How Often Have You Heard This?

Business By jules1719 Updated 2 Oct 2008 , 4:27pm by sweettoothmom

jules1719 Posted 3 Aug 2008 , 11:58pm
post #1 of 40

During consults, I frequently hear "We're not really cake people..." or "We just want something simple.." or "We've heard no one even eats the cake..." and it always seems to be out of the mouths of people who want thousand dollar wedding cakes on a $150 budget.

Comments?

39 replies
CakeMommyTX Posted 4 Aug 2008 , 12:07am
post #2 of 40

They are expecting you to say in return...
"oh well since you are'nt cake people and nobody even eats the cake I will make you a 1500$ cake for 50$"

CakeryBakery Posted 4 Aug 2008 , 12:08am
post #3 of 40

just yesterday..... and to top that after I gave her the quote she said I expected it to be less... my friend got her wedding cake from you two years ago for 250 people and it was cheaper than my quote for 200 people. I just smiled and said, yeah two years ago I beleive gas wasn't even $3.00 per gallon, egg weren't $2.00 a dozen either. Just as everything else increases so does the cost of cakes. Some brides are lovely to work with...

indydebi Posted 4 Aug 2008 , 12:09am
post #4 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by jules1719

During consults, I frequently hear "We're not really cake people..."



"But your guests are, so what flavor do you think your guests will enjoy?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by jules1719

"We just want something simple.."



"Oh....SIMPLE! Well that will cost you more because a "simple" cake with no borders is way more work for me than putting a border on the cakes! And "Simple" cakes with no decorations on the sides takes longer because the side then have to be PERFECT whereas those scrolls, dots, basketweaves and piped decorations hide the imperfections...."

Quote:
Originally Posted by jules1719

"We've heard no one even eats the cake..."



"Obviously you've never attended a wedding where the wedding cake was made by ME!"

auntiekim82 Posted 4 Aug 2008 , 12:09am
post #5 of 40

It kind of makes you wonder that if they're "not really cake people"...then why are they getting a cake? Especially since they hear that "no one even eats the cake." icon_rolleyes.gif

gateaux Posted 4 Aug 2008 , 12:11am
post #6 of 40

I think if people have this attitude, then there is no problem with letting them know they can do a cheese cake or pies. Those are perfectly good options of they do not like cake.

I understand both ways it's a tradition, but if neither of them like cake, while not get something else that they will enjoy and have a sheet cake also, then when they serve desert whoever wants cake get's it, the rest get whatever else they choose. I have been to 4 weddings in the last year where they choose something other than cake. It was fine. To each their own.

I also agree that people want the $$$$ cakes for 1/4$. That is due partly to people thinking they can always barter with the bakery as if the bakery does not set their prices for the cost they value the cakes at... ARGH!
That's like going to a car dealeaship with a $20,000 sticker in the window and saying, I'll give you $8,000 for it are we good?

ARGH!

Good Luck.

weirkd Posted 4 Aug 2008 , 12:13am
post #7 of 40

Yep, and I like the ones that think they know EVERYTHING and try to tell you how to bake a moist cake. I have a bride Im meeting with describe this cake she tasted at her friends wedding and wants the same cake. (wondering why she isnt ordering it from THAT baker) She tells me that she wants everything white chocolate and wants condensed milk and orange juice in it????
I told her that I would try to replicate the cake she is talking about and also give her two other choices. She says "Great, but make sure their whit chocolate!" Ok, thats not giving other choices!!
All I can say, just when you think you've seen it all you will get surprised!

mommy_of_3_DDs Posted 4 Aug 2008 , 12:22am
post #8 of 40

Or you can make the cake out of rice krispie treats... I just did one and it was a HUGE hit!

dbax Posted 4 Aug 2008 , 12:32am
post #9 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by weirkd

