What Happens When Your Sick?

Business By Cathy26 Updated 29 Oct 2009 , 11:55pm by veronica720

Cathy26 Posted 18 Oct 2009 , 12:14pm
post #1 of 32

I only cake part time so this hasnt been an issue yet but say i had a wedding cake order and i got a bug - what would happen? i always wondered this - do you refund the deposit and recommend other bakeries or what? what if the bride is left without a wedding cake!!

also, as i am in the process of looking at giving up my ful time job and opening a cupcake cafe/cake shop as the main baker and owner of the business what would happen if i was sick for a week?

This is mainly addressed to all you full time bakers particularly those who have no staff. with the cupcake cafe i would employ part time staff but as i would expect to get a lot more wedding cakes this is a real concern since it is just me! is there insurance, etc that covers you for stuff like this and has this ever happend to you?

thanks in advance xoxo

31 replies
kmoores Posted 18 Oct 2009 , 12:43pm
post #2 of 32

I've had this happen to me just recently! I don't have any help so what I did was work on only what I had on the books and didn't take any more for the 2 weeks I was out of commission. I pissed off a whole lot of customers but that's all I could do! If your going to be running a cafe and have part time staff, you could do the major stuff (ie wedding cakes) and not take any more orders. The staff should be able to handle the other things that come up.

JMHO

Krista

Lenette Posted 18 Oct 2009 , 1:11pm
post #3 of 32

I know other people here have recommended having another decorator you can call on. That is not an option for me at this point and recently a bride didn't book with me for that reason because I am a 1 woman show.

I hope you can find a solution that works for you.

leah_s Posted 18 Oct 2009 , 4:24pm
post #4 of 32

I just power through. Before you go into any wedding business, you must realize that nothing - nothing - can go wrong with the product or service you provide. If you booked a wedding cake, nothing short of your own death can prevent the cake from being there.

That said, you're smart to try to figure out a back up plan before you go into the biz.

sewlora Posted 18 Oct 2009 , 4:34pm
post #5 of 32

I'd recommend wearing a face mask from the drug store... just so you aren't spreading the virus.

rvercher23 Posted 18 Oct 2009 , 4:37pm
post #6 of 32

I had this happen to me recently. I have vertigo, which comes and goes all the time. Most of the time I just work through it, I have learned to live with it. But recently I was so sick I couldnt even get up out of the bed without falling over or throwing up. I had a baby shower cake scheduled a week and a half away, I thought I would be over by then, but then a week before the event, I was still not better, so I had to call the lady and cancel. I did recommend someone who could do it for her, and they did and everything worked out. But yeah, it definately helps to have a back-up plan.

Cakepro Posted 18 Oct 2009 , 4:48pm
post #7 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by sewlora

I'd recommend wearing a face mask from the drug store... just so you aren't spreading the virus.




Frankly, I'd be disgusted if I went to pick up a cake and the person who made it had a cold or flu.

If you *must* work on the cake while you are ill, you ABSOLUTELY should wear a mask, and wash your hands very well and frequently! People who are immunocompromised could eat your cake, and a virus could kill them.

Think beyond the money.

Ruth0209 Posted 18 Oct 2009 , 5:15pm
post #8 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cakepro

Quote:
Originally Posted by sewlora

I'd recommend wearing a face mask from the drug store... just so you aren't spreading the virus.



Frankly, I'd be disgusted if I went to pick up a cake and the person who made it had a cold or flu.

If you *must* work on the cake while you are ill, you ABSOLUTELY should wear a mask, and wash your hands very well and frequently! People who are immunocompromised could eat your cake, and a virus could kill them.

Think beyond the money.




Yes, I have to agree. Having a non-contagious condition that prevents you from working is a lot different than baking a cake while you have the flu or other communicable illness. Frankly, as a customer I wouldn't be very comforted at all by a mask and frequent hand washing.

It's probably a good idea to know other bakers who could take over for you. You might lose money on this kind of situation. I don't know of any insurances besides long-term disability that protect your income, and that's only if you're totally and permanently disabled. You need to build your own little nest egg than gives you a little cushion if you're sick and can't work. It's one of the risks of owning your own business.

