The equipment industry is responding to increased need from the retail bakery sector for bakery equipment that handles “tough jobs” with greater efficiency.

According to new research from Sosland Publishing, in a 2022 study by Cypress Research, retail bakers pay 34.6% for labor as a percent of bakery sales, and 63% of retail bakers have unfilled hourly job positions.

Almost half (48%) of retail bakers report significant increases in compensation to remain competitive in the local labor market.

More professionals with large bakeries reported being impacted by workforce shortages.

increased wages to remain competitive, lost revenue opportunities, and existing employees forced to work more hours.

Six in 10 retail bakers have offered higher wages to address the skills shortage, and 4 in 10 are offering more flexible work hours/shifts.

In the face of this challenging environment, retail bakeries look to equipment manufacturers for help.

The solution? Hobart PLUS System on Legacy+® Maximum Heavy-Duty Mixers

A powerful combination of three exclusive, industry-leading technologies, the Hobart PLUS System allows operators to mix as much as 30% more in the same-sized bowl, depending on the application.

The PLUS System includes:

  • VFDadvantage variable frequency drive to deliver precise motor control and exceptional power, increasing production time and improving incorporation of ingredients.
  • Maximum-capacity overheat protection that results from extreme-duty wiring and connections that handle more power for more production.
  • Reinforced planetary shaft system featuring an optimized shaft geometry and all-gear-driven transmission that drives maximum power to the bowl for high-capacity output.

Hobart Legacy+ Maximum Heavy-Duty Mixers are available in 12-, 20-, 30-, 40-, 60-, 80- and 140-quart models, and are ideal for mixing heavy dough for bread or pizza, mashed potatoes, cake batter and more with ease.

Scale management software

Hobart recently announced that it has introduced the newest edition of HTe Enterprise Asset Scale Management Software. HTe Enterprise is the latest in fleet management and offers several new and exciting features. Easy to use, Hobart’s HTe Enterprise improves efficiency, reduces downtime, and increases profitability all from the convenience of a desktop PC.

This web-based tool is a software package for retailers to directly manage their scale fleets and lends itself to a multi-user experience in grocery environments. In today’s grocery stores, scales are all connected devices and require firmware updates, configuration updates, and updates to the item (PLU) information such as pricing and nutritional data. The HTe Enterprise software package bridges the gap between customers’ PLU management systems and the Hobart HT scales. 

What makes this software unique in the industry is that the HTe connected scales will “heartbeat” (communicate) to the server and pull the latest, most updated data through a self-synchronizing feature.

Typically, fleet managers must schedule and push updates to scales – which is a manual process and requires scheduling around other planned events. With the scale heartbeat, each scale syncs automatically saving time and increasing department efficiency. Also, if a scale falls offline for any reason – as soon as it reconnects to the network, it will heartbeat to the server to be immediately updated to stay in compliance.

With each transaction, there is a live sync with the server allowing the scale to pull the latest PLU data instantaneously, reducing pricing errors and increasing profitability.  Changes in the PLU database are automatically updated at the scale for each transaction.

“This unique software tool is designed for our customers to more easily manage their scale fleets. With the convenient dashboard and simple asset tree logic, department managers can quickly see where to concentrate their attention and ensure the entire fleet is running seamlessly. The automated data pull eliminates granular management of updates and scales continuously update themselves,” said Hobart product line manager of weigh wrap Sheila Campbell. “Having scale status information on hand in real time helps to minimize errors, optimize the revenue stream, and improve profitability for our customers.”