The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

New Bakery Restaurant

KaiG's picture
KaiG

New Bakery Restaurant

Hello! I've been baking various breads for 20 years, and for the last 2 years have been focusing on naturally leavened (sourdough) breads. I feel like I'm consistently making high quality loaves and my wife and I have decided to open up a small bakery restaurant. It has 30 seats and we will be baking bread for breakfasts as well as sandwhichs ar lunch and plan to sell loaves alongside of other baked goods and some prepared meals etc. The restaurant will be in a small town with lots of farmers etc. Its been fairly easy to estimate how many loaves we need for the restaurant on our busiest days, about 15, but it's hard to figure out how much bread we are going to be able to sell. Right now, just before I buy a few dozen expensive bannetons, I'm trying to figure it out. I'm thinking about 40 bannetons and therefore 40 loaves a day. Does anyone with any experience have some thoughts. There are no other bakers in this small town of 5000 people.

ds99303's picture
ds99303

The only thing I can tell you is if you're just starting out, it's better to have too much rather than too little.  If a new customer walks in (that's virtually everybody at this point) and they can't buy something because you're out, they're not going to return.  Once you start to get regulars and develop a rapport, they'll be more understanding if you're out of something.  The leftover bread can maybe be re-purposed into something else such as bread pudding or dressing or crostini or croutons.  Another possibility is you could donate it to a soup kitchen and deduct as a charitable contribution on your income taxes.

KaiG's picture
KaiG

Thank you for your reply! I think that's a great idea. It was quite the sticker shock for my wife when I suggested we needed 100 bannetons plus pans and banquette forms etc.