I'd be up-front with a bride if you can't finish her cake and work with her to figure out what to do.

Get your flu shot.

LaBellaFlor Posted 18 Oct 2009 , 5:37pm
post #9 of 32

Definelty network to find someone who bakes & decorates similiar to you.

terrig007 Posted 18 Oct 2009 , 6:02pm
post #10 of 32

I was wondering though, how would you go about finding someone in your area that you could line up in case of illness, family death, or something dreadful like that? I'm not in business yet but once my husband installs the covered lights (this has been an ongoing saga for a year now but I digress) I plan on getting my inspections and licenses taken care of and opening. I really don't know how you go about this.
TIA
terri

DebBTX Posted 18 Oct 2009 , 6:25pm
post #11 of 32

It would be nice if you had friendships with other cake ladies. thumbs_up.gif

Earlier this year several of us that live in the same area met on CC. We started getting together once a month for lunch in a central location. Last month we had our first demonstration meeting. It has been so much fun having a cake club. Our number of members has steadily grown.
We are an easy going group that would help each other as we could.

-Debbie B.

FierceConfections Posted 19 Oct 2009 , 7:18pm
post #12 of 32

Ditto on what everyone else said about having a network. It is so important to know people who are willing to fly in and save you at a moment's notice. Of course, it's advisable that you do the same for them thumbs_up.gif .

JodieF Posted 22 Oct 2009 , 6:27pm
post #13 of 32

I was curious about this so I've been doing some reading:

"Public health expert Mark Dworkin at UIC says nope, its OK to go ahead and order that burger.

DWORKIN: It hasnt changed my eating out habits, and I dont have any recommendation that it should change others at this time.

He says there is some theoretical risk that a sick person could touch your food or your plate and hand it to you. But theres no data to show its driven the spread of flu in the past. Flu isnt a food born illness. "

Cathy26 Posted 22 Oct 2009 , 8:02pm
post #14 of 32

i think probably if it end up doing this full time i will contact one of the other cake shops and try and strike up an alliance - its just i picture me getting vomiting and diarhhoea where yoy literally cannot move away from the bathroom for 24 hours like the day before the wedding and are totally unable in any shape or form to finish the cake. i would hope that you could hand over the frozen cakes and sugar flowers made in advance to another decorator and get them to finish if you had a good working relationship?

veronica720 Posted 23 Oct 2009 , 3:23am
post #15 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cakepro

Quote:
Originally Posted by sewlora

I'd recommend wearing a face mask from the drug store... just so you aren't spreading the virus.



Frankly, I'd be disgusted if I went to pick up a cake and the person who made it had a cold or flu.

If you *must* work on the cake while you are ill, you ABSOLUTELY should wear a mask, and wash your hands very well and frequently! People who are immunocompromised could eat your cake, and a virus could kill them.

Think beyond the money.




Wearing a mask would be the best advice other than a back up decorator.

BUT, How many times have you been to a store and the cashier is sick and has just touched every single item you are taking home. Are you disgusted then? What about the workers that scratch their a$$ or pick their nose without washing their hands? They have stocked the items you are buying. Or the person in the warehouse that is sick and sneezes all over your food then packages it.

Just because the person making your cake is not sick doesn't mean every other person behind the product wasn't. At least the decorator would ahve the decency to wear a mask and be a little cautious.

SugaredUp Posted 25 Oct 2009 , 6:30pm
post #16 of 32

I have to have unplanned surgery tomorrow, and I had a wedding cake order for this weekend. I was sick, but I figured I would do the order whether it killed me! Seriously, though. It can be hard!

tarheelgirl Posted 25 Oct 2009 , 6:46pm
post #17 of 32

Well, my son has come down with H1N1 this past week and today I am feeling like crap! I have 2 cakes due for this Saturday.. not wedding cakes but regular orders. I am definitely not doing them. I plan to contact the customers tomorrow and send them to a couple other bakers in the area. I have no choice! But I know if the shoe was on the other foot and I picked a cake up from someone who had the flu I would be soooo mad!! Its just the professional thing to do!

jlsheik Posted 25 Oct 2009 , 6:48pm
post #18 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

I just power through. Before you go into any wedding business, you must realize that nothing - nothing - can go wrong with the product or service you provide. If you booked a wedding cake, nothing short of your own death can prevent the cake from being there.

