Retail union Usdaw has welcomed a commitment from Prime Minister Tony Blair to listen to its case against further extension of Sunday shopping hours for larger stores.Speaking at the union’s annual conference last week, the PM pledged to meet with Usdaw general secretary John Hannett to hear objections to extension of the current six-hour limit on Sunday opening. Retention of the Sunday time limit is backed by 95% of shopworkers.
MAY27-28 Wood-Fired Oven Workshop. Panary. Contact Paul Merry, tel: 01722 341447; email: [email protected] Italian Baking. BreadMatters. Contact Andrew Whitley. tel: 01768 881899; email: [email protected] Bakery Ingredients – Technology and Impact on Product Quality. CCFRA. Contact the training department, tel: 01386 842104; email: [email protected] Basic Breadmaking. Panary. Contact Paul Merry, tel: 01722 341447; email: [email protected] Sourdough. Panary. Contact Paul Merry, tel: 01722 341447; email: [email protected] Masterclass. BreadMatters. Contact Andrew Whitley, tel: 01768 881899; email: [email protected] Wheat – Understanding your Raw Material. CCFRA. Contact the training department, tel: 01386 842104; email: [email protected] 21-22 The Basics: Shelf-Life of Bakery Products. CCFRA. Contact, the training department, tel: 01386 842104; email: [email protected] 23 Basic breadmaking. Panary. Contact Paul Merry, tel: 01722 341447; email: [email protected] Italian breadmaking. Panary. Contact Paul Merry, tel: 01722 341447; email: [email protected] Baking Masterclass. Wingham, Kent. Contact Paul Hollywood, tel: 01227 721189; email: [email protected] 1 Breadmaking – Going Professional. Panary. Contact Paul Merry, tel: 01722 341447; email: [email protected] Bread Matters Fundamental. BreadMatters. Contact Andrew Whitley, tel: 01768 881899; email: [email protected] Basic breadmaking. Panary. Contact Paul Merry, tel: 01722 341447; email: [email protected] Wheat Variety – Visual Identification. CCFRA. Contact the training department, tel: 01386 842104; email: [email protected] 8-9 Basic Breads. Panary. Contact Paul Merry, tel: 01722 341447;
The Office for National Statistics said this week that the UK’s rate of inflation fell to 1.9% in July, below the government’s target of 2%.Inflation was at 3.1% in March and 2.4% in June. The unexpected drop to 1.9% is the largest decline since May 2002. Weaker food prices, including bakery products, resulting from supermarkets price cuts added to the decline.But the Bank of England warned that due to the floods, it expects the price of food will soon rise.
A brand new exhibition for the baking industry opens its doors 6th-9th April 2008. The Baking Industry Exhibition (BIE) brings together new ideas, new products and big names from across the world of baking. Plus, there’s an exciting programme of master classes, competitions and demonstrations to keep you informed and entertained throughout your visit. Visit the Baking Industry Exhibition web site
Students studying the Diploma in Manufacturing and Product Design (MPD) can now gain access to Ginsters’ Callington Bakery without leaving their classroom, thanks to online video conferencing technology.Using free Skype communication software, pupils are able to talk directly to staff at Ginsters and look around the bakery as part of course projects and assignments. The new Diploma in MPD targets students aged between 14 and 19 and mixes practical and theoretical work on food manufacturing and product development, including at least 10 days’ work experience.“At Ginsters, we have worked with schools and colleges in Plymouth and Cornwall for many years. But we noticed that visits were decreasing year-on-year. It seems that new challenges associated with taking a class of young people on a visit were responsible for this reduction. These included transport, health and safety, financial and time-tabling issues,” said Chris Schaffer, bakery training and education co-ordinator at Ginsters. “We didn’t want this to affect our ability to help schools, especially with the new work-relevant requirements of the Diploma in MPD, so we decided to use Skype. Now, thanks to this technology, we can give students access to our facilities and the expertise of our staff.”Schaffer, who has signed up to become an employer champion for the Diploma in MPD, has also developed an educational website to support Ginsters’ activity.
Premium café chain Patisserie Valerie is on target to have 125 stores by 2013, with at least six opening this year.Shops in Leeds, Bath, and London will soon follow those recently launched in Cambridge and Canterbury and the firm is in negotiations to open even more in 2010. There are already 29 Patisserie Valerie shops out of a total of 68 owned by Patisserie Holdings, which also includes stores under the Druckers and Baker & Spice brand. It has also opened two franchised Patisserie Valerie stores in Dubai and two in Bahrain, and expects to have 15 in the Middle East in the next two years.The company is owned by Risk Capital Partners, which is bankrolling the expansion.
