Home Bakers Do You Deliver Or Have Customers Pick-Up Orders?

Business By karenm0712 Updated 6 Oct 2009 , 6:39pm by jenmat

karenm0712 Posted 5 Oct 2009 , 8:56pm
post #1 of 20

I am torn on this...I am trying to build my client base and pick-up more orders/business. Right now my client base are co-workers, friends, or friends of friends. I have either been able to bring orders into work, have met half way, and had a couple of pick-ups from my home. I guess my dilema is that I really don't want people coming to my house to pick-up. Not that my house is dirty, it is not, but I am just uneasy about so many people that I don't know (hoping that business picks up) coming to my home.

What do you all do? I guess I could find a central location within the city for pick-ups? Should I just suck it up and allow them to come to my house?

Any advice/opinions welcome!


19 replies
leah_s Posted 5 Oct 2009 , 9:32pm
post #2 of 20

Wedding cakes I deliver. Pretty much everything else is picked up. I also do all consultations at home. We also have a Bed and Breakfast, so we not only host strangers in our home, we give them a key to the front door.

No problems.

And my phone number is all over the internet.

Deb_ Posted 5 Oct 2009 , 11:38pm
post #3 of 20

I do pretty much the same as Leah, I deliver Wedding and any cakes 3 tiers and over, but everything else is pick-up at my home.

My business is in my basement which is a walk-out above ground with a separate entrance.

So the customer doesn't come into my main living area at pick-up but I do all of my tastings/consults in my dining room.

veronica720 Posted 5 Oct 2009 , 11:52pm
post #4 of 20

I deliver everything or at least meet somewhere. I don't want strangers at my house.

I have heard plenty of stories of customers showing up unannounced because it is at their house. They also call at weird hours.

I actually am not allowed to have many customers coming around anyway per city zoning department, otherwise I won't be allowed to bake at home, well in my garage...lol

veronica720 Posted 5 Oct 2009 , 11:55pm
post #5 of 20

Also all cakes that require a consultation will be away from my home as well. There are lots of members that meet at coffee shops and stuff. We have a very small mall that has a seating area with small tables right when you walk in the door, so all meetings will be held there. Our starbucks tends to be very busy and it's further away anyway.

karenm0712 Posted 6 Oct 2009 , 12:19am
post #6 of 20

Thanks for the replies! I would prefer for customers come to my house and pick-up their orders as it would be easier for me, but I am funny about strangers coming into my home. I am not to the point of having strangers as customers, so for now I do not mind, but thinking of the future...

cas17 Posted 6 Oct 2009 , 2:28am
post #7 of 20

no home pick ups allowed in my town so i deliver (all wedding cakes) and most celebration cakes. the others i meet the customer in a shopping center parking lot near my neighborhood. the consultations are done in my home and i think the people as nervous as i am when they come to my home as neither of us really know the other, lol. but of course after a bit of chit chat and some cake samples everybody is more relaxed. dealing with strangers is just part of the biz and and when you do your biz out of your home....well....i guess you have to do what you feel comfortable with.

jammjenks Posted 6 Oct 2009 , 3:23am
post #8 of 20

I deliver wedding cakes and any other cake when delivery is requested and paid for. 99% of non-wedding cakes are picked up at my house.

Tastings are done at my dining room table.

mom2spunkynbug Posted 6 Oct 2009 , 5:07am
post #9 of 20

I offer free delivery for any cake in my city. All cakes outside of my city are delivered for a charge, which most people happily pay, usually because they have so many things to do, they would much rather have the cake delivered.

IF they don't want the cake delivered (a very small percentage with me), then I meet them at my local wedding referral business that I am a member of. They let me use their office anytime & have let me meet customers there too. Since they own their own business as well, it brings more people in to see what they are doing as well!

I would think meeting at a coffee shop or something would be good. I've even heard of people having their tastings there! (Not sure if you would need permission from the shop or how that works though.)

Good luck to you!

neelycharmed Posted 6 Oct 2009 , 11:21am
post #10 of 20

I only deliver wedding cakes.
the rest are picked up at my house. Its just me making cakes and
I have too many orders to be out delivering cakes so its just easier for them to come to me.

