What do you do as a decorator/business person when your cake does not meet YOUR expectations?
I know as decorators we are our own worst critics, and I am no exception.
I have come along way however from when I used to cry (literally) because I thought my cakes were hideous and I was embarrassed to hand them over to a customer.
But I am working on a cake right now (oil derrick) that is just looking like crap.
First of all my fondant is not at all smooth, which I told myself is ok because I am going to airbrush clouds on it.
But after that I have to put all the "metal parts" that make it an oil derrick, these have to be straight, and I have never been one for a straight line.
So what do I do if this cake doesnât turn out?
I've never had a customer complain about the appearance of a cake (or taste for that matter), itâs usually the opposite, the rave about it and "can't believe its cake".
Even the cakes that I thought werenât my best work have always received praise.
So back to my original question, if this cake doesnât turn out as fantastic as I want it too, do I offer a discount or just deliver it and wait for negative feedback?
I'd do the best that you can do, then wait and see if there are any complaints. You're right, we're our own worst critics. I've done cakes that I thought were not up to par, but everyone gushed over them, so as long as the customer is happy, that's what counts.
You can look at it as a learning experience for yourself in terms of how to do it better next time, but it deosn't mean that the cake you're doing now isn't good enough!
IMO too many people on here rush to offer a refund before they even get a complaint...do your best & deliver the cake. If she doesn't like it she'll tell you but don't just wait around and worry...move on to your next order!
are you hand drawing the oil derrick? If you are, consider downloading an image from the internet and then doing a transfer. This always helps me when I have to make straight lines. Also, when someone asks me for a specific cake that I am not sure I can do, I always tell them that upfront. I tell them that I will do the best I can, but like you, I question myself but then the persons happy so I'm happy.
Its a 2 ft tall replica of an oil derrick.
And when I took the order I was sure I could do it,but it just seems to be one of those cakes that everything is going wrong on.
I even dropped it, luckily it did'nt fall to the floor, I caught it but I put a huge hand print in it and even a hole in the fondant.
I'm about to start the clouds, hopefully that will hide the handprint.
Just do your best and then wait and see...usually they like it! I have trouble with straight lines too....I had to do a replica of a huge factory building once and in my own mind it was an absolute disaster. I guess they liked it ok, but I was mortified. I have had other ones I was disappointed in too....anything that is supposed to be perfectly clean and "boxlike" or perfectly straight and even, kills me!
Some cakes will have me nearly in tears but usually in most cases the customer is happy because still, when you think about it, there are very few places they could actually get this cake, and so the fact you even make it for them makes them happy.
And always remember....THEY cannot see the "picture in your head" you are hoping it looks like....which is a good thing! For me anyway!
Your cakes are fabulous! I am sure that it looks much worse to you than it is. You said it - we are our own worst critics. Make you you post a picture, I can't wait to see it!
I just looked at your photos. You do great cakes!! I'm sure it's better than you think it is. Only offer apologies IF they call and complain!!! Just because it isn't the "dream cake" you envisioned doesn't mean that it isn't the client's dream cake.
don't offer a discount...your cakes rock...i was looking to see what you were talkin bout, and i got one of your cakes saved as a fav
if they aren't complaining whats the prob?...art is subjective.
I had a cake like that once - just a 1/4 sheet for a very nice family I knew from church, for a 50th anniversary. It didn't go AT ALL like I wanted it to. It was awful, and I wanted it to be so special for them! To top it off, I had just found out my grandmother was in critical condition on a ventilator, so my heart really wasn't in it. When it came time to deliver it, I begged my husband to deliver it for me and just give it to them for free and apologize. Here's what he said to me:
"You're crazy. It looks fine. Do not bad-mouth your work to your customers."
It turned out that the nice family absolutely loved it. Sometimes my husband is a pretty smart puppy. Those are words to live by: "Do not bad-mouth your work to your customers."