Ever Feel Like Punching A Reception Venue Owner? - Vent, !!!

Business By MikeRowesHunny Updated 7 Jul 2008 , 10:17am by Sofide

MikeRowesHunny Posted 25 Jun 2008 , 5:35pm
post #1 of 22

I am getting really, really tired of delivering cakes to Dutch venues and having to deal with the arrogance, rudeness and ignorance I have encountered at every single place - grrrrrr! All the managers seem to believe that the Dutch way they are used to is the only correct way to do things - WRONG!

Today I delivered a wedding cake to a beach front restaurant. I spoke to the manager on Saturday and told him what time I would be coming. So, I arrive at the allotted time and nothing was ready - it never is!!! He proceeded to be completely obnoxious with me, telling me how he's dealt with more wedding cakes than I have, so he knows what he's doing. Hmmm, great, if we were talking about a Dutch style wedding cake, but we AREN'T!!!

The cake was due to be served outside at 1pm, I was there at 10.30am, which was the time my bride asked me to be there because they were getting married at the venue at 11.30, guests arriving from 11am, so they didn't want me wandering in and setting up during the ceremony etc (which I totally get and agree with!).

It's very warm today, so I wasn't thrilled with the prospect of my cake sitting outside for 2.5 hours, so I asked if I could set it up inside. He said they would just put it in the fridge and set it up later - uh, no I don't think so, it's a fondant cake. He was so vile at this point, treating me like I was an idiot and didn't know what I was talking about.

We finally get the cake set up on a table next to the officiants table - fine. I told him that I wasn't going to be responsible if he damaged that cake carrying it outside later, to which he said he wasn't going to be held responsible either - it was the bridal couple's problem icon_confused.gif !

Then I told him I needed to explain how to cut the cake etc, and he said- "I can cut cake", yes, I'm sure he can, but not my cake. I know for a fact that he won't be used to dowels and if I didn't tell him, how does he know how many servings he needs to cut from each tier tapedshut.gif ?!

The whole thing p*ssed me off no end - I'd like to say it was just this occasion, but it's been every wedding venue I've been to so far - what's up with that?! On the plus side, we spent so much time 'discussing' where the cake was going to be set up, my bride & groom arrived, saw the cake and loved it, but I'm still fuming over this guy's attitude thumbsdown.gificon_mad.gificon_eek.gif

21 replies
akgirl10 Posted 25 Jun 2008 , 5:47pm
post #2 of 22

Maybe you could make a page long handout, talking about how to store fondant covered cakes, how to cut your cakes w/dowels, etc. Give it to your bride and groom, and a copy to the manager. That way if something happens your booty is covered, and you don't have to spend your time arguing with someone.

Sorry you had to deal with this.

southerncake Posted 25 Jun 2008 , 5:51pm
post #3 of 22

I'm just glad that desite everything you got to see the bride and groom's reaction! That is a rare treat!

I have two caterers who I often have to work with who annoy me to no end (unlike the many, many caterers I work with who I adore!). They always try to make me feel like I am "just" the cake person and they are so superior -- UGH!

MikeRowesHunny Posted 25 Jun 2008 , 5:54pm
post #4 of 22

I've done this, and I always give a cutting diagram, but I know my instructions have been ignored in the past! Last summer I did a cake for a friend of a friend, she told me that she got a 'pile' of cake on her plate rather than a slice, there's no way that should have happened if the guy (and it's ALWAYS A GUY!!!), had cut the cake the way I spent 15 mins telling him how to, or bothered to look at the sheet I gave him!

Petit-four Posted 25 Jun 2008 , 5:58pm
post #5 of 22

One thought: perhaps when meeting with your clients, impress on them that they need to "advocate" for you in terms of the cutting, location, etc. (Don't worry, I had a similar situation with a caterer too, and have amended my contract).

If they can impress on the caterer that they would like the cake served in such a way (maybe snapping a nice photo of a sliced, plated cake, or get one from Martha Stewart's site) and include a print-out might help the servers get a visual of what you and your clients would like. thumbs_up.gif

BigTexinWV Posted 25 Jun 2008 , 7:08pm
post #6 of 22

Gekke nederlanders!

I love the Dutch! I lived in Utrecht for a few years! I can 100% feel your pain. I can just see this super tall man saying "JA, JA, JA" really loudly over whatever you are trying to say.

