Had Not Heard Of This Before...

Business By Kitagrl Updated 22 Feb 2010 , 2:32pm by Kitagrl

Kitagrl Posted 17 Feb 2010 , 2:10pm
post #1 of 23

Bride called yesterday saying that her caterer had given her a $200 credit to buy a wedding cake. Also sent her to a particular bakery but she said she did not like that bakery (didn't like the cake or something...I dunno.).

She wanted to set up a tasting with me. When I heard $200 I decided to talk pricing...asked her how many she expected. She said 115-120. I told her my very base price (buttercream and a ribbon) is $3/serving. She really started backpedaling. I did tell her if she sets up a tasting with me I'm sure that she will see the quality of the work and not mind pitching in her own money some. I haven't heard back but never know...once she calls around some more...I don't see how too many bakeries can be too much lower.

My question is...did the catering credit MEAN to pay for a WHOLE cake? Or did it mean to be a discount? Why would caterers even do that? I've never heard of it before. I'm a little irritated if the caterer gave the bride the idea that she could get a cake for 120 people for $200. Unless they want her to come back and saying "I'll just have you do it"? Unless they DON'T do it?

Whatever....

22 replies
bobwonderbuns Posted 17 Feb 2010 , 2:19pm
post #2 of 23

Boy you're right, that is odd!! icon_confused.gif If you don't have a credit agreement with that caterer, I wouldn't bother trying to match that price. You'd be losing money on the cake. It sounds like some kind of ploy the caterer and the bakery cooked up to drum up business. Stick to your guns kiddo -- cheap cakes ain't quality and quality cakes ain't cheap! icon_lol.gif

KHalstead Posted 17 Feb 2010 , 2:28pm
post #3 of 23

some caterers here offer vouchers for different things like cake, flowers, linen rentals, etc.

What they do is they give you a credit (in this BTB's case $200) towards the purchase of a cake..........you can get the cake anywhere (generally they have a deal to send the bride to a certain bakery first, which is what happened here and that bakery probably refers people to that caterer in return) when they choose a cake, the caterer will then write out a check for $200 to the bakery...............the reason they can do this is because they are charging them more for the catering, basically I think most times it's a scam.

Said caterer is $10/person other caterer is $13/person but will give you $200 towards a cake!

In the end you wind up paying an additonal j$500 in catering costs for $200 worth of cake, clever.......but deceiving1

cakesdivine Posted 17 Feb 2010 , 2:28pm
post #4 of 23

I bet the "credit" was for the specific bakery that the caterer told her to go to. I am sure that caterer and that bakery have some sort of reciprocative deal. The bride probably didn't read her contract correctly to realize that she MUST use the referred bakery to receive the credit. The caterer probably includes the cost of a basic cake in her package and then sends them to that bakery because she can make money off the sale.

I have a line of econocakes $99 for buttercream and $174 for fondant for a small 6-8-10 cake with 4 different designs in vanilla or chocolate cake only. Colors are the only things you can change. A local caterer will call me, the bride pics from the photos I gave to the caterer. I get paid my price, she upcharges by $50 on each option. If the bride wants something more custom then she sends them to me and tells them they have either a $149 credit for a BC cake or a $224 credit on a fondant cake. The bride pays the difference, I still get all my money, but they must use me. If they elect to use someone else they forfeit the credit.

all4cake Posted 17 Feb 2010 , 2:52pm
post #5 of 23

One bride I had, went for the package deal at the venue she was having the ceremony/reception. The venue offered her the place, catering, open bar for x amount of time, and wedding cake(there may have been other things as well). They had a deal worked out with 2 or 3 area bakers that included particular cake designs and flavor selections. When she told them she had something else in mind, they told her what portion of her package was allotted for the cake and that she could go anywhere and get anything but that if it costed over that amount, she'd have to reach into her pocket for the rest. If she'd opted not to have a cake at all, they'd have taken that amount off of her package deal. Since she'd already completely paid for the package before realizing(it may not have sunken in)what they were saying, she took her receipt from me and they reimbursed her the allotted amount.
So, maybe it's something like that?

djs328 Posted 17 Feb 2010 , 2:55pm
post #6 of 23

I think what happened here is that they gave the BRIDE a $200 credit on her catering bill, basically giving her the $200 to do as she wishes. If a caterer offers cake as part of the package, they obviously want to get more $$$ from the BTB. If the Bride does not want to use their baker (on-premise or otherwise), they give her a 'credit' for $XXX for the cake. (Chances are it's much less than they would have charged a la carte for the cake)

With my wedding (quite a few yrs ago) the place offered us "credits" for things like PP said: cake, flowers, linens, etc. if we chose to handle those things ourselves. I don't think there is an actual $200 floating around somewhere in this cake. JMHO!
Good luck!

