Cake Tastings?

Decorating By nicoles0305 Updated 21 Jun 2008 , 1:33am by kurn

nicoles0305 Posted 20 Jun 2008 , 2:58pm
post #1 of 9

So I've had a couple of people ask about tastings before they order their wedding cakes. Problem is, I haven't found a cost efective way to do this yet, as I don't do a whole lot of cakes, maybe about 2-3 birthday cakes a month, and a wedding cake every few months. And usually, the flavors that they want to sample involve fillings and such. So my question is, anyone have a cost effective way to offer tastings? I'd hate to make whole cakes and then not get a cake order out of it. TIA!

~nicole

8 replies
southerncake Posted 20 Jun 2008 , 3:09pm
post #2 of 9

You will get several different answers. Lots of people freeze small cakes or slices of cakes and use those for bridal samplings.

I bake mini loaves fresh for consults.

For the fillings, can you freeze your fillings? I primarily use the sleeve fillings. I use the little plastic cups with lids (like salad dressing with takeout from a restaurant) for filling and frosting so that they can mix them up with their cake flavors.

HTH!

ctucker Posted 20 Jun 2008 , 3:10pm
post #3 of 9

Random idea, but you could offer that cake tastings cost x amount of $. If they place an order that amount will be deducted from the cost of the final cake. If they dont place an order they owe you for $x. That way the tasting is complimentary if they order and you are not out money if they dont.

LeanneW Posted 20 Jun 2008 , 3:14pm
post #4 of 9

I've been considering charging for tastings in the same way.

one thing I recently changed is that I will pick the flavors they sample, that way if I am baking a choc cake that week it won't really be as expensive or time consuming to make a couple of choc cupcakes for them to taste.

if they pay though I would offer that they can choose the flavors

PinkZiab Posted 20 Jun 2008 , 4:43pm
post #5 of 9

your best bet is to come up with a standard set of tasting flavors. The tasting is so that they can see that they like your product, not for them to experiment with a zillion flavor combos. Also, charging for a tasting is pretty widely accepted (and as someone else mentioned you can offer to apply the tasting fee towards the order, if you choose).

If you offer a "signature" flavor or have one or two flavor combos you consider your most popular, this is where you pull them out. The shop I am interning charges $30 for a tasting/consultation. You get 6 cupcakes (2 different cake flavors), each with a different flavored buttercream. These flavors do not change and you do not get a choice, these are simply her most popular flavors, but she will create almost any flavors you request for your actual order).




**sorry for all the edits--kept thinking of something to add! lol**

Cakebelle Posted 20 Jun 2008 , 4:50pm
post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by PinkZiab

your best bet is to come up with a standard set of tasting flavors. The tasting is so that they can see that they like your product, not for them to experiment with a zillion flavor combos. Also, charging for a tasting is pretty widely accepted (and as someone else mentioned you can offer to apply the tasting fee towards the order, if you choose).





I concur! icon_smile.gif

wendysue Posted 20 Jun 2008 , 5:14pm
post #7 of 9

I found out last year after baking two small cakes for a tasting that didn't go anywhere that most decorators do charge for cake tasting, then deduct that fee if the couple place a deposit down for a wedding cake.

If you don't charge a fee, you'll likely not get serious consults and they'll feel no commitment to doing business with you, plus you could very easily spend all your cake profits on taste testings that don't result in bookings, which would destroy your business.

indydebi Posted 20 Jun 2008 , 10:47pm
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by PinkZiab

your best bet is to come up with a standard set of tasting flavors. The tasting is so that they can see that they like your product, not for them to experiment with a zillion flavor combos. Also, charging for a tasting is pretty widely accepted (and as someone else mentioned you can offer to apply the tasting fee towards the order, if you choose).



Absolutely agree. I equate it to buying a blouse in Sears. You can take 12 or 15 blouses into the fitting room and try each and every one to see which one you want to buy. I am not a cake-changing-room. I provide 2 white cakes (3x3" square .... single layer ... torted) filled with 2 different filling; and one choc cake with a filling. This tells them if I can bake or not. My lemon cake will taste just as good as my white cake except it will taste like lemon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wendysue

If you don't charge a fee, you'll likely not get serious consults and they'll feel no commitment to doing business with you, plus you could very easily spend all your cake profits on taste testings that don't result in bookings, which would destroy your business.



I very respectfully disagree with this on all points. I never charge for samplings and I never will. I book between 95 and 98% of all couples that come into my shop for a sampling appointment. And I'm not sampling cakes .... since I do catering, I'm also sampling them practically a full lunch, so my expenses for a sampling is much higher than what a caker does for cake-only samplings.

You will get serious consults when you present yourself as a professional who knows her craft and knows the wedding industry.

The basic 101 Rule of Sales: First you sell YOURSELF ... then you sell your COMPANY .... then you finally get around to selling the product.

I've booked more than one bride who selected me over the cheaper cake, citing how I seemed to care more about her wedding and really "know your stuff".

People treat you serious when you are serious about your business.

kurn Posted 21 Jun 2008 , 1:33am
post #9 of 9

I've had problems with brides scheduling tastings and not showing for the appointment. Then I've gone to the trouble of making these samples for nothing. Most of my customers are word of mouth and many don't ask for samples. But now when they do, I meet with them and offer to make a 6" cake in their choice of flavor for them to pick up at a later time at their conveiniece (sp). This way they can sample with the whole family. This seems to be working well for me. They always show for a free cake and so far I've gotten all the orders.

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