August Profitability Playbook - 5 Tips to fill labor gap shortages amid back to school season

2022 Summer Flavors and Labor Strategies 

Dawn’s Monthly Profitability Playbook Shares Inspiration and Info for Bakeries to Stay Ahead

August is a busy month for bakeries. Often, bakers are working on mixing end-of-summer treats with back-to-school baked goods while dealing with staff changes as summer help returns to school. As your partner, we’ve rounded up recipe ideas that will create excitement with your customers. We’re also providing insights around managing staff transitions so that your productivity and service don’t suffer as teams evolve.



Shifts in Staffing Are Often Top of Mind

For many bakeries, summer help often means student help. As some of your employees plan to return to school, you may look continually for ways to add to your team and fill gaps. And with today’s tight labor market, this can be challenging without successful strategies. Here are Dawn’s top five tips for effectively navigating staff transitions:

1. Ask for Referrals

Use those students returning to school for their contacts! Ask them for referrals if they had a positive experience working at your bakery. Referrals help managers work with a pre-screened labor pool and allow them to ask for specific skill sets. Each bakery will need something different – are you losing a decorator? Front of house superstar? An innovative idea person? By leaning into your current team, you can ask for what you need from people you trust.

2. Expand Beyond Traditional Advertising

For today’s workforce, searching the local paper’s want ads isn’t the first way people find employment opportunities. Be sure to use tools like Indeed, ZipRecruiter, and LinkedIn. You can also use your owned channels – like your website, social media, and in-store environment to advertise your staffing needs.

3. Invest in Your Image

Your bakery may be the best place to work in your community, but bakers are missing opportunities if a potential hire can’t see that from online searches. Don’t forget the critical step of giving yourself a facelift – including updated photos, quotes from current team members, and customer quotes about your business.

4. Optimize Your Team’s Time

Take a step back to assess your business’s team size to succeed. Can you shift to using specific mixes instead of operating as 100 percent scratch? Can you leverage tactics like using one day to bake and then freeze a certain amount of inventory throughout the week? Consider offering customers online ordering or delivery options to make the most of your sales team.

5. Turn to Tools that Improve Efficiency

One of the most innovative ways to do more with less is using online platforms like Dawn’s The system turns your office into any location where you have an internet-connected device. You can offset business tasks to other hours so that when bakers are in the bakery, they’re focusing on the core business of baking and selling their treats. And with features like online ordering, shopping lists, and related recipes, bakers will improve efficiency in ways that have an everyday impact on the business.







Dawn Foods has a library of consultative content dealing with business advice on labor and staffing. For more articles, you can access our library here.

Swing for the fences with End of Summer Flavors

For most consumers, realizing that summer will soon be over isn’t something they want to embrace. Help them hold on to favorite summer memories with recipes that highlight ice cream treats, bright flavors, and childhood classics. 

Even if your bakery doesn’t offer ice cream, bakers can still work the frozen treat into their assortment with creative flavor combinations and whimsical decorating. Think about cupcakes that look like sundaes or banana split cupcakes that combine berry, banana, and chocolate flavors into one delicious dessert.

Bakeries can combine flavors like cola and chocolate, root beer and vanilla and other summer favorites like s’mores to make anyone feel at the beach. With fruit at the height of ripeness and flavor in August, those flavors can harken the summertime nostalgia. The sky is the limit, from watermelon-shaped cookies (with chocolate chip seeds) to peach Danishes or cherry old-fashioned donuts.

With Dawn as your partner for inspiration, there are many recipes to try:



August Also Means Back to School

While early August marks high temperatures and the dog days of summer, August also means that minds are starting to focus on returning to school. Show your community support by creating cookies, cakes, and cupcakes that highlight school colors from your hometown. Or, bake back-to-school packs that students can take to their teachers. Offer a special with first day of school discounts or ask customers to tag your bakery in their back-to-school pictures and social posts that feature your sweet treats.







Whether it’s back to school, summer favorites, or strategies for creating a team that helps bakeries reach their goals, Dawn is here to help. Check out these easy-to-enjoy recipes to showcase the Back to School spirit:


Contact Dawn Foods today for more information or help to answer any of your questions.


NOTE: Due to industry-wide supply constraints, some products may be temporarily unavailable for purchase