Wedding Tasting (Too Many Flavor Requests~)

Business By kellertur Updated 22 Apr 2009 , 4:54am by CookiezNCupcakez

kellertur Posted 8 Apr 2009 , 1:25am
post #1 of 33

I have another wedding tasting this weekend and what I'd been doing was about 4-6 cake flavors and fillings (not put together, so the bride to mix & match to her preference).

Anyway~ They have requested several specialty flavor combinations. icon_sad.gif This bummed me out because I already have standard flavors frozen (recently made) that I was going to use. At the end of her email, she mentioned she will most likely end up with choc or vanilla. So why taste all the others? icon_confused.gif Should I ask her for her top 4 choices, or do what the customer wants?

I'm not sure what the protocol/decorator etiquette on this would be, because I don't want to be rude but I don't want to waste my ingredients when my tastings are free.

Advice? Sarcastic remarks welcome icon_smile.gif

32 replies
CakeryBakery Posted 8 Apr 2009 , 2:02am
post #2 of 33

I normally explain to my brides in order to keep the cost down I allow them to sample the cake flavors I have on hand OR they may purchase additional flavors in advance. If they reserve there wedding cake with me I will deduct the cost of the cake from their total fees (if they purchase that flavor).

__Jamie__ Posted 8 Apr 2009 , 2:12am
post #3 of 33

Freakin a! Sheesh.....no pick and choose for free tastings here! And yeah....they always seem to go with a nice traditional white cake with plain (vanilla) filling/frosting. (Shrugs) Cool with me! icon_biggrin.gif

__Jamie__ Posted 8 Apr 2009 , 2:16am
post #4 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by K2cakes

Sarcastic remarks welcome icon_smile.gif




icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif Dayumn....I wish more people would come right out and invite some snarkiness!! Hee hee! icon_twisted.gif

__Jamie__ Posted 8 Apr 2009 , 2:19am
post #5 of 33

Snarkiness aside for a moment, I basically do what Cakery wrote up there. No problems or arguments yet! I did have to explain (in detail...WTF?) to someone who wanted a tasting ala Bridal Open House style (uh huh...sure!) for a 6" cake!

cakesdivine Posted 8 Apr 2009 , 2:32am
post #6 of 33

I do van, choc and they get to pick ONE other flavor. No exceptions. I let them sample my van BC, Cream Cheese BC, and Choc. BC. Most people know what the different fillings taste like so I don't sample them. If they want to taste fondant I pinch some out of the bucket and roll it into a ball for them to sample.

julzs71 Posted 8 Apr 2009 , 2:44am
post #7 of 33

I would explain that this is just a tasting to see if you like my baking. If she would like for you to make up a special order then she would have to pay for that.

kellertur Posted 8 Apr 2009 , 2:51am
post #8 of 33

these are good suggestions~ Jamie, you cracked me up, thanks! icon_lol.gif

On my website I listed that I have over 50 flavor combinations available, although I previously emailed that I keep my tastings limited to 4 - 5 flavors.

I was most surprised to read that they would try flavors that they had no intention of ordering... I'm not "Pepperridge Farms". icon_rolleyes.gif

didi5 Posted 8 Apr 2009 , 3:42am
post #9 of 33

I usually make 2 flavours, vanilla and chocolate cake, and that is about it. Though I make different flavours of the BC.

Whenever I have appointments for a wedding cake consultation, I almost never mention that I will have some cake for them to taste. Then when I finally meet the couple, they are always surprise and happy to see and taste the cakes.

Then again, there are those who ask right of the bat if they will be able to taste the cake and I ask them what would they be most interested in tasting and they usually pick one. Then, depending on my mood, I will maybe make another flavour (or not), and that too will get a favorable response from them.

After the consultation, if they want to taste more cake, I tell them that that I can make a 6" cake for $30. Most of them usually backs off after that.

In general, I find the most demanding people will try to squeeze as much as they could from you and would not want to pay for it.

Stick to what flavours you have already done and tell them the you charge extra for special flavours.

sugarcheryl Posted 8 Apr 2009 , 11:24am
post #10 of 33

I also think we have tv to blame for them wanting or expecting to taste all the different flavors. I agree with you all. But I was thinking if you want to pay $15 a slice I would be glad to offer you more samples.

BumbleBakeShop Posted 8 Apr 2009 , 6:45pm
post #11 of 33

When I went shopping for my wedding cake, my cake designer told us that she would provide 4 samples free of charge. If we wanted to try more than 4, she charged us $5 per each.

