No Customer Pick-Up Allowed?

Business By CakeMommyTX Updated 8 Feb 2009 , 3:52pm by Jenn123

CakeMommyTX Posted 3 Feb 2009 , 2:43pm
post #1 of 20

What do those of you who rent space do about delivery/pick-up of cakes?

I rent kitchen space and the person I rent from does'nt allow customer pick-up from his store, which is understandable, it's his place and he does'nt want his cutomers/employees interupted by my customers (I can't complain it's the only place I have to rent from) .

So with that said I deliver all my cakes, I could bring them home and have customers pick up from there but I don't want people at me house.

Should I post this on my website that all cakes are delivered and no customer pick-up is allowed?
I have actually lost a few orders when I tell people they cannot pick-up where I bake and I must deliver.
They always assume I do it from my home and they can just get the cake there.
Should I tell everyone why pick-up is not allowed or just continue telling only those who ask?

19 replies
southerncake Posted 3 Feb 2009 , 2:52pm
post #2 of 20

Before we had a shop, when I was a legal home baker, I too did not want people coming to my house. At that time, I was married to a cop, home alone a lot, and we lived WAY out in the woods, so I did not want to "advertise" my address. The price of delivery was included in the cake and it simply stated on website "Delivery included within the______ area." When they would ask on the phone, I would always make it sound like I was doing them a big favor! I never had a problem.

cakelady15 Posted 3 Feb 2009 , 2:53pm
post #3 of 20

You might want to put something on your website that it's delivery only. I'm just curious why they wouldn't order from you if you had to deliver it though. Do you charge for delivery and they don't want to pay it? If you do and they aren't allowed to pick it up, you might want to reconsider charging for delivery. I deliver for free within a certain radius of my shop and customers are usually ecstatic that they have one less thing to do. Of course, I don't know if you charge or not. I'm just trying to figure out why they wouldn't want it deliveredicon_smile.gif

ladybug76 Posted 3 Feb 2009 , 3:09pm
post #4 of 20

I am actually in the process of filing zoning applications (filed last Friday - keep fingers crossed!!) which would mandate NO customer traffic in my neighborhood, so I would be required to deliver all my cakes. Thinking positive that all the paper work will go through without a hitch, I am planning on having a 15 mile radius free delivery, with a charge after that amount of miles *OR* arranging a mutual public location for delivery to avoid delivery charges, should the customer chose so.
I'll be interested in reading any further suggestions as this is a situation I am going to have to tackle head on myself. Thanks for the post and ideas!!
~ Jaime

ladybug76 Posted 3 Feb 2009 , 3:10pm
post #5 of 20

I am actually in the process of filing zoning applications (filed last Friday - keep fingers crossed!!) which would mandate NO customer traffic in my neighborhood, so I would be required to deliver all my cakes. Thinking positive that all the paper work will go through without a hitch, I am planning on having a 15 mile radius free delivery, with a charge after that amount of miles *OR* arranging a mutual public location for delivery to avoid delivery charges, should the customer chose so.
I'll be interested in reading any further suggestions as this is a situation I am going to have to tackle head on myself. Thanks for the post and ideas!!
~ Jaime

CakeMommyTX Posted 3 Feb 2009 , 3:11pm
post #6 of 20

I charge $20 for delivery/set-up, if the delivery is close I will waive it but with all the tolls and gas costing what it does it sometimes cost me $15+ to deliver a cake. Plus some of my deliveries are 30+ miles away, one way.
The orders I have lost (maybe 2 or 3)have been those who didnt want to pay a delivery fee on a small order, so I understand that.
Although you would think that getting the cake delivered would be more convenient for the customer.
The majority of my cakes require at the very least a little bit of set-up (toppers, gum paste accents etc.) so I feel more comfortable setting up the cake myself anyways.
I guess I'm just wondering what is a nice professional way of saying "sorry you can't pick up your cake, even if you wanted to"

emrldsky Posted 3 Feb 2009 , 4:27pm
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by yourstrulytx

