Why Do Customers Do This?

Decorating By Sweet_Cakes Updated 14 Jan 2009 , 3:39pm by Sweet_Cakes

Sweet_Cakes Posted 10 Jan 2009 , 1:53am
post #1 of 26

Ok, I need a place to rant. I work in a grocery store doing cakes right now. One day I hope to own my own business doing cakes. Sometimes customers can make me so mad.

1. I'm not a machine. I cannot get your cake done in fifteen minutes. Please give me advance notice. Preferably 24 hours, since there are usually customers ahead of you that have had their order in for a week.

2. When you ask me to write on a cake, please don't just leave it on a shelf somewhere. Cakes are not as easy as everyone thinks they are. If you're not sure you want it, then come back when you are sure.

3. When you ask for something special on a cake, please be prepared to pay for it. Do not expect something for nothing. For example, it may have been easy to do a camoflouge cake, but it did require extra time out of a busy schedule. Unlike people who own their own business, I only get 8 hours a day to work on cakes. So when someone asks for something special; I'm usually taking precious time from my other daily duties to make you happy. Please don't make me feel like I did all that work for nothing.

This all happened today. I'm sure in the future, I'll have more. The joys of working in a bakery in a grocery store.

If this is against the rules, then I'm sorry. Please delete it if is.

25 replies
mkolmar Posted 10 Jan 2009 , 2:00am
post #2 of 26

It will get better. Unfortunately, days like this happen but usually tomorrow is better (((BIG HUG))).

cakesdivine Posted 10 Jan 2009 , 2:42am
post #3 of 26

My heart goes out to you. I definitely don't miss my grocery store days. Hang in there!

barbaranoel Posted 10 Jan 2009 , 11:05am
post #4 of 26

Please let me add:

It is NOT MY FAULT you forgot the child's - whom you gave birth too - birthday! I will help you if I can but it will take time

No, I am not getting up on Sat morning at 3am to "Bake" your cake, let it cool, and decorate it by 9:00am for you, if you are lucky I just ordered in that case of sheet cakes this week which hopefully did not sit in the warehouse for 6 months prior to that.

You are ordering from a GROCERY store and you are paying $18. for a 1/4 sheet cake- We are not Duff Goldman and ACE OF CAKES- please don't ask for the Taj Mahal so you can complain about it and get it for free

And no, I don't care how you beg, plead or threaten to go down the road to the next store, I am not putting Michael Jackson's picture on your cake.


Can you tell this is a sore subject for me? People are watching these Food Network shows and coming into grocery stores and wanting to do these outrageous things for bargain basement prices. They don't care how much work or talent it takes to do that. Yes, I do have some very talented cake decorators and pastry chefs working for me, but if you aren't willing to pay for it, I'm not willing to let them do it.

Barb

eldag0615 Posted 10 Jan 2009 , 12:03pm
post #5 of 26

This is sooo funny but soooooo true. icon_lol.gif That not only happens @ grocery store bakeries but to us too, they want beautiful unique cakes and when they hear the price they are schocked (or they are good actors to see if they can get it for almost free), and then ask: how many boxes of cake mix do you use? Even if I use cake mix, I doctor it with real butter, pecans, coconut, etc, according to what they want,they choose not to "see" everything else that is needed, but that is not the point, God bless you and prosper you on your new business in June, and don't forget you WILL have some customers with the same attitude there, but more freedom of speech. thumbs_up.gif

GeminiRJ Posted 10 Jan 2009 , 5:10pm
post #6 of 26

Anytime you work with John Q. Public, you're going to have a few bad apples. To many, cake is just....cake. They don't understand they are paying for time and talent, not ingredients. That's why the plumber charges $75 per hour to put in that $2 part. All you can do is smile and be patient. There will be a wonderful client who comes along and makes up for having to tolerate the jerks!

Sweet_Cakes Posted 11 Jan 2009 , 12:02am
post #7 of 26

you guys are great! i really do like barb's addition. that happens a lot. i have like ten cake orders on a saturday morning and then i get like three phone calls from people who are desperate for a cake for that day. sometimes i think these people do it on purpose. then again, it kinda shows you that the public only thinks of themselves.

oh and i forgot one. if you're gonna order a cake....PLEASE PICK IT UP! a lot of people dont understand what it takes to make someone a special order cake. when someone calls me and begs me to make a cake for them at the last minute and i make it for them, only for me to come in the next day and they haven't picked up yet...that just makes me feel like my talent is being wasted. anyway, its nice to have a place where everyone understands what im saying. thanks guys!

