Tips for Hosting a Bake-Off Competition at Work

The Great British Bake-Off is in full swing! The rather diverse set of participants, including a techno DJ, a blood courier and a banker, shows that baking is for everybody – and it can be done on top of a challenging full-time job!

But what would happen if you took your favourite hobby and brought it to work? As the delicious creations by Luke, Jon, Antony, Imelda, Kim-Joy and their fellow contestants continue to inspire professionals throughout the UK to bake, we at Ovenu would like to inspire you to host your own bake-off competition – at work!

Why Organise a Bake-Off Competition at Work?

A baking competition can be a great occasion to get together with your colleagues to share delicious treats, unhurried chatter and a good old cup of tea. Spending social time with colleagues is great for motivation and morale, and there must be very few colleagues who wouldn’t get excited by sampling scrumptious treats. What’s more, baking competitions are a popular way to raise money for charity, whether on a corporate or on a personal level.

Our Baking Competition Tips

If you have taken on the task of organising a bake-off competition at work, you will need to do some prep to make sure everyone is involved and the judging process runs smoothly.

1.    Know the Purpose

First of all, you need to make sure everyone in the company knows what they are doing the bake-off for. For example, you might be raising money to help pay for a family member’s surgery, or collect donations for the company’s charity of the year. Sometimes, the baking competition will simply be part of a company social, where colleagues can come together to sample each other’s baking creations. Whatever the purpose, let your colleagues know what they’re doing it for from the invitation stage onwards.

2.    Choose a Theme

At Ovenu, we recommend choosing a theme for your bake-off at work. This can be linked to the purpose of the competition – for example, if you are raising money for an animal welfare charity, you might want to consider going vegan. If the occasion is Halloween, you might invite people to use only recipes involving pumpkin! Deciding in advance what type of baked goods contestants are competing with is also a good idea – after all, it’s hard to compare cakes with quiches and cookies with cupcakes.

3.    Encourage Colleagues to Sign Up

As an organiser, you need to have clarity on how many people will attend and participate. Requiring colleagues to sign up, whether via email or through a tool like Signup.com, provides you with more clarity on who will attend. What’s more, we recommend that you promote the competition across all your communication channels, from the email newsletter to the coffee machine in the corridor and from Skype and Slack to your social media channels. Having an attractive prize will encourage colleagues to sign up, and selling tickets at an accessible price will help attract attendants. A recommended donation accompanied by a ‘pay what you can’ system tends to yield very good results.

Tip: Create a Facebook event for the bake-off that colleagues and the company page can promote and share.

4.    Try to Negotiate Time Off

If you want to maximise the success of your bake-off competition at work, it would be great to negotiate some time off for you and your colleagues. Provided that the management supports the purpose, they might be willing to give everyone in the company a morning/afternoon off to present their creations and sample the results. Hosting the event during company hours is also likely to increase attendance and participation.

5.    Communicate the Rules

How many judges will there be? Can anyone be a judge, or will there be a panel? Is this a private company event, or is it open to attendants? In terms of judging the creations, it’s good to have a unified standard – this is where a pre-made bake-off judging scorecard comes in handy.

6.    Prepare the Venue

Depending on how many people you expect, you may decide to host the baking competition in your office kitchen, a meeting room, the office lobby or another, outside venue. You will need a surface area to display the cakes on, so make sure there are enough tables available. Print plenty of judging scorecards and bring biodegradable, disposable plates, forks, napkins and teacups. Last but not least: the decorations! Balloons, bunting and colourful tablecloths are good for setting the tone, and your company or the charity you’re sponsoring might want to contribute branded material.

7.    Invite the People in Your Building

Provided that the baking competition is taking place in your office building, it might be a good idea to ask the office receptionist to send out an email to other office tenants informing them of the event. With delicious baked goods being sold or offered close by, popping in for support is a temptation they wouldn’t dream of resisting!

Ovenu is a real fan of Channel 4’s Great British Bake Off! If your oven needs a clean after attempting some Great British Bake Off recipes for your bake-off competition at work, we can be at your doorstep as soon as we’re kneaded!