I'm ready to tell everyone that wants a cake to go fly a kite! All my cakes are mostly for friends. I know that is my #1 problem right there. Most of my friends can't afford very expensive cakes so I always end up cutting huge deals and they know it! I'm not upset about that part. It is a joy for me to be able to make something for them and gain the experience. They are always very appreciative.
What really ticks me off is when someone asks me to do a cake and we work some of the details but not all. I have been asking a friend now for 1 week what cake flavor she wants and I still have not gotten a answer. I still need to shop and the cake is due this weekend! I got kids and other major things going on in my life and I am about to tell her I can't do it.
Actually I just send her an email telling her if she can't get back to me today I will not be able to do it! This cake involves a lot of GP work and I am not starting one thing until she gets her head out of her you know what. Its not like I can just whip the cake up in and hour.
The nerve of some people!. I'm about to pack up all my baking stuff and calling it quits. I have better thing to do with my time like spending time with my kid! All this is not worth it to me.
Does anyone else ever feel like this? Sorry just needed to vent a little and I know you all will understand
I completely know how you feel! I too am guilty of offering the "friend rate" which is fine, but I hate the indecision, the do whatever, and I trust you, instructions... makes me crazy... Most of all I hate when I get calls on Friday night.. "OMG!! It's so and so's b-day tommorrow!! Can you do a big fancy cake with this particular theme and deliver it for 10 am!?" Ummm..... no.... can you drive your self to the grocery store and purchase a cake for $20.00? I'm not dropping everything, putting my life on hold, staying up all night to be WAY underpaid... Thanks but no thanks...
it sounds like you like doing cakes but don't like the unorganized way it leaves you by waiting. We sound like twins lol
Maybe give them a time limit for now on, like the way you did with this one, but give them maybe a shorter time frame from the get go. HTH
Don't get rid of your cake stuff just yet maybe just take a little time off.
If it's just a hobby then take a break from it. A hobby is supposed to be fun, not anger-inducing!
Thanks mensch. I think that is the answer!
Pricing issues are I think the number one cause of cake burn out.
Friends also have a way of looking at you differently than a business. Would they do that to a bakery? Nope. Because the bakery would say I don't have all the information, the contract is not complete, no cake for you.
You have to put your foot down and explain to them you need all the information by this date or I can't do a cake. Don't drop everything to do last minute orders as well.
Don't get rid of your cake stuff. Just stop doing cakes for others.
I decided right off the bat no freebies and friends discounts. If the one that works at the light company can get me a deal on my electric bill, ok, we'll talk. The one down the street that sells cars, well if she can get me free service, ok we'll talk.
See, it just never happens that way though, right? You never ask those people for a special deal on those services for your birthday or wedding.
So, no. I don't have that problem. And we are all very tight friends.
Yep, I burned out after about 1 1/2 years and pretty much took a break for 15 years or so, making about 1 cake or so a year and only the ones I wanted to make. three years ago, I got back into and now I've opened a business. Take a break now, don't let yourself get burned out like I did. It's okay to say no.
Yup the answer is no. A friend flipped over my daughter's cake and asked if I was busy in May as she is turning 50. In my head I am thinking, "There is no way you are going to want to pay $5-$7 a serving for an over decorated original by Moi with home made everything, and that is how much I would charge." But of course I can't charge because I won't break break the Florida law about an unlicensed kitchen and food sale. So it's going to be a plain old nope.
I've only let someone I did a cake for free once, ONCE!!! They acted like I they were doing me a favor. Never again. Everyone knows my cut off time and I don't EVER call for information. You can't take the time to call, don't care. Just had a relative ask for a babyshower cake. I asked how many people and whats her budget. "You know I have a $100 minimum...reduced just for family!"
oh i so feel your frustration!
i do cakes for free family/friends. and now-go figure im getting requests from my friends' friends. what?!? seriously! no way i draw the line. i tried it once and it was disaster. i was treated like i was a professional baker/decorator that was giving away my stuff.
i must have gotten a dozen phone calls and emails planning out the cake and they were so picky on everything that i finally said that i had a family emergency and could not make their cake. i couldnt imagine going any futher with them.
i think if you are going to do work for family/friends for free or discounts you need to stand firm on what you want from them.
flavors/fillings/decorations etc on a time line.
my family/friends know that now-and they know absolutely no last minute "i need a cake this weekend" crap!
Just don't do it. I agree with Mensch if this is just a hobby take a break.
I have 3 cake orders I have to fill and turned down 2. I'm taking a break!! It feel so good to say NO!
Yup, it's SO much easier doing cakes for strangers in a straightforward business transaction than for friends or friends of friends - that is so uncomfortable, I hate it. If you do end up making cakes for friends you definitely have to lay the rules on the line and tell them straight up - I will NEED this information by such and such a date or no cake. I just had to do this with a good friend of mine and guess what, she missed the deadline! So no cake (and she was fine with it, she knew).
I totally get it. I'm a hobby baker with a family that always asks for free cake. At first I didn't mind because it gave me some practice, but now they are asking for bigger, more elaborate cakes that are labor intensive and NOT cheap ingredient wise. I've been asked to make 3 cakes for next week (yes THREE) and they want them for free! I finally put my foot down and told them $60 each. I'm a full time student and mother and don't really have time for this many cakes in the same week! My sister freaked out when I said $60! "You're going to PROFIT off of me?!?" she says. NO....Not really. You want a 3D carved volcano with 5 different gumpaste dinosaurs AND you want me to drive it 3 hours away!!!! $60 barely covers my GAS!!!
I was on my soapbox all weekend about this very thing. A friend of mine has a habit of calling weeks in advance to "reserve a spot" on my calendar and details later. Because I work a full time job besides my cake business, I bake and freeze the weekend before. I give her a deadline and she justs ignores it. I have decided that from now on when she calls, I am booked. No matter how far in advance. A name on the calendar means nothing without the details!!!