I Can't Believe I Had To Explain This To A Customer! (Long)

Business By cakelady15 Updated 15 Aug 2008 , 10:02pm by Tootall

cakelady15 Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 10:57pm
post #1 of 42

I had a customer order a sheet cake for an event this Saturday that she has been planning for about 4 months. She just ordered it yesterday, but being the nice person that I am I told her I could still do it with only 3 days notice. She said she wanted the same size cake that the grocery store sells as a full sheet cake. I said ok that is a 12 x 18. She wants it to feed 100 people. I explained to her that a 12 x 18 cake won't serve that many people, but she said she would just cut the pieces really small. Whatever, the customer is always right so I said fine icon_rolleyes.gif She wanted half the cake to be yellow and half chocolate. So she comes to me today and says she wants to make sure she is getting the same size cake the grocery store would sell her. I said yes it's a 12 x 18. She said ok I just wanted to make sure that since you were making 2 different flavors that you weren't going to put 2 9 x 13's together because I need the cake to bigger than that. What?! After the shock wore off I somewhat sarcastically said "a 12 x 18 and 2 9 x 13's are the same thing". I can't believe I actually had to explain that though icon_biggrin.gif

41 replies
indydebi Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 11:04pm
post #2 of 42

She has no idea just how small she has to cut those pieces, does she? icon_confused.gif

doughdough Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 11:11pm
post #3 of 42

Yeah, those are going to be some tiny pieces of cake! Oh well, not your problem.

cakelady15 Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 11:12pm
post #4 of 42

No she doesn'ticon_smile.gif I'm glad I don't have to be the one to cut them. The real kicker was I only charged her $50 for the cake because I know her and it was for a fundraiser then she tells me at the end of this whole conversation "and if you wanted to charge me less than $50 that would be ok too". I just pretended like I didn't hear thaticon_smile.gif

lu9129 Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 11:13pm
post #5 of 42

I call those moments with customer's-----

Forest Gump moments!

Lu

Mike1394 Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 11:13pm
post #6 of 42

I would toss in some toothpicks for serving icon_biggrin.gif

Mike

cakelady15 Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 11:17pm
post #7 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike1394

I would toss in some toothpicks for serving icon_biggrin.gif

Mike




LOL icon_lol.gif That would be funny!

vetaAL Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 11:24pm
post #8 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by cupcake900

She said she wanted the same size cake that the grocery store sells as a full sheet cake. I said ok that is a 12 x 18. She wants it to feed 100 people. I explained to her that a 12 x 18 cake won't serve that many people, but she said she would just cut the pieces really small.



For what it's worth: the stores around here sell 15"by 22" as a "FULL sheet" size.
That is ... doable to be cut into a 100 pieses icon_surprised.gif)

roxxxy_luvs_duff Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 11:24pm
post #9 of 42

I thought a 12x18 is a half sheet? icon_confused.gif Full sheets I have seen at grocery stores are bigger

lynda-bob Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 11:31pm
post #10 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by roxxxy_luvs_duff

I thought a 12x18 is a half sheet? icon_confused.gif Full sheets I have seen at grocery stores are bigger




Where I am, as well. The full sheets in stores (and mine, too) are 22x15. I say the 12x18 pan (takes 3 mixes) is my 3/4 sheet. and my half sheet is 11x15.

But if she knows what you are offering for the price she can't complain. She can either buy it or go buy at the grocery store thumbs_up.gif

all4cake Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 11:34pm
post #11 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by cupcake900

I had a customer order a sheet cake for an event this Saturday that she has been planning for about 4 months. She just ordered it yesterday, but being the nice person that I am I told her I could still do it with only 3 days notice. She said she wanted the same size cake that the grocery store sells as a full sheet cake. I said ok that is a 12 x 18. She wants it to feed 100 people. I explained to her that a 12 x 18 cake won't serve that many people, but she said she would just cut the pieces really small. Whatever, the customer is always right so I said fine icon_rolleyes.gif She wanted half the cake to be yellow and half chocolate. So she comes to me today and says she wants to make sure she is getting the same size cake the grocery store would sell her. I said yes it's a 12 x 18. She said ok I just wanted to make sure that since you were making 2 different flavors that you weren't going to put 2 9 x 13's together because I need the cake to bigger than that. What?! After the shock wore off I somewhat sarcastically said "a 12 x 18 and 2 9 x 13's are the same thing". I can't believe I actually had to explain that though icon_biggrin.gif




I don't know what area you are in but all the grocery stores that sell a full sheet cake are, in fact, selling full sheet cakes. They aren't 12x18. The grocery stores in your area are calling a 12x18 a full sheet cake?