Sugar21cube Posted 12 Jan 2009 , 7:45pm
post #8 of 26

my brother and i both work at grocery stores- occasionally we take big or custom orders because their fun and challenging.

my brother took an order for a 5ft long cake with a 3ft long second teir for a first birthday. i forget the theme but the customer was really something-she wanted to be there when he made it to direct him! he told her she couldnt do that.
-she wanted to add her own clouds to the cake when it was done
-she wanted a waterfall from the top teir to the bottom, no prob my brother says. "no- i want a real waterfall" she says! my bro told her we couldnt do that but that could make it as realistic as he can.
i guess they came to an agreement but when she came to pick it up she complined to the managers! "theres no clouds! i wanted a real waterfall! bla bla bla.. ." She ended getting the *@$%*!^ $300 cake for free!

makes my blood boil,my brother spent all day on that cake.
turnes out her sister came to my store and screwed us over.

famly of dirtbags!

indydebi Posted 12 Jan 2009 , 7:59pm
post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by barbaranoel

People are watching these Food Network shows and coming into grocery stores and wanting to do these outrageous things for bargain basement prices.



I'm tellin' ya ... the line I found that works GREAT with these folks is, "Oh, I luv Ace of Cakes, too!! Did you know ....," she said in her 'let me tell you a big secret' voice, "that Duff has a ONE THOUSAND DOLLAR MINIMUM for his cakes?? And you just KNOW that the cakes on tv aren't a lousy thousand dollar cake! The good news is I'm not QUITE that expensive. Now ... how much were you looking to spend?" icon_twisted.gif

It either educates 'em or gets 'em out of my shop. icon_biggrin.gif

eldag0615 Posted 12 Jan 2009 , 8:16pm
post #10 of 26

I love you Indydebi! I don't know you but I can just image you getting your head a bit lower than usual and looking sideways to check nobody else is within hearing range before saying that, icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif You have great wisdom on the cake business industry. I must assume that it did not came easy or fell from heaven just like that and you have had your share or "chalenging" clients. thumbs_up.gif

Sweet_Cakes Posted 12 Jan 2009 , 10:28pm
post #11 of 26

since i have been posting on here, indydebi, you have always been there with your wisdom! thanks so much! i got to work again this morning and there was another cake someone didnt pick up yesterday. what a waste.

cakesdivine Posted 12 Jan 2009 , 10:54pm
post #12 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeminiRJ

Anytime you work with John Q. Public, you're going to have a few bad apples. To many, cake is just....cake. They don't understand they are paying for time and talent, not ingredients. That's why the plumber charges $75 per hour to put in that $2 part. All you can do is smile and be patient. There will be a wonderful client who comes along and makes up for having to tolerate the jerks!




I have to laugh...a few bad apples? When working in a Grocery store you get way more than a few.

When I worked for Albertson's they have a policy that the customer is ALWAYS right and if they don't like it 100% they can bring it back or just complain and get it for free.

I had a lady once come in on Saturday that I already had 87 (yes 87) special order cakes for that day, and I was the only decorator that day. She walked in to place an order, me thinking for some other day, but NO she wanted it done by the time she was shopping. Well I told her that we were fully booked for that day with 87 other orders and that you usually must order a weekend cake at least one week prior. I told her to pick a cake from the case and I would be happy to write what she wanted on it. The cake she tried to order was chocolate, yet she handed me a 1/2 sheet vanilla cake. I pointed out to her that she was giving me a vanilla cake and not a chocolate cake, and she said she knew but she didn't like any of the decorations on the case chocolate cakes available, so I wrote her inscription she requested handed her the cake and went on about my business. Later that day about oh maybe 15 or 20 min. before my shift was done, she came back to the store, told the store director that she had special ordered the cake and it was suppose to be chocolate. She brings back the cake with every bit of it GONE except 1 lonely piece! Then she had the gall to say that the cake was not only suppose to be chocolate but it was suppose to have a kit on it and she flipps through our cake book to show him the cake she wanted...(the one she tried to order that day but couldn't) I explained to the manager that not only did she not have a special order for that day, but she picked that cake herself from the case and asked me to write on it. I also had earlier pointed out that she was handing me a vanilla cake not chocolate and I showed him the case sticker plainly still intact on the cake dome. He asked her if that was true and she hemhawed around about it, saying it doesn't matter it wasnt what she wanted so he gave her her money back...I WAS PISSED! That goes against the bakeries bottom line and CS scores. I am SOOOO glad I no longer work in GS bakeries!