I would think it would be worth charging more. Good luck!

leah_s Posted 8 Apr 2009 , 7:56pm
post #12 of 33

My conversation goes like this:

Me: You may pick 3 flavors from the following list: white, almond white, strawberry, lemon, orange, chocolate, chocolate raspberry, chocolate almond.
Bride: I'd like to try Italian Creme
Me: I'm sorry, Italian Creme is not on the tasting menu. Would you like me to repeat the list?
Bride: I'll try white, chocolate, and strawberry.

YOU control the phone call. It sets the tone for the consultation where again, YOU are in charge. If you give control to the bride, then may the cake gods help you.

And in case you're wondering, I make all those flavors from two batters: vanilla and chocolate, with the addition of extracts, and icing fruit

kellertur Posted 8 Apr 2009 , 10:43pm
post #13 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by leahs

My conversation goes like this:

Me: You may pick 3 flavors from the following list: white, almond white, strawberry, lemon, orange, chocolate, chocolate raspberry, chocolate almond.
Bride: I'd like to try Italian Creme
Me: I'm sorry, Italian Creme is not on the tasting menu. Would you like me to repeat the list?
Bride: I'll try white, chocolate, and strawberry.

YOU control the phone call. It sets the tone for the consultation where again, YOU are in charge. If you give control to the bride, then may the cake gods help you.

And in case you're wondering, I make all those flavors from two batters: vanilla and chocolate, with the addition of extracts, and icing fruit




WOW~ do you fold in the extracts before they go into the oven?

I took everyone's advice and called her back and did tell her that certain flavors were not "wedding cake stable" and that she could choose 4 flavors. She quickly said: "whatever you want to do is fine... choc, vanilla, cookies & dream and something with caramel". <---- much more managable. I do want them to get some of what they want, but not everything I make.

I guess if a bride ever does back out because I'm not "kissing their a$$" than I don't want their business anyway. But that's me... and I don't like to be steam-rolled. We'll see how it goes... It's sounds like she's already chosen me by what she said, but I'll know more after the consult.

divaricks Posted 8 Apr 2009 , 11:04pm
post #14 of 33

we allow 2 free flavors and then charge $5 for each additional. We had a bride the other day want to try 6 flavors and paid for the additional 4. Since she decided on wedding cupcakes, she actually ended up ordering 4 out of the 6 she tried.

So, the bottom line is that they only get to try 2 flavors free of charge. Most brides and grooms stick to that.

Jenn2179 Posted 8 Apr 2009 , 11:05pm
post #15 of 33

I have 6 flavors I use for all my tastings. They are welcome to buy a 6 in round for $18 in any flavor they want to try that is not in my standard tasting. I have only had 2 people purchase the 6 in rounds.

leah_s Posted 8 Apr 2009 , 11:55pm
post #16 of 33

"WOW~ do you fold in the extracts before they go into the oven?"

Sure. Take white cake batter, stir in some almond extract, and you have almond white cake. Easy-breezy.

CoutureCake Posted 9 Apr 2009 , 12:14am
post #17 of 33

I agree with Leahs...

I only did two torted 6" single cakes up for tastings, no choices... I did a WASC and CASC... The Chocolate had chocolate icing, the white and buttercream and one of them had fondant... I would sometimes do a lemon curd filling in the white or some variation on strawberry shortcake for both...

Like the PP have pointed out, YOU control things when you're meeting/talking with customers otherwise THEY WILL walk all over you. Doesn't matter if it's a bride or Joe Schmo.

The thing is, you aren't charging what the people on TV are charging for your cakes. If your minimum is $1200-$5000, then sure, go ahead and serve up 10 different flavor combinations. If your minimum order is far smaller than that, you can't afford to be giving tons of cake away. I also had the person call that wanted to order a 6" recreation of their wedding topper (destination wedding), and wanted an all-out full-on tasting to see if she wanted to order a cake from me "call up the bakery up the road, tell them I sent you ;O))"

indydebi Posted 9 Apr 2009 , 12:44am
post #18 of 33

Part of my consult script:

"We have white, choc and red velvet cake today. These are not the only flavors we make, but these are what we are sampling. My lemon cake will taste just as good as my white cake except it will taste like lemon."

I think each baker needs to decide what they perceive a sampling appt to be. Some view it as the time when the bride comes in and wants to try "this one, and this one, and this one, and this one, to see if she likes cake A, B, C, or D for her own wedding.

