If you want to open a bakery, you have a great chance of business success. Reason: The traditional bakeries are booming again and attract customers in long queues to their fragrant counters in the morning. Baking is also a trend in society, with sweet temptations being lovingly devoted to Instagram accounts and baking blogs. Baking shows achieve the best ratings on TV, just like cooking shows. If you want to open a bakery, you need not only a passion for baked goods but also the admission requirements and business skills. Click here for more info.
Opening a bakery: the essential requirements
The most important requirement is the approval of the chamber of crafts because it is a craft that requires support. For example, until a few years ago, the bakery owner still had to be a master craftsman, but this is no longer the case. To be admitted by the chamber, you have three options:
Each of these options has its advantages. If you are in a hurry to start your own business but do not have a master craftsman’s certificate and have not been employed in the bakery trade long enough, you will probably choose the second option. However, if you want to “rule” without restriction, there is perhaps no way around the championship title. The chambers of crafts regularly offer preparatory courses for this, which you can complete full-time or part-time. Then you take the master’s exam.
It’s also worth it if you – described as variant number three – are already allowed to open the business without a master craftsman’s certificate, thanks to your professional experience.
Construct a unique business model. This can be special, changing offers of baked goods or delivery services and other initiatives.
Another important prerequisite is your current health certificate, which you already have if you are currently working as a baker. That would be an advantage because opening a bakery requires specialist knowledge. In addition to the official and professional requirements, you should ask yourself whether you are an entrepreneurial type. Self-employment requires a lot of commitment from you and your family. Bakers get up very early in the morning to be able to offer fresh baked goods from 6:30 a.m. Therefore, you also need business knowledge.
Think about financing and business model
You will probably need to take out a loan to pay for the initial equipment for a bakery. You should also be familiar with taxes, salaries, purchasing, and price calculations. If you are wondering at this point whether your business will pay off, you should write a business plan. Then, if your assumptions about costs, sales forecasts, etc., make sense, you can calculate a probable break-even point – or have it figured.
Construct a unique business model. This can be special, changing offers of baked goods or delivery services and other initiatives. You should know your direct competition in the desired location to find a niche for yourself. Speaking of place: You have to choose this carefully. A successful bakery can be reached on foot by many people in the area, among other things. Nevertheless, a few customer parking spaces in front of the house are always useful and sometimes even necessary (here, you should speak to the technical advice/location advice of the Chamber of Commerce).
What formalities do you have to complete if you want to open a bakery?
The first formality is entry into the artisans’ register. You will then become a member of your competent chamber of crafts. With the confirmation of the mandatory entry, you can register your business. The trade office automatically informs the tax office and the trade association. Membership in the Chamber of Crafts is subject to a fee. However, new founders pay no fees in the first year and only reduce prices up to the fourth year (this does not apply to a GmbH and also depends on the turnover).
Sebastian, from the bread purists, has fulfilled his dream of having his bakery. His passion is bread, and only that is sold. The quality search for artisanal bread is a current trend. Although he studied business administration, he found a way to come to an agreement with the Chamber of Crafts and get the entry. He tells his story in this founder portrait:
Opening a bakery: entrepreneurial variants
There are three options for starting your bakery:
- an absolute, completely independent start-up
- A takeover of an existing bakery whose owner is retiring, for example, for reasons of age
- Franchisee in a large bakery chain
Let’s look at these options in detail. First, the completely new establishment at a previously vacant location offers the chance that you will encounter a supply gap, and the customers will break down your door. If you can convince with your baked goods right from the start, you will win a loyal regular customer base.
Two points are crucial here: This supply gap has to exist, for example, in a larger residential area without a bakery far and wide, and you also have to be completely and completely convincing with your products. However, if you are not completely confident in your product ideas, you can also become a chain franchisee that will sell you an existing concept. You typically pay an entry and training fee, mostly source the raw materials from the franchisor, and then give away sales percentages in the future. Large baked goods chains function according to the franchise principle, but so do most fast food outlets, for example.
Establishing a franchise also includes a well-founded business plan that you can work with and the search for a location. In addition, you then work for an established brand and therefore have much less expenditure on your marketing because the franchisor also places national advertising from which you benefit. Of course, taking over an existing bakery can also be worthwhile. You will find appropriate options at the Central Association of the German Bakery Trade or the company exchange nexxt-change. If an owner retires for reasons of age, a successor is sought. You will already have regular customers and ready-made business equipment, including staff. Otherwise, you can bring in your ideas.
What costs do you have to reckon with if you want to open a bakery?
A smaller oven for the bakery costs new from around 2,500 euros. You hardly need less than two to three of these ovens. The shop rents, including ancillary expenses, are rarely less than 1,000 euros per month, which does not cover the electricity costs for the ovens. It would help if you had a counter and shelves, and you also have ongoing personnel costs right from the start. Transfer fees for bakeries to be sold vary greatly depending on the size and age of the technical equipment, between around 40,000 and 200,000 euros. There are also cheaper and more expensive offers.
You need capital for your staff, electricity costs, the necessary insurance, and the raw materials from day one, so you should calculate a medium five-digit sum as start-up capital if you want to open a bakery. This can be easily obtained with a loan, for which you have to submit a clean business plan. If you allocate the credit to running costs, you will most likely make an immediate profit. According to the Central Association of German Bakers, the average annual turnover of German bakeries in 2020 was EUR 1.4 million per company.
If you haven’t gotten scared and worried now, but you have “read out” the positive and the great opportunities from the article: That’s good! Then bake your rolls and enjoy a self-determined working life!