Will A Caterer Take Credit For My Cake?

Decorating By lardbutt Updated 7 May 2008 , 10:52pm by BigTexinWV

lardbutt Posted 5 May 2008 , 4:26pm
post #1 of 33

A caterer that I met at a wedding this weekend just left me an voicemail saying she has a baby shower in a couple of weeks and wants me to do the cake for HER. icon_confused.gif

I just assumed when they asked for my info, they would pass MY name to the client! I don't want them to get the credit for my cake.

They told me they don't do any cakes, just food. I would think their regular customers already know that, but I want my name KNOWN!

I haven't returned her call yet, I wantd to see what you guys thought. Is this how it works?

32 replies
ccr03 Posted 5 May 2008 , 5:21pm
post #2 of 33

My sister has a small party equipment rental company and once this lady tried to set-up a deal with her in which this lady would rent stuff from my sister at a discounted price, so that she could in turn rent them out at a higher price. My sister quickly rejected that offer! She wasn't going to be getting her name out there and this lady wasn't investing a single dime in inventory.

I hope you see where I am going with this. Unless you have some sort of contract with this caterer (which some people do), I would tell her that you'll need to contact the shower people directly for all the details. If she tells you that she is handling it all, insist and explain that that is not how you do busy. By speaking directly to the person, 1. you get the recognition and 2. you get clear instructions on how the cake should be.

lardbutt Posted 5 May 2008 , 5:41pm
post #3 of 33

That is exactly what I was thinking! Thanks!

julzs71 Posted 5 May 2008 , 5:47pm
post #4 of 33

Why don't you call and ask the person the details? Although ccr03 has given a great theory, her theory may not be right. Most time caterers actually will give the name because of legal issues surrounding insurance. If they say it is their cake then if someone gets sick then they might be held liable for your cake. Just call and find out. It might be to your advantage.

dinas27 Posted 5 May 2008 , 6:05pm
post #5 of 33

From the way you have written the post - it doesnt sound like she is catering the party, perhaps a shower that she is a guest at? Of course not havign heard the voice mail this is impossible to say.

If she is catering definately ask her to pass along your info to the hostess so that you can deal with her yourself. Details tend to get lost in a line of communication, the hostess might want baby blue with touches of royal blue and the caterer could pass on that she wants blue on blue. The customer doesnt get the cake she wanted and the caterer could blame it on you if there is a dispute. You need your own contract with the details to protect yourself AND make sure they know who did the cake!

Jenn2179 Posted 5 May 2008 , 6:12pm
post #6 of 33

I doubt she would be taking credit for your cake if they don't do cakes. I am making a cake for this weekend. The caterer ordered it and will be picking it up for a graduation party they are catering. They have called me for price quotes on cakes before. I think this is good because they will most likely call again and they will give my name to others who are looking for cakes.

AZCakeGirl Posted 5 May 2008 , 6:17pm
post #7 of 33

Once, I had a wedding planner ask me to do a cake for a wedding she was working on. She told me that they knew she was having the cake contracted out. She did cakes herself sometimes, but didn't have time to do the one for this wedding & her skill level was not that high. When I delivered the cake at the wedding, she met me out in the parking lot as I pulled up & started to unload & absolutely refused to allow me to come in & set the cake up for her. She kept repeating "Don't worry, we got it - thank you" as she & her friends literally pulled the cakes out of my car before I could reach in for them (door was already open). It was like they had the whole thing planned to block me off as soon as they saw my car pull in. She was kind of short with me & at that moment, I realized that she probably told them SHE was doing the cake. Trying to save any last hope & giving her the benefit of the doubt, I said "Well, maybe I can at least take a picture for my portfolio before I go?". With some other lame excuse of why I couldn't go in, she said they would take pictures and send them to me but of course that never happened. I think it was pretty obvious that she was passing the cake off as her own. I still can't believe how rude she was. Of course I would never do it since it would have caused an issue for the bride & groom when it wasn't really their problem, but part of me wanted to just go into the wedding anyway & tell everyone I DID THAT CAKE. Not because I wanted the credit so badly, but because I thought it was such a sneaky / unethical thing for her to do. Oh well.....live & learn!

grama_j Posted 5 May 2008 , 6:48pm
post #8 of 33

" A caterer that I met at a wedding this weekend just left me an voicemail saying she has a baby shower in a couple of weeks and wants me to do the cake for HER. "

Perhaps SHE is the hostess..... that is the way it sounds to me from what you have told us....

