I have been advised to never offer to cut a cake for a client.
Anyone else have any input on this?
Also I was told only deliver if you charge to deliver and never offer unless directly asked.
Lots of "depends" in the answers.
If you are a cake-making business and not a "wedding services" business, then no .. do not "offer" to cut the cake. I would be prepared for the question though ... either know ahead of time that you're going to say "I'm sorry, that's just not part of our business" (and then refer them to my website page on How to Cut a Wedding Cake! ). OR .... be prepared with a price per hour, 4 hour minimum for your time for this service. I suggest $50/hour and you'll spend most of that 4 hours sitting in the kitchen reading a book. (Or pay a friend $10/hour to do it for you after you collect the $50/hour!)
I deliver all of my wedding cakes ... most are within a free delivery area. Anything outside of a 15 min drive gets a $50 minimum delivery fee. I deliver NO single tier or sheet birthday cakes. They can come and pick up a simple sheet cake or a 10" round cake way easier than I can close up shop and run it over to them.
Not sure about the "never offer" to deliver thing. That's a pretty harsh statement when dealing with a wedding cake that needs constructed. Or was the "friend" who told you this only thinking about little onesy-twosy birthday cakes?
I agree with Debi 10000 percent! I don't cut cake, as I am busy running off to another delivery. I DO have a link on my web site to Debi's cutting guide (ITs the best around!) Most venues around here cut the cake anyway (some charge crazy fees, so that is why brides ask) I have had brides ask me if I provide forks, napkins and plates and even knives for cutting!! So you never know, and I agree, be prepared with an answer.
As far as delivery, I also agree..I would NEVER expect a bride to come pick up a 5 tiered cake! With the price of gas these days, free delivery is going to pretty much go away, unless they are like Debi said, a few minutes away. (do write down your miles! It is deductable! I keep a milage chart with each invoice so my accountant is set)
I will deliver grooms cakes and sheet cakes for WEDDINGS because usually they just dont have anyone to pick them up. But they pay for it.
I agree with indydebi, they'll either pay ou the $200 or get the catering/wedding coordinator to handle it.
I would say most cake decorators do not provide cutting services. These days, most people are having a caterer and most, if not all, caterers include cutting in their services. I used to offer the service, and a few people wanted it, but these were typically the old-fashioned cake-and-punch in the church type of receptions with no other professionals around to cut. I liked doing it from time to time, to hear all the compliments, but I hated all the waiting around till time to cut. Now I just can't spare the time and no longer offer it. It's really up to you, and what is typical for your area, but be prepared to be there for about 4 hours and charge accordingly.
Now for delivery, I would say most people do not deliver small party cakes, but most do deliver wedding cakes, sometimes included in the cake price, sometimes priced extra depending on distance. It's just not realistic to expect a customer to pick up anything bigger than a small 2-tiered cake. I include delivery within a designated area on all cakes over $150. Anything smaller than that, or outside the area, I charge a delivery fee.
Most of the venues in my area will cut the cake for you and charge the client a .50/per person cake cutting fee for the labor/breakage/cleanup of dishes.
With my caterer hat on, if the subject of cake cutting comes up, educate the bride on the difference between an on-site caterer and an off-site caterer.
The on-site caterer is there all night long and cleans up everything after the party. The off-site caterer (me) packs up and leaves when dinner is done. So dont' assume the off-site caterer will still be there at 11:00 p.m. when you FINALLY get around to cutting that cake ... we left at 8:30.
The on-site caterer has a closet of plates and forks that they can access if the bride/groom "forget" to provide those items for the cake. The off-site caterer's van (mine) does not have an extra china closet full of plates and forks "just in case".
The on-site caterer usually has a cake service fee included in the rent of the room and it's "a given" that the on-site catering staff will cut the cake as this service fee covers the extra expense involved in cake cutting. The off-site caterer must have this service arranged ahead of time, and an add'l fee must be assessed to cover the extra expense involved in cake cutting.
Many times, I send Crew "A" to one wedding and I go with Crew "B" to another wedding. The reason I sent Crew "A" to that wedding is because I didn't make a cake for that wedding so I didn't need to send a person who is skilled in how to cut a cake. So if Crew A is "just expected" to cut the cake with no pre-arrangement thru me, so I can make sure the staffing is assigned properly, then the bride/groom is SOL because since they just ASSUMED "the caterer will take care of this" and didn't make the proper arrangements, their wedding was not arranged for properly.
Just my little catering speech! Off of soapbox now! Thanks for indulging me!
I deliver all stacked cakes! Too much can happen in transport. My name and reputation is going out on each one of those cakes and I don't want people seeing a damaged cake. As long as it's close by I don't charge a delivery fee-since I don't give an option.
Actually, I really prefer to deliver. I had someone pick up a cake and put it in their trunk and had a bunch of stuff fall on top of it, squish the top of the cake into the box and she had to scrape that all onto the top of the cake at the party. Thankfully, she said she was very good about letting people know that it was much prettier before she wrecked it.
Our catering company's policies on this matter:
Wedding cakes will be delivered (fee for mileage) and set up. If this is all that is provided for your event, we don't stay to cut it.
Full meal catering & cake made by us: Arrangements can be made ahead of time for a member of our staff (who knows what he/she is doing) to cut the cake
Full meal catering by us & cake made by someone else: We will NOT touch the cake.
It's all about liability. In our state, with our insurance, if I touch that cake, it becomes my problem. I can be sued because of it, I can be fined because of it. I may have a harsh stand on this subject, but my catering business is worth too much to our family to risk it. Our baker has too much invested in her profession to risk it. It's an unfortunate side effect of the sue-happy world we live in.