Ok, not really for wedding cakes, more for party cakes, but how much notice do you require your customers give you for an order??
How many party cakes do you take on in a weekend?
Just curious, I suppose....
As much as possible. I'm 95% weddings, so I just work in party cakes. Working by myself, I can do 900 total servings in a weekend. However many cakes that turns out to be. 600 servings is way more comfortable.
I am just a part time baker/decorator. I work a fulltime 'real' job! LOL!! So my time is very limited -- but in the rural area I am in I feel like I have to be flexible to help build up my "hopeful" future business --
With that said - I love to have 4 days notice -- however - I can do a 2 day notice and have done a 1 day notice - but am not happy with the 2 and 1 unless there is absolutely nothing else on order.
Most of my customers give me at least a week and a lot of them give me 2 to 3 weeks advance notice which is wonderful!
I, too, live in what you would call a rural area and have a full time career job. I usually get a 4 to 5 days notice and some of my customers give me up to a week to 2 weeks notice. I usually require at least a 4 days notice just because of my full-time position. I have completed an order with a 1 days notice. On party cakes, I usually do no more than 3 or 4 per weekend, depending on their size. Wedding cakes are a whole different story.
Depends on the schedule. I have no weddings in April so I can probably do one at the drop of a hat. Don't even call me for anything in May. I have zero openings on the baking schedule.
When I first started out, I would take anything I could get even the 1 day requests. Now that things are picking up a bit, I am at least asking for 1 week. I have a very large extended family with nieces/nephews/grandnieces&nephews/SIL/BIL and such I pretty much know when those days are booked now we are working on wedding season (3 booked with nieces alone right off) and others, now I keep the calendar close by for those last minute special occasion cakes. If someone wants a something for a bday or something, I'll fit it in, just because. but not for something too small. I STILL CAN'T SAY NO!!!!!
I don't require a specific amount of notice. I also work full time and have three small kids and do this as a side hobby, so if I've already bit off more than I can chew or I have plans I say "sorry, I can't do it". If I've got nothing I say "Yep, no problem". I don't get a lot of last minute calls, but of the one's I've gotten, they are usually about 3 days ahead of the due date. I've taken some and I've turned some away. I couldn't really do less than three days notice, though.
I have it printed on my price list that I request 2 weeks notice. I do get calls in less than that time and I will accept if I have the time and feel like I can create the quality of product I want to put out.
I also require two weeks notice.......however just like LEILY if given shorter notice and I had time in my schedule I'll do it. I have had to say no quite a few times lately...........that hurts
I ask for a week notice but have done a couple days before, just depends if I'm busy or if I have enough stuff on hand! I don't do many cakes as of yet, but the busiest I've been is 3 cakes one weekend, I am slowly growing my clients as word of mouth basis! But as I have 2 small kids 1 & 4 year old being busy now would sometimes be very difficult, so I am not pushing to get my name out yet!
I stay at home during the day with my kids, and then I work my real job in the evening. Cake decorating was just a hobby for me, until I started selling some here and there. I find myself filling up SUPER fast these days! I havent ever done a wedding cake, I mostly do birthdays and showers, but I am starting to get upset at the lack of notice that i am getting from people!
I got asked on Friday if I would make a shower cake in the shape of a baby shoe for SUNDAY to feed 60 people! To be picked up Sunday morning, and believe me, she asked Friday night at 8pm.
I was like NO WAY! I keep some product on hand, i.e. Crisco, flour, etc. but I dont keep extra butter lying around, or sour cream, or 18 eggs. Not only would I have to shop, but that doesnt even really leave me time to decorate. I hate turning down business, but who in their right mind asks someone to make a cake effectively the day before the event?
... but who in their right mind asks someone to make a cake effectively the day before the event?
It's the walmart 24/7 mentality.
I ask for a two weeks. Like some of you, I've had to turn down some business because they call me 2 days prior to the event.
Ya for sure ppl. sometimes just don't understand that it takes so much time!
