How to manage and minimize the operating costs of your bakery business

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If you’re looking to start a bakery , it’s essential to understand the operating costs associated with it. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the baking industry has experienced a steady growth rate of 2.8% per year for the past five years. This growth is expected to continue, making it more important than ever for bakery owners to keep tabs on their spending.

Running a bakery comes with unique operational expenses and while expenses can vary from business to business, it’s important for any bakery to know what costs they should prioritize in their budget. Here are some of the regular expenses that shop owners might face:

  • Lease or rental payments
  • Utilities (electric, water, gas)
  • Raw materials and ingredients
  • Labor costs (salaries, wages, benefits)
  • Equipment maintenance and repairs
  • Shipping and delivery costs
  • Marketing and advertising expenses
  • Insurance premiums
  • Business taxes and licenses

Now that we know what to expect, let’s explore each expense in more detail, so you can understand how to manage and minimize the cost of keeping your bakery profitable and profitable while providing great service and quality baked goods.

Operating Expenses

Bakery operating costs are necessary to keep the business running. These costs include all the expenses necessary to operate the bakery and generate a profit. Understanding these costs is crucial for bakery owners to manage their finances, make informed decisions, and maintain profitability.

  • Lease or Lease Payments: This expense includes the cost of renting or renting a storefront, commercial kitchen, or other space to run the bakery.
  • Utilities (electric, water, gas): This expense includes the cost of electricity, water, gas and any other utilities used to run the bakery.
  • Raw materials and ingredients: This expense covers the cost of ingredients, such as flour, sugar, eggs, and butter, used to make the pastries.
  • Labor Costs (Salaries, Wages, Benefits): This expense covers wages, salaries, benefits, and taxes paid to bakery employees.
  • Equipment Maintenance and Repairs: These expenses cover the cost of maintaining and repairing bakery equipment, such as ovens, mixers, and refrigerators.
  • Shipping and delivery costs: This expense covers the cost of delivering baked goods to customers, whether through a delivery service or in-house delivery.
  • Marketing and Advertising Expenses: These expenses cover the cost of advertising the bakery’s products and services to the public.
  • Insurance premiums: This expense includes the cost of insurance policies, such as building insurance, liability insurance, and workers’ insurance.
  • Taxes and Business Licenses: This expense includes the cost of federal, state, and local taxes and business licenses necessary to legally operate the bakery.

Lease or lease payments

One of the main factors in determining the costs of operating a bakery is the cost of rent or lease payments. This cost can have a huge impact on the profitability and success of your bakery business.

According to recent statistics available, the average cost of rent for commercial bakery space in the United States ranges from ,500 to ,000 per month. However, this amount could increase significantly depending on the location and size of the bakery. For example, bakeries located in metropolitan areas may have to pay up to ,000 per month for rent.

With the already high cost of equipment, supplies, and already expensive ingredients, the cost of rent can add a significant financial burden to bakery owners, especially those starting their businesses. Therefore, it is important to factor in the cost of rent or lease payments when creating your bakery business plan and budget.

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If you own a bakery, you might want to consider renegotiating the lease with the landlord to get a better deal. Also, it may be worth exploring different locations or even sharing space with another bakery business to reduce the cost of rent.

It is important to note that the cost of rent or lease payments covers not only the physical space the bakery occupies but also other factors such as utilities, property tax and building maintenance. These additional costs can add up and should also be considered when budgeting for your bakery.


Rental or rental payments can have a significant impact on the costs of operating a bakery, and therefore, it is essential to consider these costs when creating a business plan and planning. budgeting. From recent statistical information available, the rent for a commercial bakery ranges from ,500 to ,000 per month. However, the cost can vary greatly depending on the location and size of the bakery. It is important to renegotiate a lease with your landlord to obtain more favorable conditions. Finally, it is important to remember that rent also covers additional costs such as property tax, utilities and building maintenance.

