Do These Bakers Really Have A Clue?

Business By cakesdivine Updated 18 Aug 2009 , 12:26am by indydebi

cakesdivine Posted 17 Aug 2009 , 2:38pm
post #1 of 20

This weekend I had a sampling and the girl handed me a photo of the cake she wanted but in BC instead of fondant . The cake fell into my level 1 catagory for cake and she was wanting 2 cakes (bride & grooms cake) totally to serve 300 to 325 people. I quoted her a price of $979 total for both cakes and offered her the top tier recreation a year later for anniversary which she seemed elated with. I noticed on the photo, hand written at the bottom was a note from a local illegal who quoted her $351 for not only the 2 cakes but she was throwing in an additional full sheet cake as well! icon_eek.gif

I asked her about the quote and she said the lady quoted her that but they hadn't been able to get her to call them back because all the other bakers in the area were quoting around the same price as me and that it concerned her that maybe the lady didn't know what she was doing. She did say that my cake and icing were much better tasting than the other bakers they had had appointments with. Hopefully she will book me but her wedding is 9 months down the road and she told me she wasn't going to book until 6 months out...so why sample so early then? icon_confused.gif

I am reimplementing my charge for samplings and crediting the fee if they order from me. It is just plain too much work. Also, thinking about doing the once a month tasting event for free and if you want a different time then you pay for the sampling. ugh....

Thanks for letting me vent thumbs_up.gif

19 replies
Deb_ Posted 17 Aug 2009 , 2:43pm
post #2 of 20

Yeah, that's unbelievable.

Sometimes I wonder about those other quotes that these couples throw out there. It wouldn't surprise me if they wrote that # on the bottom of the picture just to get a reaction from you.

Doug Posted 17 Aug 2009 , 3:36pm
post #3 of 20

and be sure to educate them about what Texas, which is very strict, says is legal and is not legal and the possible problems that could cause for them.

CakeForte Posted 17 Aug 2009 , 3:53pm
post #4 of 20

I was thinking about doing the same the CD. It took me 4 years to get my food permit b/c that i how long it took to find a rental kitchen I could afford. The sampling fee will definitely weed out the window shoppers.

indydebi Posted 17 Aug 2009 , 4:12pm
post #5 of 20

$1 a serving (or less, when you consider the "thrown in" sheet cakes). I would say "can you believe it?" except I was buying cake supplies and I overheard a new cake shop owner saying she charged $0.65/serving. icon_surprised.gif Then I found out where her shop is and it's NOT in the low rent district, if ya know what I mean! So yeah, hard as it is to believe, I can believe it.

They have no clue.

bettinashoe Posted 17 Aug 2009 , 4:40pm
post #6 of 20

Maybe it's just me (probably) but I dread doing weddings. I absolutely love decorating wedding cakes but brides and grooms can be so difficult to deal with and expect so much for so little. I just turned down a wedding where the bride said they were considering Wal-Mart (first clue) but loved my cakes. She then said it was just a simple wedding cake for 150, three tiers with red and black roses all over it. I didn't even ask what she had budgeted for the cake and just told her that she should probably go with her first choice. I would love to do a red and black wedding cake but am not going to compete with Wal-Mart on price or (lack of) quality. Other special order cakes don't cause nearly the problems as the wedding cakes. I just don't understand, this is such an important event for a new couple.

indydebi Posted 17 Aug 2009 , 5:11pm
post #7 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by bettinashoe

She then said it was just a simple wedding cake for 150, three tiers with red and black roses all over it.




Simple.

For 150 people.

With roses.

ALL over it.

In two colors.

And they just HAPPEN to be the two colors that are the hardest to make.

Simple.