I charge $20 for delivery/set-up, if the delivery is close I will waive it but with all the tolls and gas costing what it does it sometimes cost me $15+ to deliver a cake. Plus some of my deliveries are 30+ miles away, one way.
The orders I have lost (maybe 2 or 3)have been those who didnt want to pay a delivery fee on a small order, so I understand that.
Although you would think that getting the cake delivered would be more convenient for the customer.
The majority of my cakes require at the very least a little bit of set-up (toppers, gum paste accents etc.) so I feel more comfortable setting up the cake myself anyways.
I guess I'm just wondering what is a nice professional way of saying "sorry you can't pick up your cake, even if you wanted to"




If I were a potential customer of yours and you told me, "I'm sorry, it's delivery only, but delivery will cost you an extra $20." I would walk away too. The issue is that you're not offering them an alternative to save $20. Essentially, you're saying, "Pay me $20 extra, or no cake."

I know it's not what you're REALLY saying, but look at it from a customer perspective.

Have you considered upping the cost of your base prices to cover the cost of those deliveries?

CarolAnn Posted 3 Feb 2009 , 4:39pm
post #8 of 20

Seeing the kind of work you do I can see why you'd want/need to deliver yourself. I can understand your shop owner's not wanting your customer to pick up at his place of business, so you have no option there. For smaller orders that don't require assembly before setup, however, I'd think you might have a public place where a customer could meet you to pick up their cake. That way you're not spending more $$ in tolls, fuel and valuable time that you'd need to recoup in a delivery fee. That gives the customer the option of spending their fuel and time picking up or paying extra to have it delivered to them. For some of your constructions I wouldn't give the option, but for sheets and ones that that don't require on site assembly I think I'd make delivery their option. In the case of a cake that might be altered (ie attached embellishments falling off etc) maybe you could box them for optimal safety and have the customer sign that the cake was in pristine condition when it left your hands, and total responsibility being theirs from that moment on. I live 12 miles outside a smallish town and have delivered all but one of my cakes, and that was only because the customer would drive past my place to get to the baby shower. With all the others I delivered because I was already going to be in town. Because the cost of fuel being up, anywhere beyond town I would now charge for delivery but that hasn't come up for me yet.

CakeMommyTX Posted 3 Feb 2009 , 4:53pm
post #9 of 20

I've thought about upping my base price to cover delivery, but I did'nt know if I should price each cake indivdually based on the delivery distance or just raise all prices?
And I know the customer does'nt have much choice in the matter of delivery but does that mean I have to eat the cost?
I'm really considering letting some customers pick up from my home, but then I have to explain that the cake was baked in a seperate kitchen and not in my home (although it turns out most don't seem to care where it was baked).
Also I am not clear whether or not I can actually bring the cakes to my house (completely finished and boxed)per health codes,I would need to find that out.
I do feel bad charging people a delivery fee when they don't have the choice but I can't afford to deliver it for free. One particular delivery cost me $8 in tolls, $5 in parking and about $4.50 in gas, and that was just one way, it was another $8 in tolls and $4.50 in gas for the way home.

emrldsky Posted 3 Feb 2009 , 5:04pm
post #10 of 20

I understand you not wanting to eat the cost of delivery, but it's better customer service (and you ARE offering a service to a customer) to offer an alternative. If there is a public place you can meet at to minimize your total cost, that'd be appropriate.

Think of it this way. Say you go to a gas station and it's Full-Service only, but when you pull up, the attendant tells you it's an additional $10 on top of your total cost for that service. They don't have self-service pumps there. Do you pay the extra $10 or drive to a self-service gas station? I'd be driving my happy butt elsewhere.

cakelady15 Posted 3 Feb 2009 , 5:37pm
post #11 of 20

I wouldn't recommend letting people come to your house to pick up their cake if you don't run your business out of your house. If someone falls on your steps or anything like that and sues your homeowner's insurance you could be in serious trouble. That's my opinion as a home based cake business owner and an insurance underwritericon_smile.gif

Deb_ Posted 3 Feb 2009 , 8:10pm
post #12 of 20

To the OP, how do you handle Wedding Cake consults/tastings? Are the clients allowed to go to where you bake for those or do you do them at home?

