The COVID-19 pandemic has fuelled a massive rise in home baking. Nearly everywhere you turn, people are baking up a storm in their kitchens! Macarons, bread loaves, cakes, cookies, desserts – even savoury treats like pies and pizzas are galore! And with all this comes the inevitable boom in baking businesses.
So, if you’re one of those who’s been bitten by the baking bug, but don’t know how exactly to convert that passion into a lucrative profession, you’re in luck. Whether you’re a home baker, someone just starting out, or even someone from the industry who wants to branch out on your own, ICCA Dubai is the ideal solution for you.
We are one of the top culinary institutions in the world, and we offer an extensive range of courses for both amateur as well as professional bakers and chefs. Many of our students have gone on to work in some of the most respected hotels in the region, and some of them have even started their own super successful baking businesses!
So now, we’re going to dive deep into how you can become a professional baker.
What you need to do to become a professional baker
If you want to start your own baking business, there are 5 simple steps you need to follow.
- Get a professional qualification
No matter how good a baker you are at home, there are some skills and techniques you absolutely need to master if you want to become a pro. After all, at home, if you make a mistake, you can still be proud of your effort. But as a professional, you need to be at the top of your game every day. And the only way to become that good is to take up an amateur or professional course in baking or patisserie
In these courses, you will learn all the baking technicalities, which you will need to make great-tasting bread, cakes, cookies, pastries and more. More importantly, you’ll find this formal foundation very useful once you start developing your own recipes as a professional. If you have questions, get in touch with us and we will be more than happy to guide you.
- Consider becoming an apprentice or trainee
Even after you get your professional qualification, you need work experience. Many successful bakers became apprentices or trainees under established bakers, working at stores or restaurants, learning the tricks of the trade.
The opportunity to work alongside experts will help you develop better and more techniques. Another excellent benefit from an apprenticeship program is that industry veterans are very generous in imparting valuable lessons, many of which you cannot find in textbooks. You will also get a sneak peek at how the business operates – and this will be very important to you in future.
- Learn business management
Starting your own business requires you to handle a lot of things. You will need to deal with sourcing suppliers, buying ingredients, maybe buying specialised equipment, renting a kitchen, hiring employees, and, last but not least, marketing your product. All this requires some technical knowledge of financial management, employee management, supplier/vendor management, and so on.
You also need to know where you’re going to get the money from to start your business. Are you going to fund it yourself? Opt for crowdfunding? Get family and friends to pitch in? Go to an investor? For all this, doing some research about how to operate a food-related business will go a long way to help you.
- Choose a specialisation
You also need to decide exactly what niche you’re going to be operating in. Are you going to bake cakes? Cakes and cookies? Bread? Play to your strengths, but ensure you do not bite off more than you can chew. As a professional baker, you need to be innovative. This way, you'll be able to prevent your menu from becoming stale and keep your offerings relevant, especially if you think about how food trends change so rapidly.
Once you’ve chosen your niche, you can research similar brands in your country or around the world. This way, you can learn how other people made their business work, thus getting some valuable insights for yourself.
- Explore additional certifications
There are certain specialised certificates only for baking professionals. When you undergo the process to obtain one, you will not only learn some niche skills but also get a valuable certificate that will enhance your customers’ trust in you. And remember: learning is a never-ending process.
And that’s it! These are the basic steps you need to follow to realise your dream of becoming a professional baker.
If you want a deeper insight, or an opportunity to speak with our chefs and students, please visit our campus in Dubai Knowledge Park, and we’ll be glad to organise a tour for you.