jackmo Posted 12 Jan 2009 , 11:15pm
post #13 of 26

it's just a slick way of getting a cake for free. Can't these managers see through this? These folks know what they are doing. Its a old trick.

Melvira Posted 12 Jan 2009 , 11:17pm
post #14 of 26

Ok, why are all of these managers at these stores such p*ssies?? I cannot believe he would give money back on that one, cakesdivine. I'd have looked at him right in front of the customer and told him that if he refunded her money I was going to quit with no notice. As the manager I'd have shown her to the door and asked her to not come back if that's how she was going to act. I'm sorry, but one bad customer is not worth that much headache. I'd have set her straight very quickly. I have many years of managerial experience and one thing I learned was that the customer is NOT always right, and the more right they THINK they are, the more WRONG they usually ACTUALLY are. And if you give in to those types, you might as well give them the store credit card number and let them go on a spending spree because that's what is going to happen in essence.

indydebi Posted 12 Jan 2009 , 11:38pm
post #15 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melvira

And if you give in to those types, you might as well give them the store credit card number and let them go on a spending spree because that's what is going to happen in essence.



Ab-so-freakin'-lutely!!!

The guy who came up with "the customer is always right" never had to deal with all of these dumba$$es!!

Sweet_Cakes Posted 13 Jan 2009 , 1:49am
post #16 of 26

There was this one customer one time. Well, actually several times. My nickname for her is Queen of Sheba, because everyone is expected to bow down before her and kiss her feet. When I first started at this store, one of my first cakes was for this lady and she wanted a girly scooby doo to made to look like a boy scooby doo. So then she wanted me to put stars around the borders. So I did. She came in to pay for it, and she said that that it wasn't boyish enough, and she didn't like my stars. (I used a star tip) She actually wanted me to draw stars around the whole border. I told her no. lol. The next cake she got, she came in to order it. She handed me a picture. I look up to ask her what flavor of cake she wanted, and she was halfway out the door. Then she got a attitude when I called her back over to go over the pertinent details. Then she was a week late picking it up, and she didn't pick it up, her daughter did it. The last cake she ordered, she did over the phone. I made it, she didn't pick it up, and then I see her in the store a couple days a later and ask her if she wanted the cake. She tells me that she didn't want it if I had made it, and she didn't have enough money for it in the first place. So finally I go to a manager and the manager approaches her (which pisses her off lol) and tells her that she has to order her cakes somewhere else from now on. YES VICTORY!

cakesdivine Posted 13 Jan 2009 , 3:12am
post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melvira

Ok, why are all of these managers at these stores such p*ssies?? I cannot believe he would give money back on that one, cakesdivine.




Well he did, because Albertson's policy is to always give back money if a customer isn't 100% satisfied. I think that is one of the reasons there aren't anymore in some areas of Texas. All of them closed in Houston. In fact I did quit the very next weekend. The bakery manager and one of the bakers constantly were talking dirty, commenting on every woman in a very innappropriate manner. The last straw was when the baker said something directly to me inappropriately. I was still married to my first hubby then and when he found out why I quit he went up to the store and punched the baker then walked out of the store. Thank goodness no one pressed charges. My then hubby warned the store director that if they pressed charges against him we would file sexual harrassment charges against the baker, the manager and the store itself...they let him walk out.

I have to say, it must be harder now for GS bakeries, with all the food network coverage of these highend bakers. GS decorators have so much on their plates...constantly being pushed to keep cases full, back-ups full, fulfilling special orders, and making all the pies, dessert cakes, and who knows what other desserts. When I worked for Randall's (A Safeway GS) we had so many little artisan desserts that had to be made, on top of all the other stuff. People wonder why grocery store cakes look so sloppy, well when you are given a minute & half per case cake to fill, ice, & decorate You can't be perfect. You do get a little more time on the special order cakes, but not much more. I always feel sorry for brides who order their cakes from a GS...they don't realize the decorator just doesn't have more than about 20 to 30 min. tops to deal with their cake, it usually can get no more attention than little Suzie's Bratz cake. I remember always praying that on weekends that there was a wedding cake that we had hardly any other special orders so I could devote more time to the wedding cake.