Yep, and I like the ones that think they know EVERYTHING and try to tell you how to bake a moist cake. I have a bride Im meeting with describe this cake she tasted at her friends wedding and wants the same cake. (wondering why she isnt ordering it from THAT baker)



this cracks me up... I used to paint murals and had a client once take me to a baby boutique to show me the technique she wanted painted on her nursery. . . when she didn't think I was doing it right I guess. She specifically said she did not want sponge painted walls, and what do you know, the walls were sponge painted at the boutique lol. I did ask her why she didn't hire the artist who'd painted the shop, she said ''he was a tempermental artist'' icon_lol.gif that just made me realize I could be a tempermental artist haha and if I was, would not have to deal with clients like her... Maybe best to just say here's my interpretation with a ''like it or leave it'' attitude. If she likes it great if not, chances are she can't be pleased. icon_twisted.gif

indydebi Posted 4 Aug 2008 , 12:34am
post #10 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by weirkd

Yep, and I like the ones that think they know EVERYTHING and try to tell you how to......



Had one of them, too. She "works in the food industry also". She was a nutritionist or something at a school system! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif Oh, that is SO not the same thing as being a wedding caterer!! (I mentioned this to a food sales rep, who laughed and said, "oh I know her ... she knows nothing about catering!")

She kept "name dropping" products to let me know that she knew what and where I bought food products. SHe asked if this or that was cheaper and then would stop and tell me, "Oh I can check that on my price lists at work."

I finally told her that her price lists were useless for this discussion, as I was told that the food suppliers ".....give such a rock bottom dirt cheap price to schools and hospitals that they have to gouge the rest of us to make up for it."

She had also predetermined that she wanted to keep it under $15 a person ..... while at the same time giving me the name of one of the most expensive venues in town that charges a lot of extra fees that I pass on to the bride. She also tried to tell me "another caterer on their site can keep it under $15." I said, "you might want to consider going with them, then." I explained that "....the venue's added fees plus your sales tax is almost $5/person just in those costs. Did you add those costs to the other caterer's price?" She said she did. I know she didn't .... because .....

.....I checked that caterer's website. yes their comparable buffet was a dollar cheaper than mine, but once you added their 28% gratuity and the 8% delivery fee and a couple of other "hidden" fees, the $14.95 buffet was around $23. And that didn't count the extra fees charged by the venue that I KNOW that caterer was not going to eat.

Gosh what I shame that I THINK her quote got lost in cyber space! icon_rolleyes.gif

My consultations are the opportunity for an interview .... the bride to see if she wants to work with me and for ME to see if I wnat to work with that bride. And there are some brides that I choose not to work with.

(sorry it ran long! icon_redface.gif )

weirkd Posted 4 Aug 2008 , 12:55am
post #11 of 40

lol, You crack me up debi! You say it like it is and I think that is why I like you so much! And its true what you said. Its an interview to see if both partys work. And if you dont walk away from the one's that are a red flag to you, then you end up kicking yourself in the long run! Been there, done that!
And it really does take a lot of confidence to do that. I definetly had to see the "other side" to know that my time and work is worth it!! Im not saying Im the greatest cake decorator in the world or anything, which Im not, but just that I have to have confidence in my work to know that Im worth what I charge and I shouldnt let people walk all over me because they think they can get a better deal somewhere else! (I tend to rant too!!) icon_smile.gif

snarkybaker Posted 4 Aug 2008 , 1:15am
post #12 of 40

We hear " We're just not $4.50 a serving cake people" or something like that about once a week. My resonse is always.. " I understand. Every bride and groom have different priorities. For some it's the dress, for some the music. You should splurge on the things that are important to you, and if your cake isn't one of your priorities, I can recommend a number of bakers who work out of their homes, who don't use organic ingredients etc. and so are a good deal less expensive than us. We are definitely on the luxury end of the market, but given that we do a good job providing value. Dessert is $5 or $6 a person at Applebees and that comes in frozen on a truck."

I close over 95% of the brides I talk to.

aliciaL_77 Posted 4 Aug 2008 , 1:17am
post #13 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by jules1719

During consults, I frequently hear "We're not really cake people..."


"But your guests are, so what flavor do you think your guests will enjoy?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by jules1719

"We just want something simple.."


"Oh....SIMPLE! Well that will cost you more because a "simple" cake with no borders is way more work for me than putting a border on the cakes! And "Simple" cakes with no decorations on the sides takes longer because the side then have to be PERFECT whereas those scrolls, dots, basketweaves and piped decorations hide the imperfections...."

