Cake Tasting "open Houses"

Business By costumeczar Updated 8 May 2008 , 2:46pm by CakeMommyTX

costumeczar Posted 7 May 2008 , 12:38am
post #1 of 16

Does anyone do an open house for a bunch of people, then do contract write-ups later? How does that work? I'm debating whether to do this or not, because I REALLY dislike doing tasting appointments, but I don't know if it will be better than doing individual tastings or not. If anyone has pro or con experiences with the open house concept I'd be interested in hearing how you work them.

15 replies
heathercarnold Posted 7 May 2008 , 3:56am
post #2 of 16

I am interested to know as well. doing individual tasting is not my favorite thing I would love to open the doors and invite those interested and get it all done at once. Would love to know if others have had success with this?

indydebi Posted 7 May 2008 , 9:33am
post #3 of 16

I'm watching this topic, also. I've never done one and to be honest, have no inclination to do it that way. My samplings take an hour each (at least) with each bride. I can't imagine how I can talk with each couple to find out what cake flavors and design they want, what buffet foods they want, the when's, the where's, and overall getting enough info to write up the proposal, etc., with 15 or 20 other couples waiting to talk with me. I also don't want to make them come back again for their "private" consultation. I deal with a lot of out of state brides who are in town for a limited amt of time and they don't have time for a 2nd private consulation.

So I am also very interested to hear from those who do these and how they work, to see if I can adopt some form of this.

vdrsolo Posted 7 May 2008 , 12:22pm
post #4 of 16

I'm with Indydebi, I don't see how I can devote equal time to each bride. There would always be one couple who completely tries to hog your time and I could see how the others could get frustrated.

I guess I just like the personal attention that I can give on a private consultation because that is the way I would want to be treated, but that's just me!

Erdica Posted 7 May 2008 , 12:51pm
post #5 of 16

Someone on here does this. I think it is FlowerGirlMN. (Sorry if I am wrong)

There was a post not too long ago about how they hold their open houses and charge for the tasting and talk to the couples. It was very interesting and informative. Hopefully that person will add some input here. icon_smile.gif

I'll try to find that other post....

Edited to add:

Here's the post from FlowerGirlMN. I'm surprised my memory works on only one cup of coffee!!

costumeczar Posted 7 May 2008 , 4:44pm
post #6 of 16

Thanks, Erdica, for the link. After reading Flowergirl's description of the procedure, it sounds like you'd be running a mini-bridal show, and I hate that even more than doing individual appointments! You'd have to reschedule more appointments for people later to write up contracts, etc anyway...I guess the advantage of doing it the open house way is that you get all of your sample baking out of the way in one big blast, but it sounds like it would create more work for me on the long run, so I'll stick to individual appointments for now.

moreCakePlz Posted 7 May 2008 , 6:42pm
post #7 of 16

I went to a tasting open house just a few weeks ago. The bakery is relatively new (< 6 months) and they wanted to get people into the shop and let them taste the cakes and look through the portfolios. The open house was only three hours long and there were tons of people there (everyone wants free cake), so the owner spent most of her time introducing herself and passing out goodies.

ChrisfromNOLA Posted 7 May 2008 , 10:34pm
post #8 of 16

Sorry, I can't remember who posted this idea, but I thought it was a good alternative to doing a private tasting. The bride would make an appointment to come in, and she would be given a box of samples of different flavors of cake to take home to share with her fiance and family.

MichelleM77 Posted 7 May 2008 , 11:47pm
post #9 of 16

I'm thinking of doing this only because I'm focusing on party cakes and no wedding cakes, so to bring the mom crowd in I thought I would have an open house, maybe around the holidays. Not sure where though. Not at our house since we are on a long private driveway with another house and with no extra parking. wah! I can see where this would be a hangup for those focusing on wedding cakes. You would basically be doing two consultations/tastings with brides and that can get costly.

indydebi Posted 8 May 2008 , 2:15am
post #10 of 16
Originally Posted by ChrisfromNOLA

Sorry, I can't remember who posted this idea, but I thought it was a good alternative to doing a private tasting. The bride would make an appointment to come in, and she would be given a box of samples of different flavors of cake to take home to share with her fiance and family.

I dislike this even more. Hand 'em a box of cake, shove 'em out the door and say "Call me!" icon_confused.gif The sampling is your sales opportunity .. to talk to them, to sell yourself, to sell your company, to sell your services, to sell your product, to answer their questions, to make them comfortable with you, to show them that you are the person they should trust with their wedding cake.

Can't do that with "here's your cake ... see ya ... call me if you need more."

FromScratch Posted 8 May 2008 , 2:38am
post #11 of 16

I guess I am odd.. I like the individual one-on-one interaction with brides. I see it as my sales opportunity and I wouldn't be able to get my groove on with a bunch of parties there. I like to be able to devote the time.. I am going to have to spend the time eventually so why not get it over with.. icon_lol.gif. You can get a good feel for how serious a person is when they sit down.

costumeczar Posted 8 May 2008 , 11:13am
post #12 of 16

I can see how it would make sense for party cakes, but for weddings you do have to sit down with the bride at some point to get the design etc down, so you might as well do it all at once.

Indy, you're right about the "here's your cake, don't let the door hit you on the way out" thing. There's someone near me who makes an appointment for people to come in and get cake samples, then they have to make another appointment for a consultation, and I've heard brides complain about that. Some of them thought that they were going in for a tasting but were told that they were just there to make an appointment to pick up samples! They didn't even get any samples that day, they had to go back in for the samples, then again for a consultation if they wanted it. That didn't go over well.

I just don't enjoy the selling part of the whole wedding cake experience. Comes from working in a large department store for a few years out of college. That wasn't my dream job...

vdrsolo Posted 8 May 2008 , 11:38am
post #13 of 16

Another thought is..some people may just show up to get free cake, and may not even be serious with booking with you. They can just hide themselves in the crowd and avoid talking one and one.

When you have a private consultation with a bride, you are most likely to get the more serious ones who will tend to book with you, not those just looking for a free handout.

ChrisfromNOLA Posted 8 May 2008 , 2:21pm
post #14 of 16

I forgot to add that there was a consultation first, then they choose samples to take home...just thought this idea might cut down on the time you had to spend in a consultation.
This is the link I saw it on

elainec Posted 8 May 2008 , 2:39pm
post #15 of 16

I, too, am a little old fashioned. i love talking with the bride and getting her ideas, thoughts, and feeling her personality thru her actions. Then to see a bride to acutually get excited when she tastes the cake that she loves and wants to be her wedding cake, it is awesome!

CakeMommyTX Posted 8 May 2008 , 2:46pm
post #16 of 16

I agree with the individual tastings for weddings, but I don't thinks its a bad idea to have a open house tasting 1 or 2 times a year. I like the idea of having your own personal cake expo where you are the star .
Granted you might hand out alot of free cake to people who just want free cake but you will aslo be able to introduce yourself and and your cakes to the communtity. People who taste your cakes and like them will keep you in mind next time they need a cake.

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