) I have lots to post!
post #3 of 23
I'm the pastry chef of a catering company and our bakery hours are usually 4-am-3pm. That leaves the bakery open afternoon and evenings. I've been toying with doing some freelance work, but have yet to find out the specifics and the time to do something like that. And I'm not sure if the owner would be cool with it. You bring up very good questions and I'm sure the answers could point me in the right direction too. Thanks for asking them.
post #4 of 23
I tend to think the tricky part of what your mentioning is that you seem to want the pastry chef to work for you, yet be independent.

Problems... you'll have to pay the person what their worth (almost a consultants fee) if their going to teach (you or your employees), plus add new items (would you supply the recipes) or a new line to your wholesale and retail business?

You want them available when you want them....that is tricky and will cost you. You'd be better hiring a pastry chef to work for you (hourly or salary), let them teach their assistants (that's expected from the position). But I (speaking as a pastry chef)wouldn't hand you my recipes for you to run with. I don't know how other pastry chefs would feel? If I gave you my best recipes and ideas and set you up to work them I'd want a percentage of all your future business from those products....no?


But in the same breath, I'd love personally to do that as a profession. Teach and create product lines....I really don't know how to make that work for both parties.??<*

Party consultants and florists get a kickback from businesses that they send business to. I can't see anyone giving you a percentage, a percentage is what you would give a full time employee who did your cakes for your business. A flat finders fee seems clearer, after all how will you know exactly what they did charge the client for the cake? You want them to have their books open to you??? Then that leaves them open to you wanting more in rent as they become more successful.... I can't see someone agreeing to that.

Even though my comments sound negative, their not honestly. I'm just trying to present the other side. It's a very interesting though that could be very rewarding to both your business and helping a newbie get off the ground.

I'll be most interested to see anyone elses thoughts!!!!
"Bakers are born, not made. We are exacting people who delight in submitting ourselves to rules and formulas if it means achieving repeatable perfection", Rose Levy Beranbaum
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"Bakers are born, not made. We are exacting people who delight in submitting ourselves to rules and formulas if it means achieving repeatable perfection", Rose Levy Beranbaum
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post #5 of 23
well, this is exactly why i posted this topic-

i am coming from my point of view and needs- and frankly dont know what the other side(pastry chef)needs or is coming from- and youve given me a mouthful so to speak- i think its very interesting if not helpful to go through this now vs doing it during negotiations or after the fact-

in my scenario- the chef wouldnt be teaching my staff as theyd be working during our off hours- nor would i hand over my recipies to you for your future use- it does work both ways

not one to give up easily, i can see this scenario would probably not work for me- im too used to having things my own way for too long and would undoubtedly butt heads with a pastry chef who felt they were entitled to what they felt they were entitled to (and rightly so- i would too)

ok WdB- glad i posted this one?
post #6 of 23
There seems to be way to much gray area here.
The only way to really get something to work in this situation is structure it as you go along. Very, Very dangerous.
I feel the only way to get your items is to purchase them from the pastry chef. If you are going to seperate him or her completely,like rent,seperate tele,supplies etc. He would have to charge you so he could expense it.I use "He" sorry ,easier.
To compensate him for his time you would classify him as contractlabor. Up the anti!
responsible for own taxes, you get to expense everything.He will have nothing to write.
It just seems like you are in the position to hire this person. Your in control. Put them on a cost plus for the work they bring in. Nice incentive, can even replace their paycheck if they are busy enough. I have one manager who does cakes on the side. I let him have complete net. Crazy? no. He does enough business to carry himself. He only requires a paycheck from me when we really get busy and he has to walk some of his own stuff. Which is the agreement, our business always takes priority even in booking.
my 2 cents
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #7 of 23
Thread Starter 
thanks for your clear thoughts,

please explain the cost plus situation in more detail

thanks!
post #8 of 23
Thread Starter 
okay- another scenario-
your thoughts - old & wise and WdB and any one else- based on your previous comments - a current customer comes to me for a wedding cake- I "buy" it from the pastry chef and sell it to my customer - essentially acting as the liason- that way the pastry chef gets "his" full price and I charge what i need to, to get the "percentage or cut" i want out of it- would this work without interaction between the pastry chef and client or could/should this interaction still occur? It seems a shame that loyal customers come to me to make their wedding cakes and i have to send them to other bakeries. (some of us local bakeries do reciprocate to one another)
post #9 of 23
Honestly I see no way you could let the pastry chef have contact with the client and this work out for you. Eventually the pastry chef will cut you out when they gain enough business. If their any good and build any reputation the client will start cutting you out also and begin contacting the chef on the side.