I view it as the time when the bride samples my baking skills and determines if she likes my baking and then she decides if she wants to buy her cake from me. If she likes my general baking, THEN we talk flavors and design.

kellertur Posted 9 Apr 2009 , 1:03am
post #19 of 33

Thanks everyone icon_smile.gif

When they are eating the cake, do you *ask* them if they like it... Watching someone eat makes me very uncomfortable and I feel like I'm pressuring them. The last bride ate ALL six pieces of cakes except two pieces of red velvet that her fiance took home, so I knew without asking that she loved it.

Just wondering how different people handle this... do you make light of it in a jokey way? Or do you stare intently at them... (just kidding).

(I ask A LOT of questions... I'm a capricorn icon_rolleyes.gif )

indydebi Posted 9 Apr 2009 , 1:14am
post #20 of 33

Hey, fellow Capricorn!

No, I don't ask them if they like it. I can tell by their reactions. While they are tasting, I've got the laptop open and i"m getting some basic info from them, so I'm asking lots of question that have nothing to do with cake. As they discuss the different cake and filling combo's, I'll ask them "Did you try the choc with the choc-raspberry filling?" or "Oh you like the raspberry? White cake with raspberry filling is my most popular combo purchased by brides."

But even if you've got all the info you need, just sit there and doodle on your pad, or type gobble-dee-goop on the laptop to look busy while they're eating. At some point, you'll be able to tell that they're done. That's when I remove the tray of cake/fillings, clear the plates, and pull out the books and start talking cake design and setup.

schnumvf Posted 9 Apr 2009 , 1:31am
post #21 of 33

Ok, I know you already have a lot of comments here, but I thought I'd add my 2 cents. Which really, maybe should just be 1 cent because I don't sell my cakes (yet). Speaking simply from experience on the customer side this is my take on it all...

Keep your sampling simple. 2 or 3 flavors. Preferably with a different icing. Do you have a most popular cake? I'd put that out there. When I went "cake tasting" for my wedding I ignored all of the bakeries that charged me for a bite of cake. Some gave me just two bites of 2 different flavors. That was ok, it was enough to taste what they had. Some gave me a cupcake. Some gave me enough to taste test with the family. The most given from any bakery was 2 sample flavors. I did get to choose those flavors though - from a list of what they had available that day. If I was interested in a flavor other than what was available that day I could purchase it. If I went with that purchased flavor there was a discount (of that price) taken off of my wedding order. (did that make sense?)
Anyway... thats my 1 cent. icon_smile.gif Best of luck to you!

sugabear Posted 9 Apr 2009 , 1:33am
post #22 of 33

I think like so many other things in life that everyone has their own approach to this. Personally, this is mine. I sit them down with their plates and excuse myself to get them a drink of water. I go back into the kitchen and take as much time as I think they will need to taste the cake and exchange opinions but not too much time so that they go, "Where did she go?" That way they can taste the cake and talk to each other without worrying about hurting my feelings. Hope that helps!

sweetiesbykim Posted 9 Apr 2009 , 1:35am
post #23 of 33

This has been so helpful, watching your responses! I WILL be my own boss, and not let any old bride push ME around!!
I, too, have 20-30 flavors of cakes and fillings. To provide that on a whim is just crazy! I never thought it was for testing my baking skills, I wanted to show off my flavors. But I'm not up-selling since I don't charge extra for different flavors.
Does anyone charge extra for particular flavors, that I might want to "up-sell" at a consultation? How would I figure out how much extra to charge onto the per serving cost?

indydebi Posted 9 Apr 2009 , 1:43am
post #24 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by sugabear

I go back into the kitchen and take as much time as I think they will need to taste the cake .....That way they can taste the cake and talk to each other without worrying about hurting my feelings. Hope that helps!




I do something similar at the beginning ... I tell them "I have a few things to finish cleaning up in the kitchen, so you go ahead and I"ll be back in a few minutes." I do this whether they are sampling food or cake. If they are sampling food and cake, I do this when they start sampling the food .... when we get to the cake, I can't go clean up again, so I do the "getting the basic info" thing.

leah_s Posted 9 Apr 2009 , 1:52am
post #25 of 33

I have a different order of business.

The first thing I do is fill out an info sheet - phone numbers, address, venue, coordinator, etc. It gts them used to answering questions. Then, if they haven't emailed a picture of their dress ahead of time, I ask for their dress picture. Then I tell them, "Amuse yourselves with pictures, while I sketch." As they point to cakes in the books of designs they like, I try to incorporate elements of hose into my sketches. I'll make anywhere from 4 - 8 sketches.

