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How to Run a Bakery in South Africa

There are a few things that you need to know before taking on the challenge of running a bakery.

Running a bakery, from the outside, seems like your days will be all filled with fun and delicious smells. This, of course, is true, however, you will also need to be realistic about the amount of work that will accompany this. 

If you want to run a successful bakery in South Africa, you will need to be prepared to market, keep careful track of your books and manage your staff. This is a business with narrow margins so you will have to be on top of your game to build your business into a success.

Stay ahead of the competition

In South Africa, alongside the rise of coffee and café culture, there has been a rise in the demand for baked goods. This has been evident at the higher end of the market with particular demand for artisanal baked goods! 

While this trend means more customers, it also means more competition. You will need to be prepared to put in the work to stand out from other bakeries.

These days, you will also have competition from supermarkets that have bakery sections. What will you offer to make your business worth visiting over these other businesses? 

You could specialise in dietary requirements by baking vegan or gluten-free baked goods. You could also use locally sourced ingredients, or you could offer a delivery service.

No matter what added services you offer, though, make sure to advertise them so that people are aware of what your business offers.

Have the right skills

If you want to buy a bakery, you will need to either be or employ a skilled baker. You will also need to be able to stay on top of trends in the food and service industry.

Consider how you are going to market your business. You have to know who your core customers are so that you can target them specifically. 

You should be engaging with your existing and potential customers regularly on social media. Spend time conceptualising and planning a social media strategy, though. This will lead to a better success rate. 

Take good, well-lit photographs of your baked products and caption them well. Use these platforms to make your customers aware of any new offerings or specials.

No matter where or how you market, though, have a clear vision of your brand. You will then need to keep everything you do on brand.

Hire the right staff

When you are looking for the right business to buy, you should also consider who the employees are. Focus on the type of employee you want working for you. Remember that you can always train someone, but you can’t change their personality.

Working in a bakery can be high pressured with very early mornings. You need to have a team that is committed and hard-working. You should also be ready to reward employees that excel so that you can keep your staff motivated.

Do your research

No matter what, however, you will need to do your research. Keep on top of who your demographic is, what suppliers you should use and how you can increase your market. 

You will need to do this research before putting an offer in on a business. Ensure that you know why the business is for sale and have a clear idea of how you will increase sales and profits once you take over.

Finding the right business in the right location will be the most important decision on your new journey!

Anthea Taylor

About the author

Anthea Taylor is Content Producer at Dynamis and writes for all titles in the Dynamis stable including, and as well as other industry publications.