The only way for you to do this is for you to buy the wedding cake, period. Just like any retail business (or many party consultants) you buy something wholesale and you incure some costs, efforts and risk and then sell it retail for a profit.

Most chefs buy their products from several sources. That way they won't be left short one day when the wholesaler ups their price, can't come thru or goes under. As a smart buyer you'd be wise to have several "suppliers" pastry chefs who you can buy from, that does a couple things for you...

1. You can compare bids.
2. You protect yourself from a pastry chef who goes south leaving you to fill their shoes at the last moment. Because you'll have several sources as your back-up.
3. Puts you in control of your situation, your business, your clients.
4. You can choose the best pastry chef for the specific cake design. Some pastry chefs can't do gum paste flowers and others do, some can wrap cakes in chocolate or use blown sugar pieces and others can't, etc... therefore you might never have to tell a client "no we can't do that".

I've heard in the past and made this mistake myself....of over diversifing. You can't be everything to everyone. Sometimes it's wiser to stay small and under control, concentrate on increasing your volumne, your product, what makes your business sucessful and walk away from requests that don't fit your business plan.

But if you want to fill out your bakery to be more of a boutique that's great. In that case diversify who you buy from and put your stamp on it, control your trinkets/items and brand them yours.

P.S. Sorry Panini I didn't follow you, could you be more specific?
"Bakers are born, not made. We are exacting people who delight in submitting ourselves to rules and formulas if it means achieving repeatable perfection", Rose Levy Beranbaum
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"Bakers are born, not made. We are exacting people who delight in submitting ourselves to rules and formulas if it means achieving repeatable perfection", Rose Levy Beranbaum
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post #10 of 23
I wasn't really following Panini too well either.

Here's my humble opinion.

You can charge a pastry chef rent, but if that's the case, then you can't also charge him/her a cut of the profits. Or, you can take a cut of the cakes that are commissioned through your clients, but you can't charge rent as well. The orders that come from him privately, he should pay rent for. Panini may disagree with this idea, because the payment is inconsistent, and may lead to problems down the road, but I see no other way to separate your clients from his.

By the way, I see nothing strange in sending your clients to outside cake designers. Same way you send them to a rental company or a florist that you like, you can recommend certain pastry chefs.

In my experience, it is ALWAYS better if the pastry chef talks directly with the client, regardless of who is making how much money. The bottom line is, the client should be able to discuss what they want with the designer.


Thank you for this thread. It has gotten me thinking about the possibilities in my own scenario.
post #11 of 23
Well it's not to often the people have trouble following me.LOL I guess I'm just saying that you have to deside if this person is going to be an extension of your business or they will be a separate entity. If you charge rent and things like that then I assume they would be separate. You would have total separation and you would buy the product from them. Nothing wrong with that. They would be your wholesaler and you would sell the product. The pastry chef can do the consultations and everything else. You agree upon prices before hand. You both agree on 4.00 per person you invoice the customer and the pastry chef bills you for 2.50 person.
The other side, you keep control and put the chef on cost plus. You would eat the cost and the chef would get a plus percentage. I prefer this for financial and administrative reasons as an owner. You write everything this way.
If you have a good thing going right now and this may inhibit that ,than I would go directly outside and negotiate with someone who will wholesale for you. We do this to, we actually attend tastings for my contracts and sell cakes. We detail, price, do everything. They pay the contract and I bill the property. I take a 15% hicky but I also get all of their cakes and cooler privilege's and they wheel the cakes in the rooms.It's a good thing.
I hope this makes some sense and I have not repeated others.
thanks
jeff
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #12 of 23
Sorry Jeff, it's late but I still don't exactly follow you on a couple points.

