I have been in correspondence (emailing) with a potential customer for a couple weeks now. I got all kinds of information about what she might want, how the reception area will be decorated, etc. Last week we set up a day/time to meet so I could work with her to create her custom wedding cake. I forgot in the emails to ask where the reception would be... so I note that on my notes and ask her first thing where the reception will be when I met with her last week.
She tells me "oh, its in Lufkin" -a town like an hour, hour and a half away!! I know I looked shocked because then she proceeded to tell me that if she needed to, she could pick up the cake and take it her self. Since the cake is for 300, and my policy anyway on weddings is that only I deliver, I REALLY do NOT want her to be the one taking it especially that far.
I've googled directions, and it says its about 75 miles away, or 1.5 hours drive time. (The Bride tells me it is an hour away.)
Either way, what do you suggest?? I'd be driving a LONG way with a BIG cake if I decide I will do this. Do you think a tiered cake will drive that far okay?
Also, what do you suggest charging for delivery... as I will be driving there AND back.. about 2-3 hours drive time, plus time setting up.
(My normal delivery charge is $50 for local or $75 for the two towns that are about 25 min away.)
Suggestions..??? I need to get back with her soon! Thanks!
I would call her or email her and explain you didn't realize the distance of where the reception would take place. Explain to her you can not let her deliver the cake herself because there will need to be some assembly done on location. Explain to her you have to charge her for your time to deliver, set up, etc, - this is time you could be preparing more orders, etc. She may be angry she has to pay but surely she would understand - she wouldn't take 3 hours out of her time to deliver a cake to you without charging you SOMETHING.
What to charge? - I have no idea because the problem you are having RIGHT NOW is exactly the reason I don't do wedding cakes unless they are located in my town Sorry I couldn't be of more help.
I would be a nervous wreck having to drive the cake that far. I personally would decline the order, simply because of all the sleepless nights I'd have imagining falling or disintegrating cake!
I deliver anywhere in the State of NJ, parts of NY and PA (and if they're willing to pay I'll go beyond that as well! lol). But I charge by the mile... I've had a few grumbles and groans, but it hasn't cost me an order yet.
Anyone have suggestions as to what to charge per mile?
Thanks for the other comments! I'd love help on a reasonable price to charge..
I would probably say to her she can either pay you to deliver it & set it up or take it herself at her own risk.
I have travelled with 3 tier fondant cakes assembled before over 4 hours drive and did not have any problems I have never travelled far with buttercream though. With mine I stuck the tiers together with royal icing and had a non-slip mat in the bottom of the box underneath the cake and underneath the box. I didn't use a centre dowel but given it is a big cake would probably use one just to be safe.
good luck with whatever you decide.
If you do decide to do it, just make sure to charge for delivery so that it covers time AND gas. This is going to take at least 3-4 hours of your day...
I charge $1.25/mile based on round trip mileage, based on mapquest miles (not based on what the bride tells me!). So for 75 miles x round trip = 150 x $1.25 = $187.50 ... so you might as well just round it to $200 delivery ... minimum.
I go practically all over the state, with food AND wedding cakes. I don't deliver these cakes assembled .... that's all done on site.
Thank you to everyone, and to indydebi!! I appreciate the advice.