Still Trying To Figure Out Tastings

Business By Kitagrl Updated 2 May 2009 , 7:04pm by en-passant

Kitagrl Posted 27 Apr 2009 , 2:44am
post #1 of 20

Okay so a little while back I asked about tastings and several mentioned about having one weekend per month you scheduled them, so you don't have to keep pulling out cake, but just make tasting cakes once per month.

My question is....if you get someone who can't work within that date...do you just sacrifice the possible order, or do you work with the person?

To go on to say...if you work with the person, does that defeat the original intent of keeping all your tastings on one day or weekend?

I have gotten a few requests, one wanted sort of a last minute appointment (this weekend) and another one wanted one soon too...but I'm swamped with regular life this week and have several cake orders...so wanted to put appointments off until the end of the month when I have a little less busy week and can know ahead of time to prepare.

I guess my question is....how strict do you stick with the date/dates you planned to schedule tastings? Are you strict as so far as you are willing to lose an order over it?

Thanks in advance...

19 replies
__Jamie__ Posted 27 Apr 2009 , 5:03am
post #2 of 20

Ha! Had one this weekend...had a cancellation, and had a pick up tonight, called, left her detailed instructions on how to get here, missed part of Last Cake Standing, no call, she's a flake......arrgggh! But that's another story But it does have to do with why yes, absolutely stick to schedules. Had 5 couples show, probly booked them all. Yay for that part!

Mine are once every three months, for free. If you can't make the day, I can pack some up, you can pick it up no later than 24 hours later. No exceptions. You want a private tasting? It will cost.

I do not have time for flakes, no time for "can't make it again"....I'm not here to sit around and wait on you when I could be working on other peoples stuff that took the time to be polite and keep appointments and have deposits on the books.

Whew! Sorry....I'm not usually so heated, but our post and watching the hard work those girls went thru on the last episode of Last Cake Standing.....man, do people realize how much work this is?? Before we even actually make their cake for them?

Ok...done!

And yes, I will sacrifice an order. But if it was going to be a really high dollar job....I'd have to do some serious thinking first.

__Jamie__ Posted 27 Apr 2009 , 5:07am
post #3 of 20

And once every three months should fit any bride's schedule that is on the ball about planning. "Last minuters" are a heads up red flag warning about possible PITA situations as well....in my experience!

indydebi Posted 27 Apr 2009 , 1:12pm
post #4 of 20
Quote:
Quote:

Don't let your customers dictate your job.


LUV THIS!! thumbs_up.gif

With a catering schedule, I absolutely have to limit sampling days. My self-imposed policy is I will not do them on Sunday or Monday, my designated "days off". On Sunday, I'm wiped out from the catering weekend, and Monday is my day to stay home and clean my own house.

Exceptions? Sure! Out of state brides who are only in for the weekend, or I had one yesterday ... a bride who works 6 days a week. She booked her facility at the only place that would open up and meet her on a Sunday. They gave her my name and I did the same thing for her.

Don't ask them "when do you want to come in?" You ask them, "I have Wednesday at 2 or 4, and I have Thursday at 6 open ... which one works best for you?" (this is a great sales "trick" I learned YEARS ago and it's worked since day one.) It's not uncommon for me to also tell them, "My sampling calendar is getting full .... I'm now into the week of (3 weeks from now)...." Being busy with other customers is never a bad thing.

Kitagrl Posted 27 Apr 2009 , 2:07pm
post #5 of 20

I've actually had a couple out of state brides....one of them was rather last minute and I was like "Umm nope sorry way too booked this weekend." I gave them one Saturday later in the month...and then I did go ahead and accomodate the following Sunday for the one bride (same weekend).

Working from home, not only do I have to make sure my cake schedule is at least SORT of clear enough to fit in tastings, but I also have to make sure I leave enough time to have the house clean, AND make sure hub can watch my four boys.

I hate to lose orders over not having a shop or a more flexible schedule...on the other hand, I am sure I lose orders all the time not having a shop LOL and I'm doing okay anyway. Well would like more weddings. Of course. haha.

summernoelle Posted 27 Apr 2009 , 2:24pm
post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by __Jamie__

Ha! Had one this weekend...had a cancellation, and had a pick up tonight, called, left her detailed instructions on how to get here, missed part of Last Cake Standing, no call, she's a flake......arrgggh! But that's another story But it does have to do with why yes, absolutely stick to schedules. Had 5 couples show, probly booked them all. Yay for that part!