GI Posted 5 May 2008 , 6:52pm
post #9 of 33

If nothing else, can you insert your business card inside the wrapped cake board, so it is at the very bottom corner of the board where everyone can see it.

There is no way the caterer could remove it without damaging the board.

Wrap the board in clear contact paper. You can read right thru it.

HTH! thumbs_up.gif

Petit-four Posted 5 May 2008 , 6:52pm
post #10 of 33

I had a cake shop owner try to "corner" me in a similar way -- as I was shopping for pillars or something, she asked me casually how my wedding cakes were coming, and how big a cake would one need for 100 people. I told her, and then she picked up the phone, and said "Yes, [bride's name] we can do your cake for $200."

Huh? icon_confused.gif

Anyway -- it is possible that the baby shower is for her personally (?)-- but you could also indicate that your tax permit/license/liability/homeowners insurance do not permit you to sell through a third party. That would help you keep her as a contact, and ensure you work directly with clients.

If she keeps trying to do this to you, it's probably best to not have her as a contact -- think of how she likely treats her clients. thumbs_up.gif (And as for me, I've tried to buy cake supplies as much as I can online from then on).

Melvira Posted 5 May 2008 , 6:53pm
post #11 of 33

MessyBaker, I was unsure whether you meant she was catering a party and wants you to do the cake, or the party is for HER. If it's for HER, then obviously that wouldn't be a problem, so I'm assuming it's the other one. icon_rolleyes.gif Aren't I brilliant?

I would simply explain, as has been mentioned that you require a meeting with the customer directly for design and contract reasons, and if she says no, well, you say it right back. "Thanks but no thanks." I'm still working on that one... but someday I'll get it down! icon_wink.gif

AZCakeGirl, that is a horrible story!! I would've called her on the carpet right there. I'd have 'politely' explained to her that I was going NOWHERE without setting up my cake and photographing it, which is my NORMAL PROTOCOL. If she had a problem with that, I would've loaded that sucker right back up and threatened to leave. This dishonest BS makes me so angry!

prettycakes Posted 5 May 2008 , 6:57pm
post #12 of 33

IMO, it think it is just plain stupid for someone to take credit for something they did not do. There are so many what ifs. First of all, this person doesn't have your recipes, so there is no way they can match the quality of your cakes. That is something a baker develops through experience. People know the difference. My second thought is, if this person does take credit for your work, then they will have to keep coming back to you to keep getting the same high praises. This person isn't going to serve one of your great cakes at one event, and then try to trade out their own Cr*p and another event that will likely have many of the same people in attendance. I said it before, I will say it again, people will know the difference. If they do take credit for your work, it is just going to bite them in the A**. Ohh, I could go on and on about this topic. I'm feeling kinda froggy right know, so I better not. I've already said two bad words, it could get worse.

lardbutt Posted 5 May 2008 , 7:09pm
post #13 of 33

I didn't mean to mis-communicate the fact that she IS catering the baby shower. She is not a guest.

As far as them doing cakes, they have in past, but she said they don't really like doing cakes so they stopped a long time ago.

She repeatly told me she was going to send a ton of business my way if I wanted it. I do know she was standing beside me while guest after guest came up and told me how much they enjoyed the cake. I think she thought I would be good for HER business.

My mistake was assuming she was SENDING them my way!

I did return the call and she wanted a simple square cake for 30 people. I told her I would do it, but my hubby said I was such a boob for not speaking up.

I wish I could be a LITTLE more like so me of you who speak your minds! (I did say little!)lol

I struggle with a lack of confidence and I HATE confrontation, BUT, I will have to call her back because I just don't feel comfortable with the situation.

And after all, I didn't ask if she was passing my name along......maybe she is planning on it.