Quote:
Originally Posted by jules1719

"We've heard no one even eats the cake..."


"Obviously you've never attended a wedding where the wedding cake was made by ME!"



debi I need to shadow you for a day! want free labor for a day?

indydebi Posted 4 Aug 2008 , 1:35am
post #14 of 40

And alicia, those are not "bathroom mirror" conversations! I've actually said those things to brides! icon_biggrin.gif

melodyscakes Posted 4 Aug 2008 , 2:01am
post #15 of 40

I need to think of you the next time I get one of these brides Indydeb!!!!

weirkd Posted 4 Aug 2008 , 2:09am
post #16 of 40

I really dont think they know what cakes cost. Their probably used to getting cakes done at grocery stores and think that $4.50 is expensive. I work out of my home too and I can tell you that most bakeries in Maryland are a LOT higher than that!
But I always try to say the old saying "You get what you pay for!" If you want something cheap and dont care how it tastes because "your not a cake person" then that is fine. Im just not going to not make any money on a cake just so that I can meet prices with the local Walmart bakery Thats not what Im about. And there are no hard feelings either. They have their clients, I have mine.

Malakin Posted 4 Aug 2008 , 2:25am
post #17 of 40

Some people have no comprehension of what the cost, time, effort, labor, or stress is for making their cakes.....I think they should take a pic of someone else's cake (like some websites steal the one's from here), and put that on poster board for everyone to look at during the reception so everyone can say "Ahhh, how pretty....", then serve an off brand factory made model.

SugarFrosted Posted 4 Aug 2008 , 2:53am
post #18 of 40

A bride-to-be called me this week to ask about prices and such and she stated "I am not a cake person, and my fiance' doesn't like sweets at all, but he wants a wedding cake because it's traditional." I told her I was in the process of baking a wedding cake (for yesterday, Saturday Aug 2) and I would be happy to make a little extra so she and fiance' could taste it, just in case. We made an appt to look at pictures, discuss prices and for her to taste the cake Sunday afternoon. I was baking WASC, but with yellow cake mix...do we call that YASC?

Anyway, she and her mom came this afternoon, both stating on the front end they neither liked cake. We looked at pictures and then I got them each a slice. HAHAHAHA They inhaled it! It was such a pleasure to see their eyes roll back in their heads when they tasted it!

"Is THIS the cake you'd be making for me?" the bride-to-be asked.
"Yes, unless you prefer something else," I answered.
"Oh, no, this is PERFECT!" she replied.

Then she said she definitely wanted me to make her wedding cake. AND asked for a piece to take to her fiance'... I bet she ate it in the car on the way home! Doesn't like cake? Not MY Cake!

jules1719 Posted 4 Aug 2008 , 12:02pm
post #19 of 40

Usually, a tasting will solve the "problem".

I don't use box mixes or fluid flex in my cakes, so they have the classic butter cake texture, which lets face it, tastes different than a box cake or a cake with fluid flex.

So this client, who gleefully told me how much she loves a different local baker, who told me how she isn't a cake person, how she heard no one even eats the cake, who wanted a topsy turvy cake for 175 with handmade flowers for her daughter's 13th birthday (!), was SHOCKED to hear how much I would charge.

Before I quoted her, she kept telling me how great the other baker was. (They use fluidflex in their cakes, if they aren't from a box. ) She insisted she really wanted to give me a try. Then I dropped the price on her and suddenly it was like I had leprosy. I think maybe she thought I'd be cheaper than her favorite local baker, because she told me she wanted to spend X and it was literally 1/3 of my quote.

I like Indydebi's replies, but I often don't have the nerve to say those things to the client. I tend to "softshoe" and try to keep a positive attitude. I need to learn to say those things with a smile.

I guess my point is, I have difficulty closing the clients that say those 3 phrases. They are looking for a cheap cake made with cheap ingredients.

indydebi Posted 4 Aug 2008 , 12:19pm
post #20 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by jules1719

I like Indydebi's replies, but I often don't have the nerve to say those things to the client. I tend to "softshoe" and try to keep a positive attitude. I need to learn to say those things with a smile.