Don’t forget to register to visit Bakers’ Fair, supported by Norbake, which will take place at Bolton Arena on Sunday 3 October.Now in its fourth year, the fair it is the UK’s only autumn exhibition for progressive and professional independent bakery companies, cafés and coffee shops. The event is free to attend and features a host of speakers, including Mike Holling from Birds of Derby and chairman of the NAMB; Edward Chatwin, Chatwins; and John Robertshaw, Bako NW.The Richemont Club of Great Britain will also be hosting its seventh Annual Competition, including a live cake decorating challenge.The show is open from 9.30am to 3.30pm. For tickets, call 01792 365901 or register at www.bakersfair.co.uk.* See our preview pages for more info
Eric Lanlard Home BakeMitchell Beazley (Octopus Publishing) £20Master patissier Eric Lanlard, cake-maker to celebrities, has launched his second book Home Bake, in which he takes a look at some of his favourite treats, often with a French, twist. This aesthetically pleasing book also offers tips in each section and, although targeted mainly at those wanting to achieve culinary masterpieces at home, the recipes, tips and suggestions for decorations/presentation serve as a great commercial source of ideas for craft bakers for the type of baked goods they would consider selling in their shops.Basic recipes include a classic chocolate and classic vanilla sponge, both of which Lanlard sells in his London-based café-patisserie Cake Boy, alongside more unusual creations, such as a flour-free orange and lavender cake, rhubarb and apple tarte Normande, apricot and honey tart, peach melba muffins, cream cheese brownies and ricotta, apple and cinnamon cheesecake.The book also features a section on festive recipes, including achocolate and orange Christmas cake, with optional gold leaf naturally; and a chocolate and chestnut yule log. Chock-full of photography at each stage of the production, it serves as inspiration as to how bakers could present similar traditional bakery products.
Imagine your team coming in to work in the morning. They park behind the shop, open up the back door, fill the shelves, have a general clean-up and then unlock the door for business. They then return behind the counter and start serving. Is this good practice?What if they took an extra seven minutes to review the customer journey? All too often we run our businesses not through our customers’ eyes but through our team members’ eyes, thus seeing everything from the inside-out rather than from the outside-in.My suggestion is a seven-minute daily process that ensures the customer experience is greatly improved. After the staff member has set up the shop, ask them to walk out of the front door and 30 yards down the street and then pretend they are a customer. Ask them to approach the store and jot down on a piece of paper three things that are good about the outside of the store and three things that need improving. For example, the windows may be clean, but the pavement littered. The opening times are clear, but a light bulb is missing from the fascia.Then ask them to stand outside the business and look through the windows and, again, note down three things that are good and three that need improving. The window display may be creative, but dusty, giving the impression that this fresh bakery may not be quite so fresh after all.Finally, ask them to enter the shop, sit down at one of the customer tables or stand at the counter. What do they see? What do they smell? How do they feel? Having gone through this exercise, they should have a list of the good things about the business and a list of the simple changes that can be made to greatly enhance the customer experience.When I coach and train staff in the food industry, it’s always staggering how excited teams become when they take a good look through their customers’ eyes not necessarily because of the number of improvements required, but simply because they’ve never done it before.Back in 1985, when I was a trainee manager at Harrods, this was our daily routine. Great businesses appreciate the importance of looking through their customers’ eyes do you?
Wrights Pies has seen sales in its newly refurbished shops climb by around 20% following a £1m investment by the Crewe-based company.So far, four shops have been refurbished, with plans to complete four more, in Fenton, Leek, Meir and Tunstall, by Christmas, said the firm. The latest revamps form part of an ongoing investment programme in its retail business across Stoke-on-Trent and North Staffordshire with its Northwood shop the latest shop to undergo the make-over.Alison Harding, Wrights retail operations director, told British Baker that the £1m investment covers the reburbishment of Wrights’ entire 17-shop estate, but said no timescale had been set for its completion.She said the firm had wanted to bring the retail shops in line with the branding of the rest of the business, and said there was a now a blueprint for the refurbishments to ensure uniformity and make the shops instantly recognisable. They have been kitted out with contemporary fittings and distinctive Wrights orange branding and counter displays.”Following each branding refurbishment the new look store has recorded an uplift in sales of around 20%,” said Harding. This increase has not just been a temporary boost, but has continued following the revamps of each shop, she explained.”We’ve also had some really great customer feedback, which has praised improvements such as increased visibility hence the increase in sales.”The retail shops sell a range of Wrights pies, savouries, sausage rolls, sandwiches and cakes.