"you keep control and put the chef on cost plus." ??? How do you apply this? Are you saying to subtract out the time for the wedding cake out of a months rent from the pastry chef? You have a neogociated price of 2.50 per slice, since that's a cheap price the retailer should also give the wholesaler/pastry chef a break on their rent? So if you gave the wholesaler enough work they might not have to pay rent because your constantly giving them a break on their rent for each cake they sell you? How does the pastry chef/wholesaler write off his rent expense? That would leave him with only his actual ingredient costs (and utilitys) as his major write offs...


"the chef would get a plus percentage" ? I don't understand what you mean?


Then I didn't quite follow you, how you buy baked goods from others.

"they pay the contract", contract with whom, if your buying from them, what are they paying? Do you mean they have bid to have all your extra work and they pay you to give them work? So if you have contracts with 20 restaurants for all their desserts, you buy the product from your wholesale sources (who bid for your orders), they then deliver to the restaurants and you bill the restaurant? But where does "we detail, price, do everything" come in?


How do you get "whos" cooler space and take a 15% hicky? Do you mean you take 15% off your bill to your end client (say a banquet hall) for them to finish the meal by storing then serving your dessert which was purchased not by the hall but from the client/bride? But that's silly......


I definately don't understand, please re-explain?
"Bakers are born, not made. We are exacting people who delight in submitting ourselves to rules and formulas if it means achieving repeatable perfection", Rose Levy Beranbaum
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"Bakers are born, not made. We are exacting people who delight in submitting ourselves to rules and formulas if it means achieving repeatable perfection", Rose Levy Beranbaum
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post #13 of 23
Thread Starter 
wow, Jeff and Wendy- you've both lost me completely! ??????
post #14 of 23
Sorry, you know if I don't have my hands to explain!
Contract: I have a contract to do wedding cake for a property. I do the tasting, consult, etc. We price the wedding cakes. The client pays the property,it's more convient for the customer. I then invoice the property for the cakes. The invoice is usually 15% less than what the client has paid. This gives me cooler priv. so I can deliver all at one time, they put the cakes out, I'm there once an a Sat. for maybe 3-6 cakes. Plus I get most of the properties wedding cake. I never demand an exclusive,where the customer has to use me or there is a cutting fee. That s----, the customer feels like a prisoner.
breadster, I will collect my thought and post again, I just realized that if I don't see what my post is going to look like, it does not make sence. Is there a way to preview our posts? or make the box bigger?
jeff
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
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post #15 of 23
Yes, I'm not familar with many features of this site. I can't figure out the UBB code (I don't even know what that stands for) under where you type, and all the other features.........yet alone editing, oh well.

O.k. I'm with you now....so your talking about larger banquet halls. Well it's certainly worth it giving the banquet hall 15% if your doing volume thru them with little fuss! What about setting up cakes, can they only do the most basic or will they handle putting flowers ON it too? Do you have to be extra sweet to the person who's setting them up for you? I'm thinking these are more basic cakes...yes?

I forget there are places like that....MOMOREG you must checkout that possiblity, that's really smart! How do you woooo them into using you so much (besides doing a good job)? Did you do anything special to get there attention in the beginning? Would there be other businesses that you have such agreements with (or do you focus on wedding cakes mainly)? If so what other businesses do you work with?

Would you mind going back and explaining what you meant about "the pastry chef would get a plus percentage" or "cost plus", in Breadsters situation please?


Thanks, Jeff I find this most interesting!
"Bakers are born, not made. We are exacting people who delight in submitting ourselves to rules and formulas if it means achieving repeatable perfection", Rose Levy Beranbaum
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"Bakers are born, not made. We are exacting people who delight in submitting ourselves to rules and formulas if it means achieving repeatable perfection", Rose Levy Beranbaum
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post #16 of 23
Breadster, I hope my comments haven't pushed you away from renting out and working with a pasrty chef? Are you changing your idea?
"Bakers are born, not made. We are exacting people who delight in submitting ourselves to rules and formulas if it means achieving repeatable perfection", Rose Levy Beranbaum
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"Bakers are born, not made. We are exacting people who delight in submitting ourselves to rules and formulas if it means achieving repeatable perfection", Rose Levy Beranbaum
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post #17 of 23
Thread Starter 
WdB- it'd be pretty hypocritical of me to scare so easily esp. after what i'd written to you - however, it does give me pause- as well as realize i'd better define my needs and address someone elses b4 plunging in-

