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Post Info TOPIC: Our pay might not compare to walmart but our business practices are


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Our pay might not compare to walmart but our business practices are
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So I found out today that soon our bakery pies will be coming in pre baked.

This is NOT good at all. Sure right now so many bakery departments are understaffed I get that. This is a terrible solution. It will take hours away and make us nothing more than glorified stockers.  Baking used to be a skill, we actually made something, which made us different than walmart. It will be starting with the pies. What next? The cookies? Then the breads? 

I'm not happy. As a dept head all I'm thinking is that the plan is to eventually make everything come in via fresh kitchen, making our department more or less unnecessary. 

And yes this is true about the pies, it came from my coordinator.



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Anonymous

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I got that feeling when they started talking about getting rid of cashiers. They're trying to make minimal worker hours while trying to make hand-over-fist profits. It's not going to work out.



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Anonymous

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My store's bakery dept gets in tons of pre-made product. I only ever see them "baking" stuff like cookies but always see them grabbing pies, cakes, some cookies, etc. practically everything else out of boxes of frozen product and placing it on the shelf. I thought this was normal.



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Every task is being looked at to lower costs but still maintain levels of product. Bakery/Meat are the last departments they can eliminate labor from production with. Its like I have said before, I'm surprised they haven't centralized Bakery production and shipped in product daily to stores. I used to remember smelling Cinnamon Rolls being baked at my store daily. You would smell the rolls baking and get get that warm feeling inside, they used to always have them BOGO too (6 big rolls in the rectangular containers). I remember when everything was baked in store, Brownie Bits, Angel Food Cake.....Cookies scooped out of the bucket! I really don't understand why Bakery and Commercial Break isn't just the same department yet. If you actually look at the Meat Department 75% of items come in prepacked.

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Anonymous

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Yep... you can expect more and more stuff to just come in pre-packed/pre-made as time goes on. Kroger sees this not only as more efficient, but also less labor intensive.... and thus, cheaper. Naturally, the end result here is fewer hours for the department, so I guess that's one way to address the hiring problems at stores!

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This has been going on for a while now in the deli. Years ago our in-store chef used to make everything in our display from scratch. People would come from all over just to get his stuff because they were unique and good. Now almost everything comes in in boxes. The only thing he still makes is ham salad and crab cakes, and they've tried to get rid of those multiple times - the only reason they let him still make those is because they always get a flood of complaints whenever they try to remove them. 

We used to make our own sandwiches and salads in the deli too. Now we just get Fresh Kitchen sandwiches and salads shipped into us, and most of them are nasty. All our stuff on the salad bar also comes in boxed (also 99% of it isn't actually salad, which makes people complain.)

It saves us time, but it also sucks.



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Actually, if you look at the lowering of quality in product (prepacked), you also see a lowering of the quality of associate. While some would say the loss of associates has made prepacked necessary, I question if they realize associates want to be able to "own"something and take pride in selling/producing product. If I make a pie from scratch, I take pride and own it, while also being able to "sell" it to customers. If I do not have ownership or connection to my work environment or product I do not care if it sells. The Bakery is just turning into the Frozen Food Aisle, maybe that is why Bakeries have lost sales over the years and barely make any profit.

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Anonymous

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EUID_Unknown wrote:

Every task is being looked at to lower costs but still maintain levels of product. Bakery/Meat are the last departments they can eliminate labor from production with. Its like I have said before, I'm surprised they haven't centralized Bakery production and shipped in product daily to stores. I used to remember smelling Cinnamon Rolls being baked at my store daily. You would smell the rolls baking and get get that warm feeling inside, they used to always have them BOGO too (6 big rolls in the rectangular containers). I remember when everything was baked in store, Brownie Bits, Angel Food Cake.....Cookies scooped out of the bucket! I really don't understand why Bakery and Commercial Break isn't just the same department yet. If you actually look at the Meat Department 75% of items come in prepacked.


 We still bake cinnamon rolls, coffee cakes, and Danish from raw dough each day.  Buns, dinner rolls, pies, and cookies too.  One reason they're going to pre-made stuff is they can't find enough people who know how to bake or who are willing to do it for what Kroger pays. 



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Anonymous

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4hourrush wrote:

So I found out today that soon our bakery pies will be coming in pre baked.

This is NOT good at all. Sure right now so many bakery departments are understaffed I get that. This is a terrible solution. It will take hours away and make us nothing more than glorified stockers.  Baking used to be a skill, we actually made something, which made us different than walmart. It will be starting with the pies. What next? The cookies? Then the breads? 

