I've been trawling the forums but can't find this topic addressed... Although i'm sure it has been, haha. I have no patience to sift through 500+ pages!
So, how do you pro's go about taste tests for wedding consultations? Do you have all of your flavours pre-baked and frozen... ready to thaw when you have a consultation? Or do you bake fresh every time? Also, do you ask what flavours they'd like to try... or just let them try everything you have? Thanks in advance for any replies.. I'm hoping to get into wedding cakes eventually and this part has me stumped.
I am not a pro by any means but this is what I do...
I send my flavor list to my clients and tell them to choose 3 cake/filling/icing combinations. If they ask to taste more than 3, I will go up to 5 flavors (such is the case with the bride doing her tasting tomorrow). The # of cakes they try also depends on how big their cake will be.
I bake the cakes and assemble the evening prior to the tasting. I make 6"rounds and since most brides bring the Maid of Honor or Mother to the tasting, I will send the remainder of the cakes home for the groom to taste.
This is my way of doing a tasting, it might not be everyones cup of tea but it's booked quite a few cakes for me.
try looking through the business forum, it is usually discussed there. also usually the search would be for consultations.
some people charge, some dont. just think about the effort you put in. keep track of the results! and the no shows....
much easier to freeze samples, or pinch a cupcake out of another batch of batter. some people charge, some dont.
making a 6 inch round is a nice idea, but its is extra cost and effort - look for indydebis wisdom on this one! a bit is all they need to decide if you can bake or not. most charge for this option.
most people dont let them choose a lot of flavours - do you want to have make a special micro batch of passionfruit bonanza and mango and blueberry special? fine if you charge for it, if not, thats expensive ingredients. so peopel, epseically if they dont charge, tend to offer what ever else they are baking that week, and maybe something else, or just do standard flavours.
Thanks for your replies. I will have a squiz through the business section. I'm just finding most discuss if they do charge etc. Can't find anything on sample preparation. Although I'm sure it's there! I was thinking of just baking my flavours. Cutting and package single servings and letting them thaw when someone needs a taste. Might be difficult to store them in the freezer etc, though.
..moving to Cake Decorating.
I've decided to go with a free tasting and a paid tasting.
The free ones are "chef's choice" which means stuff I have in the freezer (maybe spare rounds I have baked up and frozen, etc) and leftover fillings from other cakes...or something easy like preserves or something I have on hand. I give them three or four kinds of plain cake and then serve the icings and fillings in little tiny solo cups and they can mix and match.
The paid one is $25 and it includes choice of three flavors along with fillings and icings....these I fill and ice and then cut a nice thick pretty slice so they get three specific types of cake and it helps them narrow down which they like best.
So far it makes it easier on me because the free ones are very little effort and the paid ones are fine because I get paid at least for my costs.
Mine are free and they do not get to choose what they get. Normally, I have about a sample of red velvet, vanilla or almond, lemon pound or vanilla pound, and some form of chocolate. I place a scoop of my vanilla bc and my cream cheese bc. Normally there are no fillings, but if I have had to do some for the previous orders, then I'll reserve some for tastings too.
For my tastings, I keep 4" round single layers wrapped well and placed in ziplock bags in my freezer. I cut each of these little layers into 6 wedges. When I use up all of my almond samples, then I make one the next time I have to do an order for almond cake. It is no trouble to reserve a bit of batter just for that.
I limit sample plates to no more than three. If four people come, then somebody had better share.
I also have each of them a small bottled water, fork, and napkin. These are held at my dining room table since I am a home-baker.