Cupcake Boot Camp

05/31/2012

Soho Employee Interviews 1One of the most fun –- and challenging -- things about running your own bakery is training new staff.  Many people think that working in a cupcake bakery is going to be a piece of cake. However, when they arrive on their first day, they have the shock of their life! 

Working in a bakery is extremely fast-paced, and you are literally moving on your feet all day long: making batter, taking cupcakes in and out of the oven, frosting trays and trays of cupcakes, packaging cupcakes perfectly, and interacting with customers at the front counter. It takes the right kind of person to make it at Georgetown Cupcake. So, when we hire new employees, we put them through what we call our "Cupcake Boot Camp" to see what they're made of -- and if they can stand the heat! 

When we opened our new shop in New York City earlier this year, we put our potential hires through an intensive day-long boot camp in Georgetown. What did we cover?

•    Georgetown Cupcake Menu Quiz - We wanted to see who had done their homework and knew our menu by heart. For example, what if a customer asked you what day of the week we had Lemon Berry on the menu? Or Chocolate Coconut? All employees need to be able to rehearse our menu by heart! You’ll see who bombed -- and also who rocked this part!

•    Cupcake Packing Challenge – Georgetown Cupcake is a busy place, and we often have a line of customers out the door.  So, one of the most important parts of the job is packing cupcakes, perfectly and quickly, for every customer walking through the door. When the order tickets come out of the register, our front counter staff need to be able to quickly box up the cupcakes -– and sometimes the orders can be complex. So, we found out how our new hires could deal with packing orders of 3 dozen cupcakes -– packaging specifically in one-dozen box, two half-dozen boxes, two 4-boxes, and two 2-boxes -- with specific flavors in each sized box...all under a time deadline. It’s NOT easy! You’ll see who cracked under the pressure! 

•    Mastering the Signature Swirl – It’s one of the most challenging tasks at Georgetown Cupcake, and few can do it well. Think it’s easy? Wait until you see who mastered it and who failed miserably...

•    Baking Challenge – This is one of the most serious jobs at Georgetown Cupcake, and not everyone has got what it takes to be a master baker. In this timed challenge, eggs hit the floor, cocoa powder flew, and someone even accidentally locked themselves in the walk-in refrigerator. In the end, only one person proved they had what it took to become a baker at Georgetown Cupcake.

Finally, we put the new hires out in the wild -– on the floor at our Georgetown shop –- and saw how they fared! Opening our New York City location was a whirlwind experience. The construction and build-out was enough to make us have major mental meltdowns and breakdowns, but the Cupcake Boot Camp also pushed us to our limits! 

You’ll see ALL the craziness in DC CUPCAKES TAKES NEW YORK on Friday, June 8 @ 10/9c!

xoxo,
Katherine & Sophie

About the Author

Meet cupcake mavens Sophie and Katherine. Together, they launched a cupcakery that went from small business to sweet, sweeping sensation! Get their thoughts on their shop and the series here.
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