If you want to grow up, you have to be able to let go.

“That is the crux of the matter,” says Petra Beck.

At the beginning she also stood in her bakery and served it herself.

At some point, however, there were too many branches, and then it could no longer be everywhere at the same time.

“You have to build a base of employees that you can get along with.

And get rid of the idea that there are people who do it 100 percent like you do. They don't exist. "If you don't learn that, she says, then at some point the employees stand on the mat and say:" Well, if you know everything better anyway, then I'll stop. "

Kim Maurus


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Petra Beck, together with her husband Siegfried Beck, her son Dominik Beck and Moshir Karimi, runs the bakery chain “Der Beck”, which is based in the Erlangen district of Tennenlohe and produces there for all 150 branches in the Franconian region.

In 2019 Beck had a turnover of around 93 million euros.

According to the Central Association of the German Bakers' Trade, the company is one of only six percent of bakeries in Germany with an annual turnover of more than five million euros.

According to Dominik Beck, successful growth also requires a “bit of luck”, the right geographical nose: “If I was wrong twice when choosing a location at the beginning, then I have to be able to digest it economically,” he says.

In the meantime, a branch that is doing less well has less of an impact.

"The breweries are way ahead of us"

The Corona year and the lockdowns have also left their mark on Beck. In some months in the past year, sales have decreased by up to 45 percent. "Only the counter sales were still possible", says Dominik Beck, all gastronomic offers were dropped. What that means financially is not clear to many. The main task in the past year was to keep the employees happy and to convey to them that their jobs are safe. “Thanks to short-time work, we didn't have to lay off anyone,” says Dominik Beck.

The pandemic wasn't the first crisis the company had to go through. In 2017, Petra Beck's younger son and managing director Alexander Beck had a fatal accident. “Especially in times of crisis, our employees surpass themselves. We are like a big family, then you have the strength to survive such things, ”she says. The entrepreneurial family also added some “Mr. Bleck ”coffee shops in the region that he brought with him after a long stay in the United States.

The skilled workers of the future are just as important as the focus on the company's employees. There aren't that many of them in the bakery either. According to Dominik Beck, finding trainees is difficult, the same applies to further training: “A 35-year-old career changer can of course be trained internally, but he will no longer go to a vocational school and do a baker's apprenticeship to link a course of study. “The breweries with the certified master brewer are way ahead of us.” Many people still have the image in their minds that baker journeyman are standing in a cloud of flour and have to carry sacks weighing several hundred pounds. “This hard physical work actually doesn't exist anymore,” the machines did.