actually my mind has been elsewhere the last few weeks- i got flooded really badly at both my home and store (luckily not too bad at the store-everything was high off the ground-- i learned that a few years back) and then again this past Saturday from the flash flood storms we've been having-

what a mess! plus losing like 30 years of my past and most all mementos of my parents

doing all of the paperwork etc for the insurance for both places is a nightmare but soooo important- it will take out some of the sting

anybody need convincing on the importance of good insurance coverage?
post #18 of 23
That's sad news. I hope you recover quickly, as best as you can.
post #19 of 23
Wow, sorry to hear that! I saw some photos on the news showing underpasses that were flooded, twice this month right?...but I never saw anything like that in my area, nothing much happened in the nw burbs....I shall count my blessings for now.
"Bakers are born, not made. We are exacting people who delight in submitting ourselves to rules and formulas if it means achieving repeatable perfection", Rose Levy Beranbaum
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"Bakers are born, not made. We are exacting people who delight in submitting ourselves to rules and formulas if it means achieving repeatable perfection", Rose Levy Beranbaum
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post #20 of 23
I've seen that too. Sorry Breadster. Anyone else affected by those floods? Shroom maybe?

:confused:
K

«Money talks. Chocolate sings. Beautifully.»
«Just Give Me Chocolate and Nobody Gets Hurt.»
«Coffee, Chocolate, Men ... Some things are just better rich.»
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K

«Money talks. Chocolate sings. Beautifully.»
«Just Give Me Chocolate and Nobody Gets Hurt.»
«Coffee, Chocolate, Men ... Some things are just better rich.»
Reply
post #21 of 23
I saw the floods AGAIN this week on the news, I can't beleive this.... I sure hope you got spared this time Breadster!??
"Bakers are born, not made. We are exacting people who delight in submitting ourselves to rules and formulas if it means achieving repeatable perfection", Rose Levy Beranbaum
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"Bakers are born, not made. We are exacting people who delight in submitting ourselves to rules and formulas if it means achieving repeatable perfection", Rose Levy Beranbaum
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post #22 of 23
Thread Starter 
thanks everyone for your kind words- i got spared from the latest flood thank goodness- im still working on the clean up from flood #2!
post #23 of 23
my pennies worth:

I found a place and set it up as a bakery. One of my CHEF/INSTRUCTORS had some accounts that he needed to service but had no place to do them from.

I'm NOT a morning person unless I just stay away all night through morn...he was a bright and early person. This scheduled worked for us.

I let him come in from whatever time ( he had keys ) he could make it but had to be cleaning up by 11:30 because I'd get there to start by noon as I only make custom cakes by appointment.

We shared the cooler, freezer, oven and BASIC supplies, like flour sugar, eggs and butter...anything else he wanted to use HE had to bring in. He had his own storage area in the bake shop.

I charged him 10% of my rent.

We also did entirely different products, but we complimented each other, if one of my clients needed cookies or pastries (even though I knew how to make them, ) I gave him the order, if one of his clients needed aTheme cake or wedding cake, he gave me the order even though he too could make them.

I stayed out of his way when he was working the kitchen and he stayed out of my way.

Then I tried to work the same arrangement out with a COOKIE person and it fell apart before it even started.

This young lady, from what I gathered, made cute cookies...so we worked out a deal for her to pay 50% of the rent, (I was taking her in as a sort of partner and even going to share a delivery man) So I give her an order...we had been talking about this order for a few weeks and about a week before my cake was due, I confirmed her order. I got such a run around from her. She kept changing her delivery times, I even waited till MIDNIGHT in my shop the night before the order was due to head out...she was doing the same with the deposits, First month's rent as security.

I even gave her the absolute last time that I could wait for her to bring the cookies to the shop , I told her that my driver was going to leave at 6 AM sharp...the cake was going from Miami Beach to Daytona...a 4 hour drive and it had to be in place at 1 pm sharp for the luncheon by 7 am the cake was gone and she shows up 30 minutes later and wanted to see if he could turn around.

I told her to take her cookies and SIT ON THEM!

So, I haven't rented space to anyone since...but been considering as I am in need of motivation..lol
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
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Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
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