Melvira Posted 13 Jan 2009 , 3:23am
post #18 of 26

I don't blame your hubs for freaking like that. What a crock.

And I know what you mean about thirty seconds to do a cake. We do tend to come down pretty hard on grocery store cakes, but the majority of the time, I don't blame the poor person at the store that had to throw it together. I still knock the quality a lot of the time because they aren't even baked in the same state in some instances, but I understand the decorator's limitations, and I feel bad about being snarky sometimes. icon_rolleyes.gif

indydebi Posted 13 Jan 2009 , 3:32am
post #19 of 26

I was talking to a friend last week about what Melvira said. I may make fun of GS cakes, but never the GS decorators .... because I know they can only do so much with the criteria and mandates they are given to work with. I know many of them would LUV to do more and improve the quality ... but they just aren't permitted to do so.

Sweet_Cakes Posted 13 Jan 2009 , 3:38am
post #20 of 26

this is exactly why im wanting my own business. even though our cakes are real moist and fresh tasting, they do come in frozen, and i cant spend time decorating them the way i want to. sometimes i feel like a machine making sure my case is full...and therefore i have learned secrets in making quick cakes. they dont look spetacular. sometimes i can spend more time on cakes...especially special order cakes...if i plan ahead...sometimes i got to make sure i have other things done a day ahead in order to spend more time on other things. the santa cake i have posted on here took me two hours to do. i have a wedding cake in may that is going to take me at least four hours to make it presentable...so usually i plan ahead and get my manager to make sure i have help if i need it. but as of a few months ago, im the only cake decorator now. i do have to say that in the almost year in a half that i have done this, i feel like i have come a long way. now if i just can find the energy when i come home from work to start practicing other things i will be in good shape. one day im gonna be able to charge 1000 minimum on my cakes lol

Sweet_Cakes Posted 14 Jan 2009 , 12:33am
post #21 of 26

ok this one tops it all. not only do i have customers calling me at the very last minute for a cake. today, a bakery deli assistant MANAGER asked me for a special order cake TWO hours before the end of my shift. then she got smart with me and told me that she would just go somewhere else instead after i told her that i would do it but i still have a list of other things to do first. then i went on lunch and while i was at lunch, she wrote an order out and laid it on my counter. grrrrrrrr.

cakesdivine Posted 14 Jan 2009 , 1:23am
post #22 of 26

Again I state...I am SOOO HAPPY I DON'T WORK FOR A GS ANYMORE!

Sweet_Cakes Posted 14 Jan 2009 , 1:30am
post #23 of 26

the only thing that is getting me through is my manager...she is helpin me just focus on my craft as much as possible

Melvira Posted 14 Jan 2009 , 1:47am
post #24 of 26

What a jerk!!! Man, that sucks.

2508s42 Posted 14 Jan 2009 , 5:35am
post #25 of 26

I had a lady call on a Monday for a wedding cake on Friday. It was special flavors, decorations, etc. (I have a 2 month wedding cake wait) So I tell her the price, ($400 for 150 servings, fondant covered and gp flowers 3 teir and filled AND delivered 30 miles away) and she freaks out. She actually told me that I was ripping people off and that I didn't deserve her business. I was like... you're right... I don't. Thanks for calling...click.

Sweet_Cakes Posted 14 Jan 2009 , 3:39pm
post #26 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2508s42

I had a lady call on a Monday for a wedding cake on Friday. It was special flavors, decorations, etc. (I have a 2 month wedding cake wait) So I tell her the price, ($400 for 150 servings, fondant covered and gp flowers 3 teir and filled AND delivered 30 miles away) and she freaks out. She actually told me that I was ripping people off and that I didn't deserve her business. I was like... you're right... I don't. Thanks for calling...click.




thats hilarious!! i only wish i could do that at the grocery store. but if you tell a customer off like that, your job is on the line...I CANT WAIT UNTIL I OWN MY OWN BUSINESS!!!!!!

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