How Do You Deal With No Shows??

Business By cakerygirl Updated 14 Nov 2008 , 2:30pm by OhMyGanache

cakerygirl Posted 11 Nov 2008 , 12:27am
post #1 of 23

Or more to the point - how do you stop the no shows for consultations? I am getting so frustrated with people booking consultations and then not bothering to show up and most times they don't even bother to call. I own a bakery/cafe and these consultations often take me away from other things that need done. I don't mind doing the consults but it really irks me when people don't show up or they decide to show up an hour late. I have one person who has not shown and then rescheduled three times now.
Any suggestions??

22 replies
CakeForte Posted 11 Nov 2008 , 12:33am
post #2 of 23

I had this problem too and posted a thread on it awhile back. One thing I added to my email confirmation was reminder for them to call 24 hours in advance if they are going to cancel. I don't bother rescheduling if they don't show up or give my any notice because I put a lot of time and effort when I prepare for my consults.

cakerygirl Posted 11 Nov 2008 , 1:00am
post #3 of 23

Most of my brides book consultations over the phone and I have not made a practice of phoning to remind them of their appointment. Maybe that is one option. The girl who didn't show 3 times now rescheduled by phoning in and my staff penciled her into the book. I am willing to look at any suggestions I can get.

indydebi Posted 11 Nov 2008 , 2:00am
post #4 of 23

I always send an email to confirm the appt and to give them directions (even if they say they know where I am). I also include a list of things they need to know about their sampling. Here's my email:

This is to confirm your sampling appointment at --------------------. Directions are attached. If you run late due to traffic or other circumstances, we ask that you just give us a call to let us know that youâre on your way.

⢠You are welcome to bring up to a total of four people (seating limitations).
⢠Since this appointment can be lengthy, we donât recommend bringing children as a catering facility is not a very entertaining place for them to try to sit quietly while mom/dad conduct a business meeting.
⢠You should plan about an hour for this appointment.
⢠We understand that you have a million and one decisions to make and we try to keep it simple for you by offering a no-pressure sampling. My assumption is that you are information gathering, so I do not expect a decision, a commitment or a check on that day.
⢠I DO expect you to walk away with some good information that helps you make an informed decision as you compare Cater It Simple with other caterers in the area.
⢠If you have some photos of cakes youâve seen that you like, please bring those with you.
⢠If you have a specific color you want used in your cake design, please bring a color swatch that you can leave with us (a scrap of material, ribbon, or one bride even brought us a paint card from the hardware storeâs paint dept!! )

Please help us keep our samplings free. We are not a restaurant where we can just go back into the kitchen and scoop out a sample of whatever dishes are cooking. The foods and cakes for your sampling are prepared just for you and there is a cost to that. When couples cancel at the last minute or are no-shows, this affects our expenses in running a business. We understand that sometimes things come up and appointments need rescheduled â¦. We just ask that you let us know when that happens so we will not prepare the foods for you and/or we can go ahead and schedule another couple in your time slot. We will happily re-schedule your appointment for you. Your consideration is appreciated by us and by our future brides!


I rarely have no-shows. I think the tone of the email tells them this is a serious appt and I'm taking time out just for them ... if they are late or no-show, it inconveniences me. The majority of my brides call me to tell me "I'm running about 5 minutes late ... I'm on my way!"

If I have a no-show, I just send a simple email that says, "I'm sorry you missed your appt. Let me know if you want to reschedule." Period. I'm done. If they call, fine. If not, I'm movin' on.

cakerygirl Posted 11 Nov 2008 , 2:08am
post #5 of 23

Thank Indydebi! I guess I wil have to start asking my brides for email addresses. Most times lately all I have is their first name and a phone number for contact information. Most of my brides don't book a tasting but they have to book a consultation to place their cake order and discuss design details. I always encourage them to book a tasting ( I even menntion frequently that we can do a tasting as part of the consultation provided they tell us they want a tasting in advance.) I think part of my trouble is that people come into the cafe and just sem to think I have time to burn.