If you find a way of dealing with them please let know, as my DH is Dutch and he sometimes does this to me. I just give him the *look* and he know it is time to stop discussing the topic, and go with my decision. As I am from Texas and we have own sterotypes.

icon_lol.gif

Mike1394 Posted 25 Jun 2008 , 7:26pm
post #7 of 22

That really stinks. You should've hit him. icon_biggrin.gif

Mike

chutzpah Posted 25 Jun 2008 , 7:41pm
post #8 of 22

wanker.

I, too, am an ex-pat and do American-style cakes in a European country. Most of the Continent, when it comes to cake decorating, is limping along at least 50 years behind the USA/GB.

I encountered this SAME EXACT PROBLEM so much at first. I was so tired of delivering cakes to butts. I now make it clear, at the consultation, that the bride and groom are responsible for informing the venue that they have a cake from me, and that the waitstaff is responsible for cutting and plating the cake. I also tell them that they need to inform the venue about this several weeks ahead of time. I find that if the staff has time to adjust to the idea, it usually flows quite smoothly.

MikeRowesHunny Posted 25 Jun 2008 , 8:27pm
post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by chutzpah

wanker.

I, too, am an ex-pat and do American-style cakes in a European country. Most of the Continent, when it comes to cake decorating, is limping along at least 50 years behind the USA/GB.

I encountered this SAME EXACT PROBLEM so much at first. I was so tired of delivering cakes to butts. I now make it clear, at the consultation, that the bride and groom are responsible for informing the venue that they have a cake from me, and that the waitstaff is responsible for cutting and plating the cake. I also tell them that they need to inform the venue about this several weeks ahead of time. I find that if the staff has time to adjust to the idea, it usually flows quite smoothly.




You know, it's just as well I had swallowed my mouthful of tea before I read your post! That word was the exact same one I was muttering under my breath all the way back to the car to fetch the cake! I cannot think of a better one to describe him icon_lol.gifthumbs_up.gif !

Big TexinWV - married to a Dutch bloke? - you have my deepest sympathies icon_wink.gif

pastrylady Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 1:02am
post #10 of 22

[quote="bonjovibabe"]Today I delivered a wedding cake to a beach front restaurant.

Where at the beach did you deliver? I've been married to a Dutchman for 21 years...as I type this from PA, he and our two kids are near the beach in Noordwijk visiting his family.

I think the Dutch can come across as arrogant because, to the Dutch, there is one correct way of doing things and there is no reason to consider any other options. Also, unlike here in the states, the customer is not always right. A restaurant does things the way they do, and if the customer doesn't like it well, then, "tot ziens".

All this talk about Holland is making me miss my DH and kids. They've been gone since last week and I couldn't go along because I had cakes booked

If you're ever in Noordwijk aan Zee visit Huis van Wely...it's my favorite pastry/chocolate shop in the world...

BellaSweet Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 1:32am
post #11 of 22

You know I didn't deal with a snooty vendor but another cakerator. I did a grooms cake in the shape as his ass that he plays. So when I delivered it, the wedding cake lady came to deliver hers while I was setting up. As I set my cake up, she just stood there with her arms crossed giving me major stink eye!!! I mean come on! So when the recetion started everyone kept approching me complimenting me on the cake. My bride friend said there were more oix taken of his bass thatn her big cake. To top it all off, the groom loved it so much he didn't cut into it and took it home for he and family and hers all to enjoy. Downside, there was a potential for major business opportunities, but they didn't get to taste. As far as the other "cake" woman, no one really liked hers. Don't mean to be on high horse. But it sure does feel good when you hold yur tongue and still feel good about yourself at the end of it all. Hope this wasn't a hijack.

Denise Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 3:04am
post #12 of 22

Gee...I live in Nederland, Texas. Settled by the good ole Dutch. We have a windmill downtown and everything! My little cousin lived in Holland for 3 years and had her second baby there.

Sorry to hear the Dutch are Difficult. LOL Some people are just that way. Try not to take it personal and wish bad s3x on him as you walk away.

On a serious note...your best defense is a good offense. Your best bet is dealing with the bride. If it is possible, arrange to meet her at the venue ahead of time to go over exactly what SHE wants with the Difficult Dutchman. Be all smiles and compliments of Difficult Dutchman's position and make him your friend.

One of my favorite movies is "Two Weeks Notice". I love it when Sandra Bullock repeats her moms mantra "keep your friends close and your ememies closer".

LOL Best of luck dealing with Difficult Dutchmen.