That said, you're smart to try to figure out a back up plan before you go into the biz.




This happened to me this weekend. I own a small cakeshop, I have a few decorators I could call...but don't trust them with my customers...I cancelled a few of the smaller things around my wedding and like Leah_s said...I powered through. I wanted to crawl in a hole, but I did it. I just could never have left them hanging.
Laura

ApplegumKitchen Posted 25 Oct 2009 , 7:12pm
post #19 of 32

This is where the ...... don't share anything with LOCAL cake decoraters comes back to bite you on BUTT

If you have a core group of good decorater friends CLOSE & HANDY to you (mine are an hour away - but I know they would drop everything to come lend me a hand.... and ditto in reverse)

I would never work on a cake sick - really off, tired, run-down, EXHAUSTED ... yes!! but physically sick - with something that could so easily be transferred to the entire guest list of a function

NUP!! no way!! - just think how CLOSE UP & PERSONAL you get with those cakes - and ask if you would want to eat it after it was mae by somebody with a good dose of the runs .... or whatever!

And this case of .... emergency surgery - highlights even greater, the need to have a plan organised BEFORE this might happen.

Join your local cake guild - or create your own - GOOD cake buddies are the best!!! (you get to share 'toys' TOO) and REAL- LIFE ones that live pretty handy to you are better than online friendship... no matter how good they are !! LOL

CookiezNCupcakez Posted 25 Oct 2009 , 7:37pm
post #20 of 32

If your sick/infectious... Hellooooooo.... icon_surprised.gif You should not be working on any cakes...YUCKOOOOO icon_rolleyes.gif

loriemoms Posted 25 Oct 2009 , 9:32pm
post #21 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

I just power through. Before you go into any wedding business, you must realize that nothing - nothing - can go wrong with the product or service you provide. If you booked a wedding cake, nothing short of your own death can prevent the cake from being there.

That said, you're smart to try to figure out a back up plan before you go into the biz.




I am the same way. I have thrown out my back and still kept working. I have been sick as a dog, and still kept working. You just gotta plow through like you say.

Now if you die, that is a different story....I dont think the bride would expect a cake from you at that point. Sad thing is a couple of years ago we had a local baker suddenly die. A bunch of bakeries got together and go this cakes out for the week and divided the work.

loriemoms Posted 25 Oct 2009 , 9:34pm
post #22 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by CookiezNCupcakez

If your sick/infectious... Hellooooooo.... icon_surprised.gif You should not be working on any cakes...YUCKOOOOO icon_rolleyes.gif




That is why gloves and masks were invented. Now if you have milaria or something, yeah I wouldn't work on a cake. But many people are contagious with colds and such before they are even sneezing and coughing.

CookiezNCupcakez Posted 27 Oct 2009 , 3:08pm
post #23 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by loriemoms

Quote:
Originally Posted by CookiezNCupcakez

If your sick/infectious... Hellooooooo.... icon_surprised.gif You should not be working on any cakes...YUCKOOOOO icon_rolleyes.gif



That is why gloves and masks were invented. Now if you have milaria or something, yeah I wouldn't work on a cake. But many people are contagious with colds and such before they are even sneezing and coughing.




I'm well aware of how the chain of infection works, as I work in health care... That being said I can't go to work sick and put on a mask and gloves and still care for clients... Your sick NO WORK.... You would get sent home... Same should be said when preparing food... it's only logical!