Mine are once every three months, for free. If you can't make the day, I can pack some up, you can pick it up no later than 24 hours later. No exceptions. You want a private tasting? It will cost.

I do not have time for flakes, no time for "can't make it again"....I'm not here to sit around and wait on you when I could be working on other peoples stuff that took the time to be polite and keep appointments and have deposits on the books.

Whew! Sorry....I'm not usually so heated, but our post and watching the hard work those girls went thru on the last episode of Last Cake Standing.....man, do people realize how much work this is?? Before we even actually make their cake for them?

Ok...done!

And yes, I will sacrifice an order. But if it was going to be a really high dollar job....I'd have to do some serious thinking first.




This is why I despise tastings. They don't show up, it's a huge PITA, GAAAHHHH I just hate them! I know it is terrible, but right now I am not even doing weddings because of tastings.

marmalade1687 Posted 27 Apr 2009 , 7:58pm
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitagrl

I've actually had a couple out of state brides....one of them was rather last minute and I was like "Umm nope sorry way too booked this weekend." I gave them one Saturday later in the month...and then I did go ahead and accomodate the following Sunday for the one bride (same weekend).

Working from home, not only do I have to make sure my cake schedule is at least SORT of clear enough to fit in tastings, but I also have to make sure I leave enough time to have the house clean, AND make sure hub can watch my four boys.

I hate to lose orders over not having a shop or a more flexible schedule...on the other hand, I am sure I lose orders all the time not having a shop LOL and I'm doing okay anyway. Well would like more weddings. Of course. haha.




Out-of-town brides are USUALLY the only people that I try to accommodate - that being said, they sometimes are only in town visiting their family on holiday weekends, when I am not available. I am not going to open my doors for a consultation on Easter weekend - nuh uh!!

jenmat Posted 27 Apr 2009 , 8:27pm
post #8 of 20

ughhh. I am getting to the point of hating tastings too! I have a 2 year old, and so I never do them until after 8pm, when she is in bed and I have a moment to clean the whirlwind that is my house! Then, after they leave, I still have cakes in the bakery, and have to be up at 6 or 7am with the little one, so I guess it goes without saying that they are a necessary evil. The worst ones are when you tell them they can bring up to a certain amount of people and then they arrive like clowns coming out of a car.... this is NOT a party!

I try to make it clear that although they are tasting my cake, I am seeing if they are a good "fit" too. I reserve the right to fire any client who is not holding up her end of the bargain, and they lose their deposit. And, if they decide that they want to have me do their cake, but they want to retaste flavor combos to "make sure," I've had to start charging per sample cake after the first tasting.

Venting DOES feel good! I love this place!

Kitagrl Posted 27 Apr 2009 , 8:37pm
post #9 of 20

Yeah I had three tastings on Saturday, two of which cancelled and one of which never confirmed. That was okay though, we ended up being too busy to have them, so it was just as well.

People tend to be so irresponsible sometimes though.

__Jamie__ Posted 27 Apr 2009 , 9:47pm
post #10 of 20

Just got a call 5 minutes ago.

Caller: Do you have pictures of cakes you've done?

Me: Absolutely, they're on my site, did you get my phone number from the site? (She said yes), so go to the gallery and look at them.

Caller: What flavors do you have?

Me: Again, they are listed on the same page as the contact info, and I can do just about anything you can think of.
I will be holding another tasting in a few months from now, so I'd be happy to schedule you in.

Caller: Oh, my wedding is in 3 weeks, (great planning girl!) I need to sample like today or tomorrow. And I already tried Walmart, and I kind of like them. (WARNING FLAG!)

Me: Sorry I can't accomodate your needs. Thank you for calling, and perhaps I can be of service at another time. Have a great day.

There was a bit more convo than what I actually wrote, but the PITA flags were flying alllll over the place, and wanting a free tasting for a wedding for 80 people....uhhh, no.

indydebi Posted 27 Apr 2009 , 10:13pm
post #11 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by jentreu

The worst ones are when you tell them they can bring up to a certain amount of people and then they arrive like clowns coming out of a car.... this is NOT a party!



I tell them "You can bring up to a total of 4 people ... because I only have 4 chairs."

jenmat Posted 27 Apr 2009 , 10:29pm
post #12 of 20

That's exactly what I tell them! Then when they pull up with more... they say, oh, so-and-so can stand.... right, then they are in the car on the way home saying, can you believe she made so-and-so stand!? Oh well, you take the good with the bad right?

