Customer Asked To Decorate Her Own Cake...

Decorating By SarahsSweets2006 Updated 2 Jun 2009 , 1:21pm by cakesbycathy

SarahsSweets2006 Posted 1 Jun 2009 , 3:48pm
post #1 of 15

I had a customer want a 4-tier Topsy turvy cake due 2 days after I get home from vacation... meaning I had only ONE day to bake, stack, ice, fondant, decorate. I told her I really would love to do it but there is no way that I could in only one day. (I am not THAT fast... it takes me longer than one day for smaller cakes!).

Anyways, she emailed me back and asked if I could just bake and ice it and SHE would decorate it. I haven't gotten back to her but seriously, if I go through all the effort of baking and icing it... the decorating wouldn't take me THAT much longer. I would rather finish the cake myself bc my name will be attached to it. The decoration was going to be so simple too... So one with stripes, one with dots, one with diamonds, one with stars. (Plus... would she expect me to knock a lot off the price since SHE would be the one decorating it?????)

I am not sure what to do. I have thought about baking them before going on vaca, freezing them and having my BF take them out of the freezer in time for them to thaw so I could finish them when I got back (but I have never froze cakes like this before)... OR, since my plane comes in at 9:30pm... rush home and bake them that night and finish them the next day??? (Which... who wants to be baking cakes into the wee hours of the monrning after coming home from vacation????

I haven't gotten back to her yet. Not sure what I want to do with this one. I could really use the money but is it worth my sanity???

14 replies
tiggy2 Posted 1 Jun 2009 , 3:56pm
post #2 of 15

I would simply tell her I don't do business that way. I only sell completed cakes and I'm not available for this order or bake and freeze ahead of time if you really want to do it.

antonia74 Posted 1 Jun 2009 , 3:57pm
post #3 of 15

Sometimes you just have to say no. You can't take them all.

Just say, " I appreciate you wanting one of my cakes but I'm not available in time for your event and I don't offer semi-finished cakes. My reputation depends on the final product and I wouldn't be comfortable leaving that up to anyone else but myself".

Then offer her a few names/numbers of other bakers in your area. thumbs_up.gif

kakeladi Posted 1 Jun 2009 , 4:33pm
post #4 of 15

........thought about baking them before going on vaca, freezing them and having my BF take them out of the freezer in time for them to thaw so I could finish them when I got back (but I have never froze cakes like this before)............

Why not? It certainly is do-ableicon_smile.gif
And........what's wrong w/letting customer decorate your cake? Once it is out of your hands you cannot control what people do with/to them icon_smile.gif
If she pays you and you don't mind baking & icing it ahead of leaving go for it icon_smile.gif She can freeze it and do what she wants.
I realize most won't agree w/me.......the thinking 'it's your rep on the line' and all. I guess it depends on how well you know her and would she tell people you 'made the cake' or that she decorated it.

costumeczar Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 1:04am
post #5 of 15

I've gone on vacation before and had cakes due right after I got back, and I can tell you that it ruined my relaxation! You spend so much time thinking about what you have to do the minute you get back, you never really stop thinking about work. I'd say don't do it, because you'll just have a better time when you don't have to keep running down your to-do list in your head.

Deb_ Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 1:23am
post #6 of 15

Totally agree........you don't need that *monkey on your back* your entire vacation. I know if it were me, I'd be thinking about it the entire time.

What if your plane were delayed?


We once had a flight canceled til the next day because of some mechanical problem.......can you imagine if that happened and you couldn't get home to decorate the cake? Yikes!!!

kimblyd Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 3:32am
post #7 of 15

Forget about this cake...go on vacation and relax! That's what I would do.

icon_biggrin.gif

Kim

all4cake Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 3:47am
post #8 of 15

You've never frozen cakes like this before? Like what? A topsy turvy? If it's going to be cake with icing as filling, and time permits, and you're vacation is 1 week or less, I'd say do it ahead and freeze it. Do the baking, filling, crumbcoating, carving, crumbcoating (freeze, wrap, freeze) beforehand then when you return, thaw, fondant, and decorate and cash in hand. get it up to a workable point before you leave and there shouldn't be any reason you have to think about it on your vacation.....heck, even color the fondant before you leave, while the layers are baking....

diane Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 4:06am
post #9 of 15

i wouldn't do it. you are right...your name (and reputation) will be attached to that cake! i would not do it! the only cakes that leave my house, are the ones fully decorated and stamped with my approval!!! icon_smile.gif

Rylan Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 9:56am
post #10 of 15

If you think that the decorating process isn't time consuming then why not?

I usually make my cakes ahead of time and freeze it because I usually have to do a lot of preparing when we have parties at home. Just make sure it is properly stored in the freezer. You can also make your buttercream (if you are using one) ahead of time.

You can torte, fill, crumbcoat and let it rest before you go to sleep. When you wake up, start laying the fondant and do the decorating.

If you are not comfortable with this, then I'd suggest you let her know that you just can't do it.

GeminiRJ Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 12:04pm
post #11 of 15

Sorry, but I would definitely turn this down. Do you really need this stress? As dkelly mentioned, your flight could be delayed and not allow you to get home when you thought. This almost happened to me a couple months ago....the airport we were flying into was having a diaster drill and shut down a runway. Four people had to get off the flight, because our delay meant they'd miss their connecting flight. My sister and I barely made our connecting flight. We would've been stuck for 2-3 days had we not. (All other flights were booked...a convention was ending...LOTS of people trying to get home).

step0nmi Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 12:12pm
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by antonia74

Sometimes you just have to say no. You can't take them all.

Just say, " I appreciate you wanting one of my cakes but I'm not available in time for your event and I don't offer semi-finished cakes. My reputation depends on the final product and I wouldn't be comfortable leaving that up to anyone else but myself".

Then offer her a few names/numbers of other bakers in your area. thumbs_up.gif




BEST RESPONSE thumbs_up.gif

G_Cakes Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 12:18pm
post #13 of 15

Sounds like you have already answered your own question...just time to verbalize it into the smallest word with the most powerful meaning...NO.

aligotmatt Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 12:23pm
post #14 of 15

I would just say no!!

I had a guy call me last week, he said that he needed a cake for whatever Saturday in September. I was like, I'm so sorry, I'm booked. And he said, well, what do you mean 'booked'? What if I order the cake for Friday and pick it up myself? I said, that does not negate the 500 servings I have to put out on Saturday, I am not available to help you.

It was nice that he/they so wanted me, but sorry, I'm booked!

It's really nice that this lady really likes your cakes and wants you to be part of her event. She'll try anything she can to make that happen, but ya know, I don't think it's worth the stress on your vacation...

cakesbycathy Posted 2 Jun 2009 , 1:21pm
post #15 of 15

Financially at the moment, I am in a position where I really cannot afford to turn orders away. That being said:
I would turn it down.
It is okay to say no.

There are way too many variables here that would make all the stress worth it to try and pull it off.

It is okay to say no.

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