bake - February 2018 - cake4

"We look for attitude when it comes to potential decorators," says Schurman. "We want people who want to learn
new things. And we also try and look for people who have
shown any kind of artistic flair in the past. Sometimes you
can tell by the way someone is arranging displays or if they
understand color."
And, just as with every other aspect of the business, efficiency is an important trait. When the busy season hits, those
potential decorators must be able to jump in and get it done.
"Sometimes we run into people who are very artistic, but
they don't understand that we're trying to make a profit on
cakes," Schurman says. "They want to be artistic and do every cake different and spend time to add extra stuff to each
cake. We try to weed those people out before we get to the
busy times."

Say something
about artistic
cakes or piling
high with sweets




When it comes to graduation cakes and other spring cakes like
Easter- and Mother's Day-themed pieces, the most influential
trends are those that shy away from tradition, says Shawna
LaMott with Lucks Food Decorating Company.
For graduation cakes, think bold, multi-colors instead of
traditional black and gold. Look for brighter, more modern
variations of school colors. Also prepare for clever takes on
modern young adult life.
"Sheet cakes are always a popular sale for graduation and
can be updated with growing trends like cheeky messages
or images found in social media," says LaMott. "Puns like
'Welcome to Adulthood' or 'Go on with your grad self,'
along with piled-high sweets keep the party celebratory
rather than scholarly."
Spring cakes are seeing success with a move away from
traditional pastels and toward strong, natural elements, like
decorations with textures and details from nature. Think foraged foliage, wildflowers and agate. Natural color is growing
in demand.
"Alternatively, the colorful and cheeky trends can
apply to Mother's Day and Easter cakes as well," LaMott
says. "Easter can be bright instead of pastel with simple,
high-color graphics like fried eggs
or retro candies. Puns like 'Eggcellent' add humor to Easter cakes,
while Mother's Day messages
are often delivered on a dessert.
Watch for color splatters and creative brush strokes."
But to truly be prepared for a
profitable spring season, Schurman


with it

©fahrwasser -

says. "It's all about being prepared."
That preparation even extends to employee training.
Instead of looking at the winter months as a chance to cut
labor costs to the bone, that time can be used to teach employees new skills.
"We do a lot of internal training. I know some businesses
try to cut labor costs way down when it's quiet, and we do as
much as possible, but we also want to take advantage of the
time we do have to get people trained," Schurman says. "When
it starts getting busy, I want people who know how do hold
a decorating bag and do some of the designs we've come up
with. Do it now while it's quiet and there are snow storms and
people aren't shopping."
It also makes sense to use the time leading up to spring to
find employees who have shown the potential to decorate
cakes and make sure they know the ropes. If they can learn the
basics, they can be valuable team members in the busy times,
working on sheet cakes or decorating cookies and other orders.


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