The majority of customers that I've dealt with don't rationalize sizes...I could tell them 12x18 until I was blue in the face and them still not comprehend the actual size.

When they ask me for a size, I double-check the servings they desire. Some just ask for a sheet cake as if they have no idea they come in different sizes...."ah, just make me a sheet cake. That should be enough, right?" Enough for what????

eneq Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 11:35pm
post #12 of 42

i think 2- 12x18's make a full sheet. although some stores around my area sell 11X15 half sheets. if you are making 2 layers of the 2-9x13's though i guess it would feed the 100.

Tona Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 11:35pm
post #13 of 42

A 12X18 is a half sheet cake here also and the full sheet is larger. I beleive it may be a 15x22 like VetaAl stated.

Winter1979 Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 11:35pm
post #14 of 42

My full sheet cake (single layer) - and the grocery stores in my area are 16x24. Cutting 2" x 2" pieces this would serve 96 people

roxxxy_luvs_duff Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 11:35pm
post #15 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by lynda-bob

Quote:
Originally Posted by roxxxy_luvs_duff

I thought a 12x18 is a half sheet? icon_confused.gif Full sheets I have seen at grocery stores are bigger



Where I am, as well. The full sheets in stores (and mine, too) are 22x15. I say the 12x18 pan (takes 3 mixes) is my 3/4 sheet. and my half sheet is 11x15.

But if she knows what you are offering for the price she can't complain. She can either buy it or go buy at the grocery store thumbs_up.gif




so is a 9x13 a 1/4 sheet? i always knew my 1/2 sheet was bigger than the stores sell but I dont make full or 1/4 sheets so I just sell the 12x18

FromScratch Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 11:36pm
post #16 of 42

Yeah.. I thought a full sheet cake was 18x26?? So it would be four 9x13's.

I know I have seen the big full sheets at BJ's.. they are massive.

mpaigew Posted 14 Aug 2008 , 11:39pm
post #17 of 42

Are you sure you have your pan size correct? A 12x18 sounds very small for a full sheet. At the bakery I work at, our 1/2 sheets are 18x13 and our full are 18x26. Our 1/2 feeds 50, and full 100.

You might want to double check the grocery store's sizes so you know for sure what your customer is expecting. It is generous of you to do this on short notice, but how quickly customers forget that and turn angry when things aren't how they thought they were going to be!

cakesbycathy Posted 15 Aug 2008 , 1:04am
post #18 of 42

Indydebi has a whole post about why she doesn't use the terms half-sheet, quarter sheet, etc.

When people ask for a half sheet or full sheet or whatever, I just tell them "My pans may be different than the grocery store. How many servings do you need?"

Then I make the appropriate size.

cakelady15 Posted 15 Aug 2008 , 1:24am
post #19 of 42

I called the grocery that she was referring to and they did confirm that what they call a full sheet cake is a 12 x 18. Actually I guess I could have left all that stuff out because what I was really getting at was that I had to explain to her that 2 9 x 13's and a 12 x 18 were the same thing.

ShopGrl1128 Posted 15 Aug 2008 , 1:44am
post #20 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by cupcake900

I said yes it's a 12 x 18. She said ok I just wanted to make sure that since you were making 2 different flavors that you weren't going to put 2 9 x 13's together because I need the cake to bigger than that. What?! After the shock wore off I somewhat sarcastically said "a 12 x 18 and 2 9 x 13's are the same thing". I can't believe I actually had to explain that though icon_biggrin.gif




I had a similar situation with one of my potential customers...this lady could not comprehend how tall a 12" high cake would be icon_eek.gif .

