Do you all charge for your tasting/consult? If you are a home baker do you have them come to your home or do you meet them somewhere?
I don't charge for a consultation (with samples), but I do have restrictions. I do wedding cake consultations, and only very rarely a celebration cake (only if it is huge).
I have a storefront so they come to me.
Here's what I have learned through CC about tastings.
Most people don't do them unless the order will be over $100.
Most people don't charge for the tasting. If the person doesn't show up, then they charge a fee the next time.
People who do charge fees charge around $25. If the person books the cake with them, they will apply the $25 to the price of the wedding cake.
Most people don't specifically bake the flavors that the bride and groom are interested in. They bake what they have on hand (or in the freezer).
I think that's everything.
I don't charge, one great way to get out into your community is find local events, library's have day reading where most mothers show up with kids, and night time school events have worked well. I have also choosen to find some charity event where i will donate up to 75 slices for free and have them pay for the rest. This will at lease pay for the up front cost i had to take on.
hope this is helpful
I run a legal cake business out of my home and yes I have them come to my house. I think it helps that they can see that my house is neat and clean and my kitchen is set up very professionally. I do charge for tastings. Since I do this out of my home I do one on one personal tastings with the bride and groom rather than an open house style. I am also still small so I don't do tastings very often at all. Most of the people that come to me have had my cakes before. When I do a tasting I charge $25.00 and they get two 6" cakes with their choice of flavors and filling. The rest I give them in a box to take home with them for their parents or whomever to taste. I do two 6" because I don't do tastings often enough to have several samples and I'm not very good at freezing cakes. If they decide to book with me then I deduct the $25.00 off the total of their cake and if they don't then at least I was reimbursed for what I made them. It has worked out pretty well for me. I also offer brides the option of just meeting with me for a consultation if they don't want to pay for the tasting. A lot of times, once they meet with me and decide they like me and my ideas they will go ahead and order the tasting cakes to try. They either come back and try them there or I will box them up for them to just swing by and pick up. So all that rambling just to say yes I charge for tastings and yes I do them from my house.
Yes I bake from home, yes I charge for tastings (30 euros, applied to cake cost if they book), and I go to meet them in their own home or at a swanky cafe in town. I don't have them to my home because I live in a small apartment and I have 2 kids who I would have to disperse somewhere, usually with a fight/and or costing me money! My eldest, with all his delightful piercings, would frighten the life out of anyone should they see him, so it's best they don't encounter him ! I did a tasting at home once and it was way too stressful, so no longer!
I'm not a home baker (I'm not baking anywhere full time at the moment), but when I did have my own cake biz (and when I re-open, whenever that happens lol), I DO charge for tastings. I will have a tasting/consultation for any type of order (I do have an order minimum, so I don't deal with small-change cakes anyway). The cost of the consult will be applied to the balance if you book with me. I have a standard set of tasting flavors--nothing custom. What they are also paying for is my time and design services, not just the tasting.
I charge $20 for tastings and put it towards the final cost of the cake if they book with me. So far, I haven't had any complaints about this and they all seem to like that the tasting cost is included towards the final cake price.
If they want me to make certain flavors for them, I give them a deadline to get the list to me. If they don't make the deadline, then they get what I make. If they don't ask for specific flavors, they get what I make
Thanks for your help. I am just not sure if I feel comfortable inviting strangers into my home or going to their homes. I never even thought about my kids having to leave! Great point! I like the meeting at a cafe idea.
After seeing what you all do I think it makes sense to charge for the tasting.
I also work from home, but I am a member of a local wedding referral business, and that membership allows me use of their office anytime that I need it, so I have all my meetings there.
I do custom tastings. I allow them to choose up to three flavors of cake and up to three flavors of icing. I make a dozen cupcakes (4 of each flavor), and that allows up to 4 people to come to the tasting. If only 2 (or I've even had just the bride come) come, then they take the rest home.
I charge $50 for the tastings & apply half of that to the cake if they book. If they want to just discuss everything without a tasting, then it is free.
Hope that helps!
Thanks so much for all of your comments. I love this site. It just helps so much to see and hear how others do things. Especially when you are just starting out.
mom2spunkynbug, I looked at your photos and Wow! They are beautiful. [/quote]
Don't know why that quote is on there. I'm jut clickin' all over the place tonight!
I forgot to say that I don't charge for consultations without a tasting, those are free for up to an hour. I've actually had 2 brides this year book without a tasting (and one pay me 500 euros up front at the consultation!) - they just loved the look of my cakes and that's what mattered most to them - I like those brides lol!
Thank you sweet-thing! I haven't even uploaded any photos since February, lol!
I agree, this is the best place to come to for cake & cake business questions! (and for lots of other things too, lol!)