The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Help on Baker Salary!!

FinancingBread's picture

Help on Baker Salary!!

I'm opening a bakery and am trying to figure out what salary to pay my baker. At the start, I will be doing pastry but need someone to do the bread. This person will be responsible for 50-100 loaves a night, 6 nights a week. If production climbs above that, assistant bakers will be hired. I'm looking for someone, preferably with a culinary degree, and 2-5 years of experience. I need to start low but am very willing to increase the salary as we become profitable.



nbicomputers's picture

20 an hour sounds about right but with all the years i have i would not even walk into a kitchen for less than 1200 a week net. i dont know off hand what that is before decutions.

and if doing consulting as i do now(after retirment) if i don't see 6 figures don't even talk to me.

bottom line it depends if this is a twenty plus year man of someone fresh out of school.


 there are not many of us twenty year men left because the young kids today dont want to do this kind of work anymore they want thouse easy desk jobs.  funny thing many years ago while on the NY subway i heard one girl talking to her friend saying that she would not take any job for less than 30,000.00 a year and this girl could not have been over 20 years old at ther time.  HOLY COW!!!

FinancingBread's picture

Thanks for your input, though its irrelevant as I am not looking for someone with 20 years of experiance nor am I looking for a consultant, as my original post states. 


If anyone can provide any useful information on this subject it would be greatly appreciated. I'd love to hear from people who actually had to pay salaries, rather that receive them.


Again, I'm looking for someone to work 8 hours a night x 6 nights a week and be able to produce 100 loaves a night. I'm thinking $650 a week. Thoughts?

nbicomputers's picture

i have ran many bakeries and have paid many a worker

if your are taklking net pay then 650 would not be bad for someone with two years but if you are looking for a person that can walk in and start baking with no supervision i would thinking at least 20 an hour 48 hour a week 960 to 1000 would be more the avarage.  also take into consideration if you want the baker to use there own formulas.. if thats the case you are for practical purposes you are buying the formulas from the baker and i know there are bakers that would not sell there formulas for love or money.

in my yonger days i was told f&$#* you many times becayse i asked for a formula you will many bakers guard there formulas better than fort knox and if given a formula many times if will be wrong or missing an ingredent or two.  thats why when a baker leaves for another job many times the bakery will sudenly stom having an item because the baker naver reveled the formula.

with the right equipment a good baker and a helper could turn out 1000 breads a night and more think about a year from now maybe you start with 100 but that could quickly grow if your place takes off

ps :if you start to low then you might end up breaking in new bakers every few months and that will cost you time and consistensy which will hurt production.

remember it does not matter if your product is pore good or wonderfull it must be consistant because when customers come back for a product they want the same product over and over again. a baker is not allowed to have a bad day.

Edith Pilaf's picture
Edith Pilaf

That's the most useful information you can have.  Depending on where you are, $650 might be just fine, or it might be laughable.  Perhaps you could use a consultant if you are not familiar with your market.

FinancingBread's picture

Thanks for your input so far. If anyone can think of anything else or provide any resouces I can use, please let me know

nbicomputers's picture

ill add one last thing taking in all costs labor overhead gas electric packaging ingredints

a baker should be able to produce at least eight times his or her salery to pay for him or her self

wally's picture

as a newbie professional baker (but avocational one for 30 yrs.), I'd think the first questions everyone would have asked you are: What kind of bakery, and, 50 - 100 loaves of what?

Are we talking white sandwich bread, or a sourdough rye? Baguettes? Brioche?

Shaped loaves (like kaiser rolls, baguettes, batards or boules), or pan-shaped loaves?

Bottom line: I don't think you've supplied enough information to get a good answer to your question.


rainwater's picture

I live in Houston, TX.  I've worked as a cook/chef, and have some experience in bakeries.  The cost of living must be much higher where you live.  In Houston, you could take someone in, train them in a week and pay them $10.00 an hour to start...and work them up to $15.00 an hour quickly.  You aren't asking them to bake that much in my opinion, unless you have lousy equipment.

As far as formulas......I've never worked anywhere where formulas were kept a secret.....but I've never worked anywhere that an outside baker brought his own formulas.  The owner baker gave everyone the formulas, showed how he wanted it, and that's it.  I wouldn't think it's a good idea if an owner had to depend on someone else's formulas.  Everyplace I've worked, there is either a notebook with all the formulas, or the formulas are pinned to the wall...or both.  I've never worked anywhere where we had time for any secret bs. 

50-100 loaves a night.....if production went higher than that, I wouldn't want you to hire an me more!   .... :) 

Nothing against culinary degrees, but a good percentage of graduates haven't much practical experience.......and expect a lot for a little. 

Not to be politically incorrect, but we have a large Mexican/Latin American (legal) labor pool in Texas.  Typically diligent employees, trainable/capable, and don't demand an arm and a of the above mentioned salaries don't seem to be profitable in relation to just 50/100 loaves a night.  You mentioned $33K to start!  You better have a good profit margin on those 100 loaves a night.