It was a 3-tier cake-4" high each= 12" !!! simple math.
I had a 12" ruler with me and I told her it would be same height as the ruler...she still looked at me incredously... icon_mad.gif

I suggested to get a 4th tier if she thought the cake was too small...she didn't want to...

After she called me 20 times "concern" about the height I "suddenly became unavailable" to do her cake. icon_rolleyes.gif

playingwithsugar Posted 15 Aug 2008 , 1:53am
post #21 of 42

All the grocery stores in my area sell full sheet cakes - 24x18". At 2x2" servings, she should have just enough cake.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

jolmk Posted 15 Aug 2008 , 2:25am
post #22 of 42

My full sheet cakes are 2 12 x 18 cakes put together or a 24 x 18. I can't fit any larger pan in my oven. A 12 x 18 is a half sheet.

Jo

Cakebelle Posted 15 Aug 2008 , 2:34am
post #23 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike1394

I would toss in some toothpicks for serving icon_biggrin.gif

Mike




LOL...............LMAO icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

fabfour Posted 15 Aug 2008 , 2:36am
post #24 of 42

I think the sizes vary somewhat between regions. But my sizes are
1/4 sheet (9x13) feed up to 24
1/2 sheet (11x15) feed up to 48
3/4 sheet (12x1icon_cool.gif feed up to 72
full sheet ( 2- 11x15) feed up to 96

Cakebelle Posted 15 Aug 2008 , 2:37am
post #25 of 42

Oh yeah! and a full-sheet in restaurant and bakery terms is 18"x24".

playingwithsugar Posted 15 Aug 2008 , 2:49am
post #26 of 42

Cakebelle -

You are right about the size of a full sheet. That is also what we learned in pastry school. I went into quite a debate with the owner of the local shop about this, when I went to buy a half-sheet pan. She insisted that it was 11x15", so I went out to the car and got my class book for reference, which stated clearly that a half sheet is 12x18", and a full sheet is 18x24".

Theresa icon_smile.gif

SweetConfectionsChef Posted 15 Aug 2008 , 3:24am
post #27 of 42

If she ordered cake to feed 100 people and requested a full sheet she was ordering the right amount of cake. 18x24 is a full sheet and it feeds 96. There will most likely be problems when she picks up the cake...she is expecting it to be a FULL SHEET and obviously she knows what it should look like but doesn't understand the demensions.

indydebi Posted 15 Aug 2008 , 4:56am
post #28 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by playingwithsugar

I went into quite a debate with the owner of the local shop about this, when I went to buy a half-sheet pan. She insisted that it was 11x15"....



I observed my local grocery/bakery sells 11x15's and they are labeled "half sheets".

Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetConfectionsChef

.....obviously she knows what it should look like but doesn't understand the demensions.



Which is why I call them "cake civilians". They know the terms but that's about it.....they've no idea what the terms actually MEAN. (Citing my friend who wanted pricing for "a full sheet cake" but when I questioned him, he only needed cake for TEN people! icon_surprised.gif )

KoryAK Posted 15 Aug 2008 , 5:09am
post #29 of 42

Yeah, I'm worried too that the customer is not comprehending what size 12x18 is (even tho you did clearly give her those numbers) and that is why there was the funny comment about 2 9x13s not being enough cake. Every time you say 12x18" she is picturing that full sheet she wants and does seem to comprehend the size of the 9x13 and knows that 2 won't be enough.

I'm with cakebelle and playingwithsugar on the dimensions. Why do different regions/bakeries have to do this differently from one another and make things difficult?? Thats why I call out dimensions and serving sizes instead of names too.

Winter1979 Posted 15 Aug 2008 , 12:27pm
post #30 of 42

I base my single layer sheet cakes off of the grocery stores in my area and the size of the cake boards that I order on line (they list on their websites the 1/4, 1/2 and full sheet cake board sizes).

9x13 is a 1/4 sheet cake (serves approximately 24)
12 x 18 is a 1/2 (serves approx 54)
16 x 24 is a full (serves approx 96)
since Wilton makes a 11 x 15 pan I also use this as an in-between to give my customers another size (serves approx 35)
these are using 2" x 2" serving pieces

HTH

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