LaBellaFlor Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 3:51am
post #13 of 20

So I have a question? A close friend of family (husband's childhood cousin's girlfriend & my friend) is on the anniversary committee of her company. Of course they want Ace of Cakes, fine, but my Friend is gifting the cake, how much? I told her you can't afford that cake for 150, I'll do it for you, but you have to get the ingredients & everything else. She said fine. She says they want a tasting, I said no, your not paying for the cake to be made. She said she's cool with that, cause she knows what my cakes taste like, but they want the tasting, not her. I said if YOUR gifting the cake, then you would be the only one needing a tasting, & they shouldn't have a problem with that. What should I do if they insist on a tasting? This is great advertising potential.

indydebi Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 10:27am
post #14 of 20

Free cake ... and they want to see if it's GOOD enough. Hmph!

"I only do tastings for cakes over $300. If you want me to generate an invoice for the actual price of this cake, so you can issue a check, then I'm happy to do a tasting."

GIft horse .... looking in the mouth .... you get it.

jenmat Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 12:33pm
post #15 of 20

I totally just dealt with this! I had a prestigious (aka snobby) charity organization call and ask me to do their table cakes for a black tie charity event, and I was flattered, and then thought it was good advertising. And 25 cakes aren't that much work.... THEN they wanted a tasting, then canceled last minute, then rescheduled, then wanted sketches of designs. THEN they were upset that I wasn't offering them cheesecake!
THEN- they upped the number to "no more than 30, but we'll put 32 just to be safe." I emailed them the week of to check numbers, and they're like, "oh, I forgot to tell you, we're up to 34-35 tables." I told them 32, that's it. So now they're peeved because their tables don't look right, and I'll probably get NO positive word of mouth advertising from them.
I guess I learned if you offer something for free, ALWAYS offer parameters before you commit. If they need to taste the cake, tell them you're busy, but you'd be happy to bake up a sample to send with your friend to work.

LaBellaFlor Posted 28 Apr 2009 , 2:38pm
post #16 of 20

Parameters, definitly parameters. My friend doesn't want the tasting & she is even concerned about them being PIA. So, I got a few big cakes coming up. if I have extra batter, they'll get samples then. Thanks guys! Yeah, my computer is back up!

ButtercupMama Posted 29 Apr 2009 , 9:06pm
post #17 of 20

Ay-yi-yi! These stories!!! Sampling to see if they want free cake?!

Well, I learned that if they are serious about ordering, they MAKE time to come in during my 2 days per week I offer appointments.
I don't care if your from out of town, or you're the President. I tell them they can come in whenever we are open and speak with us, browse albums, sample what's on the sample tray, and even book their cake. But if they want plated samples and an hour long appointment with a sketch, etc, they need to make an appointment during these two days.
They must have known there might be hitches involved in planning their wedding from another state. For some it's no problem, for others, they're horrified that you won't roll out the red carpet at their convenience because they aren't locals. But there are other bakeries in town that will, so let 'em go there! We can't be a good fit for everyone, and trying to be made me insane! But some brides take it very personally.

And, we offer 2 free sample plates... no matter how many show up. And I had eleven people come once...that's my record! Can anyone top that????

icon_lol.gif

__Jamie__ Posted 29 Apr 2009 , 9:23pm
post #18 of 20

Oh, and now today my trashy, yeah I said trashy chick who needs a sugar free cake said it tasted too "sugar free". Oh yeah. Welcome to my world. Still not in a good mood.....WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

karateka Posted 29 Apr 2009 , 10:22pm
post #19 of 20

I wish I knew what MY problem is. I do the once monthly for free thing, and a deposit that is refunded if you book with me for any other time.

I can't get a wedding order to save my arse! I've got some still booked from last year....but haven't booked a new one in ages. I'm starting to think it's my winning personality. Or my cakes. icon_razz.gif

Heaven knows I try so hard to be nice and accomodating, and bubbly. I admit, tho.....I hate doing them (tastings), so it's almost good riddance. Even though I like doing wedding cakes, I detest tastings. They do always show up late (up to 25 min) and don't seem to want to be there. I wish I knew what I was doing wrong. You girls seem to have it DOWN. My hat is off to ya... thumbs_up.gif

en-passant Posted 2 May 2009 , 7:04pm
post #20 of 20

Gah. What is UP with some of these customers? Let's hope they're not polluting the gene pool.

I had a couple of winners today, too.

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%