Yeah, Food Lion expects us to decorate 8 cakes an hour. I flat out refuse. I'd rather do half that many and have them look good, ya know?
My boyfriend's mom is friends with a lady who works in the bakery at Publix, and she had this couple who ordered a $600 wedding cake. When they came to pick it up, the bride was unearthly upset. The cake was perfect, looked just how she had wanted, not a flaw on it. So why the upset? Because the cake was on a CAKE BOARD. This lady expected a silver platter or something like that, even though they had gone over all of the details. The worst part is, Publix gave the lady the cake for FREE.
I'll never forget picking up my birthday cake from the local grocery one year (my mom had ordered it) and finding that my name was spelled wrong. (Anne with an "e", I'm Ann without and "e") I'm used to this mistake, but I still can't get over the decorator asking me, "Are you sure?"
"Well, yes it's MY name."
Then she said, "Ok, I guess I'll fix it, but that's a dumb way to spell your name."
lol Ann is my middle name and people always spell it Anne... my first name... they always ALWAYS! spell it Becca, Becki, Beckie, Beccie, anyway but the right way lmfao
I made a cake last week for one of the doctors in our office and her name is Ann, no e and I put an e on the end even after I'd checked her name the week before to be sure! It's short for Roseann. I felt so dumb but she didn't mind because she loved the cake (coffee mug shaped cake in my gallery).
I am lol at some of these stories. let me share one of mine.
Years ago, befor I starting making cakes, I had to order a cake for an event at work; we had completed a Quality Improvement Program & received a certification in our field.
To celebrate, we would make the announcement to our team at a general meeting & decided to serve cake and coffee.
I went to order the cake in person. I ordered a very large rectangle cake,(40-50 servings) and since it was for a quality program, asked that they put a big Q in yellow icing in the center., because it was the symbol of Quality Programs.
well.. when I picked up the cake, yes it was big; it had white icing & in the center of this huge cake, in yellow icing, it said: A big Q.
To make a long story short, they 'fixed' it by wiping away the icing in the center of the cake, slapping on some more and then writing the letter Q.
it was done with a #3 or 4 tip. Can you imagine what it looked like in the center of that huge cake?! it was less than 1 hour to our department meeting - there was nothing else I could do but take the cake... I wondered if they saw the irony of situation! Needless to say, I did not even taste the cake; but did talk about, many times in years to come; especially as an example of how quality improvememt programs should be considered for every business.
thanks for letting me share.
These stories are so funny. When I was in college I worked at a hospital in the admitting department from 3-11. There was a girl who worked with us who called herself "Super Clerk". Her name was Dawn and she wore pink everyday, pink shoes, pink sox or stockings, pink dresses, pants, shirts, sweaters, kiddie hairbows (she was 25) and pink makeup. Well she transferred to the ER department so we decided after she left to have a party. Myself and another girl went and ordered a cake from Publix and told them that the cake was to be all pink and to put on it "Bon Voyage, Super Clerk!" and a Superman shield with the giant S in it. Well when I went to pick it up it said "Bon Ami, Super Man!" in the superman colors and had a picture of Minnie Mouse on it. I asked to speak to the bakery manager and showed them the form I had from when we ordered it. She scratched her head and said something about the fact that they must have been cleaning with Bon Ami and got confused. They did give me the cake for free and we all had a great laugh over it though. Later one of the other girls I worked with had them do her wedding cake and picked out one of the ones on display with the basketweave which was just getting popular when she got married. When the cake showed up to the reception it didn't have any basketweave on it because they weren't confident in their skills to do it so they did give her a refund but the cake looked like it was a bunch of white cakes that they just put on top of each other almost as an afterthought and sent it out.
This is hilarious--I'm at work trying to hold in the laughs and now my face hurts !
I know whenever I do a cake, I write all messages on a sheet of paper just to be sure--even the ususal stuff like Happy Birthday, Best Wishes, etc. and don't get me started on names!! I live in an area that is a mini-UN--people from all sorts of places with very exotic and unusual names, so I make darn sure I have the correct spelling of names!!
My first (and so far only) spelling error has taught me to always have the CUSTOMER write it down.
I was asked to do a cake for the 5th anniversary immigrant congregation that utilizes our church sanctuary on Sunday afternoons. I'd been attending that church for a few years and was therefore familar with the name of this Indonesian congregation. So I wrote:
Congratulations Emmanual Indonesian Congregation
I made sure that I was spelling "Indonesian" correctly...and didn't realize that the spelling should be "Imanual"
Learned my lesson though. Never take church cake orders over the phone .
Okay, I have to tell on myself.
