How Do You Respond To This Comment???

Decorating By KeltoKel Updated 17 Jun 2008 , 12:02am by cwcopeland

KeltoKel Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 5:00pm
post #1 of 31

I am sure many of you get this response when you get an order from a customer and you ask them, "how many people you need the cake to feed...?"

I have heard many times from customers, "well, we have 40 people invited, but not everyone will eat cake..."

Is there a decent way to respond to this? My thoughts tell me that I should say, "you can't predict who will or will not eat cake....so it is best to assume a slice for everyone....."


Also...slightly different....

The lady I am working with now just told me she wants a cake to feed 30 people and I told her what size pan I would be using for her cake. SHe was like, "oh, I don't think that will be big enough...." UGH! I am the darn baker, if you tell me a cake for XX amount, I will tell you what pan feeds that amount! She told me to use a bigger pan. I told her it was fine, but it would cost more. She was OK with it, but it just irritates me.

30 replies
summernoelle Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 5:08pm
post #2 of 31

I have shown them my serving chart. With things like that, where they are skeptical about it being enough food, I just email them the serving chart to look at it. If they think it still isn't enough, I charge them for a bigger cake.

For the not everyone will eat cake thing, I just let them order a smaller cake, and say "OK, for a cake that feeds XX it will be $XX.XX" I just give them what they order, but part of my job is still to educate them on how much they will actually need.

Valli_War Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 5:08pm
post #3 of 31

I am not in cake making business, but have read so much about this here that I thought I'll share my view.

First of all, I would say that the per serving size is either 2X2X2 (sheet cakes with height 2") or it is 4X2X1 (in case of 4 " high cakes) and tell them that this cake would feed this many people as per this serving size.

If they want bigger serving size, then they'll have to let you know how big of a slice and you can calculate the pan size and cost based on that.

Just my opinion,

leah_s Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 5:11pm
post #4 of 31

I just say that yes, for every person who doesn't eat cake, there will be another person who eats two slices. It all evens out.

"How many mouths will be at your party?"

chasebrad Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 5:12pm
post #5 of 31

Asking how many servings they want is definitely one of the first questions and I have had customers make that same remark...."not everyone will eat cake". My response to that is..."yes and some will have seconds, how many servings do you think you will need?" Then I give them their options and if they think that isn't enough we go up in size and price.
To me it seems like the person is trying to get you to be responsible for determining her needs....you can't do that....you can only fulfill her request. Maybe refer the customer back to the last party of that size and if she needed more cake or had lots left over.
I also tell her that many of my repeat customers order more than they need because they WANT leftovers!
Just always say "I can make a cake to suit whichever number of servings you want."
Best of luck!

springlakecake Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 5:21pm
post #6 of 31

As long as they pay for the size they order, I don't think it really matters. If they don't have enough or too much, it is the hosts problem.

sweetcravings Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 5:28pm
post #7 of 31

I've had the same kinda thing happen..eg.."there will be 40people at the party but half of them will be kids."...I'm not sure how to advise them when they say that. I know some kids that eat as much if not more cake then the adults. The last time i just made the cake for the full 40servings. What do you say in that circumstance?

chrissysconfections Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 5:30pm
post #8 of 31

I had a similar situation just this weekend....the order was for 20-30 slices but the party was for 60. There was going to be alcohol at the party so it was figured that only about half of them (the older ones) would actually want cake. They also said they didn't want extra cake to take home so if they needed more cake then expected they would just cut smaller pieces.
There are two ways you can handle this...1.) do what they ask...if they run out of cake then that's on them. You made it for what they said.
In my case I should have made a 2 layer 13x9 but opted for a single layer 11x15 because it's almost the same amount of ingredients and I new it would serve more.
The other thing you can do is show them serving sizes...I have templets from the computer. Mine are in wedding servings, party servings and 'bubba' servings (3").....let them choose the serving sizes they want to serve and then you decide how large the cake needs to be. Based on this though you can't charge per slice because then your charging say $50 for a cake that normally feeds 100+ so you'd have to work the pricing out accordingly....maybe still charge per slice but for what it would feed in regular slices not the larger ones.

