Home Bakers!! Pick Up Or Delivery!

Decorating By tarheelgirl Updated 18 Oct 2008 , 2:35am by tarheelgirl

tarheelgirl Posted 15 Oct 2008 , 1:57pm
post #1 of 24

Ok.. I just went "legal" on my cake business. I am a State Approved home processor.. and have been just delivering cakes to my customers. I don't charge anything extra because it is in the immediate area.

You home bakers out there.. how do you arrange your cake meet? Do your customers come to your home to pick up or do you meet them somewhere? I want to be very professional and meeting them in a parking lot?? That seems unprofessional to me! I have never had any one complain about meeting them at a central location. Some actually prefer meeting somewhere central due to the fact that they may live more than 15-20 miles away from me.

Just curious!!! icon_biggrin.gif

23 replies
MichelleM77 Posted 15 Oct 2008 , 5:05pm
post #2 of 24

That's funny that you mention a parking lot. The few people that I have met in gas station parking lots, it was their idea!

jammjenks Posted 15 Oct 2008 , 5:23pm
post #3 of 24

So far, most of my customers know me, and I have no quams about them picking up at my house. My house is easy to give directions to anyway. Last Saturday, I had three who were all within 5 miles of each other, so we met at a central location there. One lady needed a cake for a wedding shower at her church, so I decided to meet her at her church and scheduled the other two for the same location at the same time. It worked out beautifully because all three cakes were TOTALLY different in style so they each got to see a little peek at other styles while they were there. I'm not sure you are going to achieve the same "professionalism" as you would in a cake shop, but as long as the customer gets the cake they ordered and you look nice (be sure you don't have ps everywhere or anything) then all should be happy.

marmalade1687 Posted 15 Oct 2008 , 7:27pm
post #4 of 24

The only thing that I deliver is wedding cakes - it's not worth my time to deliver anything else. It takes my time out of my kitchen where I can be earning more. My pickup times are very specific too - Saturday mornings between 9am and noon for weekend orders, and if they need the cake for a weekday (rare), then it must be picked up by 7pm. Family time is too precious! thumbs_up.gif

sari66 Posted 15 Oct 2008 , 8:24pm
post #5 of 24

I deliver wedding cakes and customers pick-up other cakes during a set time.

cakesbycathy Posted 15 Oct 2008 , 8:55pm
post #6 of 24

I do both. I charge for delivery outside of my town.

jammjenks - what a great idea! I bet they loved checking out the other cakes!

kellertur Posted 16 Oct 2008 , 1:02am
post #7 of 24

I prefer to deliver ~ I have only done local business thus far. Also, when I heard our insurance company say that if someone trips on their shoelace and falls they could sue me, well that pretty much sealed the deal. icon_eek.gif

It could be that I just don't trust people I don't know, but until I am fully insured, etc. I'm delivering (and walking VERY carefully at their house so "I" don't damage "their" property. icon_rolleyes.gif

Congrats on becoming legal. thumbs_up.gif

fidos_mom Posted 16 Oct 2008 , 6:39am
post #8 of 24

I am a home baker who is far from becoming legit. All of the cakes that I have done so far have been for friends and family and I was more or less forced to attend the event. So I delivered them. Plus I kinda like to set up anyway just so that I can make sure the cake is presented in the best possible light. icon_lol.gifthumbs_up.gif

marmalade - I love your timing ideas though. Hope you don't mind if I use those "rules" when the time comes.... many moons from now. icon_rolleyes.gif

Homemade-Goodies Posted 16 Oct 2008 , 7:03am
post #9 of 24

My city gave me permission to bake from home for a business as long as I don't bake the cakes more than twice a week and don't have customers come to my place - for fear of bothering the neighbors (we live in row housing & limited parking space). So, since my customers have no option, I don't charge for deliveries in town, and only charge by the kilometer for out of town, to & fro mileage.

I wouldn't be opposed to meeting in a common location, if suggested by the customer. I've also delivered to work, for a colleague's anniversary cake. Whatever's convenient for the customer, I think.

SugarFrosted Posted 16 Oct 2008 , 7:51am
post #10 of 24

I deliver wedding cakes, but all other cakes are picked up at my home, by appointment only.

sweetcakes Posted 16 Oct 2008 , 1:43pm
post #11 of 24

i have customers come to the house to pick them up at a set time. on sat and sundays all cakes must be picked up before 10am, i got fed up waiting around all day for people to show, so now i tell them. if thats a problem we'll arrange for them to come friday evening.

flamingobaker Posted 16 Oct 2008 , 2:00pm
post #12 of 24

Right now I deliver as a service to set myself apart.

I prefer to deliver tiered and sculpted cakes myself anyway.

Most customers are local so the few that have been farther away I have just considered it my choice to take those jobs.

One wonderful groom for a recent WEDDING over an hour away INSISTED on giving me gas money even after explaining delivery was included! icon_biggrin.gif

MichelleM77 Posted 16 Oct 2008 , 2:44pm
post #13 of 24

Hi Karen! It looks like we are almost neighbors. icon_smile.gif

marmalade1687 Posted 16 Oct 2008 , 2:57pm
post #14 of 24

Go right ahead and use the time idea fidos_mom! I got it from someone on here long ago! icon_biggrin.gif This is the place for idea sharing!!!