You can get by with a lot of stuff when (1) you're old (2) you look over your glasses at them (3) you say it with a smile and a Paula Deen accent because (4) nobody ever loses an argument with their southern gramma!! icon_rolleyes.gif

SweetResults Posted 4 Aug 2008 , 12:40pm
post #21 of 40

icon_confused.gif What is "fluid flex"?

2sdae Posted 4 Aug 2008 , 12:46pm
post #22 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetResults

icon_confused.gif What is "fluid flex"?



I was wondering that myself...it's sounds.....scary really.

HerBoudoir Posted 4 Aug 2008 , 1:14pm
post #23 of 40
Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetResults

icon_confused.gif What is "fluid flex"?





I believe it's a product similar to high-ratio shortening.

SweetResults Posted 4 Aug 2008 , 1:40pm
post #24 of 40

Aaaaaah! Thank you!

weirkd Posted 4 Aug 2008 , 2:01pm
post #25 of 40

I think when people say their not cake people its because their used to the traditional wedding cake that has the overly sweet bc and dry cake. I remember when I was growing up and we went to weddings and this was the cake that was served. And as a kid, I hated it.
But I think the cakes of today are not only moisturer?(is that a word?) but they have more flavor and are not the overly sweet bc. Im sure some people still bake the old fashion ones. I sure dont because I think if people are going to spend that kind of money for a cake they should atleast enjoy it!

loriemoms Posted 4 Aug 2008 , 2:49pm
post #26 of 40

OMG all THE TIME!! When they tell me they aren't "cake people" I tell them once they try my cake, they will be! When they say there is too much leftover cake, nobody eats cake at weddings, I tell them the same thing...not once they try my cake!

The thing with simple....I tell them SURE, how about if we do some ribbon around the bottom, and some swiss dots and live flowers on top. That is simple. I show them the thousands of photos in magazines and books and even my photos of this simple cake. Most of them realize "God, I don't want what everyone else has!" but a few decide they love that look and go with it. Fine with me, because they ARE simple!! I show them what they mean by Simple.

I don't get much baulking at my prices because my prices are so good. But I only book maybe 80% of my consults, which I understand is what you should go for, as if you are doing better then that, you prices are too low. I am also just not for every bride...my cakes are kind of funky and different and the bride who wants the buttercream swag Wilton cake hates my stuff! hahaha!

Does anyone give a survey to the brides who decide not to book with you? I saw that in a brides magazine and was really surprised to read that..that venues ask for surveys on the consultations!! Who does that???

weirkd Posted 4 Aug 2008 , 2:55pm
post #27 of 40

I usually follow up with an email to make sure everything went ok. Havent tried a survey.
Ive only had one bride not book with me. I dont think Im underpriced either. I think Im around where Im suppose to be.
But I also dont get a flood of people either. I think most of my brides are the last minute people. I do have some that book a year in advance or atleast six months but I think the majority of my brides are two to three months away from the date. Dont know if their just procrastinators or didnt realize how early they need to book these things!

jules1719 Posted 4 Aug 2008 , 3:50pm
post #28 of 40

Fluid flex is a fat substitute that bakeries sometimes use. It's different from high ratio shortening (which is modified Crisco). Fluid flex is fluid (sorry for this in advance) and looks like snot. It makes cakes artificially moist; it gives them that soft, twinkie texture I know you are all familiar with.

Giving the brides an exit poll is a great idea.

I think more people walk away based on price than on taste.

loriemoms Posted 4 Aug 2008 , 4:14pm
post #29 of 40

I never knew that junk had a name...My DH tasted a cake in our area at a wedding show and he went YECK what IS that stuff in the cake? I couldn't place it either, but it tasted like some sort of odd shortening, that they must have used instead of butter. It was nasty!

lillicakes Posted 4 Aug 2008 , 5:03pm
post #30 of 40

OMG, THAT must have been what it was! The last wedding folks said they had gone to a tasting at "the established local bakery in town" and they may as well have gone to the corner Shell station, because what they were given tasted like a Twinkie--"It was just gross."

Boy, you learn something new everyday icon_wink.gif

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