Why don't they just come out and say "Cheap" instead of camoflauging it with the word "Simple". icon_confused.gif

"Here's what I want," she said, holding her hand above her head. "And here's what I want to pay," she added, holding her other hand about 2 feet off of the floor. "That should be SIMPLE to do right?" icon_confused.gif

bettinashoe Posted 17 Aug 2009 , 5:20pm
post #8 of 20

My sentiments exactly, Debi. I did let her know, before I declined, that black and red are the two most difficult colors to work with although they will make a beautiful cake.

cakesdivine Posted 17 Aug 2009 , 6:15pm
post #9 of 20

I had to laugh at my other sampling this weekend. She was having a very small wedding under 50 guests and of course said "I want just a basic cake with Mendi henna designs all over it" I informed her that those intricate time consuming designs were not basic and in fact bumped the cake up from my basic level to the top level 3 in design cakes, and further because her cake was under 100 servings her price would be $11.75 per serving with fondant and that design.

Oh and did I mention that the first bride brought a very unruly 3 year old to the sampling who ran around my consultation room pulling items off racks and then ran into the kitchen area! I was p-o'd!

bettinashoe Posted 17 Aug 2009 , 6:27pm
post #10 of 20

Did I mention, I dread weddings? icon_biggrin.gif

neelycharmed Posted 17 Aug 2009 , 6:28pm
post #11 of 20

You gotta love the "its a simple cake"... if its that easy- go ahead and make it yourself! lol
I hear that about 8 out of 10 cake orders." simple"

I would feel bad sometimes if they couldn't afford it but now, it doesn't bother me at all because I know how much my time is worth...
again with a quote" champagne taste on a beer budget"
icon_smile.gif
Jodi

bakesuzy Posted 17 Aug 2009 , 6:56pm
post #12 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by neelycharmed

You gotta love the "its a simple cake"... if its that easy- go ahead and make it yourself! lol
I hear that about 8 out of 10 cake orders." simple"

I would feel bad sometimes if they couldn't afford it but now, it doesn't bother me at all because I know how much my time is worth...
again with a quote" champagne taste on a beer budget"
icon_smile.gif
Jodi




hahaha icon_lol.gif i like the go ahead and make it yourself part! So true!

Doug Posted 17 Aug 2009 , 7:04pm
post #13 of 20

I'd like to have a simple:

plumbing repair ($800 to replace a busted water heater -- oh ya, had to put in new electrical wiring and an expansion relief system to get up to code -- water heater was just $120)

a/c repair -- turned into replace the whole unit! $10K

car repair -- supply your own horror story!

----

don't tell me the cake is simple! I'll be the judge and you'll pay the price I set.

DianeLM Posted 17 Aug 2009 , 7:12pm
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by neelycharmed

You gotta love the "its a simple cake"... if its that easy- go ahead and make it yourself! lol
I hear that about 8 out of 10 cake orders." simple"

I would feel bad sometimes if they couldn't afford it but now, it doesn't bother me at all because I know how much my time is worth...
again with a quote" champagne taste on a beer budget"
icon_smile.gif
Jodi




Hehe... I was having the same thoughts talking with a client last week. She's been ordering from me since the beginning, so she's seen how my prices have spiked over the years.

She just wants something SIMPLE. Ya know, just a SIMPLE Tiffany box... with a bride sitting on the box or a veil draped over the box... just something SIMPLE to match the invitation. Only 20 guests, so very SIMPLE.

Good thing we don't have video phones. It was all I could do to contain my laughter every time the word SIMPLE flew from her lips.

I was terribly tempted to suggest she make it herself, but instead considered it a compliment that such a cake should be SIMPLE for me to pull off (and therefore not necessary to charge much). heehee... So much for the compliment. *sigh*

cncgirl00 Posted 17 Aug 2009 , 7:42pm
post #15 of 20

I was going to make a cake for a couple at church. They found out that I do cakes as a hobby and make them for family and close friends. She wanted a "simple" cake: 4 tiers covered in fondant, quilted, a small candy pearl put at each quilt intersection that I would have to hand paint the color she wanted (she had already purchased these pearl candies on sale), Red roses for topper and scattered on the other cakes. Simple, right.....

