Order Of Things With A Cake Tasting?

Business By EatSomeCake Updated 15 May 2009 , 10:37pm by 350BakerStreet

EatSomeCake Posted 13 May 2009 , 10:51pm
post #1 of 15

I have my first cake tasting this upcoming Monday. Although I've done wedding cakes before I have never done them for non family/non friends. I'm a little nervous about the order of things. Not sure if the bride should taste the cakes first or last. I'm thinking first so she can decide if she likes the taste to see if she wants to even bother discussing the design of the cake. Should I send the cake contract with her or fill it out there. I don't want her to feel like I'm a car salesman if I have her do the contract then and there...I thought this would be easy but as the day gets closer I'm starting to play different scenarios of things going wrong in my head and getting panicky. Does anyone have any words of wisdom?

14 replies
Brownie1954 Posted 13 May 2009 , 11:05pm
post #2 of 15

I always let them taste the cake first. Then we discuss what they liked, and didn't like about them. From there we discuss the cake design. I get information like when/where is the wedding, the reception, how many guest are they having, the cost etc. I fill out the contract, and let them sign it. They have two weeks from the time they sign it, so contact me, and tell me if they are going to use me. They then have to send in half the cost of the cake. It isn't like a salesman to me. If you don't get them then, it's hard to get back with them.

indydebi Posted 13 May 2009 , 11:26pm
post #3 of 15

I also let them eat the cake first. I give them about 2 minutes alone, then come back in and tell them I'm going to take some notes (on my laptop) so I can send them the proposal based on what we talk about today.

While they're eating, I suggest combinations: "Try the white with the red raspberry ...that's my #1 seller". They can ask questions about different flavors, etc.

Then I remove the cake and plates and we talk about what cake/filling flavors they want, the set-up, the design, etc. By the time we're done, I have everything I need to do the cake. I email them the quote later the same day.

cakesonoccasion Posted 13 May 2009 , 11:33pm
post #4 of 15

I get the nuts and bolts out of the way first- talk about all the particulars, location, time, servings, design, toppers, rentals, etc. Then I let them taste. While they're tasting, I work up some prices. Then it's decision time. No one is going to come in and taste your cakes and then decide to leave without talking about design...even if they don't like the taste, they would not do that- they'd stick it out. So don't worry about getting it over with first for that reason. Besides- you need to go in confident that it's the best tasting cake they'll ever have icon_smile.gif Attitude is half the battle icon_smile.gif Good luck!

350BakerStreet Posted 14 May 2009 , 11:28pm
post #5 of 15

I'm concerned about this too. I'm setting up my "consultation room", right off the office and kitchen and I'm wondering how to set it up. Should I save a place to showcase a few of my cakes? How many people usually attend a tasting (Bride and MOH, Bride MOH and MOB?) How do you decretely do the math to give them a quote? Do you give them a quote then or later? Sorry so many questions...this is my first rodeo, lol!

indydebi Posted 14 May 2009 , 11:35pm
post #6 of 15

You can determine the number who attend. I limit mine to 4 "....because I only have 4 chairs". If you can only accommodate 2, then just tell them so.

If you have space to sit some dummies around, I would recommend it. Probably 9 out of 10 samplings, I'm pointing to various dummies, saying, "Yours will be that size".

I do all of my stuff on my laptop, so it's all formula driven. I can give them the exact price then and there, but I always email it to them afterward, so we both have copies. No need to be "discreet" about the price .... you're going to give them the number anyway, so it's not a secret. Only a couple of times have I had to tell them "Give me a couple of days ..... " because of a special food on their buffet that I had to get a price for.