Utilities (electric water gas)

When talking about bakery operating costs, utilities such as electricity, water, and gas can be a significant part. According to the latest statistics, the average utility cost for a small bakery per month is around ,000 to ,500, while a larger bakery may spend ,000 to ,000 per month.

Electricity: The cost of electricity varies depending on the location and size of the bakery. However, on average, it accounts for about 22% of a bakery’s utility costs. For a small bakery, the monthly electricity cost is around 0 to 0, while for a larger bakery, it can be between 0 and ,000 per month.

Water: Water is another essential utility for bakeries. It is mainly used for cleaning and cooking. According to recent statistics, the monthly cost of water for a small bakery is around -100 USD, while for a larger bakery it can be between 0-500 USD per month.

Gas: Gas is mainly used for heating and cooking in commercial bakeries. It can represent up to 30% of a bakery’s total utility costs. The cost of gas varies depending on local prices and usage. A small bakery may spend around 0 to 0 per month on gas, while a larger bakery may spend 0 to ,000.

It is essential to note that utility costs can vary greatly depending on the location, the size of the bakery and even the specific equipment used. For example, a bakery that uses more energy efficient equipment may have lower utility costs than a bakery that uses older or less efficient equipment.

Bakery owners can take several steps to reduce their utility costs, such as investing in energy-efficient equipment, reducing water consumption, optimizing production schedules to consolidate water consumption. energy and perform regular maintenance to ensure the equipment is operating efficiently.

Overall, utilities such as electricity, water, and gas make up a significant portion of a bakery’s operating costs. Bakery owners should be aware of these costs and take steps to reduce them wherever possible, without sacrificing the quality of their products.

Raw materials and ingredients

Bakeries are best known for their pastries that are delicious to eat and beautiful to look at. The unique taste in the products mainly comes from ingredients put together in a particular recipe. That’s why bakeries need to have a sufficient stock of quality ingredients on hand to create baked goods that appeal to customers.

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Latest statistical information in USD on raw material and ingredient costs:

  • The average flour cost in 2021 is around /cwt.
  • The cost of sugar per pound in 2021 is estimated at .22/lb.
  • Eggs might be the most expensive ingredient in baking. According to the American Egg Board, the average cost of eggs in 2021 is around .17 per dozen.
  • Bake-to-bake dark chocolate chunks cost about .63 per lb.
  • Powdered dry milk, which is often used to make donuts and bagels, can cost up to .79 a pound.

In addition to the above items, bakers can use additives and flavorings like vanilla extract or almond extract to improve the taste of their baked goods. The cost of these ingredients can vary depending on the brand and quality.

The cost of raw ingredients has steadily increased in recent years due to several factors such as climate change, transportation costs, and the impact of the pandemic on production and supply chains. As such, bakery owners and managers need to keep a watchful eye on their raw ingredient costs when planning their budgets and pricing their products.

Additionally, when ordering raw materials, bakeries should aim to keep inventory at an optimal level to avoid unnecessary waste and spoilage of product. They should also ensure that the storage facility is clean, dry, well ventilated and maintained at an appropriate temperature to prevent spoilage and contamination.

In conclusion, raw materials and ingredients are the backbone of the bakery, and their quality and cost have a significant impact on the operating costs of the bakery. Bakeries must regularly assess and manage their raw material costs, maintain a reasonable level of inventory, and ensure safe storage of ingredients to maintain profitability and customer satisfaction.

Labor costs (wage wages)

When it comes to operating a bakery, labor costs are a major expense that cannot be ignored. The cost of wages, salaries and employee benefits can be a significant part of a bakery’s operating budget. In fact, according to recent statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, labor costs can account for up to 30% of a bakery’s operating costs.

Salaries and wages for bakery employees can vary depending on their duties and level of experience. For example, entry-level positions such as bakers and pastry chefs typically earn between and per hour, while more experienced roles such as head bakers and store managers can earn over an hour. Additionally, benefits such as health insurance, vacation, and retirement plans add an additional cost to labor expenses.

