Top Tier Free?

Business By CakeForte Updated 17 Nov 2008 , 3:14am by Santa_Kitchen

CakeForte Posted 11 Nov 2008 , 6:40am
post #1 of 29

Do you offer the top tier free as a selling point? I never really did, I just calculate the math so the top tier "looks" free. I don't think my clients even pay attention honestly. Plus a 6", 2 layer top feeds a lot of people! That's like saying here is a $70 dollar off coupon.

Just wondering.

28 replies
mommy2djb Posted 11 Nov 2008 , 2:05pm
post #2 of 29

I am not a big fan of "freeze the top tier for your first anniversary" tradition. A lot of shops offer the top tier free for that reason. My gift to my brides is a free 6" cake on the 1st anniversary, because freezing a cake is a crime. icon_smile.gif

mommicakes Posted 11 Nov 2008 , 2:30pm
post #3 of 29

I do the same as mommy2djb does. I always count it in for servings.

cakedout Posted 11 Nov 2008 , 2:51pm
post #4 of 29

I don't like frozen cake either, but hey- it's tradition around here. I tell them they can eat it on their honeymoon or even their 1st MONTH anniversary if they choose! Then I can make them a nice little, fresh cake for their 1st year anniversary. icon_smile.gif

I do offer the "top tier free". It sounds good to the bride, so what the hey.

costumeczar Posted 11 Nov 2008 , 3:01pm
post #5 of 29

I do the top tier free, then if they want an anniversary cake they pay me for it later (at the current year's prices.)

jillmakescakes Posted 11 Nov 2008 , 3:54pm
post #6 of 29

I give them the option. They can either freeze the top tier and I don't count it in the final cake price, or I count the top tier and they get a free one on their first anniversary.

The free first anniversary one gets taken 9 out of 10 times. Plus, it gets them to come back to me in a year, especially when some couples are starting to think about families (ie baby showers) for either themselves or their friends!!

indydebi Posted 11 Nov 2008 , 9:14pm
post #7 of 29

Exactly what jill said .... no one wants to store a cake for a year anymore. the selling point is the free FRESH cake on their annivesary!!

-K8memphis Posted 11 Nov 2008 , 9:25pm
post #8 of 29

Odd man out...again. I charge for all the servings. I take a bit of batter or use the cut off tops and fashion two 4" cakes decorated to match. Takes ten minutes. I deliver them boxed so they have one honeymoon cake and one to freeze.

They love getting to serve all those servings (I make it a point to say that--that they can serve everything) I also say the two 4 inchers are my gift to them.

(If there was a problem with a payment I'd be out of the mood to give a gift. icon_biggrin.gif )

KoryAK Posted 11 Nov 2008 , 9:46pm
post #9 of 29

I charge all the servings (6x4" round is 14 servings x base price of $7.25 is $101.50... I am NOT leaving that much $$$ on the table!) whether they are serving or saving. I do also offer a free anniversary tier 1 year later, but that is not a replica, just a buttercream round with borders in the same size.

dailey Posted 11 Nov 2008 , 10:45pm
post #10 of 29

i don't give the top tier away. however, i did have a MOB tell me her daughter saved the top tier and it tasted great a year later. actually, i don't *get* the whole idea of making a fresh cake for the couple on their one year anniversary. the tradition is to eat the *same* cake that was at your wedding....jmo

indydebi Posted 11 Nov 2008 , 10:49pm
post #11 of 29

Actually, in the research I did, saving the top tier was so it could be served at the christening that took place soon after the wedding. (dont' ask me "what" christening ... the article never really explained it). It wasn't really to commemorate anything .. it was a way to get rid of the leftovers! icon_lol.gif

As time went on and christenings took place further and further out from the wedding, or not taking place at all, people started looking at this cake and going, "well, we might as well eat it now" and they ate it on their anniversary.