Kapelipl Posted 6 Oct 2009 , 12:32pm
post #11 of 20

I was told by my local zoning comission no customers can come to my house - so if you haven't you might want to check with your zoning. Some areas do not want the increased traffic on the streets. So I have to deliver everything.

Kitagrl Posted 6 Oct 2009 , 12:43pm
post #12 of 20

They come to my house or I charge for delivery (or include local delivery with more expensive cakes).

I try to watch for their arrival so they don't have to actually come in my house, I take it out to them, although I do have occasional tastings here, and sometimes they do go in.

I take deposits though, I figure nobody is going to pay me a deposit to come over and mug me. haha. I just don't like it because I feel its not too professional (esp when my kids come out)....but its all I can do right now.

Wesha Posted 6 Oct 2009 , 12:52pm
post #13 of 20

I do both. When the customer comes to my house, I am never alone. My boyfriend and our 2 boys are there.

terrig007 Posted 6 Oct 2009 , 1:06pm
post #14 of 20

Where I'm at in VA they don't allow at home consultations or pick ups at the residence. I'm not in business yet but I've checked into it though through my county and that is the rule. I have noticed though that the Palm Reader has a sign & has people into the home though.
On the flip side I've seen people at Safeway with cake samples doing consultations in their little area. I will have to scout for a place when I finally get my act together and open.
Leah, I love to go to B & B's. Haven't been since we had kids though & I miss it.

Tellis12 Posted 6 Oct 2009 , 1:31pm
post #15 of 20

Bigger cakes I deliver. And if sometimes I meet people at Starbucks to give them the cake. But other times I just have them come to my house and watch for them so they don't need to come into my house. There's nothing wrong or dirty about my house, its just my space and I want to keep it that way!

Uniqueask Posted 6 Oct 2009 , 1:34pm
post #16 of 20
Originally Posted by Kapelipl

I was told by my local zoning comission no customers can come to my house - so if you haven't you might want to check with your zoning. Some areas do not want the increased traffic on the streets. So I have to deliver everything.

Me too, that is because I live on a busy street, and my driveway is kind weired, backing out right into traffic, I am still trying to find a commercial kitchen that I can rent from, and where I live it is hard. I have not start selling cakes yet though, I am still trying to get other things approve first, but zonning was my first step.

Loucinda Posted 6 Oct 2009 , 1:40pm
post #17 of 20

I deliver most large cakes, but others are just picked up here at my home. I also do all my tastings here at my kitchen table. I think it helps folks feel more comfortable with a "home business" if they can SEE how my house/kitchen area looks. I have never once had an issue with someone coming unannounced - all of my pickups/tastings are by appointment only.

CarolAnn Posted 6 Oct 2009 , 1:46pm
post #18 of 20

I'm 12 mi out in the country from the town I do everything in so I deliver if it's within that city. I don't ask people to come clear out here. I've had people come here for consultations and I've met them in town. I met a bride and her mom last Sunday at Wendy's about a wedding cake. It was casual and comfortable for us all. Works for me. I am charging $30 for delivery/set-up/cut&serve because the wedding is 30 miles from my area.

sweetcakes Posted 6 Oct 2009 , 2:27pm
post #19 of 20

i too live about 12 miles from town, i have people pick up their cakes between a certain time, so i know to expect them and im not waiting around all day for them. I do however carry the cake to their car for them. I dont want them tripping or slipping because they cant see where they are going. i also carry business liablitly insurance that covers slips and falls on my property amongst other things. What i dont do is invite people in if they just show up on the door, like a general customer wanting to discuss and order a cake, everything is by appointment (not that i have had that happen yet!) If someone wants one of your cakes, i find they dont mind travelling. im always surprised to find out where they have driven from to get to mine, amazing!

jenmat Posted 6 Oct 2009 , 6:39pm
post #20 of 20

Most of my first customers came from the hospital where my husband works, so I offer free delivery there Mon-Fri at 12pm, or Sat at 4:30pm, or they are welcome to pick it up from me. I too live out in the boonies, and most people pick the first option. I wish we would have built in town so I don't have to deliver, but the country is so peaceful! Next year I hope to aim a marketing campaign at the people in the area- that way they WANT to pick up cakes from me!

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