Years ago, when I first started decorating, I made many cakes for co-workers - they got all of my practice cakes so they started asking me to make cakes for them. I made lots of cakes for one lady in particular, including her mother's wedding cake.
She was having an even with her Eastern Star group and asked me to make a cake for them to include the Eastern Star symbol and their name. Sure, no problem. I brought it in to the office on the day she needed and opened the box and she looked at it....her eyes opened wide...and she said "that's the wrong name". For some reason, I had written the name of the wrong Eastern Star group! Luckily, it had crusted so I took it home at lunch, scraped off the name and rewrote the correct name. It ended well but I was embarrassed. She understood and I continued to make lots of cakes for her.
LMAO......I have been the exception to these stories I guess! All my cakes that have been bought at a grocery store have been good. The only reason I'll never buy another cake from one is they charge so much for them and they are of such low quality. After I bought my Dad's Birthday Cake and it cost me almost $20.00 for an 8" cake, I vowed I'd never buy another. Ever since then, I've decorated my own.
Keep coming with the stories though, I need a good laugh.
I have spent the last year and a half at a local grocery store. It is a large chain that just keeps growing. In the bakery, we are expected to put out $150.00 worth of products an hour. That includes packaging,pricing, and putting it out. We are not allowed to do any figure piping, drawings, or being too creative. They do not want anything done unless all of the decorators in all of the stores are able to reproduce in record fast time. I can't wait to save up to start my own shop. The clerks (I swear they send us the ones the other departments do not want) write on the cakes when we are not there....it is enough to make you want to cringe. Some do a nice job, most ...don't seem to care what it looks like, or even if the colors match. Trying to read their cake orders is a challange in itself some days. Between calling customers to confirm spellings, ect. Managment wants the orders correct, but if we waste too much time on the phone....we get wrote up.!??? Wasting too much time ? . To all store decorators, hang in there, and good luck. To those who have never worked in a store ( I hope you never have to) It is truly a learning experience.
Not a spelling issue, but last year my DH ordered a sheet cake for my birthday with a princess on it. It was a quiet party, just 8 of us at our house.
They sold him a full friggin' sheet cake!
Isn't there a place for number of servings on those forms?!
Needless to say, he has learned his lesson. No more grocery store birthday cakes!
I had a friend who went to a food lion bakery and picked out a cake with ballons on it. She asked the clerk to write on the cake. The clerk wrote on the cake upside down. She protested when she got the cake back and the clerk said "well...just pretend they are lights" She ended up having to pay for the cake too as the manager wouldn't give it to her free and she had to have one for a party that afternoon.
My daughter was asked to pick up a cake from a local grocery store. She says the guy doing the writing was complaining the whole time that the frosting was too stiff. When she got to work she opened the cake box and it read "Hapity Birday".
HILARIOUS! I think I'll start using that on all my cakes - it just has a nice ring to it don't you think??
This is the funniest thread--just what I needed to end my day!
A little tip for those of you who decide to order from a grocery store bakery....ask to talk to a decorator. I get really frustrated sometimes trying to figure out the orders the clerks wrote up. Don't stop in to pick up a cake late in the day after the decorators have left, no the clerks are not trained on how to write on cakes.
Go early in the morning and ask to have a decorator write on the cake.
For any of you who have thought about applying for a job in a grocery store, don't go to the ones who demand such production. Some do not. I have worked for 4 different grocery companies. All of them have let me do figure piping. It has been fun for me to take a cake design and figure out how I can do it really fast and still have a professional looking cake.
I did make a big mistake on a cake once. The customer wanted a cake for their son who was a doctor and loved to play the guitar. They wanted a guitar drawn on the cake. The clerk taking the order could neither spell nor write well. She spelled guitar starting with a J. The rest of the word was written poorly and I thought it said Janitor and I put a man with a mop on the cake. The customer was quite surprised. The same clerk who had taken the order was the one to give the cake to her. She said, "Oh, just give it to him, he will think it is funny". They took the cake and asked for no refund. Another order I had wanted a horse and the word looked like house...so they got a house. It is really hard for a decorator when they weren't the one taking the order.
I have a lot of customers who will only order their cake if they talk to me. They always get what they want that way.
These are so funny I am sitting here on my computer laughing so hard. Thanks for a joyful ending to an even more wonderful day.
Would love to read more!
Oh man! Thanks to all the grocery store decorators who contributed to this thread! It definitely gives some greater insight as to what goes on in those store bakeries.
Sadly though, I'm going to use all of those insights as selling points when a potential client of mine asks why they should pay $75.00 for a 1/2 sheet with me, instead of $19.99 at Vons!!