Then I'll turn the paper around and show them the sketches and explain what I was thinking in each idea. Then they pick one. (Or I continue sketching.)

Then I pour water into glasses and cut and plate their samples. I take the knife into the kitchen sink and disappear for a minute. Then I come back and concentrate on completing some paperwork, like writing their name and contact info on the invoice.

I do the tasting last, because by then they're pretty invested in the cake design and are wanting to buy their cake. Once they taste the cake and like it, the sale is pretty much made.

loriemoms Posted 10 Apr 2009 , 2:12pm
post #26 of 33

I also offer the basic flavors at the initial tasting, as well as 4 fillings and the two different kinds of buttercream I offer. I tell them if they want to try the double mocha peanut butter hazel nut creme cake, they can try it at their design consultation AFTER they have booked me. I don't charge becasue all these little things I roll into the price of my cake.

loriemoms Posted 10 Apr 2009 , 2:16pm
post #27 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Hey, fellow Capricorn!

No, I don't ask them if they like it. I can tell by their reactions. While they are tasting, I've got the laptop open and i"m getting some basic info from them, so I'm asking lots of question that have nothing to do with cake. As they discuss the different cake and filling combo's, I'll ask them "Did you try the choc with the choc-raspberry filling?" or "Oh you like the raspberry? White cake with raspberry filling is my most popular combo purchased by brides."

But even if you've got all the info you need, just sit there and doodle on your pad, or type gobble-dee-goop on the laptop to look busy while they're eating. At some point, you'll be able to tell that they're done. That's when I remove the tray of cake/fillings, clear the plates, and pull out the books and start talking cake design and setup.




I am the same way, I take notes while they try the cake. I suggest flavors to them. They like to ask questions too. LIke "this is good chocolate, can I get it in this flavor too?" things like that. They can discuss if they liked the cake or not in the car!

kellertur Posted 10 Apr 2009 , 10:46pm
post #28 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by schnumvf

Ok, I know you already have a lot of comments here, but I thought I'd add my 2 cents. Which really, maybe should just be 1 cent because I don't sell my cakes (yet). Speaking simply from experience on the customer side this is my take on it all...




Your comments are more than welcome. icon_smile.gif

kellertur Posted 11 Apr 2009 , 5:46am
post #29 of 33

Hello (yes, I'm still up... Notice the time stamp? It reads 1:30am!) icon_cry.gif

Ok, I just worked my A$$ off way too hard for this tasting because I was trying too hard to impress the bride. (when I already know she has chosen one of my designs already dunce.gif ) I decided to go ahead and do a few "specialty combos" from what I had fresh this week. Well, making small, round cakes sucks! It really is a lot tougher than large ones. I didn't ice them, but I filled them, etc.... When I don't get enough sleep, I do things like this... I go into hyper-drive and "people pleaser mode" icon_redface.gif

Here are my flavors:
Candy bar (I just threw something together that sounded good)
Cookies & Cream
Death by Choc (only I call it something else)
van/van
van/choc
reddish velvet

And a small "take away" box of several tiny pieces of cakes I had already in the freezer: Hummingbird, choc, green tea, van.

I may have learned my lesson that this was too much work. I'll let you know how it goes. I just finished putting together a file folder for the bride with: FAQ, "what they can expect from us", Terms of Agreeement, and other helpful info....
(insert exhausted emoticon here....the one with 2 "x"es for eyes)

Thank you so very much for all your help... I am so fortunate that I get to learn from the BEST without even leaving my home. icon_smile.gif

CelebrationsbyLori Posted 12 Apr 2009 , 5:34am
post #30 of 33

I do samples, not tastings. I think tastings are considered sit down in the store and eat in front of me. I'm not a cafe and I don't have seating, so that's out. I let the bride's have one free sample cake (a 6" single layer round) with any flavor, any filling and any type of frosting, then any more are at least $5. Specialty flavors like pink champagne, red velvet, etc. cost more. They have to call in advance like any other order and then they pick them up and take them home to enjoy on their time. Most girls order 2 or 3, but occasionally they'll get 5 or 6 and have the whole family over to make an event out of it. Most of my bride's have told me they really like doing it this way, they aren't pressured to say they like something they don't and don't worry about wanting to get several other opinions and bringing an army to the cake shop.
Just what works for me! -Lori

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