I know one thing communication is HUGE!!!!!! I dropped the cake ball on this one!

AZCakeGirl Posted 5 May 2008 , 7:11pm
post #14 of 33

Unfortunately, I was a newbie at the time, so I handled it differently with her then as opposed to how I would have done now. Oh well.

LOL - "If they do take credit for your work, it is just going to bite them in the A**."

With that comment, I should mention that she is no longer in business. I wonder why??? What goes around comes around huh?!

lardbutt Posted 5 May 2008 , 7:16pm
post #15 of 33

What I THINK they are wanting to do is use me to sub-contract all of the cakes where they cater. Apparently they do alot of business.

BTW, this was my FIRST wedding cake. I think she was shocked and wanted to jump on my bandwagon..........I gonna feel bad when I have to knock her off! Only kidding, it would be my luck they are members here!

CakeDiva73 Posted 5 May 2008 , 7:18pm
post #16 of 33

Can you call her back and ask for the clients information so you can get an idea of what she wants? How do you know she isn't going to buy a cake from you for $50 and then sell it to the client for $100?

I would be lividly pi$$ed....as for the story about meeting in the parking lot, I can see how being caught off guard made it hard to do anything. On hindsight, I would have insisted on assembling it and taking pictures and if they refused - I swear, money be damned.....I would have flipped the darn thing over!!

What a hag...and you know she charged them more then what you charged her!

Petit-four Posted 5 May 2008 , 7:24pm
post #17 of 33

Messybaker -- if you really don't feel comfortable with the situation, do this cake if you feel you must, and then simply say you mentioned it to your insurance agent/accountant whatever, and found out that you could not sell wholesale. Or whatever works for your state (like maybe sales tax issues).

You can probably part amicably, and she will still know you make wonderful cakes (and suggest you, if she is indeed honest), and you can continue to work independently.

Hope this helps. icon_smile.gif Was in a similar situation -- and I am so glad I trusted my instinct on it.

BlakesCakes Posted 6 May 2008 , 1:24am
post #18 of 33

Well, I think it's safe to say that if there's a middle man involved (the caterer), that person's business plan is to make money off of any transactions that they have with vendors (the OP)--that's just the nature of most business models. Unless you're a partner in a venture with someone, if you sell to a middle man, they'll eventually make money over & above what they paid you. That doesn't make the caterer a bad person--it just means that they don't do cakes & that they have to find someone to do them when a client requests one (otherwise, they'd be a poor business person).

It really comes down to whether or not you want the business at the price you set. You can only be taken advantage of if you allow it by setting your price to the caterer too low. If you don't sign an exclusivity contract with this caterer, then you can continue to find business any way that you desire.

My personal feeling is that if the caterer is a reasonable person, she'll agree to give out your name to clients who require cakes when no catering is involved. That could work out OK if she doesn't want to nail you for a "finders fee" or a commission on those cakes. Talk it over with her before committing to do another cake for her--it could work to benefit both of you.

Just my honest .02
Rae

BigTexinWV Posted 6 May 2008 , 2:19pm
post #19 of 33

I think that I am really confused? I really don't see a problem. Are you giving the caterer a discount? You could ask the caterer one professional to another not to take credit for your cake. That sounds pretty simple to me. If they buy the cake at full price then it is their cake. I understand that you want to receive the credit for it, but look at it this way âyou received the money.

This may actually be a great business opportunity for you to partner up with the caterer and expand your business. Even if the caterer did want a discount you could have a contract where it explicitly states who will take credit for your work. They must use you exclusively for all cakes, and you can even advertise together. The options are endless.

Congratulations!!!!

1nanette Posted 6 May 2008 , 2:32pm
post #20 of 33

I work with a number of caterers and party planners and they never take credit for my work. It could work out in your favor as you may end up in her network which would mean more orders for you in the future.

justme50 Posted 6 May 2008 , 2:42pm
post #21 of 33

I wouldn't be so quick to decline the order.

My biggest client (and I mean HUGE) is a party planner for upscale clients. I never see the clients, I never talk to them. The party planner deals directly with me for tastings, samples and ideas. I deliver the cake to her and that's the end of it.