Kitagrl Posted 17 Feb 2010 , 3:07pm
post #7 of 23

I just couldn't figure out if she wanted the cake to not go over $200 or what...I should call the caterer she mentioned and see if they offer $200 cakes to serve 120!!!!

Of course its possible they fudge on the servings too....

KH I was thinking that...that they couldn't possibly be just "giving" money away...surely they are getting their money back in the bill.

costumeczar Posted 17 Feb 2010 , 4:05pm
post #8 of 23

The only place that I know of around here who did that has stopped doing it, and I found out how it worked from teh catering manager. She said that they had an agreement with one baker as part of their package and that person would get a flat fee per guest (NOT per serving, it was based on the guest count.) The bride would have that amount includedd in her bill that she paid the venue,a dn the venue wrote the baker a check.

The tricky part (and why I think they stopped doing it) was that the baker would ALSO be paid any overages by the venue, not the bride. If the bride went to the baker and wanted a design that would cost more than what they were allotted through the venue, they'd still be charged that amount by the baker, who would get paid the full amount by the venue. So the venue was pretty much losing money to the baker every time, due to the fact that there was always more cake sold than they needed, and the brides were being upsold every time.

The venue finally called a stop to it and opened it up to any baker, so the bride still pays them directly, but some of us make sure that when a bride comes to us from there, we try to stay within the amount that we know the venue is being paid, as opposed to sucking money out of them. It makes for better repeat referrals :

I'll bet the bakery that your bride first called had a flat-fee arrangement with the caterer. Some bakeries will take a reduced price in exchange for free business, basically. They don't need to advertise or seek out brides, they have a definite cake from the caterer assured every week. It's worth it to some people. I wouldn't do a cake for 120 for $200, though!

Kitagrl Posted 17 Feb 2010 , 4:17pm
post #9 of 23

I know, I was thinking for that budget surely her guest count would have been lower than that... Its not that I want to upsell her but I don't want to be "downsold" either...I can get $200 for a regular birthday cake....don't want that for a wedding cake for over 100 people that I have to deliver and set up. Nope.

cownsj Posted 17 Feb 2010 , 4:19pm
post #10 of 23

There is a reason she didn't like that first bakery. Is she going to go back to them simply because of that $200 and that she figures it covers the entire cost? maybe she will, but if I don't like a place, especially for something as eventful as my wedding cake, I'm not going to use them no matter what. Maybe she'll do some shopping around and be back. Maybe she'll want to come in for a tasting.. I hope so.

Kitagrl Posted 17 Feb 2010 , 4:24pm
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by cownsj

There is a reason she didn't like that first bakery. Is she going to go back to them simply because of that $200 and that she figures it covers the entire cost? maybe she will, but if I don't like a place, especially for something as eventful as my wedding cake, I'm not going to use them no matter what. Maybe she'll do some shopping around and be back. Maybe she'll want to come in for a tasting.. I hope so.




She kinda sounded like she was complaining about how the bakery did the tasting...said "They just put out a pound cake thing and little cups of different fillings." Which I will do it that way for my free tasting but I make actual slices of cake for my custom paid tastings. But I also give more than pound cake too (Pound cake is "Philly" I think).

No big deal...just trying to figure out whats with the "caterer credit".... I'm telling you, I never DREAMED that my biggest competition in the wedding business would be CATERERS! No wonder IndyDebi did both. haha. (Actually its cuz she is awesome...)

KHalstead Posted 17 Feb 2010 , 4:29pm
post #12 of 23

Kitagrl, I've said it in posts with you before about the whole Philly/S. Jersey pound cake thing..........you know I was told when I got married in s. Jersey that the reason for the pound cake was because you needed a sturdy cake to support "tiers" of cake......I didn't know any better and went along with it.

I would love to call the guy that did my wedding cake for $8/serving and only let me choose pound cake with vanilla buttercream LOL

costumeczar Posted 17 Feb 2010 , 4:31pm
post #13 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by KHalstead

Kitagrl, I've said it in posts with you before about the whole Philly/S. Jersey pound cake thing..........you know I was told when I got married in s. Jersey that the reason for the pound cake was because you needed a sturdy cake to support "tiers" of cake......I didn't know any better and went along with it.