My experience with the who does and who doesn't eat cake....depends on the party. All the cakes I've done where alcohol has been served, no one really eats the cake. They buy for X and take home tons because sugary goodness doesn't mix with alcohol. So maybe you could inquire about that when they are ordering.
It's also the diet age and people are careful what they eat so perhaps you can suggest smaller portions like wedding servings for parties where they think less cake will be needed as opposed to party servings. That way if they find less people want cake they can cut larger servings.
They hopefully know their crowd and they may not be cake eaters so they need less cake. In the end I would ask some questions as to why they are planning for so little, give some sizing suggestions to get more servings and do what they ask. Sometimes they just need a little educating! icon_wink.gif

FromScratch Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 5:30pm
post #9 of 31

If someone tells me they don't think it will be enough and they want a bigger size I don't complain.. so long as they don't expect a bigger cake for the same price. icon_wink.gif I tell them that based on my standard cake slice of 1x2x4 the cake will serve X amount and if they think they will require more servings they are more than welcome to order more cake. icon_smile.gif

twindees Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 5:32pm
post #10 of 31

I agree with Merissa. As long as they are paying for what they want, who cares? If there is too much cake or not enough that is not your problem. Your job is to give them what they ask for.

Most people do not cut cake the way the guides say , so some people might need more or less cake.

awolf24 Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 5:47pm
post #11 of 31

OK, who says alcohol and cake don't mix? Apparently those people don't come to my family's parties!! icon_smile.gif LOL

mcelromi1 Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 5:48pm
post #12 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by twindees

I agree with Merissa. As long as they are paying for what they want, who cares? If there is too much cake or not enough that is not your problem. Your job is to give them what they ask for.

Most people do not cut cake the way the guides say , so some people might need more or less cake.




Exactly. The portion guides are an 'industry stantard'. It's not how most people would normally slice a cake. So some people will think your crazy when you tell them that a slice of cake is that size.
So you shouldn't get upset when people say it won't be enough. Just politley explain to them the industry standards and suggets a larger size if they plan to serve large slices.

milissasmom Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 5:58pm
post #13 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by awolf24

OK, who says alcohol and cake don't mix? Apparently those people don't come to my family's parties!! icon_smile.gif LOL




My thoughts exactly! I had a couple order a cake for 30 folk because they thought all the "drinkers" wouldn't eat cake! Suprise!!!!!! There was not a crumb left! Thank God they paid me to cut the cake so I was there to SLICE and DICE it up so all 50 folk could at least get a taste! You can never really predict something like this!!

I am doing a wedding for this same couple next weekend (the last cake was their baby shower). It's supposed to be a small little fiesta but I know they will have people coming out of the walls so this time we went with a cake for 65 (6-8-10) and then a couple dozen cupcakes. The last event made a believer out of them! lol

MainCake Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 6:07pm
post #14 of 31

I know I haven't been on here in quite a long time, but my opinion on this subject is just to advise the customer to the best of your ability and try to convince them to have a cake that provides enough for each person attending. As others have said, some may not eat cake, but some may eat two slices and often, people cut the cake into bigger slices than our charts say. I would explain that to them and explain that leftovers, if any, can be frozen (in individual pieces for a quick and easy answer to a sweet tooth) or given away to guests who may want to take it home. It's better to have extra than not enough. My thing is that the cake I provide is a reflection on me. If there isn't enough, in some way, it makes me look like I don't know what I'm doing. I consider every guest eating a slice of cake I make a potential customer and if there isn't enough, I may lose that customer.

chrissysconfections Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 6:21pm
post #15 of 31
Quote:
Quote:

OK, who says alcohol and cake don't mix? Apparently those people don't come to my family's parties!! LOL




LOL I've done several bday cakes for bars and other venues that serve alcohol and all of them said how great the cake looked and tasted but they had so much left because no one wanted to mix the drinking with the sweets. In some cases the "drinkers" wanted to take the cake home but wouldn't risk eating any there with all the alcohol they had consumed.
Maybe around here people don't like to muddy up the drinkin' with something as silly as food LOL icon_razz.gif

KeltoKel Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 6:34pm
post #16 of 31

I am not upset over what this lady wants - I always factor in larger sizes than the pans call for. I had told her this. It just perplexes me b/c these people have no idea how much a 12 inch, 14 inch pan feeds. That is like me telling a tax accountant which calculator works best. That was my point.


And I disagree cake and alcohol don't mix. When I met my husband, the only two things he had in his fridge was beer and a half eaten cake! LOL!

SugarBakerz Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 6:43pm
post #17 of 31

I always say that you have to remember not all may eat cake, but some eat more than 1 slice. I say they should always plan to feed the invitees, not to mention themselves icon_smile.gif

cheeseball Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 6:50pm
post #18 of 31

My best customers are a family that shot my serving chart to pieces...they claim to not like sweets, but 15-20 of them eat cake for FORTY every single time they order icon_lol.gif And I'm talking about dense, rich cake!

Brujalita Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 6:57pm
post #19 of 31

Here's another one for the pile:

Two weeks ago I got a call from someone who wanted to know if I could make a 10-layer cake (???!!!). For 50 people. For June 28. Told her I couldn't help her, I was on vacation until June 28. WHEWWW!!!! Missed that bullet!