DerrellC Posted 11 Nov 2008 , 11:39pm
post #12 of 29

We like some others here also charge for the top tier,and give them a "free" cake on their 1 st annv. We find it keeps our name fresh in their minds and produces extra orders. With these wonderful computers we have ,keeping track of names,dates, etc is so easy now,as opposed to the old index card file

indydebi Posted 11 Nov 2008 , 11:46pm
post #13 of 29

I only started doing the free anniv coupon a year ago and just got my first 1-year-bride last week. What an ego boost! She said her dad told her, "you should have some year old cake to get rid of soon, don't ya?" She said, "Not me! My cake lady is making me a fresh one!"

"My cake lady."

Man .... I can get used to that!!! thumbs_up.gif

Her cake was chantilly lace with white-chocolate (tinted green) shamrocks on the side. When she peeked at the cake, she was surprised that I added the shamrocks for her. icon_biggrin.gif

These are going to be fun as they start rolling in!

mommicakes Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 12:08am
post #14 of 29

I know exactly what you mean. I have made at least 4 so far. I like to be called "my cake lady" too. icon_lol.gif

costumeczar Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 12:29am
post #15 of 29

The christening cake tradition was from England, if I understand it correctly, and the cakes they use there are the rich fruitcakes (yum yum!I actually like them) that have the brandy soaked into them. They just get mellower when they sit around, so when you had the christening 9 months after the wedding (or earlier, as the case may be) it was no big deal. The year-old cake idea that brides think of as "tradition" today is just a bastardization of that, so I tell people that it's not something they have to do, and I certainly wouldn't do it, but I still get a lot of people who WANT to save the cake for a year. Yuck.

CakeForte Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 1:04am
post #16 of 29

From what some of my clients that have come back and told me...I don't think the cake makes it to the freezer. The eat the cake as soon as they get back from the honeymoon.

kandu001 Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 1:52am
post #17 of 29

I like what jillmakescakes said about either a free tier or a free 1yr anniversary cake. I don't sell cakes because of Florida's laws about home cakes (and because I love my day job...a teacher), but I think that's what I would do.

CindiM Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 2:18am
post #18 of 29

I am from a different planet.
I don't give the top cake for free and I don't make them an anniversary cake for free.
I make the wedding cake they had me design. My price is excellent, my quality is excellent, and they can eat the top cake when ever they want.
I don't feel I have to give the bride a gift. This is just my opinion thumbs_up.gif

sari66 Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 4:10am
post #19 of 29

I give a free 6" as well. I would never eat a cake a year later even mine! LOL

tcakes65 Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 3:15pm
post #20 of 29

I may start charging for the top tier. Many brides are using the "free" cake to their advantage. For example, instead of ordering cake to feed their 80 guests, they downsize to feed 65 guests to save money. The plan is to serve the 6" "free" cake to make up for the additional servings. So that's a $60 loss on the downsized 15 servings and a $48 loss for the "free" cake. At $4/serving that's a total loss on my part of $108. If you do four cakes a month at that rate, it's a potential loss of over $400, 6 cakes over $600. In my opnion, that's a substantial amount of money. Even if you calculate just the 6" cake, that's potentially $288 in "free" gifts to the brides per month. Even at $3/serving, it is a signficant amount of money.

I will have to say, the free 6" cake has been a great selling point. However, after sitting down and doing the math, I may reconsider and start charging for the 6" cake. After having many brides tell me that they were using the 6" cake to get free servings for their guests, it's something to think about. It's evident the freezing of the 6" cake is not as much of a tradition as it once was. If the brides were truly using the free cake as intended, that's one thing. However, that doesn't seem to be the case in some instances. JMHO... icon_smile.gif

CindiM Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 5:00pm
post #21 of 29

Thanks Metrocakes for your $ explanation. The cake is a small portion of the total wedding cost. The money they save on the free cake will be spent on a bigger ice sculpture.