Rising minimum wage laws in the United States have also impacted labor costs for bakeries. As of January 2021, the federal minimum wage is .25 per hour. However, many states and cities have implemented their own higher minimum wage laws, some of which are as high as an hour. This increase in labor costs can add up quickly, especially for smaller bakeries with limited budgets.

Another factor that impacts labor costs is employee turnover. Employee turnover occurs when employees leave their jobs and need to be replaced. This can be an expensive process for a bakery, as it often involves recruiting, training, and onboarding new employees. According to a study by the Center for Hospitality Research at Cornell University, the cost of replacing an employee can range from 16% to 213% of their annual salary. This range includes direct costs such as advertising, recruiting, and training, as well as indirect costs such as lost productivity and reduced morale among remaining employees.

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To minimize labor costs, bakeries can implement strategies such as cross-training employees to perform multiple job functions, offering competitive wages and benefits, and creating a positive work environment for reduce employee turnover. Additionally, investing in technology such as automated cooking equipment or online ordering systems can reduce the need for additional employees and therefore reduce labor costs.

  • Summary: Labor costs, including salaries, wages, and benefits, can represent up to 30% of a bakery’s operating budget. Factors such as minimum wage laws and employee turnover can increase these costs. Strategies to minimize labor costs include cross-training, offering competitive wages and benefits, creating a positive work environment, and investing in technology.

Equipment maintenance and repairs

Running a bakery requires a lot of equipment, ranging from ovens and mixers to refrigerators and display cases. These machines are critical to the operation of the business, but they also require regular maintenance and repairs to keep them running smoothly. In fact, the costs associated with maintaining and repairing equipment can be significant.

According to a recent report from the National Restaurant Association, restaurant operators paid an average of ,200 per unit for maintenance and repairs in 2018. That figure is up from ,800 in 2016, and it includes everything from from routine maintenance and minor repairs to major overhauls and replacement of equipment.

For bakeries, the costs can be even higher due to the specialized nature of the equipment involved. For example, a commercial oven can cost ,000 to ,000 or more, and repairs can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars, depending on the extent of the damage. Likewise, a walk-in refrigerator can cost upwards of ,000, and repairs can be costly if there is a problem with the compressor, wiring, or other critical components.

One way to manage the costs of equipment maintenance and repairs is to invest in preventive maintenance. By having a professional service technician come in regularly to inspect and tune your equipment, you can catch minor issues before they become major issues and ensure everything is running at peak efficiency. This can help reduce the risk of failure and extend the life of your equipment, which can ultimately save you money in the long run.

Another option is to invest in equipment warranties or service contracts. Many manufacturers offer warranties or extended service plans that can provide additional coverage beyond the standard warranty period. These plans can be expensive, but they can also provide peace of mind knowing that your equipment is covered in the event of a major breakdown or catastrophic failure.

If you need to repair equipment, it is important to choose a reputable service provider. Look for a company that specializes in commercial bakery equipment and has a proven track record of quality service. You can also ask for references or read reviews from other customers to ensure that the company you choose is reliable, trustworthy and competent.

  • Invest in preventative maintenance to catch minor issues before they become major issues
  • Consider equipment warranties or service contracts to provide additional coverage
  • Choose a reputable service provider for repairs and maintenance

Although the costs associated with equipment maintenance and repairs can be significant, they are a necessary part of running a successful bakery. By investing in preventive maintenance, considering equipment warranties or service contracts, and choosing a reputable service provider, you can keep your equipment running smoothly and minimize the impact of unexpected breakdowns or repairs.

Shipping and delivery costs

Running a bakery business involves various expenses. To make a profit, bakery owners must keep operating costs low while producing high quality baked goods. One of the major expenses for bakery businesses is shipping and delivery costs .

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According to the latest statistical information, the average shipping and delivery cost for a bakery business in the United States ranges from to per order. This cost may vary depending on the location of the bakery, the distance to the customer’s location and the delivery method used.

One way to reduce shipping and delivery costs is to offer free shipping. However, the bakery should factor the cost of delivery into the selling price of the product, which could lead to higher prices than competitors. Alternatively, bakeries may choose to place orders in larger batches to reduce overall shipping and delivery costs.