Aliwis000 Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 7:08pm
post #20 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by leahs

I just say that yes, for every person who doesn't eat cake, there will be another person who eats two slices. It all evens out.

"How many mouths will be at your party?"






lol love it! Although around my house you also have to calculate in the size of their butts!

Mike1394 Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 7:09pm
post #21 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by awolf24

OK, who says alcohol and cake don't mix? Apparently those people don't come to my family's parties!! icon_smile.gif LOL




How close are you to Roseville? Hehehehe icon_biggrin.gif

Mike

chassidyg Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 7:10pm
post #22 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by KeltoKel


Also...slightly different....

The lady I am working with now just told me she wants a cake to feed 30 people and I told her what size pan I would be using for her cake. SHe was like, "oh, I don't think that will be big enough...." UGH! I am the darn baker, if you tell me a cake for XX amount, I will tell you what pan feeds that amount! She told me to use a bigger pan. I told her it was fine, but it would cost more. She was OK with it, but it just irritates me.





I'm kinda the same way. I used to order a Half Sheet cake just for my family of 8, (3 adults, 5 kids). There is never any left. For my son's 1st b-day, I had ordered 1 half sheet, and then I was staring and staring at it, and wound up picking up another half sheet. We only had 1 piece left, that my brother ate for breakfast the next day. My brothers could eat a 1/4 sheet by themselves.

It could be that the woman knows how her family eats cake, I'd have had to ask for a bigger cake also. But I'm also okay with paying extra for it as well, I dont expect someone to give me a free cake because my brother's eat a ton.

southerncake Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 7:12pm
post #23 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by leahs

I just say that yes, for every person who doesn't eat cake, there will be another person who eats two slices. It all evens out.

"How many mouths will be at your party?"




This is also typically my reasoning with my customers!

LeanneW Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 7:14pm
post #24 of 31

I guess at the end of the day the customer is always right. As the host of an event they can order as much or as little cake as they would like.

I do feel however, as a professional it is your job to provide a service to your customer. All you can do is advise them based on your expertise and they will do what they will with your info.

Though the cake maker might be the one to look bad when they run out of cake. They probably won't think that the bride made the mistake ordering a small cake against your advice, they will think the cake maker obviously didn't know how much cake would be needed.

I always say it is best to have left oevrs than not enough. When I deliver a cake I leave at least one box tucked under the cake table for this reason.

I am sure someone will be willing to take home the extras.

johnson6ofus Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 7:29pm
post #25 of 31

It is also up to the host to have a "feel" for their guests, and know how much cake. Another post here ripped (customer complaint) up a skateboard cake as "not enough servings" when feed to teenage boys---- duhhhhh! Talk about Bubba servings!

A Campbell's soup can says it is 2 servings???????????????

As the pro, you just need to offer advice based on your experience, and let the customer "tweak" as needed. BUT THE PRICING IS BASED ON "INDUSTRY STANDARDS".....

FromScratch Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 7:38pm
post #26 of 31

I hope you charge for that box of cake tucked under the table.. it's a nice idea.. just don't do it for free. icon_smile.gif

LeanneW Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 7:40pm
post #27 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkalman

I hope you charge for that box of cake tucked under the table.. it's a nice idea.. just don't do it for free. icon_smile.gif




sorry I wasn't more clear, the box is empty. I leave it to make it easier to pack up left overs for taking home.

hellie0h Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 8:34pm
post #28 of 31

I made a double layer 12x18 cake for my sons get-together recently. Friends and their children, maybe there were about 15 people there....guess what, not a crumb left.
Unless you are a baker, folks just don't realize they are suppose to have a dainty piece of cake based on serving charts.
If a customer wants a bigger cake, so-what, she is paying for it....give her what she wants and charge appropriately.

FromScratch Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 10:55pm
post #29 of 31

Oh phew.. LOL.. Here I was thinking you were the cake fairy leaving boxws of cake for people.. icon_lol.gif

indydebi Posted 16 Jun 2008 , 11:32pm
post #30 of 31

Ironically, I was going over this with my 15-year old in the shop today, to "train" her on how to talk to customers and take a cake order.

I have a chart of sheet cakes and round cakes that shows number of servings and cake serving size. For example, my sheet cake chart shows a 12x18 will serve 36 if cut in 2x3x2 and will serve 54 if cut in 2x2x2. My round (layered) cake chart shows the number of servings based on 1x2x4 ... I have the serving sizes listed on these charts.

We just show the customer the chart ... we have the styrofoam cake servings sitting there so they can see them ... and they select the cake they want. I will ask them, "Does your family eat like Jethro, or are they kinda normal?" icon_biggrin.gif

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