Typical Roles at a Bakery

A bakery may need a variety of employees depending on the size and range of your offerings. Smaller bakeries can have cross-functional roles, with employees filling in where needed. Most bakeries will need a kitchen prep worker to assist the baker and a front-of-house employee to engage customers and process sales. Depending on what baked products you produce, you may also need multiple bakers or specialty chefs to prepare baked goods for sale.

General Manager

A general manager runs the daily operations of the business and may also handle marketing. This role can be filled by the owner. At a small shop, the baker can also function as general manager.

Typical Salary: $30,000

What Does This Role Entail?

  • Hiring/scheduling staff
  • Ordering supplies
  • Serving as the point of contact for the company

What to look for:

  • Experience hiring/managing people
  • Prior management experience
  • Knowledge of the industry important

Baker/Specialty Chef

A baker is ultimately responsible for producing the baked goods you sell. They may be assisted by a kitchen prep worker, but a baker usually produces the final product.

Typical Salary: $13/hr

What Does This Role Entail?

  • Typically arrives at work early, around 4 am
  • Prepares ingredients for a variety of goods
  • Operates ovens and other kitchen machinery
  • Prepares a range of baked goods according to recipes

What to look for:

  • Able to lift heavy loads (up to 25 lbs)
  • Independent worker
  • Prior baking experience
  • Attention to detail and quality


A front-of-house employee engages with customers and processes sales. They should be friendly and knowledgeable about the products so that they can advise customers.

Typical Salary: $9/hr

What Does This Role Entail?

  • Greeting customers and processing sales
  • Answering questions about products and making recommendations
  • Misc. tasks around the shop as needed

What to look for:

  • Friendly and outgoing personality
  • Comfortable completing sales and talking to customers
  • Passion for baking a plus

Kitchen Prep

As your business expands, this is an important role to fill to ensure you can continue to increase production.

Typical Salary: $10/hr

What Does This Role Entail?

  • Mixing ingredients
  • Prepping ovens
  • Kneading dough
  • Misc. tasks to assist the baker

What to look for:

  • Prior cooking/baking experience
  • Flexible schedule
  • Able to perform miscellaneous tasks as needed
  • Independent worker
  • Time management skills

Bakery Hiring Tips

Hiring employees can seem like a nerve-wracking process, but it doesn't have to be. We break the process down into four basic steps: (1) Planning; (2) Recruiting; (3) Interviewing; and (4) Completing the Hire. Here are some tips for each phase of the process

Plan to Staff Your Business

The number and variety of employees you hire will depend entirely on the size of the bakery and the range of offerings. As the business expands, additional bakers and kitchen prep employees can be gradually hired to increase output and meet the increasing demand. Initially, a bakery may consist of an owner/baker/manager and a second employee who may be a front-of-house employee greeting customers, or a kitchen prep worker that helps increase your production.

Something to keep in mind when hiring is scheduling availability—most bakeries open very early, around 4:00 a.m., to ensure there are baked goods ready to sell later in the morning.

Develop a Recruiting Strategy

Bakery employees can be recruited through any conventional means: online job boards, flyers, local newspapers, etc. Hiring local candidates can help build relationships with local customers and build loyalty.

Interview with Confidence

If you take your time during the planning and recruiting phases of the process, you will likely end up with many qualified candidates.

Nonetheless, it is perfectly natural for a new business owner to be a bit anxious the first time hiring employees. Don’t forget that the interview is just a chance to get to know an applicant and to give them an opportunity to learn more about the role and the business. Also, it might help to remember that they are probably even more nervous than you are!

Throughout the interview process, it may help to keep in mind that most bakery owners look for employees who are:

  • Flexible
  • Customer-oriented
  • Knowledgeable about baked goods

 Here are some sample interview questions that will help you learn more about the character of your interviewees:

  • Describe a time you’ve had to work while under stress
  • Talk about the last time you baked something that didn’t turn out as expected. What did you do to fix it? Were you ultimately successful?


Be Familiar with Hiring Laws

After selecting a job candidate, there are certain steps you will need to follow to complete the hiring process. Check out our Hiring Compliance Checklist for a step-by-step guide to the legal aspects of hiring employees.

One of the most important steps is to classify your new hire as an employee or an independent contractor. Become familiar with IRS guidelines on this matter, as there are serious consequences for misclassifying an employee as an independent contractor.

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For more details, please refer to our guide on the topic, Contractors vs. Employees: What You Need to Know. We also provide templates for the essential hiring forms you will need.

Set Up Payroll

Once you have a growing team of employees, it's time to set up your payroll. Using a payroll service provider saves you time for running your business, and also helps ensure that you comply with important federal requirements such as employee tax withholding.

To help our readers save money and grow their business, we negotiated a 20% discount for you with payroll provider ADP, the most popular small business provider in the country.

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Try ADP and get 20% off payroll services for your business.

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