Local delivery options

A bakery may offer local delivery options or hire a third-party courier to deliver their products. In-house delivery reduces shipping costs because the bakery can split the cost between multiple orders. However, this requires additional staff or delivery drivers, which can be costly. On the other hand, hiring a courier service can be cost-effective as it reduces the company’s transportation costs.

Shipping costs for online orders

For online orders, bakeries should consider shipping and handling costs. This can be expensive as the bakery has to pack and ship individual orders. The cost of shipping is usually determined by the shipping distance, package weight, and shipping method chosen. To keep costs low, bakeries can choose a shipping provider that offers lower rates or negotiate with their chosen provider to receive discounts.

Cost of packaging materials

When shipping baked goods, packaging materials are an additional cost. To keep shipping costs low, bakeries use lightweight, durable materials and choose the right size box to minimize shipping expenses. Alternatively, bakeries may choose to charge customers an additional packaging fee to offset the cost of shipping materials.

In conclusion, shipping and delivery costs can be significant expenses for bakery businesses. However, there are options that can help reduce these costs, such as using local delivery options, hiring couriers, or negotiating lower rates with shipping providers. Whatever tactics are used, bakeries must also consider the cost of packaging materials when determining final shipping and delivery charges for their baked goods.

Marketing and advertising expenses

When it comes to running a bakery business, spending on marketing and advertising is a necessary investment that cannot be ignored. The bakery industry has grown exponentially over the years, with an estimated global market value of .8 billion in 2021. According to recent statistics, bakery owners should expect to spend an average of 0 $ to ,000 per month, or more, in marketing and advertising costs alone.

Marketing and advertising spend can be split into two categories: print and digital. Printed marketing expenses include business cards, flyers, pamphlets, brochures, and other printed materials used to promote a bakery’s products and services. On the other hand, digital marketing expenses include social media marketing, pay-per-view advertising, email marketing, and website design and development.

Business owners should be aware that marketing and advertising expenses can vary depending on different factors such as geographic location, target audience, and business competition. Therefore, it is essential to conduct research and develop a detailed marketing plan that meets the specific needs of each bakery.

One of the most profitable marketing strategies is to focus on word of mouth marketing. Happy customers are a bakery’s best advertisement, and they’re more likely to tell friends and family about the amazing products and service they’ve received. Offering customer loyalty programs, like a customer rewards program, can also be a valuable way to retain customers and encourage them to refer new customers.

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Another effective marketing strategy is social media marketing. According to recent studies, social media marketing has become the best digital marketing channel for bakeries, with over 80% of bakeries adopting social media as a marketing tool. Social media marketing is cost effective, provides a direct connection with customers, and allows bakeries to engage with their audience in real time.

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising is another popular digital marketing strategy for bakeries. PPC allows bakery owners to reach potential customers who are actively searching for bakery products and services online. With PPC, bakery owners can set a budget for their ads, and they only pay when someone clicks on their ads. On average, the cost per click for bakery PPC ads is between and .


Marketing and advertising expenses are a crucial aspect of running a successful bakery business. By investing in effective marketing strategies, bakery owners can expand their customer base, increase revenue, and establish their brand in the baking industry.

Insurance premiums

One of the significant costs that any bakery owner must consider is insurance premiums. Insurance premiums are the fees charged by an insurance company for providing insurance coverage to bakeries. Insurance coverage helps bakery owners protect against unforeseen events and risks that may arise during bakery operations.

According to the latest statistics, the average cost of insurance premiums for bakeries is around ,000 to ,000 per year. However, the exact cost of insurance premiums can vary depending on the size of the bakery, the type of insurance coverage, and the location of the bakery. The cost may further increase depending on the frequency of claims filed by the bakery or the risk of the bakery operations.

It is essential for bakery owners to have different types of insurance coverage to protect against different types of risks. For example, general liability insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, property insurance, and product liability insurance are some of the common types of insurance coverage opted by bakery owners. .