I'm not happy. As a dept head all I'm thinking is that the plan is to eventually make everything come in via fresh kitchen, making our department more or less unnecessary. 

And yes this is true about the pies, it came from my coordinator.


 Are these 9-inch pies or are they the small 8-inch fruit pies that we've had at my store for the past couple years?



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I was able to find the announcement, the normal sized apple, cherry, peach pies that are normally baked will come in pre-baked starting p13w4



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Anonymous

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EUID_Unknown wrote:

I was able to find the announcement, the normal sized apple, cherry, peach pies that are normally baked will come in pre-baked starting p13w4


 Well, if they're anything like the other pre-baked pies we get in, they're probably horrible.  Anytime they've switched from something we baked to a pre-made equivalent, the quality has gone way downhill.



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it's the 8 inch cherry/apple/peach that they're starting with in january like euid said, but after that the 9 inch private selection are soon to follow. -_-

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Anonymous

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I'm gonna laugh if Kroger decide to raise their min wage and lay off the co managers half of them don't do back crap anyways



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At our store, most of our items already come prepackaged. I think chicken is the main one the deli/bakery still cooks itself. Maybe some breads, but a lot of items come in on the frozen truck ready to go. Thaw and serve, sometimes cook before putting out on the shelf. EUID is right on the meat department too; I unload most of their incoming trucks and most of their product just needs to be put on the scale and priced. Some seafood items are still done the old fashioned away with certain steak cuts, but I think that's it. Of course the Meat Department would do a customer request, but generally speaking it's all ready to go. I work at a smaller store but I think there are only two people that can actually process meat items that aren't prepackaged.



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Bakerchick25

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4hourrush wrote:

it's the 8 inch cherry/apple/peach that they're starting with in january like euid said, but after that the 9 inch private selection are soon to follow. -_-


 Wow, I didn't even realize that there were still stores out there that were baking the 8 inch pies. Those have already come in pre-baked at my store and even at the old location I trained at.

That will suck though on the hours. But on the other hand, if they turn everyone into stockers, I could sort of see that as a win for my store. Because as it stands now the more senior peeps only want to be out there on the sales floor stocking and filling if they have to. I mean sure I get they have put in their time and don't always have to be in the freezer pulling stuff or working truck as often. However, I feel like if we HAD more stockers in the bakery, that would not only make store management happy that the floor is constantly being filled. But it can also free up the closer from having to do the majority of that AND everything else. Because at times filling the floor is a whole job in and of itself. And when you have to do that plus closing stuff and blue line solo, that is some hard **** to get through.

Hell come to think of it. It might actually cause folks to learn how to work more as a team even. One could hope anyway.



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You also have to think about how many hours your actually getting from baking pies/other items. While it might take x to bake the pies your only most likely earning hours for when your handling the pies. Pies from box to baking tray, baking rack to oven, oven to boxing areas, boxing, boxes to table. I would say you might earn less then 1 minute per pie because of producing so many pies at once.

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Anonymous

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4hourrush wrote:

So I found out today that soon our bakery pies will be coming in pre baked.

This is NOT good at all. Sure right now so many bakery departments are understaffed I get that. This is a terrible solution. It will take hours away and make us nothing more than glorified stockers.  Baking used to be a skill, we actually made something, which made us different than walmart. It will be starting with the pies. What next? The cookies? Then the breads? 

I'm not happy. As a dept head all I'm thinking is that the plan is to eventually make everything come in via fresh kitchen, making our department more or less unnecessary. 

And yes this is true about the pies, it came from my coordinator.


 I'm fine with things coming in frozen. Kroger associates do not use proper hygiene not do they keep their food departments clean, so at least this brings down the chance of spreading illness through food. I currently don't buy prodocts made in Kroger's bakery that didn't come in frozen, or pre packed. Same with deli. I also don't do freh meat from meat department either. Kroger food has made me sick from poor food handling processes and I don't want to take the risk. Not all Kroger's are dirty, but sometimes it's hard to tell if a food department will be sanitary and safe to eat from, if you haven't shopped at a particular store regularly.



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Bakerchick25

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Anonymous wrote:
4hourrush wrote:

So I found out today that soon our bakery pies will be coming in pre baked.

This is NOT good at all. Sure right now so many bakery departments are understaffed I get that. This is a terrible solution. It will take hours away and make us nothing more than glorified stockers.  Baking used to be a skill, we actually made something, which made us different than walmart. It will be starting with the pies. What next? The cookies? Then the breads? 