mommicakes Posted 11 Nov 2008 , 2:35pm
post #6 of 23

I always send a reminder (confirmation) email and then a call the week prior to the consult/tasting. Just makes sure we are both on the same page. Saves a little bit of headache.

marmalade1687 Posted 11 Nov 2008 , 8:18pm
post #7 of 23

I've used Indydebi's email as a template for my confirmation email, and it works like a charm! thumbs_up.gif The brides really like because they are now more informed about what is going to be happening during our time together and they like that I am organized enough to do this. I am happy because 100% show up, they, they don't bring extra people or kids as I have requested, and the whole thing usually only takes an hour! icon_biggrin.gif

CakesByJen2 Posted 11 Nov 2008 , 8:39pm
post #8 of 23

I always get a phone number and I try to remember to call them to confirm the day before (or e-mail). When I make the appointment I ask them to please call if they will be late or need to cancel or rechedule. I've only had a few no-shows, and it always ticks me off because I've gone to the trouble to clean up and prepare ideas, make samples, get rid of the kids, etc. Usually if they're a no-show, I don't hear from them again, and if I did I would not reschedule unless they called within 24 hours with a REALLY good excuse. If they are that unreliable and inconsiderate, I don't want to work with them. I had one bride who showed for her first appt, but wasn't ready to commit, then called back a week later to schedule a follow-up appointment the next week to finalize and sign the contract and pay a deposit. She never showed up and never called, then a week later she shows up without an appointment (I work from home, so that was a big no-no in my book). I told her sorry, but when you didn't show up or call I could only assume you were no longer interested, so I made another committment for that date. I ended up booking a bigger and better order for her date, and I bet she didn't stand up another vendor after that!

just_for_fun Posted 11 Nov 2008 , 8:57pm
post #9 of 23

What I like about indydebi's email, it also makes it clear that coming for a tasting/consulatation does not mean that the date is booked! That is another problem some ppl have been having. (Then again, debi has everything covered!)

sweetcravings Posted 11 Nov 2008 , 9:21pm
post #10 of 23

Sorry you are having problems with no shows. I haven't had that happen yet but i've just starting getting my name out there. One thing that has happened is a customer said they would pick up the product on a particular day, and time and then they didn't show to pick it up. I figured they were running behind, because who would forget their 65.00 order? I was talking to my mom and she said, "i bet she forgot, call her". Well, the pickup was for a thursday at 2;00pm..i decided to call her at 4:30pm to inquire where she was...her response, "oh my gosh i forgot, i'll be right there!". I was preparing dinner and a little irritated her lack of memory was infringing on my 'off' time. Now i don't know how one forgets something like that but what i do know is from now on is i will be calling the day before to remind customers of pickup and total costs.
I love indydebi's email confirmation, i may just have to save that one for future uses. Do you mind indydebi?

indydebi Posted 11 Nov 2008 , 9:47pm
post #11 of 23

copy away! that's why we share!

sweetcravings Posted 11 Nov 2008 , 11:12pm
post #12 of 23

Thanks indydebi

ladyonzlake Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 2:46am
post #13 of 23

I usually email my bides a "bride information" sheet for her to fill out. It has her name, phone, address and it also asks how many servings and type or style of cake she is looking for. This helps me accomadate her more quickly at the tasting.

I also email a reminder to her a couple days before and ask that if she needs to cancel or reschedule to please let me know at least 24 hours prior as I set this time aside for her and I prepare my cakes just for her. I also limit guest to the bride and 2 other adults.

So far I haven't had any no shows...now if I could get them to arrive on time... icon_rolleyes.gif

cakerygirl Posted 13 Nov 2008 , 12:29am
post #14 of 23

Thank you Ladies!! I really like your letter indydebi. Thank you for giving permission to use it as a base for my own version. I will be sure to ask for email addresses in from now on and I will be phoning reminders the day before their appointment.. I have had 5 no shows this week. I think that many people just seem to think I can just do it whenever they show up even though I have specifically told them to maqke an appointment -- either that or people are much more forgetful in my area. I hope this new tactic will reduce the number of no shows. I may be refusing to do cakes for people that don't have consideration for my time. I have had a couple that insisted on a specific date and time and I had to sacrifice some of my personal time to accomodate them and then they don't even bother to show. I really hope this will work for me! I thank you all so much for your help!!!

