Innovation and technology at the service of pastry

by Lucile Tinchant

The technological revolution has, as in all sectors of activity, transformed the bakery and pastry professions, bringing its share of innovations and solutions with one objective: to improve performance, from all points of view, while reducing arduousness. Tools, digital solutions, materials: a look back at advances in the sector and how they have enabled pastry chefs to transform their daily lives and make their work easier?

Technological advances transforming pastry

Pastry robot

Automation and efficiency: practical pastry equipment

The integration of automation systems and kitchen robots into the world of pastry has revolutionized the way professionals approach production. This equipment combines precision, speed and consistency, bringing undeniable added value to the daily lives of pastry chefs.
Here are some examples:

  • Pastry robot:
    • Function: kneading, mixing, and whipping.
    • Advantages: reduces physical effort, guarantees a uniform consistency, and allows multitasking in the kitchen.
  • Professional mixer/mixer:
    • Function: mixing large quantities of ingredients.
    • Advantages: considerable time saving, ideal for volume production, and ensures perfect homogeneity.
  • Dosing machine for medium and large series production:
    • Function: precise dosing for mass production.
    • Advantages: uniformity of portions, speed of execution, and reduction of waste.
  • Chocolate tempering machine:
    • Function: precise chocolate tempering.
    • Advantages: maintains consistent quality of chocolate, essential for finishes and decorations.
  • Laser cutting for cakes and chocolate:
    • Function: precise and creative cutting of cakes and chocolates.
    • Advantages: Allows for complex and personalized designs, ideal for special orders and haute pastry.
  • Whipped cream machine:
    • Function: automatic production of whipped cream.
    • Advantages: consistent consistency and quality, time saving, and ease of use.

All these pastry equipment have become the No. 1 allies of professionals on a daily basis: they are capable of carrying out complex or difficult tasks by hand on a daily basis, with unrivaled quality and speed . Furthermore, their ability to reproduce an action precisely guarantees constant quality of preparations. Also, the rate of non-compliance is greatly reduced or even completely eliminated, again saving time and less food waste.
Final advantage: the reduction of MSDs (Musculoskeletal Disorders) linked to the manufacture of repetitive preparations because as we know, repeated actions can cause physical injuries in the medium or long term. The adoption of these materials frees pastry chefs from these tiring tasks, which in the long run cause MSDs.

Generally speaking, the integration of these pastry equipment allows pastry chefs to concentrate on tasks with greater added value , on more creative aspects of their profession in particular, while ensuring efficient and regular quality production. These investments are certainly costly, but in the more or less long term they are offset by the productivity gains they enable.

Plastic log mold

Thermoformed plastic molds: a paradigm shift

In pastry making, efficiency, creativity and adaptation to customer wishes are conditions for success. Thermoformed plastic molds also act as allies, offering pastry chefs a revolutionary way to improve their production.
Every year, new pastry chefs, convinced by their colleagues, professional trainers or even renowned Chefs, join the users convinced by plastic molds .

For what reasons ?

  • Time saving and superior quality
    These molds save considerable time during preparation. Unlike traditional stainless steel or silicone molds, thermoformed plastic molds do not require surface preparation before use. They allow you to move directly to the filling stage, considerably reducing installation time.
    Unmoulding, an often delicate process, becomes a simple and quick operation with thermoformed plastic which has a natural “slip” property. This ease of demolding results in a perfectly smooth and uniform surface of the finished products, eliminating the need for tedious rework and reducing food waste due to failed demolding.
  • Increased profitability
    Economically, the advantage is undeniable. These molds are much cheaper than their stainless steel or silicone counterparts, not only in terms of initial cost but also in terms of maintenance and durability. They can be reused after careful cleaning to ensure food hygiene, or thrown into recycling bins
  • Impact on productivity
    Testimonials from professional pastry chefs confirm the positive impact of thermoformed plastic molds on their productivity. By removing unnecessary and time-consuming steps, pastry chefs can focus on higher value-added tasks. The improvement in productivity is estimated at 30%, a significant figure that highlights the transformation these molds bring to the pastry workflow.
  • Uniformity and consistency
    Consistent quality and product uniformity are essential to maintaining a reputation in baking. Thermoformed plastic molds ensure this consistency, producing pastries that are uniform in shape and size, which is crucial for customers looking for standardized, high-quality products.

Pastry chefs who are making this transition to plastic for all or part of their production are unanimous in saying that their use has revolutionized their way of working: whether in terms of time or quality, according to them there is no better solution. to carry out their daily production.

Management software: optimize planning and production

Management and planning are crucial in a cake shop. Using specialized management software can transform the way orders, inventory and production planning are managed.

- In human resources (HR)

  • Management of plans and schedules:
    • Scheduling shifts and managing absences or leave.
    • Tracking hours worked for precise payroll management.
  • Staff training and development:
    • Organization of training sessions for employees.
    • Monitoring of skills and certifications.
  • Administrative management of personnel:
    • Management of employee files (contracts, personal information).
    • Mandatory interview logging

- In the production laboratory

  • Production planning:
    • Order management and production planning based on demand.
    • Monitoring of production deadlines and deliveries.
  • Inventory and raw materials management:
    • Track stock levels and alerts for replenishments.
    • Management of suppliers and raw material orders.
  • Quality control and traceability:
    • Monitoring the quality of finished products.
    • Traceability of ingredients and production batches.