I have done a cake on a days notice and it was very stressful. But in the end I did it so I know it can be done if I wanted to. But I think as I pick up more customers I would love to have a 3 day minimum.
My clients know to give me 2 weeks notice. If they call me with less than 2 weeks notice, they know they are taking a chance of making a Walmart run!
Beth in KY
I ask 10 days for decorated sugar cookies, one week for non decorated cookies, 10 days for party (sheet, small stacked) cakes, 3 months (at the least) for wedding and 10-15 days for all other desserts.
This gives me enough time to map out the design and shop the specials!! lol. I also require any orders over $100.00 give me a $50.00 deposit at the time of order and all orders under $100.00 are paid in full at the time of order, haven't had an issue so far since this policy went into effect.
I had one guy call me and ask if I could do a huge 3D shaped monster truck cake (to look like HIS monster truck) for the very next day. This was midafternoon mind you. I agree about the Walmart 24/7 mentality. After that phone call, I added the "please give 2 weeks notice" to my brochure.
It also say that I require no less then 2 weeks notice for ANY cake.But since its hobby and most of my customers are people I know .I usually get less then that. But I made huge cake last week at 24 hours notice.Which was not a very good experience so now I am going to refuse any cake with less then a weeks notice.one of many lessons I am sure I am going to learn down the road.
I recently received a wedding cake order with one weeks' notice. I wasn't busy, so it didn't present a problem. The bride's cousin stopped by the evening before the wedding to drop off payment and flowers for the cake, and asked if I could add another tier. I said sure, because I had enough fondant and filling left - I only needed to bake the last tier. I have now received a wedding cake order from a friend of the bride!
Since I have a retail shop, I don't require any particular notice. I book cakes based on pastry chef hours, so if there are hours available, you can have a cake. If it's very short notice, you may not get to pick the flavor, since baking time counts seperately.
For example this weekend, I have 3 weddings, 2 3d cakes and 2 tiered cakes plus 8 various party cakes so far. Thursday Friday and Saturday I have 44 hours of staff time. Wedding cake number 1 will take 2.5 hours of decorating time, number 2 takes about 4 hours etc...I did the math today and I still have about 6 hours left. I like to have two hours for the staff to put some "grab and go" cakes in the front window, so I can do about 6 more party cakes, as long as they're not too complicated.
man, I want to be like txkat when I grow up!
Wow! I want to be like txkat AND indydebi!!
I'd have to agree with what many others said too. Ideally, yeah I would like at least two weeks notice, but if the oven is free and I don't have a date (hmmm, I wonder if I even remember what that is - it's been so long! ) - I'm open for business.
I ask people to order as soon as they know they're having a celabration because sometimes I have a lot of work. But I still have customers calling for next day cakes. I even had some asking for a same day cake telling me "it's only a small cake" like if a small cake didn't need to bake or something. I usually take those orders. I have some supplies in hand because it's more expensive for me to go and buy supplies for one cake and three days later go back to buy some more. Last month I had an order for 30 lbs of cookies, they came early on the month, but at the last moment they call to say they needed them one day earlier and I ended up baking the 30 lbs on one day. Thank goodness my kids were on spirng break so my daughter could help me.
You know Deb even when I did order cakes from Walmart, Sams, or Dierbergs I still gave them at least a months notice!
I mean seriously, I can understand a small party being put together on a whim, but kids parties these days??!?! You have to call 6 months in advance to get an open spot at Chuck E. Cheese, why would you wait until the day before to order a cake? You know the date, you know the time, you must have an idea about the theme, so order the darn thing already!
I seem to have this problem more with showers than birthdays though. I wonder if there is something to that. People not wanting to shell out money until the last possible minute I guess.
A good friend ordered a 3 tiered SpongeBob cake for her son's first birthday, complete with smash cake. She called me about it last Saturday. His party is June 14th. NOW THATS THE KIND OF NOTICE I LIKE!