I agree with the others who said either raise your prices to include delivery or offer the client another location to pick up at.

For the deliveries that require you to pay those hefty tolls, maybe reconsider taking those particular orders unless they are a large part of your business. Can you deduct those tolls on your income tax return? How about Fast Pass or Easy Pass, they offer discounted toll fees in some areas if you have one of their transponders on your windshield.

I bake from home in a licensed kitchen, so I have clients here for tastings and pick-ups. Thankfully, haven't had a Freddy Kruger yet, however, I don't schedule anything for when I'm here alone.....

Jenn123 Posted 4 Feb 2009 , 2:22pm
post #13 of 20

I also don't let people pick up from me and have a 30 minute one way drive drive everywhere I go. However, I don't have to deal with tolls or parking fees. I raised my prices to cover my gas and offer "free" delivery within 40 miles. Maybe you could find a small shop (flowers, coffee, cafe, etc.) near you that would consider letting you meet customers there for cake pick up. You could offer them a small fee or treats in exchange for this. This would allow you to offer pick up and erase the quilt of charging for deliveries.

For tastings, I meet them at a coffee shop, Mall Food Court, or their house.

cakesdivine Posted 5 Feb 2009 , 4:14am
post #14 of 20

I actually use a local upscale convenience store that has my cake book as a pick up location if the cakes are under $100. It isn't worth my time or gas to deliver a cake under $100. When I lived in Sherman a local coffee shop allowed me to place my book in their shop, I baked out of my commercial kitchen that I rented and people either ordered from my site or the coffee shop, and delivery was made to the coffee shop the morning of the day they wanted the cake. See if you can find a store that will allow you to put order forms and a book in. I always gave the shop a small percentage (no more than 10%) for lettting me use their storefront as an order/delivery location.

ozcake Posted 7 Feb 2009 , 9:40am
post #15 of 20

One way to deal with it is to work the cost of delivery into your cake price and just give them the one final price (you don't have to tell them how you arrived at it) and tell your customers/put on your website/advertising etc that your prices include delivery.

Another possibility would be to see if your landlord would be willing to allow pickups outside of his trading hours depending on what they were and whether that would be convenient for your customers.

Jessica1817 Posted 7 Feb 2009 , 4:17pm
post #16 of 20

My city has an ordinance against pick-ups to limit customer traffic in the neighborhoods. I've never lost an order when I explain this to a customer; I do offer free delivery within 10 miles or we meet within those 10 miles. For larger orders or for repeat customers, sometimes I waive the fee outside the 10 miles (but not too far!), which they are always grateful for. thumbs_up.gif

Win Posted 7 Feb 2009 , 4:35pm
post #17 of 20

I don't bake cakes professionally so I don't have this issue to deal with, but I was wondering if you folks who deliver know if your mileage is something you can keep track of for tax-filing purposes... I am an Avon Rep and some of my deliveries are thirty miles as well. I keep track of all my mileage as a business expense. Wouldn't that be the same for all small business owners? Just curious/wondering. icon_cool.gif

SharonK1973 Posted 7 Feb 2009 , 4:39pm
post #18 of 20

I agree with including the price of delivery in the cake price. 1.) I don't really care for anyone I don't really know coming to my house, 2.) when you get a business license here, if customers will come to your house, about four different departments have to come check out the house to make sure it won't collapse or catch on fire right while a customer is picking up the cake! Much less hassle for me to just deliver the cake!

CakesbyMonica Posted 7 Feb 2009 , 5:02pm
post #19 of 20

I include the cost of delivery in my cake price. I deliver all cakes. I've never had anyone balk at it, they understand it's the difference in buying an "upscale" cake versus picking one up at the grocery.

Jenn123 Posted 8 Feb 2009 , 3:52pm
post #20 of 20

Yes, I claim my milage. You get something like .50 cents per mile!

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