MikeRowesHunny Posted 27 Jun 2008 , 9:12am
post #13 of 22

Pastrylady - I live in The Hague (where, thank God, there is a large Expat population!), and the wedding was in Scheveningen (the local coast line), we are not too far from Noordwijk, but then you can drive the entire length of the country in about 6 hours lol! I've lived here for 7 years in August, feels like 70 - I wish I could persuade my OH to move back to the UK, but here's been here for 22 years and has, unfortunately, become very Dutch in some of his attitudes!

I try to make lemonade out of lemons by providing all my Expat customers (who come from all over the world - UK, USA, NZ, Australia etc, etc), with a taste of home and a decent cake for their celebrations (don't even get me started on what passes for a birthday or wedding cake here!!!).

JulieB Posted 28 Jun 2008 , 5:06pm
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by BellaSweet

You know I didn't deal with a snooty vendor but another cakerator. I did a grooms cake in the shape as his ass that he plays. So when I delivered it, the wedding cake lady came to deliver hers while I was setting up. As I set my cake up, she just stood there with her arms crossed giving me major stink eye!!! I mean come on! So when the recetion started everyone kept approching me complimenting me on the cake. My bride friend said there were more oix taken of his bass thatn her big cake. To top it all off, the groom loved it so much he didn't cut into it and took it home for he and family and hers all to enjoy. Downside, there was a potential for major business opportunities, but they didn't get to taste. As far as the other "cake" woman, no one really liked hers. Don't mean to be on high horse. But it sure does feel good when you hold yur tongue and still feel good about yourself at the end of it all. Hope this wasn't a hijack.





Oh my gosh. Typos are sometimes so funny! I was so wondering about this guys butt cake and how he "plays" it............. good thing you typed it correctly the next time!

icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

BellaSweet Posted 28 Jun 2008 , 7:28pm
post #15 of 22

O goodness. I am so sorry guys. It was his bass. Not his A$$. I'm not the best typer. I'm glad I got a laugh though!!!

Jenn123 Posted 28 Jun 2008 , 9:44pm
post #16 of 22

icon_smile.gificon_smile.gif I was sooo confused!

creole Posted 5 Jul 2008 , 7:26pm
post #17 of 22

Bonjovibabe, I know what you are going through and what you mean by arrogance for I live in a neighboor country where they think they know it all as well. By the way they often secretly expect the cake to be "bad" etc... for they can't get it that brides wants real cake, not just some mix and typical chain made cake (like I had in my own wedding from a caterer).

Sure for the dowels they don't know if you don't tell. One even told me 2 weeks ago that he is not going to remove them in front of the 200 people attending the event as he found that gross. Well I had to instruct the senior caterer that 1. it should happen in the kitchen and so for the cutting and 2, to wear food hand gloves if he does not have any tongs.

Often some come to present their excuses to me after they realized that they have been not courteous while I stay very professional and classy. I agree with the instructions. I give the instructions and talk to them about it as well.

There is no way I would let these people set-up my cake for me. They seem somehow too offended that they were not chosen for the cake. Even when they can be very impressed and know that it is not their speciality. If they fail, they will blame you even when it can be their fault.

Good luck!

Creole

DeKoekjesfee Posted 6 Jul 2008 , 6:42pm
post #18 of 22

I'm from Belgium and know exactly what you mean.
The cater people cannot understand the bride wanted such a cake and why has it to be so "complicated" .
Why no fridge etc...

Cascades Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 5:44am
post #19 of 22

Bella sweet
I never laughed so hard in my life! That was just too funny. I was thinking no wonder she was giving you the evil eye! LOL

veejaytx Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 9:03am
post #20 of 22

I'm sitting here cracking up over the image of a cake shaped like the groom's a$$ and how he might "play" that! Took a little while to figure out the typo!

Great laugh for so early in the morning!

troyfan Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 9:59am
post #21 of 22

If the Dutch do not want to do something I always get, " It's not POSSIBLE"

Sofide Posted 7 Jul 2008 , 10:17am
post #22 of 22

Iâm sorry to hear of your unfortunate encounter with an impossible Dutch guy, but at the same time I almost feel offended since Iâm Dutchâ¦.
But you are all right, we are kinda arrogantâ¦.(except for me of course)
I delivered my first wedding cake last Friday and the people at the restaurant were very kind and helpful! The first thing they asked was if they could put the cake in the fridge for me and when I said it shouldnât be refrigerated they were all startled.
I was there to cut the cake myself so that was no problem, but people around here are usually surprised to hear that you have put something inside the cake to hold it upâ¦theyâre just cake layman icon_biggrin.gif

I hope your next Dutch caterer will be nicer and more understanding!

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