- On sale

  • Point of sale management (POS):
    • Sales recording and transaction management.
    • Management of loyalty programs and promotions.
  • Sales analysis and reporting:
    • Analysis of sales trends and product performance.
    • Sales reports for informed decision making.
  • Management of online orders and deliveries:
    • Integration of online orders with the production system.
    • Planning and monitoring of deliveries.

Bakery software often offers several modules: for order management, inventory management, invoicing, employee management, recipe management, production planning and delivery management. It's up to you to explore to find out which are the best management software, which correspond to your volume of activity or your ambition.
Finally, also make sure that the software is compatible with electronic payment terminals and point-of-sale systems.

Tools to facilitate orders and payments in pastry shops

The adoption of mobile ordering and payment systems represents a significant step forward for cake shops, in terms of sales efficiency and improved customer experience. These modern technologies facilitate transactions, reduce queues and provide increased flexibility for both customers and merchants. Here is an overview of the different solutions and their advantages:

Cash registers with automatic change

  • How it works: These automated checkouts accept cash payments and provide change without manual intervention, reducing checkout errors and speeding up the payment process.
  • Benefits: increased transaction security, reduced human errors, and improved staff efficiency who can focus on customer service rather than currency management.

Payment solutions

  • Square ( ) : A popular solution offering card and mobile payment, with an easy-to-use terminal and app for sales management.
    Advantage: easy integration with other management systems and real-time transaction reporting.
  • SumUp ( ) : a compact, mobile payment terminal, ideal for small pastries.
    Advantage: low transaction costs and ease of use, with no monthly fees.

  • Zettle ( ) : a card and mobile payment system developed by Paypal, with sales tracking and analysis options.
    Benefit: Complete solution for payment and sales management, with analytics tools to understand customer habits.
Pastry drive

Pastry drive or point of sale 7/7

Among the latest innovations in pastry, two new distribution methods are developing in France:

  • The drive: customers order and pay in advance, online or via a mobile application, and collect their purchases in store or in a space provided for this purpose.
  • The 7/7 boutique : a dedicated space where customers can either order and pay in advance via a site updated in real time with the pastries available, or come on site to buy a pastry.
    Here is a recent example: the first autonomous chocolate patisserie in France, in Buc (78), open from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Their advantages: reduction in waiting time for customers, availability of products (no risk of stock being exhausted by spending the evening on debauchery), increased order processing capacity for pastries, different staff management , and improving the customer experience through fast and convenient service.
In summary, the integration of mobile ordering and payment systems in bakeries modernizes the shopping experience , improves transaction efficiency and contributes to better customer satisfaction. These technologies provide increased flexibility and convenience, while optimizing in-store sales operations.

Case study: Michel bakery and pastry shop

The impact of technological innovation on the pastry sector is not only measured in terms of productivity or efficiency gains . It is also reflected in the transformation and success stories of companies that have embraced these changes.
Here is an example of a pastry business that has achieved remarkable success, notably thanks to the integration of advanced technologies.

The Michel bakery and pastry shop, a traditional family business based in Paris, has undergone a gradual transformation over the last 10 years after integrating management software into its production process, production support equipment (jet cutting). water, several efficient robots, a chocolate dispenser...) and plastic molds .
Before the integration of these tools, the pastry industry faced challenges in terms of inventory management with frequent product shortages , unpredictable personnel management or even poorly controlled production times.

The result ? A constant increase in turnover, better production management, employees involved in the choice of equipment, and a significant reduction in shortages and waste.
The owner says: “The adoption of these tools has not only improved our efficiency, but also opened up new possibilities for our team: for example, the time savings made it possible to offer more regular technical training to apprentices and pastry chefs. , and the adoption of plastic molds has enabled us to equip ourselves at a low price to offer other shapes of cakes to our customers.

Frequently asked questions

This FAQ section aims to answer the questions most frequently asked by pastry chefs regarding the integration of technological innovations.

Q1: Are thermoformed plastic molds really more efficient than traditional molds?

Answer : Yes, these molds allow immediate time savings in production, but also perfect and consistent quality when unmolding. In principle disposable, they save time in post-production and are more economical in the long term than stainless steel or silicone molds.

Q2: How can automation improve the quality of pastry products?

Answer : Automation ensures greater precision and consistency in repetitive tasks, such as kneading and icing, which improves the overall quality of finished products.

Q3: Is management software difficult to integrate into a small pastry shop?

Answer : Although the initial integration may require time (phases of audits, reflection with service providers, then integration and training), the software is designed to be intuitive and adapted to the needs of pastries of all sizes. They provide a clear overview of production, stocks and orders, ultimately facilitating daily management.

In conclusion...

In the pastry sector, finding the right balance between innovation and tradition is essential to ensure the sustainability and success of a business. The integration of advanced technologies, such as mobile ordering and payment systems, undoubtedly brings added value in terms of efficiency and customer experience.

To achieve this, team buy-in and commitment are fundamental when introducing new technologies. The pastry chefs and the company's staff in general are in fact the real drivers of change. Their involvement in innovation decisions not only ensures a smoother transition to new ways of working, but also strengthens their commitment to the company.

Ultimately, the goal is to create an environment where technological innovation complements and enriches traditional methods, without replacing them. This helps preserve the authenticity and quality that pastries are known for, while improving efficiency and profitability.

The most efficient tools and equipment can be put in place, but it is the men and women, with their passion, their creativity and their know-how, who are the real drivers of change and success . By judiciously balancing innovation and tradition, and by placing teams at the heart of this evolution, pastries have the assets to prosper in a competitive market.

©Photo of the Drive pastry shop: Instagram of Atelier Gato (78)