I didn't make this cake. I was 6 months pregnant and used my morning sickess not to do this.

bakesuzy Posted 17 Aug 2009 , 8:00pm
post #16 of 20

hahaha! i just recieved an email for a quote - wait let me copy and paste it here...(please note that i am from South africa our currency is in Rands) - (1.00 $ = -/+ R 8.00)
Ok this is the email i recieved :

i was wondering how much it would cost to get you to make a really big cake(i was thinking a fewecakes just iced with icing together) for my mothers birthday on the 29th of August, i've seen some of your cakes and they look wonderful. please get back to me.

So i replied, but not really understanding what is meant with "(i was thinking a fewecakes just iced with icing together)"
i told her that cakes are done in tiers and how much a cake would cost... saying that the minimum is R10.00 a slice so a cake which will serve a 100 people will be R1000 = $ 80(cheap i know)


An this is what she replies:

yes, tiers is the word i was looking for. ok the theme of the party is the 80s cross indian. strange but there you go. the cake will be for between 60-70 people. big cake. and my budget is R200, so if you can't do it for less than that its fine. it has to be chocolate and no mazipa, i know its easy to shape with but gross. anyways, i was thinking a butter icing in different colour sploges.

So NOW I AM THINKING THIS SOUNDS MORE LIKE SOMEONE WHO IS PLAYING A PRACTICAL JOKE ON ME!!!
DONT KNOW WHAT TO THINK...

__Jamie__ Posted 17 Aug 2009 , 8:03pm
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesdivine

Also, thinking about doing the once a month tasting event for free and if you want a different time then you pay for the sampling. ugh....




Works like a charm! Ya know, I think people tend to take these much more seriously. I don't know. Maybe cause there are other people there, so they are behaving?!?!? But either way, if someone does flake....eh, it's not like I wasted an afternoon, I took care of other people too!

missmeg Posted 17 Aug 2009 , 8:19pm
post #18 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by neelycharmed

You gotta love the "its a simple cake"... if its that easy- go ahead and make it yourself! lol
I hear that about 8 out of 10 cake orders." simple"



No, you see "simple" is the wedding cake I'm doing in September. Three tiers (6/8 rnds, 10 square) with separator plates between the 6" and 8". BC iced in the merest hint of blue, then silk hydrangas placed around it. They weren't interest in icing flowers of any kind, and I don't do real flowers. So simple, my 7-yo daughter could probably do it. But hey...if that's what they want and they're willing to pay me my price, who am I to quibble over silk flowers icon_wink.gif?

dandelion56602 Posted 17 Aug 2009 , 10:10pm
post #19 of 20

cakesdivine, in the future you might include a clause (& I have seen it on other websites) that no children are allowed & also 2 guest (so the bride & 1 other person). After all the cake is the bride & groom's not mama, MIL, bridesmaids, coordinator, etc. Me personally I wouldn't have a problem asking them to come back when they find a baby sitter. I've had experience w/ other people's kids at my house. have my own, but they're taught how to act!

I too had a request for a simple cake. It was really. White cake, icing & a ribbon decoration around the bottom. Wanting to serve about 125, but their budget would only allow $1/serving. I simply explained that it takes time--on many levels, electricity, water for cleanup, not to mention ingredients, etc. Then I went on to explain to her that if someone did it for less that they were practically giving her a cake & that she should be very grateful (& I knew the only other quote they got was for $2/serving). So, it kinda ticked me off but I was grateful too!

indydebi Posted 18 Aug 2009 , 12:26am
post #20 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesdivine

Oh and did I mention that the first bride brought a very unruly 3 year old to the sampling who ran around my consultation room pulling items off racks and then ran into the kitchen area! I was p-o'd!




My pre-written, cut-n-pasted email that confirms the consultation appt includes the phrases:

You are welcome to bring up to a total of four people (seating limitations).
Since this appointment can be lengthy, we dont recommend bringing children as a catering facility is not a very entertaining place for them to try to sit quietly while mom/dad conduct a business meeting.
You should plan about an hour for this appointment.

I use the term "business meeting" and I tell them to carve out an hour of their time to devote to ME. I think this sends a message about how serious I take these appts.

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