I've been doing this for several months now and I charge her at least double, sometimes 3 times what I charge my regular customers. It's a huge money maker for me.

I'd check into it and see exactly what the deal is before I closed the door!

costumeczar Posted 6 May 2008 , 2:45pm
post #22 of 33

I was delivering a cake to the hoity-toity hotel in town here, and as I walked past the pastry chef (Who doesn't really like doing cakes, I've talked to him before) he said "I did that cake." I said "yeah, right..." and continued on my way to set it up. A couple of months later, one of the event coordinators who works there saw a picture of a different cake that I'd taken there, and she was really surprised that I'd done it, because she said that the pastry chef had TOLD HER THAT HE MADE IT.

So don't think that people won't blatantly take credit for someone else's work.

If you want to work with this caterer, you could tell her that she can advertise that you are her cake provider, then she can send clients to you to make the arrangements. If you want to pay her a finder's fee go ahead, but the caterers I work with don't do that. The benefit of working with me is that I'll give their clients priority over random people who call me, but I'm not going to let them make any arrangements for me or take credit for the cakes that I make.

staceyboots Posted 6 May 2008 , 3:01pm
post #23 of 33

My cake instructor told us about a situation where one of her past students was approached by a caterer and he asked the student to do the cake for a wedding that he was managing.

She sold him the cake for $800 and he turned around and sold for $1500!!!

AZCakeGirl Posted 6 May 2008 , 3:06pm
post #24 of 33

"but look at it this way âyou received the money. "

I completely see your point, but it depends on how you want to grow your business. If you're in it for the long term & want to be known as "the best cakes in town", it would not be very beneficial for someone to tell people "Oh, well I had a cake from ACME catering & it was just as good as this one". Or worse....."this vanilla cake is okay, but I had a chocolate one from ACME catering that was to die for!". All of a sudden, your reputation has got a "ding" in it as being 2nd rate or just average.

If you truly are trying to make a successful business......you want people to come directly to you & get the most dollar for your product. Even if it may take a little extra time to build up the clients. After all, if someone else is taking credit for your work, of course you are getting the money, but nobody else knows to come to you when they need a cake. Anybody who tasted the cake is telling their friends to go to ACME catering, not you. If ACME catering goes under or decides to start using someone else, you basically have to start back at the beginning as far as trying to build up your business.

I definitely agree about the networking though. As long as people know who did the cake, caterers & wedding planners can be a great referral source.

step0nmi Posted 6 May 2008 , 3:12pm
post #25 of 33

ok...get over it...call her back! write down all the questions you are wanting answered and ask them! I know it's hard to communicate things...when you call again just say "as I was thinking I am getting a little confused over the situation" the fact that you may have "possibly" caught her trying to sell your cake for more may just give her the chance to stumble on her words and tell you the truth! IF you don't call you'll never know! THEN you might possibly be able to strike a deal! There is nothing wrong with calling her back! she may just realize that she can trust you and then you guys will be partners in the long run....IF you DON"T call her back then I know she is thinking "that was easy and I could do it again!" ( then you will be walked all over every time she calls)

So, those are the choices...I think you should call her back! icon_biggrin.gif

AZCakeGirl Posted 6 May 2008 , 3:23pm
post #26 of 33

I agree with step0nmi - give her a call, it can't hurt anything.

CakeDiva73 Posted 6 May 2008 , 3:48pm
post #27 of 33

This is interesting...... no one likes the idea of being profited off of but in the case of the baker who sold the cake to the caterer for $800 and then the caterer sold the cake to the client for $1500, the question is, would you have even had a shot at that cake or client had it not been for the caterer?

If you are charging, as one of the posters said, double or triple to the caterers, go for it. On the other hand, if you have a seasoned (no pun intended) caterer brow beating you into giving her a discount only to have her resell your cake for more, then there is a problem.

As upsetting as it is to be profited off of, if they are bringing you the business and you are charging enough NOT to make you feel taken advantage of, go for it.

