Do You Accomodate Every Request?

Business By cakesweetiecake Updated 1 Sep 2009 , 2:38pm by cakesweetiecake

cakesweetiecake Posted 31 Aug 2009 , 2:41pm
post #1 of 11

I've always wondered about this and saw it being touched on in another thread. Just curious how business owners handle this. Do you try to accomodate every request? Or are there some things that you will do and simply wont do? I am aware that some business owners have carved out their niche and I definitely respect that. However, how do you handle it when a customer asks you to do something that you dont do or prefer not to do? Or if something doesnt fit into your "style"? What happens if, after trying to persuade that customer, the customer is still adamant about what he or she wants? Do you accomodate or possibly lose the customer?

I often see some of the big names like CakeGirls, Confetti Cakes, etc. and their are some things that you dont see on their website. Their cakes seem to have their signature "style". I am always curious about how they handle requests that simply dont fit into their "style". I wonder if they started out being doing more things that may not have fit their style and changed it as business grew. I hope I am explaining myself clear. lol!

I am not in business, but I often think about the possibilities. Right now, I bake for family. For the most part, I am accomodating. However, I wondered how would I approach this if I were in business.

10 replies
indydebi Posted 31 Aug 2009 , 3:18pm
post #2 of 11

If it's doable, I try to accommodate. And at the same time, I don't.

If someone asks for whipped cream icing. I don't sell whipped cream icing, so that's not do-able. (Kroger is 2 minutes down the street. Help yourself.) I don't sell taco's or hamburgers to go either, even tho' I DO have a commercial kitchen and I COULD make those things. But that's not what I do. Whipped cream icing is not a product I offer.

If the schedule is full and I just can't take an order for that day, then I don't do the order.

If they want something I cant do .... like pulled sugar ..... then it's not doable.

Obviously copyright characters are something that can' be done, but I detour those conversations to "here's what we CAN do".

But would I refuse to do a Sponge-Bob style of cake just because I personally think Sponge Bob is a stupid character? no. never. (and for the record, I LUV Sponge Bob! icon_biggrin.gif )

Would I refuse to do a cake style because it's not my personal taste? Can't think of an example where that would happen. Actually, when I get an off-the-wall request,I'm usually all excited about trying a different design! Thank god for those brides who don't want a standard scolls-n-ribbon cake! aaauuggghhh!!!

I LUV the brides who want to have fun with their cake. LUV the couples who opt for a sense of humor! A relationship that starts with laughter has a fun journey in front of them. I wish every one of my brides had the personality that wanted one of those "tacky toppers" that are being discussed on other threads! Those are the fun folks with a fun journey of life in front of them! thumbs_up.gif

littlecake Posted 31 Aug 2009 , 4:11pm
post #3 of 11

agree to all the above...and i won't do x rated, or really complicated designs on a tiny cake...i mean they'll ask for the mona lisa on a cupcake if you'll let them.

yiu can't let the customer run the show, cause they don't know cake, you kinda have to guide them...if they are stubborn...they can find another decorator to bully.

indydebi Posted 31 Aug 2009 , 4:42pm
post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by littlecake

or really complicated designs on a tiny cake...i mean they'll ask for the mona lisa on a cupcake if you'll let them.




Then you'll love my latest blog entry on "Less is more.... WORK!" http://cateritsimple.blogspot.com/

LaBellaFlor Posted 31 Aug 2009 , 4:53pm
post #5 of 11

No. I don't do what I know I can't do. I wouldn't do something that I know is gonna look really bad, but the client is insistent, but doesn't know better. I feel thats asking for a future problem. I don't do a cake mix or shortening based frosting, cause I don't make those. I don't do the fountain & bridges or greek pillar type of cakes, cause no, thats not my style and I'm not about to run out and buy those things. Don't get me wrong, I have done those cakes, back in the early '90's. This is up to your individul preference. You may be okay with doing everything, you may not be. I also believe not every cake designer is for every client.

indydebi Posted 31 Aug 2009 , 4:57pm
post #6 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaBellaFlor

I also believe not every cake designer is for every client.


Agree. I've referred a couple of folks to CC'er jillmakescakes because she does a great job on a certain style of cake.

sadsmile Posted 31 Aug 2009 , 4:57pm
post #7 of 11

I bet ALL the cakes they make don't make it into their website or book. They do so many they can pick the ones that best represent their style for their advertizing. But clients come with all kinds of things in mind.

jillmakescakes Posted 31 Aug 2009 , 5:11pm
post #8 of 11

Debi, are you talking about my naughty clients? icon_biggrin.gif

I have a saying that i use when talking to my brides and they see a cake design that they just hate they always ask "Who would want that for their wedding?" My saying goes "There is a cake for every bride and a bride for every cake"

Have I done cakes where I don't like to colors/design/motif? Yes
Are there things I won't do? Yes, but I don't think I could begin to name them.
When a customer is asking for something that just doesn't sound right, I try to steer them into a better direction. Most customers are grateful for the guidance.

Texas_Rose Posted 31 Aug 2009 , 5:43pm
post #9 of 11

I don't have a business, just bake for friends and family. There are things I have no interest in doing, and sometimes I don't.

For example, one of the neighbors asked me for a rectangle stacked cake, plain buttercream, no decorations, because she didn't want it to take any attention away from her world of warcraft statues that she was going to be displaying. I told her no, that she would be better off ordering a sheet cake from Walmart.

And my mom wanted a basket of flowers cake, with the basketweave on the sides. Those are pretty but I have no interest in making one...besides she wanted it because her mom used to make it 50 years ago. For family only I would have done it because of that, but with the size my mom wants and how many people will be seeing it, I'm going to do something that I will be proud of.

But hey, naughty cakes seem to be my specialty lately icon_razz.gif

costumeczar Posted 31 Aug 2009 , 8:42pm
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by LaBellaFlor

No. I don't do what I know I can't do. I wouldn't do something that I know is gonna look really bad, but the client is insistent, but doesn't know better. I feel thats asking for a future problem. I don't do a cake mix or shortening based frosting, cause I don't make those. I don't do the fountain & bridges or greek pillar type of cakes, cause no, thats not my style and I'm not about to run out and buy those things. Don't get me wrong, I have done those cakes, back in the early '90's. This is up to your individul preference. You may be okay with doing everything, you may not be. I also believe not every cake designer is for every client.




100% agree...If I was a portrait painter who worked in oils, and someone came and wanted a watercolor, I wouldn't do it. That wouldn't be my customer.

There are plenty of things I won't do, and I don't even feel a tiny bit of guilt about it. I try to refer people to other bakers if I can, if there's someone I know who does what they want.

I also feel no guilt about telling brides their idea isn't going to work, and they should do it a different way. If they insist on doing something I know won't work, they can go to someone else and have them try it, I'm not going to be responsible for that mess!

cakesweetiecake Posted 1 Sep 2009 , 2:38pm
post #11 of 11

Thanks a bunch! Your responses are very helpful!

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