As for the insurance, I was able to get an insurance rider on my home insurance, which was much less expensive than a full business insurance policy. It covers me for anyone slipping and falling on the property, all of my business property in case of accident, etc. I don't know if things are different in the States (I am in Canada), but it is something for you to check out when you get to the going-legal stage (if you are able to work out of your home).

renee2007 Posted 16 Oct 2008 , 3:07pm
post #15 of 24

I have only delivered wedding cakes. everyone else picks up at my home.

FromScratch Posted 16 Oct 2008 , 3:13pm
post #16 of 24

Delivery is available for all cakes if needed. Wedding cakes and complex cakes delivery is mandatory. I have people come to my home to pick up cakes if they choose to. Delivery costs $2 per one way mile with a $25 minimum unless you are less than 10 minutes from my home.. then I'll waive the fee.

Cakes being picked up must be picked up during the given window of time. I do not get out of bed early for someone knocking at my door and I do not wait around for hours for people to get here. If you aren't here.. and I have somewhere to be then you are SOL and must make different arrangements. I try my best to assure that everything is done in a timely manner and I expect the same in return.

cakelady15 Posted 16 Oct 2008 , 3:21pm
post #17 of 24

I offer free delivery on my cakes mostly to set myself apart from the people that charge for it, but also because then I don't have to worry about people coming to get it. My customers seem to really like that and they are thrilled that they don't have to leave the house when they are getting for a birthday party or whatever to go get a cake because most bakeries near me only deliver wedding cakes or they charge a hefty fee for delivery. If someone wants to pick up a cake though we do set a specific time. They know I bake out of my home so all my customers that pick up so far have been very respectful of that and they show up very close to the time that they are supposed to be there. I am insured so I don't have to worry about the slipping and falling thingicon_smile.gif

mellormom Posted 16 Oct 2008 , 3:25pm
post #18 of 24

In my town we are not allowed to have people pick up our cakes. I prefer to deliver anyway. That way I can make sure it gets there in one piece. icon_smile.gif
I have met people in the parking lot as well. They don't mind. I don't charge people if they are in my town so some meet me at a parking lot in my town to avoid the delivery fee.

loriemoms Posted 16 Oct 2008 , 3:38pm
post #19 of 24
Originally Posted by marmalade1687

The only thing that I deliver is wedding cakes - it's not worth my time to deliver anything else. It takes my time out of my kitchen where I can be earning more. My pickup times are very specific too - Saturday mornings between 9am and noon for weekend orders, and if they need the cake for a weekday (rare), then it must be picked up by 7pm. Family time is too precious! thumbs_up.gif

This is pretty much what I do too...I have them pick up the cake at my house, unless they request delivery. I charge delivery for any cakes smaller then 100 people or in areas more then 20 miles away. Not only is my time very valuable, but the price of gas in NC is the highest in the country right now...I also have very specific pickup times, especailly on saturdays when I am off to do wedding cake deliveries. Most of my celebration cake pickups are either friday evening or early saturday morning.

MacsMom Posted 16 Oct 2008 , 4:42pm
post #20 of 24

I deliver, too, within reason. I once delivered a wedding cake 2 hrs away, but thankfully the MOB left me $100 "tip" to cover gas. However, I will never again deliver a cake that far.

Delivery, as mentioned, helps set me apart, but also ensures that the cake arrives in one piece. As long as I know the cake was set-up without incident (and I take photos), the customer cannot blame me if something happens to it.

I've heard too many stories here about customers demanding their money back because something happened to it on the way to it's destination. They of course don't blame themselves for poor driving, but blame the baker for not supporting it well enough.

FromScratch Posted 16 Oct 2008 , 5:44pm
post #21 of 24

I have people sign a waiver when they pick up their cake. They are told well ahead of time that they will ne a flat, level, cool place to transport the cake and that they will have to be extremely careful with how they drive. They sign a document that states once the cake is in their posession it is no longer my responsibility. Too many things can go wrong during transport.. especially if the person driving is not used to driving with a cake.

MacsMom Posted 16 Oct 2008 , 5:49pm
post #22 of 24

... Very smart idea about the waiver thumbs_up.gif

FromScratch Posted 16 Oct 2008 , 7:29pm
post #23 of 24

Thanks.. icon_smile.gif

It states this.. if anyone wanted to use it too:

I,   , certify by my signature below that I have received my cake in satisfactory condition. I understand that, once I take possession of my cake, The Well Dressed Cake is in no way responsible for any damages that may occur. I have recieved instructions on how to properly transport my cake and those instructions have been explained to me thoroughly. I understand that a picture of my cake and its condition has been taken by The Well Dressed Cake and will be put on file with my contract. I further understand that there will be no refunds.



It saves me a lot of grief should they slam on their brakes or take a sharp turn and try to come back at me for the damaged cake.

tarheelgirl Posted 18 Oct 2008 , 2:35am
post #24 of 24

I like the waiver idea too! So far delivery is the best for me.. Glad to see so many do the same!

Have you ever just handed someone the cake box and they sling it around like it is nothing?? icon_cry.gif I have to walk away quickly!!! haha That is why that waiver is an excellent idea!

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