Mike1394 Posted 27 Oct 2009 , 3:21pm
post #24 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by CookiezNCupcakez

Quote:
Originally Posted by loriemoms

Quote:
Originally Posted by CookiezNCupcakez

If your sick/infectious... Hellooooooo.... icon_surprised.gif You should not be working on any cakes...YUCKOOOOO icon_rolleyes.gif



That is why gloves and masks were invented. Now if you have milaria or something, yeah I wouldn't work on a cake. But many people are contagious with colds and such before they are even sneezing and coughing.



I'm well aware of how the chain of infection works, as I work in health care... That being said I can't go to work sick and put on a mask and gloves and still care for clients... Your sick NO WORK.... You would get sent home... Same should be said when preparing food... it's only logical!




??????

Is the Flu transferable through food? I've never seen anywhere that says it is.

Mike

TheBlonde Posted 27 Oct 2009 , 4:02pm
post #25 of 32

Certain germs can only be passed through the air, not through food. Also, the world doesn't stop because I have the sniffles. A lot of the time you can spread the germs before you even realize you are sick. For instance, you can be carrying the H1N1 flu for about a week before you even show any symptoms of the flu. In that amount of time you could have made a bunch of cakes for customers. I usually use gloves anyways when I'm making cakes but if for some reason I'm sick I would just continue to use gloves and also add a mask.

SugaredUp Posted 27 Oct 2009 , 4:41pm
post #26 of 32

I think most of us wish we could stay home when we're sick, but unfortunately, especially these days - for most that's not a choice. As long as you're careful and use your head, I think it's fine.

leepat Posted 29 Oct 2009 , 12:04pm
post #27 of 32

This happened to me a month ago. I had the flu. No wedding cakes but definitely a full week of cake orders. I called all them and told them I had the flu. They were grateful I did not do there cakes. People are truly understanding. I gave them a phone number of another baker that I thought could do their cakes and went back to bed. Trust me no one wants you to do their cakes with the flu. Always!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! have the number of another baker for them.

eatdessert1st Posted 29 Oct 2009 , 12:16pm
post #28 of 32

Hey, Mike:
It's transferable via respiratory droplets.

Melanie Mc.

cakemaker30 Posted 29 Oct 2009 , 4:14pm
post #29 of 32

For most things I just power through and make the cakes. I need surgery on my right arm for some tendon problems so it hurts me all the time, but I'm putting it off until I can clear some time in my cake scheduleicon_smile.gif I just make sure I plan really well and give myself plenty of time in case I have to stop for a little bit to ice it. I also have some people, not cake decorators, who can help me with basic things if I give them instructions like buttercream swirls on cupcakes and stuff like that which really make my arm hurt. When it comes to emergency stuff though I would definitely recommend a friendly relationship with a fellow baker. While people may be understanding that you have the flu and you can't make their kid's birthday cake, if you call a bride two days before her wedding and tell her you have the flu and she isn't getting a cake, it isn't going to work out well for you. There may be very few brides that would understand that, but there's no way she would be able to find anyone to do her cake with that short of notice and she will be devastated. So yeah definitely friends with other bakersicon_smile.gif

CookieMakinMomma Posted 29 Oct 2009 , 10:05pm
post #30 of 32

not to disillusion anyone, but odds are you come in contact with dozens of sick people in any given month, especially during cold season. I can't think of a single job I held that would let me go home just because I had a runny nose. One place required a doctors note before they let you call off, and that was a restaurant. As much as I would have loved to crawl back in bed with a cup of tea and a box of tissues I had to push through it and, yes, GASP! serve food to maybe fifty people in a day.I had no choice, I needed the money. They had no choice, they can't afford to be understaffed. Food industries aren't football teams with a second string they can call in when someone gets a booboo.

Just because home bakeries can make their own schedule doesn't mean they can cancel an order just because they have a minor illness. It would be great if I could, I would love the rest, but if you are going to pass yourself off as a legitimate business you have to behave that way. Like others said, washing hands and wearing masks are the best bet. (and seriously, are you really going to answer the door wearing the mask? they'll think you're fighting the bubonic plague instead of the flu!) I keep a bottle of hand sanitizer by the sink and if that doesn't get the little buggers nothing will!

Honestly, in my very humble opinion, the world has gone completely germophobic.

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