Would You Do This??

Business By QueenOfSweets Updated 17 Apr 2009 , 3:14pm by MacsMom

QueenOfSweets Posted 16 Apr 2009 , 1:41pm
post #1 of 16

I've had an inquiry for a 3D sculpted cake for a party. The thing is, the customer stated in her inquiry email that the 3D cake doesn't have to be very big because they're getting sheet cakes elsewhere since the party is going to be large. I imagine these sheet cakes will likely be from Wal-Mart, Costco, or a similar place.

I'm just getting started in my business, so I'd like to take any orders I can. I just am having a little heartburn over sending my cake somewhere where the bulk of the cake will not be mine. I don't want guests to think those sheet cakes are mine, because I bake everything from scratch and honestly feel I have a better product. Would you do this?????? If not, what would your reply to this customer be?

Thanks in advance for your help!

15 replies
leah_s Posted 16 Apr 2009 , 2:06pm
post #2 of 16

NO way. All the cake comes from me, or none of it does. it's in my contract. Everyone will remember the pretty cake you made and the dry crappy cake they ate - and assume you produced it all.

No, no way.

jewelykaye Posted 16 Apr 2009 , 2:19pm
post #3 of 16

I wouldn't do it either.

Your reply could be something like:

"I understand that you are on a budget. However, I only allow my product to be the only baked goods at the event. This may sound a little strange but I have to protect my business. If someone gets sick on cake how would they know for sure whose it was? I really appreciate you coming to me for your 3D cake. I would be more than happy to provide you with a quote for the 3D cake and the additional sheet cake(s) that you need. Please let me know what you would like to do."

cocorum21 Posted 16 Apr 2009 , 2:40pm
post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by jewelykaye

I wouldn't do it either.

Your reply could be something like:

"I understand that you are on a budget. However, I only allow my product to be the only baked goods at the event. This may sound a little strange but I have to protect my business. If someone gets sick on cake how would they know for sure whose it was? I really appreciate you coming to me for your 3D cake. I would be more than happy to provide you with a quote for the 3D cake and the additional sheet cake(s) that you need. Please let me know what you would like to do."




I would take out the budget part if the customer didn't say she was on a budget. I would also add that it's for quality control you want to make sure that any cake served is of the same quality. Then mention the liability issue.

Mindy1975 Posted 16 Apr 2009 , 2:40pm
post #5 of 16

Have you ever had it happen to you without you knowing it? What I mean is, have you ever found out that there were other cakes, or cupcakes there, after the fact, and you found out too late? Sometimes, the customer doesn't offer all that information. Or do you ask that same question to every customer...." My Cake is the only cake that will be there.......right?" lol

kccinderella Posted 16 Apr 2009 , 3:47pm
post #6 of 16

I wouldn't state anything about trying to decide which cake someone got sick from. That sounds like you are expecting someone to get sick from the cake! I think mentioning QC is the best approach. JMHO

kansaslaura Posted 16 Apr 2009 , 3:55pm
post #7 of 16

Like Leah, it's all or nothing from me with no excuses or trying to sugarcoat it.

cakesdivine Posted 16 Apr 2009 , 3:56pm
post #8 of 16

Mindy is right, you never know what actually ends up at an event. This has happened to me for birthday parties, showers, and most recently a wedding, and I have the same rule.

My own cousin's baby shower this happened years ago (20+...lol). I did the cake and one of her friends decided that she wanted to give the cake as a gift, eventhough she knew I was doing the cake as a gift as well. She went to the local grocery store and bought another cake, even after my cousin told her it wasn't necessary. At least I was there to let everyone know which cake (and it was pretty obvious anyway) was mine and which cake wasn't.

A few weeks ago at the wedding that ordered the "Black Tie Affair" cake in my gallery. The groom never ordered his grooms cake. They paid for the wedding cake in full the day they booked, but he said he couldn't decide on his cake. I kept asking over the 6 month period all the way up to the week of the wedding. He had commented that he probably was going to buy carrot cakes from the local grocery store because he liked them. I reminded them of my "no other cakes" policy, and still heard nothing.

When I arrived at the event venue, there were 5 two layer 8" round carrot cakes that the icing was all smushed on each one because the person at the bakery at the grocer put them in too small a container. It was obvious that the icing had stuck to the top of the containers and had been scraped off and "reiced". They looked awful! I was ticked, but what could I do? I had to honor my contract and deliver my cake, I certainly couldn't afford to give them most of their money back just because they had grocery store cakes there.

I did tell the caterer who would be serving the cakes to make sure that if anyone asked that the wedding cake was done by me but the grooms cakes were grocery store cakes.

Luckily the bride let everyone know as she too was appauled at her new husbands tastes. He decided the night before to go buy them, and his best man set them up. She didn't even know they were going to be there until she walked into her reception. She apologized to me about it and told me she made sure people knew those cakes were not mine!

