For those of you who have made your cake baking/decorating into a business...how do you go about doing your tastings?
How many cake flavor options do you offer at one time and how many icing options do you present at one time?
Do you charge anything for tastings or are they FREE?
If people request a second tasting to bring additional friends or family members - do you charge for that?
I just had a very unpleasant experience with an event planner who emailed me a request for several cake and icing flavors. It seems I accidentally overlooked her request and when the day of the tasting took place and she brought the bride and groom in, I did not fulfill the desired flavors requested.
I DID however present 6 different cake flavor choices and 5 different icing options. 5 out of the 6 were the flavors she had requested. There was only ONE missing, French Vanilla Pound Cake, that I did not present.
This Event Planner ordered a sample of the French Vanilla to be picked up a week later, so that the bride and groom would be able to sample it.
She also requested one more flavor sample of Strawberry Pound Cake.
I prepared the samples as requested and scheduled a time for pick-up.
She did NOT show up and when I called her 4 hours after the time the cakes were to be picked up, to see what happened, she informed me the wedding had been called off and she would no longer need the samples.
She NEVER informed me and I went the "extra mile" to make sure her samples were ready for pick-up.
I want to charge her $25 for my wasted time - but NOT SURE WHAT DO DO! Suggestions?
Don't think you can charge her after the fact, sucks as that might. Just chalk it up to a learning experience and hope that she'll think of you and your kindness next time.
I charge $35 for a wedding cake tasting (don't offer for them to choose flavors, but if they bring it up I try to accommodate) and it comes off the final bill if they book. If a customer insists on a tasting for a party cake, its $20 and is not applied anywhere. I do have a shop now so its easy for them to come in, for me to make up the samples, and for me to store them if they don't show.
I think most places these days charge for a tasting but take off if they get a cake from them. I wouldn't go out my way to do "personalized" tastings unless specifically asked for. I would make a standard tasting platter and use that for all. This way you can come up with a fee and know that the costs are being covered if they don't get a cake from you. If you did each one tailored, man you'd be doing nothing but making tasting platters if you do alot of wedding cakes!
I don't charge for tastings, but I also don't set out a smorgasbord.
I bake a 6" square cake and cut it in quarters, giving me four 3x3x2 cakes. I serve 2 squares of white cake ... each one with a different filling ("....to show you how changing the filling can give you a totally different taste on the same cake") and I serve one square of choc cake, usually with choc-red-raspberry filling.
To me .... a tasting is to determine if I can bake, so they can decide if they want to book with me. My lemon cake will taste just as good as my white cake except it will taste like lemon. I don't view a tasting as a "Let's try THIS one .... let's try THAT one .... let's try the OTHER one....!" That's what you do in Sears when you're trying on different blouses. I'm not a cake-fitting-room.
*IF* a bride requests a specific flavor, I tell her I will TRY to accommodate that if it's possible.
The event planner is running her business the way she wants it run .... getting the best she can for her bride. YOU need to run YOUR business the way you want it run ... which is NOT getting run over by overbearing event planners.
Bottom line: "Here's what I provide for a free tasting. Anything above that will have a fee attached, payable in advance."
You dont' work FOR the wedding planner .... you are not her employee. While I would like to stay in a planner's good graces, he/she does NOT tell me how to run my business.
I've had wedding planners try to dictate how to set up foods and when they will be served and how long it will be set out. Trust me, ..... I cut that chic off at the knees at the git-go! When it comes to food service and FOOD SAFETY, NOBODY tells me how it's going to be done!
I'm not a cake-fitting-room.
Okay. . . .this made me laugh. Thanks, Debi!!
Hey guys! I am glad you posted this info! I just posted a topic that I'm going to start doing wedding cakes soon. I'm excited. I already had a stance on this issue, and it goes along with what a lot of you are doing. So I feel reassured, which is cool. I plan on charging $20 and if they order thru me, they get the $$ off their cake.
The ones that really get me are the ones that call up and say "My fiance and I are going to be out tasting cakes tomorrow and want to stop by." Like they make a freaking day out of it and just expect me to be ready at a moment's notice, oh and they want it for FREE of course! Ya right.......... It's not even possible. I'm only 1 person - there's no way I'm spending my time and $ baking free samples for people who are out spending their day tasting cakes.
The ones that really get me are the ones that call up and say "My fiance and I are going to be out tasting cakes tomorrow and want to stop by."
I laugh out loud and tell them, "No, no, no, it doesn't work that way...." It gives 'em that little knock back into the world of reality!