In a perfect world, we would make the cake directly for the client for $1500 but it doesn't always seem to work out like that. I will say that I would not go for having the cake taken and snuck in, not being allowed to assemble or photograph it like one of the posters said...especially if those terms were not spelled out clearly and agreed to.

Did you give this caterer a discount or not charge what you feel you should have?

BigTexinWV Posted 6 May 2008 , 5:53pm
post #28 of 33

I totally understand about wanting to take credit for your work. If this is the case then any vendor that you work with should be aware that that is your policy. I myself would also want people to know what kind of cakes I do.

But I don't think that being a middle man is a bad idea either. It depends on the person. The caterer can actually promote your name as their vendor for cakes. But you should not be upset if they tack on an additional charge to the customer. That is business!

I just hope that the poster does not freak out the possibility that she might not get credit for one cake that she closes the door completely on an opportunity.

lardbutt Posted 7 May 2008 , 2:02am
post #29 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by step0nmi

ok...get over it...call her back! write down all the questions you are wanting answered and ask them! I know it's hard to communicate things...when you call again just say "as I was thinking I am getting a little confused over the situation" the fact that you may have "possibly" caught her trying to sell your cake for more may just give her the chance to stumble on her words and tell you the truth! IF you don't call you'll never know! THEN you might possibly be able to strike a deal! There is nothing wrong with calling her back! she may just realize that she can trust you and then you guys will be partners in the long run....IF you DON"T call her back then I know she is thinking "that was easy and I could do it again!" ( then you will be walked all over every time she calls)

So, those are the choices...I think you should call her back! icon_biggrin.gif



icon_redface.gificon_redface.gif Yes mam, Mommy icon_redface.gificon_redface.gif

All of you are right and have brought up excellent points. I did not give a discount to her. I have decided that I will put a business card on the cake board that cannot be removed for this cake anyway.

I do plan on talking to her about our little "partnership" when we meet up for the delivery. I also talked with the mother of the bride who is my mother's good friend where I met this caterer and she said they were good and honest people. I think I may have overreacted a bit.

That's why I have all of you! It's much better to overreact with you guys and get put in my place so to speak than do it with a client!

Thanks for all the great advice.......YOU GUYS ROCK!

step0nmi Posted 7 May 2008 , 2:35am
post #30 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by MessyBaker

Quote:
Originally Posted by step0nmi

ok...get over it...call her back! write down all the questions you are wanting answered and ask them! I know it's hard to communicate things...when you call again just say "as I was thinking I am getting a little confused over the situation" the fact that you may have "possibly" caught her trying to sell your cake for more may just give her the chance to stumble on her words and tell you the truth! IF you don't call you'll never know! THEN you might possibly be able to strike a deal! There is nothing wrong with calling her back! she may just realize that she can trust you and then you guys will be partners in the long run....IF you DON"T call her back then I know she is thinking "that was easy and I could do it again!" ( then you will be walked all over every time she calls)

So, those are the choices...I think you should call her back! icon_biggrin.gif


icon_redface.gificon_redface.gif Yes mam, Mommy icon_redface.gificon_redface.gif

All of you are right and have brought up excellent points. I did not give a discount to her. I have decided that I will put a business card on the cake board that cannot be removed for this cake anyway.

I do plan on talking to her about our little "partnership" when we meet up for the delivery. I also talked with the mother of the bride who is my mother's good friend where I met this caterer and she said they were good and honest people. I think I may have overreacted a bit.

That's why I have all of you! It's much better to overreact with you guys and get put in my place so to speak than do it with a client!

Thanks for all the great advice.......YOU GUYS ROCK!


sorry...I have the tendency to do that icon_surprised.gifpps: I am sort of motherly in a way! LOL- it's something my MOM would have told me! LOL

You won't know until you discuss it...and you really should discuss it beforehand. You cannot do a business transaction unless you are comfortable. and it may take MANY conversations until you are comfortable...it is your decision. people may SEEM okay in the beginning but you don't know their motives until you ASK!

I hope you don't take my post as bad...actually, this is the first advice I have given on here in a month or so! I really do hope this works out for you! icon_smile.gif

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