Giving the top cake free is a very old practice. It is like a baker's dozen, more dough was included so the baker wasn't penalized tax wise, if his product didn't weigh enough.
If a bride ask me, I tell them, I don't do it. And only 2 have asked in my 8 years as a professional, licensed designer.

My work and reputation are my selling points. I give them what they paid for. If I don't charge for my work, guess who wont be able to pay the rent. I don't discount my work.
I learned a long time ago, free stuff has no value.
Again, just my opinion.

cakedout Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 6:57pm
post #22 of 29

Thanks to you both....a great eye-opener, to say the least!

Looks like I may have to reconsider that old practice as well. My clients come to me because of my work...I don't think they'd even care wether the top tier was free or not! icon_wink.gif

marmalade1687 Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 8:18pm
post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by CindiM

I am from a different planet.
I don't give the top cake for free and I don't make them an anniversary cake for free.
I make the wedding cake they had me design. My price is excellent, my quality is excellent, and they can eat the top cake when ever they want.
I don't feel I have to give the bride a gift. This is just my opinion thumbs_up.gif




We must be from the same planet Cindi! I don't give freebies, and I still get called "my cake lady"! icon_biggrin.gif

OhMyGanache Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 9:06pm
post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by CindiM

I am from a different planet.
I don't give the top cake for free and I don't make them an anniversary cake for free.
I make the wedding cake they had me design. My price is excellent, my quality is excellent, and they can eat the top cake when ever they want.
I don't feel I have to give the bride a gift. This is just my opinion thumbs_up.gif




We must be from the same planet. I give people what they pay for - and what they do with the cake is up to them. I think offering a "free cake" but then incorporating it into the costs is a decpetive game I don't wish to play with people.

snarkybaker Posted 12 Nov 2008 , 11:35pm
post #25 of 29

I don't give free cake at anytime other than the tasting, and then it's only kinda free...( I charge but credit the cake purchase).

If they ask, I simply look them in the eye and say "No good can come from eating year old cake, so we don't do it."

Nobody has ever complained. The truth is that the bride isn't making her decision based on whether or not you will gier her free cake. If she is asking you about the anniversary tier, you have probably already sold her. SO STOP GIVING AWAY MONEY!!!

OhMyGanache Posted 13 Nov 2008 , 12:49am
post #26 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by txkat

If she is asking you about the anniversary tier, you have probably already sold her. SO STOP GIVING AWAY MONEY!!!




Amen!

cakelady31 Posted 16 Nov 2008 , 1:00am
post #27 of 29

I include the top tier in the servings and charge accordingly. If they decide to keep it for the anniversary then I will leave them the box for it.

I am going to be part of a open house next month and thought that for a promotion to the start of my business I would offer a coupon for anyone who books a date thru the month of December for the upcoming year will recieve a free 6" Anniversary cake valid for1 year .

cylstrial Posted 16 Nov 2008 , 2:49am
post #28 of 29

I think the idea of letting them come back a year later for a free cake, sounds good! The cake will be fresh, they will remember...and you charge them up front for the wedding cake.

Santa_Kitchen Posted 17 Nov 2008 , 3:14am
post #29 of 29

Well, let me say that I am from the old school. My wedding cake itself have a top tier that turn as delicious as the day of my wedding, and I order cakes from the same lady until I move out of the state. Now that I do cakes, I charge my wedding tasting, I do not discount the tasting charges from the total and if the order is $250 or more I give a 4" cake for their anniversary for free, anyways is good if they keep me in their fridge, remembering me until they decide to eat it. In fact one of my brides, 9 months after the wedding call me to place an order because she was pregnant and every time she opens her freezer my cake was there in the box and she was craving for my cake. Well she ended up ordering a 10" cake for herself(her husband call me and tell me that she sat in front of the tv with a glass of milk for 4 consecutive days). Since that day, I've been called to do her and her husband bday cakes and her baby shower cake. I have never regret giving my 4" anniversary cake for free, it's been like a magnet of my business in their fridge.

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