Liability Insurance: This type of insurance coverage helps protect bakery owners against third-party claims for personal injury, property damage, or advertising errors that may occur during bakery operations.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance: This type of insurance coverage helps provide financial assistance to bakery employees who suffer work-related injuries, lost wages, or medical expenses during the course of their employment.

Home Insurance: This type of insurance coverage helps protect the bakery owner against financial loss resulting from damage or loss of bakery property caused by natural disasters, theft, or other types of damage.

Product Liability Insurance: This type of insurance coverage helps the bakery owner protect against liability claims that may arise due to the consumption of baked goods by customers. This is especially important in the event of injury or illness caused by the consumption of baked goods.

However, it is essential for bakery owners to choose the right insurance coverage and obtain it from reliable insurance providers. Opting for a comprehensive insurance policy that covers all the risks involved and guarantees optimal protection is essential for the long-term success of the bakery.

Business taxes and licenses

Running a bakery requires more than just baking delicious treats. There are various business-related expenses that need to be considered, including business taxes and licenses. These expenses can add up quickly, greatly affecting the operating costs of the bakery. Below, we’ll take a closer look at the latest statistical information regarding business taxes and licenses in the United States.

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In 2021, the average cost of obtaining a business license in the United States is to 0. However, this cost may vary depending on the state and type of business. For example, if you plan to open a bakery in California, the cost of a business license can range from to 00.

Pro tip: Be sure to research your state’s business licensing requirements to ensure your bakery is properly licensed and avoid penalties.

In addition to business licenses, taxes are another major expense for bakeries. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), the average small business in the United States pays about ,000 a year in taxes. However, this number can vary significantly depending on the type of business entity, state, and revenue generated. For example, in some states, small businesses that generate less than 0,000 in revenue are exempt from certain taxes.

Pro Tip: Consider consulting a tax professional to ensure your bakery is paying the appropriate taxes and taking advantage of any available tax breaks.

It is also important to note that the cost of business taxes and licenses can change from year to year. Therefore, it is essential to budget for these expenses and review them regularly to identify any changes or increases. This can help prevent surprises and ensure your bakery maintains financial stability.

  • Business licenses can range from to 0 or more depending on the state and type of business.
  • Small to medium businesses in the United States pay around ,000 a year in taxes.
  • Small businesses that generate less than 0,000 in revenue may be exempt from certain taxes in some states.

In conclusion, business taxes and licenses are an essential aspect of operating a bakery. Although they may seem like a burden, making sure your bakery is licensed and paying the proper taxes is essential to its success. As such, it is important to understand the costs associated with trade taxes and licenses and budget for them accordingly.


Operating a bakery is a challenging and rewarding business venture. As we have seen, there are many costs associated with this, and it is crucial that bakery owners are aware of them to ensure profitability.

It should be noted that labor costs are a significant portion of expenses, averaging per hour for bakery staff. One way to manage labor costs is to hire a few skilled bakers and train additional employees to handle other tasks such as cleaning and customer service. This way, you can ensure efficiency while keeping your labor expenses under control.

Another expense to keep in mind is the cost of raw materials and ingredients. It is essential to offer high quality ingredients while also finding affordable alternatives. The average cost of flour is .56 per pound, while butter costs .50- per pound. By keeping an eye on the market and finding ways to save on ingredient costs, bakery owners can significantly reduce their expenses.

Equipment maintenance and repairs can also be significant expenses for bakery owners. However, regular maintenance and repairs can help extend equipment life and prevent costly breakdowns. It is essential to allocate a budget for equipment maintenance, so you are not caught off guard with unexpected repair expenses.

In conclusion, the bakery industry is booming and to ensure profitability, it is crucial for bakery owners to manage their expenses effectively. By prioritizing costs, finding ways to save money, and implementing strategies to effectively manage labor expenses, bakery owners can run a successful bakery that delivers baked goods. of quality while maintaining a healthy result.