Ok I seem to be running into a lot of "last minute" wedding cake inquiries lately.
When do you charge a Rush charge and how much do you charge.
I received an inquiry yesterday for a cake July 19th who will be coming in for a tasting.
I just received another request for a wedding in August 16th.
I currently require payment in full 1month prior to the event date.
Any advice on this topic would be much appreciated!!
Since your full payment date is 1 month before delivery, then if they have their tasting, and book the date and pay a major deposit, or pay in full just before that deadline, then I believe that you should just charge your normal fees.
Anything after that, I believe should have a rush charge added to the final bill.
I think it depends on when you require final payment. If you require final payment, say, a month before the event, then maybe it's not a "rush job". But they have to realize that this close, it's not a "deposit" situation, it's a "pay in advance" situation.
A deposit reserves the date. If you're free that day, and can use the work, and if they can pay up front, or by the time you require payment, well, there you go. If they balk on the payment, turn them down. Chances are the reason they don't have a baker yet is because they have put off paying deposits to someone else.
Now, if it's within that month, or whatever, maybe a 20% upcharge for all the quick planning, which requires stress and all that.
Personally, I think, if you're free or not, if you take a booking within a month of a date, it's minimum 20% upcharge, and I'm not sure I wouldn't charge more. That's a lot of work, and mental stress as well, and trying to work around bookings that have been set up well in advance.
And, of course, it's your call, not only on how much to charge, but on whether you want the booking or not.
UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES!!!!! would I let them talk me DOWN. You know a rush job is a pain inna neck, and if they are trying to talk you down, or say "but I don't have that much, can you help me out?" or begging you to wait just a week, or a couple days, or whatever, on payment, there is a big chance that they have blown off a deposit to someone else, and just found out that they don't have that date reserved that they thought they did. So the other decorators' pain is now yours. That's my big fear on someone who asks at the last minute.
I personally don't think a month is advance deserves a "rush" charge. If you are available then what's the problem? I just had a consultation for a wedding on Aug 9th and I don't think I am rushed at all. Also just had a tasting for a wedding July 26, although it's another police officer so I wouldn't charge them a "rush" charge anyways but I am available so it's more income that I would not have had otherwise. If it was less than 2 weeks away I might consider adding a "rush" charge.
I charge rush fees if I get less than 72 hours notice on regular orders. I have never had a "rush" wedding cake order (shotgun wedding? LOL!).
I charge 10% or $5, whichever is greater, on orders with less than 72 hours notice.