Laura612 Posted 13 Nov 2008 , 1:26am
post #15 of 23

Thanks, indydebi for sharing. thumbs_up.gif I only just started taking cake decoration classes so hopefully I'll be able to use it in the future for tastings. In the meantime, I can tweak it for the wedding catering consultations that I do.

SeriousCakes Posted 13 Nov 2008 , 2:34am
post #16 of 23

'How do you deal with no-shows?'
Hmmm, I'd probably eat that cake icon_lol.gif

cakerygirl Posted 13 Nov 2008 , 4:18am
post #17 of 23

I have actually reached the point where I can't stand eating cake anymore. LOL!!

cakesdivine Posted 13 Nov 2008 , 5:02am
post #18 of 23

I require credit card info when they book their consult over the phone or online. I charge a fee of $35 for the sampling if they either A: don't show or B: don't book. If they book I charge the card their booking fee instead and I require them to pay the balance out depending on how far in advance they book and how large the bill is, if their cake is over $500 and they are more than 3 month before their event date they pay $200 at the booking to lock in their date and price quoted. Then 50% of the balance 30 days later then the balance 2 weeks prior to the event. If under $500 they pay the booking fee at the booking then the balance 2 weeks prior. Also if they book less than 90 days out and I happen to have the date available (rare but it happens) the total amount regardless of price is due at booking. I figure if they are that lackadazical about booking their cake in a timely manner they probably will end up being that way about paying for it too.

As far as any cake $200 or under, they must pay for it when they order it no matter how far in advance they order it. Then if they don't show, I might just sell it to someone else. I had a fella order a torte from me then after several unanswered phone calls with messages left on his machine for 2 full days after it was to be picked up. I had a client walk in daily and see the cake in my display case and wanting to buy it, he even offered me twice what the other guy paid! So on day three with the other customer there I called the guy again, no answer and I left a message that I was selling the cake to someone else. The next day he comes in and one of my employees was there and told him it had sold but she would be happy to take a new order and since he had already paid that of course there would be no additional charge. He said a few explicatives and walked out. There is no accounting for some people!

cakerygirl Posted 13 Nov 2008 , 9:56pm
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesdivine

I require credit card info when they book their consult over the phone or online. I charge a fee of $35 for the sampling if they either A: don't show or B: don't book. If they book I charge the card their booking fee instead




That is actually something I was thinking of doing. I am going to try the reminder letters for a bit irst but if that doeswn't work I will definately be starting to require a credit card number.

cylstrial Posted 13 Nov 2008 , 10:18pm
post #20 of 23

I love Indydebi's email! Thanks for sharing that with us. You always seem to have all the answers!!

Deb_ Posted 13 Nov 2008 , 10:36pm
post #21 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by cylstrial

I love Indydebi's email! Thanks for sharing that with us. You always seem to have all the answers!!





indydebi...............definitely show this to your hubby icon_lol.gif

OhMyGanache Posted 14 Nov 2008 , 2:27pm
post #22 of 23

I charge for tastings in advance ($50) and haven't had a single no-show.

My last tasting, the woman arrived 20 minutes early - and told me she almost called to cancel because she had been in the ER with her baby. The fact that I charge (and charge a lot) shows people I take what I do seriously - and therefor, they take it seriously too. (I totally would have understood if she had actually cancelled though)

OhMyGanache Posted 14 Nov 2008 , 2:30pm
post #23 of 23

I charge for tastings in advance ($50) and haven't had a single no-show.

My last tasting, the woman arrived 20 minutes early - and told me she almost called to cancel because she had been in the ER with her baby. The fact that I charge (and charge a lot) shows people I take what I do seriously - and therefor, they take it seriously too. (I totally would have understood if she had actually cancelled though)

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