350BakerStreet Posted 15 May 2009 , 2:55am
post #7 of 15

Thanks for answering my questions icon_smile.gif When I said discreetly (sorry for the horrid mispelling, lol) I just meant that I didn't want them to see me figuring out my cost and profit. I guess eventually I'll have a system that I can use to price out my cakes more efficiently, but right now I'm still figuring things out. Anyone know of a "Cake Boss" type thing for a Mac? Thanks again!

indydebi Posted 15 May 2009 , 2:25pm
post #8 of 15

once you get your basic cost figured, it should be the same for every single cake. Then do the math for a cost-per-serving average. For example, if it takes you $35 to make a 10" round, and the 10" round serves 38, then you know your cost is about $1/serving (round numbers). This should hold true no matter what size cake it is, so you won't have to figure your costs from scratch with every single cake.

Variable costs, such as gumpaste figures, fondant work, etc., can work the same way .... you can have a general idea of your costs ahead of time.

FromScratch Posted 15 May 2009 , 3:58pm
post #9 of 15

Does the Mac have a program like Excel? If it does you can use that to price your cakes. Do you have a price set per serving?

poohthebear Posted 15 May 2009 , 4:20pm
post #10 of 15

Indydebi, you are so helpful!!! Okay so I have never been asked to do a tasting before an order. Tell me how many cakes do you make up for a tasting? And what do you do with all the left over cake that you made? Do you ask them when they call what kind of cake they are thinking about?

indydebi Posted 15 May 2009 , 6:53pm
post #11 of 15
Originally Posted by poohthebear

Indydebi, you are so helpful!!! Okay so I have never been asked to do a tasting before an order. Tell me how many cakes do you make up for a tasting? And what do you do with all the left over cake that you made? Do you ask them when they call what kind of cake they are thinking about?

No, I don't ask them what flavor cake they want. I dont' view a tasting as a time when they get to sample everything on my menu to decide WHAT they want to order. It's a time for them to sample my baking skills so they can decide IF they want to order. My lemon cake tastes just as good as my white cake except it tastes like lemon.

I bake once for every 9 tastings. I bake an 8" square of white, choc and red velvet, then cut each 8" cake into 9 squares (3 columns by 3 rows). Each 8" cake will fit in a gallon zip lock bag and I throw them in the freezer. When I have a tasting, I pull one of each flavor out of the zip lock and use it for the tasting. So I have no leftover cake. One square is plenty for 2 and just enough for 4.

I serve these 3 squares of cake on a tray. Also on the tray is a dollop of various icings and fillings. They "cut-n-paste" various combinations.

mcdonald Posted 15 May 2009 , 7:03pm
post #12 of 15

I try to find out what type of cake the bride is interested in.. If nothing specific or they aren't sure, I make my three standby's, like Indydebi said. I make a white, red and lemon... then I put together say maybe three fillings and I just give them one icing... I make mine in mini cupcakes for the to select, and mix and match the fillings. I tell them I can hold no more than 4 people and that I need to know how many are coming so that I can set up enough. We eat then talk business.

mcdonald Posted 15 May 2009 , 7:05pm
post #13 of 15

I also usually have bottled water for each guest so they can have a drink between flavors. I also make up a small "to go" box with one of each flavor to take home... that way if the groom or the father of the bride wants to have a try , they can.. sometimes I send home two, it just depends on which family member(s) end up coming. I think it's a nice touch. It also allows me to attach my business card to something so that they will always have that with them.

poohthebear Posted 15 May 2009 , 7:13pm
post #14 of 15

You girls have great ideas! I was wondering how to do that Thanks! Ewe think I will make some of those square cakes and throw in the freezer so I can have a taste once in a while myself. icon_lol.gif

350BakerStreet Posted 15 May 2009 , 10:37pm
post #15 of 15

I like the idea of the 8" square cake...I will definitely use this. I think for now I will limit my tastings to 2 people and maybe charge a nominal fee for extra attendees, which could then be applied to their cake if they choose to order. I do have excel, but I suck at it, lol! I haven't worked out my prices yet because I'm still trying to figure out my recipes. I did make an excellent chocolate raspberry cake from scratch today, but I'm having to do a doc mix white cake for a wedding tomorrow. Still working on a good scratch white cake mix...boohoo.

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