I've been contacted a few times by a couple getting married in December, and they just scheduled a cake tasting for Sunday. While talking about a design they'd mentioned (so I could figure out some more specific pricing), he says, "So we've got this lady who will make some cupcakes for us, so we were thinking of just getting a small wedding cake and then the cupcakes too."
Uh-oh, not liking the sound of other cake around too much... Before I can even say anything else, he continues:
"So she's going to make all these cupcakes, but we were wondering if you could do the decorating on them anyway..."
Uh, no. I said something about legalities and not being able to do that, all true things. I couldn't on the spot think of a good way to say, "I am NOT putting my name and my yummy frostings/fillings on Aunt Matilda's nasty cake!" Now, I have NO REASON to think it is nasty, but it's not MY cake, so REGARDLESS, I would have no idea what I was dealing with.
Anyway, they were okay with that, and I did mention that making ONE BIG GRAND CAKE would actually be cheaper per serving, since the cupcakes would all be individually decorated, but the cake would need fewer overall embellishments... So we'll see how the tasting goes...
I actually had someone ask me the same thing - but it was more like, if we help you, will you cut your price?? Or, if we bake everything, will you decorate them? You are so right - no. You have NO idea what you are working with. What would make anyone think that's okay? Even before I started doing cakes, I would never have thought that you could ask someone that. So weird! It will be interesting to see what they have to say, and what they end up with. Good luck!
Sarcastic comeback...virtual only...
"Sure I'll decorate the cake you bake, I charge $125 per hour for my services. The cake you are wanting takes 20 production hours to accomplish plus there is a fee for decorating on a cake that I didn't make, that fee is $25 per tier, you have a 4 tier cake...so the price of my services to decorate your already baked cake will be $2600... Oh I almost forgot...there is a delivery fee of $1 per mile driven...your venue is 40 miles from my shop so $80 delivery fee as well. Final total $2680. Will that be cash or credit card?
Whenever someone asks me something like that I always just say "I'm sorry but for legal reasons, licensing, insurance, etc. I can only provide a product that I made from start to finish". They generally don't have a comeback for that since they have no idea what the health department rules are or what my insurance policy says and since it's "the man" saying I can't do it and not me they don't get mad.
Eeeeewww... I hope the cupcakes aren't full of dog hair. I wouldn't do it, just for that reason. You don't know who made them, where they came from, etc. You have to be violating some kind of health department regulation somewhere in there if you do it...
I wouldn't even give a reason that relates to health regulations or anything like that. I think a polite "no, I'm sorry, I only provide products that I produce from start to finish" is sufficient. If you do it with a smile and a cheery sort of voice I'm sure you won't loose the customer (no one in their right mind would accomodate that request).There is no reason to be rude, or sarcastic, or to get insulted. Some people just don't know any better...and perhaps think they will get some kind of bargain. I would just politely say "No".
I recently had the same sort of weird request. Only it was someone i went to school with asking me to decorate a cake that she baked for her son. She said she "wanted to save me time and her money". Only she wanted a sculped lego cake, and says "oh i already have the block pans! you just decorate then with that good icing you make." luckily i already was full for that day, else i didn't know what else to tell her. She's always saying she can't cook, so how was i supposed to decorate whatever lumpy cake she brought me??
Final total $2680. Will that be cash or credit card?
If I were to charge a fee that big, I would say cash only. That check might bounce!
I can't believe people even ask if you'll decorate their already baked cake. That is so dumb!
I was nice, and I also explained that the decorating itself WOULD cost as much as if I'd just made the whole dang cupcake. But nicer.
I told the story to my non-caker family, and they were aghast that anyone would even THINK of asking such a thing! My construction worker brother was like, "So, it's the ol '$15 per hour if I do it', and '$20 per hour if you help' thing?"
When I worked in the bakery one of the bosses (the one that was a real jerk) told me that he had a friend that owned a pizza shop and he was getting married. He claimed to have the worlds best recipe for Carrot Cake, and wanted to bake the cake, but bring it to us to be iced and decorated by us (me).
So, in he comes with 5 single layer tiers of carrot cake, from 6" to 14". Each cake was from 1/2' to 1" thick. I told the guy there were no promises-I wasn't a magician.
What a disaster......all I could do was stack those horrible, dried up, uneven layers, iced and add borders and a few flowers. No room for anything else.
I told the boss that day to not associate my name with that train wreck, and to not agree to do that again, unless he planned to do it himself.