I had a local pizza spot that hosts birthday's order a cake from me for a child's birthday, because the dad that booked it said he needed a cake too, and they included the cake in the cost of the package. But when I arrived with the cake a man was walking in with a cake from the grocery store. I said oh they have 2 parties today, and the guy said I don't think so, we have the entire party room. And sure enough the dad forgot he told the pizza place to provide the cake. So 2 cakes for the birthday girl.

We can say it all we want, but customers LIE to get what they want!

indydebi Posted 16 Apr 2009 , 4:42pm
post #9 of 16

"My insurance and my attorney prohibit add'l cakes to be served with mine due to liability issues and reputation protection."

QueenOfSweets Posted 16 Apr 2009 , 5:21pm
post #10 of 16

Thank you to everyone for your input. Good to hear that my intuition isn't off on this one!

Debi - that's a great statement. Concise but perfectly clear.

MacsMom Posted 16 Apr 2009 , 5:58pm
post #11 of 16

I had a customer order a cake from me, saying she only needed it for 15 guests. The NIGHT before she came to pick it up, she asked me how big the cake was (in inches) because they needed to know how much cake to buy from the grocery store! I bit my tongue.

I couldn't help but wonder why she couldn't figure that out for herself if she was expecting it to feed 15 people already. icon_razz.gif

But yes, I am with Leahs. As kind-hearted of a person I am, and as muuch as I try to do what I can to help people meet budgets, I don't want my reputation ruined because guests thought a dry cake form another source was mine.

leah_s Posted 16 Apr 2009 , 9:36pm
post #12 of 16

My contract has a clause about no other cakes. The customer has to initial that clause (and sign the contract of course.)

And that clause clearly states that if I arrive and see someone else's cake there, I take my cake and leave and they don't get any $ back. All in writing and like I said, they initial it.

I'm not playin' about this.

clovely Posted 17 Apr 2009 , 11:02am
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacsMom

I had a customer order a cake from me, saying she only needed it for 15 guests. The NIGHT before she came to pick it up, she asked me how big the cake was (in inches) because they needed to know how much cake to buy from the grocery store! I bit my tongue.




I wonder if she saw somewhere (or by word of mouth) your per-serving, or a got a generic "customary" per-slice charge in her head and based the 15 servings on what she had to spend rather than how many guests she was planning to have.

People are weird. To the OP, I wouldn't be surprised if she intended to plop your 3D masterpiece right on top of a Walmart sheet cake either. If you know they're going cheapo on sheet cakes, I wouldn't agree to it. But, like some of the examples above, you can't really ultimately control what people are going to do. So what's a baker to do??

Mindy1975 Posted 17 Apr 2009 , 11:54am
post #14 of 16

O.K. SO you guarantee that there are no other cakes at the venue, but there would still be OTHER FOOD there. Is this just about worrying about your reputation in case there would be a "dry" cake there? or is this about liability with food born illness? We just keep talking about other cakes, other cakes, but no concern about other food at the venue. It doesn't make sense to me. I'm not saying that you should do a cake for someone that is going to have another one there, I'm just asking what makes the other cake there so liable to you, if there is a meal served??

peg818 Posted 17 Apr 2009 , 12:51pm
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mindy1975

O.K. SO you guarantee that there are no other cakes at the venue, but there would still be OTHER FOOD there. Is this just about worrying about your reputation in case there would be a "dry" cake there? or is this about liability with food born illness? We just keep talking about other cakes, other cakes, but no concern about other food at the venue. It doesn't make sense to me. I'm not saying that you should do a cake for someone that is going to have another one there, I'm just asking what makes the other cake there so liable to you, if there is a meal served??




I believe its more about your reputation then sickness. Frankly the chances of getting sick off of cake is minimum thats not to say it can't or doesn't happen but its much slimmer then getting sick off of say chicken that has been handled wrong.

Like some of the others i don't see a way to really control peoples stupidity, so i would charge major dollars for a 3d cake so either they would just get a larger cake or they don't order it in the first place.

MacsMom Posted 17 Apr 2009 , 3:14pm
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by clovely

Quote:
Originally Posted by MacsMom

I had a customer order a cake from me, saying she only needed it for 15 guests. The NIGHT before she came to pick it up, she asked me how big the cake was (in inches) because they needed to know how much cake to buy from the grocery store! I bit my tongue.



I wonder if she saw somewhere (or by word of mouth) your per-serving, or a got a generic "customary" per-slice charge in her head and based the 15 servings on what she had to spend rather than how many guests she was planning to have.




Yes, she saw another small cake I did at her friend's baby shower. Since I tend to be stuck in the mommy crowd, I rarely have to deliver so I don't see what's at the event--I don't put that clause in my contract (yet) becuase most of my cakes are for less than 60 people. icon_sad.gif

But the Extreme cake contest has me inspired to add moving parts and "smoke" and flashing lights and sirens... I can promote Extreme cakes and charge double!

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