I'm not happy. As a dept head all I'm thinking is that the plan is to eventually make everything come in via fresh kitchen, making our department more or less unnecessary. 

And yes this is true about the pies, it came from my coordinator.


 I'm fine with things coming in frozen. Kroger associates do not use proper hygiene not do they keep their food departments clean, so at least this brings down the chance of spreading illness through food. I currently don't buy prodocts made in Kroger's bakery that didn't come in frozen, or pre packed. Same with deli. I also don't do freh meat from meat department either. Kroger food has made me sick from poor food handling processes and I don't want to take the risk. Not all Kroger's are dirty, but sometimes it's hard to tell if a food department will be sanitary and safe to eat from, if you haven't shopped at a particular store regularly.


 See that is the thing. At least from what I've seen in the bakery at my store and even in Deli we do wash our hands often. But from time to time I will catch our pastry chef rolling or doing stuff without gloves on. And even if she has washed her hands. I feel like she should ALWAYS have some gloves on. But nobody seems to have taken issue with that. And I don't know, it just seems so unsafe to me.

And I will admit to also having had a major stomach upset/food poisoning situation over the summer after eating a Boar's Head sandwich. But I can't say it was do to unclean hands. But most likely do to someone not checking dates on the lunch meat. I mean we typically try and keep up with that and scan out what we can. But I think just keep things moving, some folks in the bistro area of our deli don't always check. And so that day I think I just wound up with the wrong end of some roast beef.



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Anonymous

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Human error and/or improper food handling and sanitary issues can happen regardless if something comes in frozen or is made in store. It's a chance you take, plain and simple, and is pretty much an unavoidable chance that you have to take every day.

I kind of wonder if the average Kroger customer even cares if something comes in frozen or not. There aren't many actual bakeries around anymore, so people are probably more and more getting used to eating stuff that isn't freshly made in store.

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Bakerchick25

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Anonymous wrote:

Human error and/or improper food handling and sanitary issues can happen regardless if something comes in frozen or is made in store. It's a chance you take, plain and simple, and is pretty much an unavoidable chance that you have to take every day.

I kind of wonder if the average Kroger customer even cares if something comes in frozen or not. There aren't many actual bakeries around anymore, so people are probably more and more getting used to eating stuff that isn't freshly made in store.


 I would say this is true. Although, I have heard some customers complaining they don't like how the cakes are frozen and already done. It just taste so awful. But as far as I've heard from folks I've been working with. They say that we've always gotten in frozen pre-decorated cakes. Not much has really changed other than maybe some decorations here and there. But it's kind of been the standard. Rather customers know it or not.

There are also some customers that refuse to believe our pre-packaged stuff isn't made in store. And will go off on a spiel about ingredients and allergens and so forth. And it's like if it doesn't say it on the packaging(that we have to look at ourselves at times), we can't really out of our mouths say if it has this tsp. of salt or whatever in there. Then we do not know. Most especially when it comes down to people wondering if X,Y, or Z item was made in a factory that made products with peanuts and so forth in them. Again, if it doesn't say that on there. We can't outrightly guarantee it, as we didn't make it ourselves.



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Anonymous

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Anonymous wrote:

This has been going on for a while now in the deli. Years ago our in-store chef used to make everything in our display from scratch. People would come from all over just to get his stuff because they were unique and good. Now almost everything comes in in boxes. The only thing he still makes is ham salad and crab cakes, and they've tried to get rid of those multiple times - the only reason they let him still make those is because they always get a flood of complaints whenever they try to remove them. 

We used to make our own sandwiches and salads in the deli too. Now we just get Fresh Kitchen sandwiches and salads shipped into us, and most of them are nasty. All our stuff on the salad bar also comes in boxed (also 99% of it isn't actually salad, which makes people complain.)

It saves us time, but it also sucks.


 Fortunately, they still make sandwiches in the deli...If you took a look at some of the pre-packaged salads and sandwiches, it would blow your mind how much sodium is in one of those...The garden salad has the least sodium, but still, for a "healthy" product, some of those have more salt than a TV dinner, and those TV dinners can be bad enough!

Pre-packaged is almost NEVER better than fresh, and you don't get much for your money, either! To think you could get a full chicken meal with two sides for the price of one little sandwich...It's ludicrous!



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Anonymous

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We still bake our 8 and 9 inch pies at 440, with the exception of the pumpkin, pecan, and sweet potato.



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