I've never even been asked to provide cake samples, but this customer is ordering a sizeable wedding cake and wants samples. Because I'm not a commercial bakery, this could be a very involved process for me, depending on how many samples she wants.
Should I limit the number of samples I provide? Should I charge for this service (I'm thinking DEFINITELY!)? Any other tips/ideas regarding samples?
Thanks so much!
I bake from home and I provide samples, but I limit it to 3 cake flavors and 2 icing flavors; anything above that, there's a fee.
I do tastings once a month. If they miss their scheduled tasting, they have to pay for the next one, and it's $50. I offer a lot at my tastings compared to most, but its my choice to do that. And thats another thing, YOU decide how many flavors and what flavors they are. No one tells you what they want. You don't want to have to bake 10 variations of a cake and you always want to temain in control of your situation at home.
I tell them upfront that I sample what I have on hand, generally vanilla, chocolate and another flavor. I usually keep something in the freezer from extra batter. I also usually have a little leftover bc which you can flavor in a million different ways for filling options. I usually have the sleeve filling here as well.
I am a licensed home baker and if they want something specific then they pay, if they want more than one tasting they pay. I want to to gently suggest that you set some policies in place that will work for you. You will tweak it as you go along but if you don't set some boundaries there will be problems.
If you give the public an inch they will take a mile. Saves your sanity!
I would consider charging for tastings if others my area did too. No one here does, not even the fancy CIA graduate lady, so it would not go over well. You can always call around or check out websites and see what others are doing.
Just want to add that the purpose of a tasting is to get a feel for the quality of your baking, not to taste every flavor you could possibly offer. Let them know that other flavors are available. Certain flavors I do not sample like champagne cake for instance. I have to purchase and open an entire bottle of champagne for them to taste one cupcake. You want to think about stuff like that too. Definitely set some limitations.
Thank you so much for this advice, this is really helpful!!!
I charge $35. (Paid prior to the tasting) The fee will be subtracted from the total of the order if they book with me. Samples are my choice. I double wrap and freeze individual size servings of cake as well as spoonfuls of frosting/fillings when I have extra. I usually have 3 different cakes and 6 or 7 frosting.
AI bake from home (legal). It is not common in my area to charge for tastings, so I do not charge my brides for a tasting. I use whatever samples I have on hand. They do not get to pick what they try. This keeps my costs down which allows me to offer free tastings.
I usually have on hand 4 - 5 cake flavors, 5 - 6 fillings and my buttercream.