How To Start A Waste-Free Bakery In The UK

start a waste free bakery in UK

A survey conducted by Too Good To Go indicates that more than 1/3rd of the bakery output in the UK ends up being wasted. Every day, a large volume of delicious pastries, cupcakes, etc., end up in the bin just because it wasn’t sold in time. Such wastage is excruciatingly painful for the bakers, given the time and energy that go into creating the perfect pastries, crusty loaves, and delicious cupcakes. Strict health and safety guidelines, short shelf life, and weather are some of the main reasons for wastage in bakeries. This is where it is recommended to start a waste-free bakery.

Many bakers are exploring ways to eliminate this wastage through customer awareness and operational modifications. Research by Too Good To Go states that around 50% of the UK bakeries have a documented plan in place to reduce food waste. So, a waste-free bakery can be a good idea for a business start as it is an upcoming trend in the UK bakery sector.

What Is A Waste-Free Bakery?

A waste-free bakery refers to a bakery establishment that intends to eliminate wastage or at least keep it as minimum as is practically possible. The reason is that wastage not only impacts the bottom line of a business but it also results in an adverse impact on the environment. As such, a waste-free bakery can benefit both the business and the environment in which it operates.

Things You Must Know To Start A Waste-Free Bakery In The UK

There is no doubt that starting a waste-free bakery entails social as well as business benefits, and given the rising concerns around wastage in the sector, it seems it is the perfect time to start one. So, let’s go through the step-by-step guide that will help you start a waste-free bakery in the UK.

1. Start With A Business Plan

Create a business plan that suits your requirements. The plan must take cognisance of your objectives, business-specific factors, and other general operations. It is advisable to start with a well-documented plan as it helps in organising the necessary steps to be taken for setting up your bakery.

2. Select Location And Property

The selection of the location and property depends on the concept of your bakery. If you want to start a counter-only service, the bakery can be set up in a remote location, while a bakery with a storefront needs to be in a prime location with adequate customer footfall. Basically, a bakery café is quite different in terms of location requirement compared to a small bakery business operating from home.

3. Get The License And Approval

As an aspiring baker, you should first get the food business registration and food premise approval:

Food Business Registration

You should register the business with the local authorities at least four weeks before the inauguration of the bakery. If you are found running a food business without registration, you may be fined or imprisoned for up to 2 years or both.

Food Premise Approval

Given that bakery typically uses eggs and dairy products as some of its ingredients, it is essential for you to get the food premise approval from the local authority.

4. Design The Interiors

The aesthetics of a bakery is an integral part of it. It transpires the persona of your business when any customer walks into your bakery. Given that you are planning to start a waste-free bakery, you can consider a theme capturing environmental conservation and its social benefits for the bakery’s interiors.

start a bakery uk
Source: Pinterest

5. Purchase Kitchen Equipment

A significant slice of the capital outlay of a bakery business goes into purchasing the kitchen equipment. Some of the equipment that goes into the priority list include worktables, dough preparation tools, proofing cabinets, and bakery ovens. Stainless steel, cast iron, ceramic, and silicone-based equipment are best suited for waste-free baking.

6. Set Up Waste Free Operations

Since you are setting up a waste-free bakery, following some or all of the points mentioned below can help you achieve the goal:

  • Join the Food Waste Reduction Roadmap headed by IGD (The Institute of Grocery Distribution) and WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme)
  • Educate the potential customers how wastage of food adversely impacts our environment
  • Purchase ingredients from vendors that use packaging that can be recycled or composted
  • Maintain the kitchen equipment properly to prevent any spillage of food during baking

7. Marketing And Promotion

Promote the bakery by posting attractive pictures of baked food items on social media platforms like InstagramFacebook, and Twitter. You can also market the bakery focusing on its business objective of waste-free baking. You can also consider creating a website that provides all information about your business and caters to customer queries around waste-free baking.

8. Invest In Technology

A good bakery shop software can help you run the business efficiently and profitably. Some of the advantages of employing a credible POS system are:

  • Allows you to accept orders in advance from customers and set reminders so that you don’t miss the delivery
  • Helps in building customer relationships by sending customised greetings and extending special offers to the customers on their birthday and anniversaries
  • Facilitates inventory management and ensures better shelf life monitoring, which means only the freshest and the best items are served to the customers
  • Helps in managing the stock requirements across multiple outlets
  • Accurate and real-time reports can be generated effortlessly and analysed to understand the business better
  • Customer data captured in the CRM module can be used to create tailored SMS and email campaigns and run Loyalty Program

So, as an aspiring baker, you have the opportunity to become a part of the emerging trend of waste-free baking, which can help manage the issue of food wastage. It can be a little challenging, but with some forethought and planning, you can easily become the proud owner of a waste-free bakery in the UK.

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Daniel McCarthy is a seasoned restaurant consultant and serves as the Communication Manager at Restroworks, a prominent F&B SaaS company. Drawing from his vast knowledge of leveraging innovative technological solutions, Daniel excels at enhancing restaurant operations and revenue, thereby contributing to the ongoing transformation of the industry.


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