I would love to call the guy that did my wedding cake for $8/serving and only let me choose pound cake with vanilla buttercream LOL




That's not just Philly/Jersey. I had one bride tell me that another baker here wanted her to sign a waiver if she had anything other than pound cake on the bottom tier! icon_lol.gif

Kitagrl Posted 17 Feb 2010 , 4:38pm
post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by KHalstead

Kitagrl, I've said it in posts with you before about the whole Philly/S. Jersey pound cake thing..........you know I was told when I got married in s. Jersey that the reason for the pound cake was because you needed a sturdy cake to support "tiers" of cake......I didn't know any better and went along with it.

I would love to call the guy that did my wedding cake for $8/serving and only let me choose pound cake with vanilla buttercream LOL




Haha yeah I was thinking of you!!!!!

KHalstead Posted 17 Feb 2010 , 6:33pm
post #15 of 23

what is with these people???? I mean, since when does the cake support the other cakes on top. I know my cake had dowels in it! Being a cake muggle at the time I had NO CLUE of anything though, so I never questioned what they told me.

indydebi Posted 17 Feb 2010 , 6:58pm
post #16 of 23

Getting a $200 credit "toward the cake" does not necessarily mean they were saying "Here....you can buy a cake for $200." It means they gave her a $200 credit TOWARD the cake.

Kitagrl Posted 17 Feb 2010 , 7:19pm
post #17 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Getting a $200 credit "toward the cake" does not necessarily mean they were saying "Here....you can buy a cake for $200." It means they gave her a $200 credit TOWARD the cake.




Well somebody shoulda told the bride that. haha.

indydebi Posted 17 Feb 2010 , 8:03pm
post #18 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitagrl

Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Getting a $200 credit "toward the cake" does not necessarily mean they were saying "Here....you can buy a cake for $200." It means they gave her a $200 credit TOWARD the cake.



Well somebody shoulda told the bride that. haha.



I know. It's crazy, sometimes, how you have to explain things in detail. I might tell my 17 year old that I'll give her $200 towards the purchase of another car, but even SHE knows that doesn't mean she will find a car for $200! icon_eek.gif

KHalstead Posted 17 Feb 2010 , 8:37pm
post #19 of 23

people do it all the time though.........whenever I donate gift certificates people are stuck on just getting something for the cost of the gift certificate........I'm the opposite.....if someone gives me a $50 gift certificate to a place I like I spend $100 and tell myself everything's 50% off! lol

Kitagrl Posted 17 Feb 2010 , 8:40pm
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by KHalstead

people do it all the time though.........whenever I donate gift certificates people are stuck on just getting something for the cost of the gift certificate........I'm the opposite.....if someone gives me a $50 gift certificate to a place I like I spend $100 and tell myself everything's 50% off! lol




Me too!!!!

LaBellaFlor Posted 17 Feb 2010 , 9:03pm
post #21 of 23

This is not uncommon. But it is a credit toward the cake, not the cost of the cake. The places I've seen do this let the bride know it's toward the cake, if they exceed the amount, they pay the difference, not the venue. The venue that was paying the difference was very generous.

johnson6ofus Posted 22 Feb 2010 , 3:30am
post #22 of 23

We built a house, and the builder sold us a "house". All the details had an "allowance". So, if they said I could get a front door for $500, That was my "allowance". If I wanted a gold plated one, I could buy ANY, from anywhere, but I paid the difference as an "overage".

Sounds like this credit stuff for the cake...

Here's the rub---- so they tell me to go to ABC lighting for light fixtures and I have a $10,000.00 allowance. My builder sends over the list, and the salesperson starts selling me on all the fixtures--- all 100% full retail. The lighting place kisses the builders behind, and I am sure gives them some kickback. And they make a heck of a markup on me.... If I choose my own lighting place(s), I can still spend my $10,000 but I have to get them all, store them all, and get them to the jobsite myself by _______ date. But I can save $5,000 I bet.

Marketing is selling the "whole package", so the bride knows that everything is included. Just maybe not the quality she expected. I bet Costco cake can be had for $200.00. icon_rolleyes.gif

Kitagrl Posted 22 Feb 2010 , 2:32pm
post #23 of 23

Its that "whole package" thing that is soooooo common here. I'm just the "groom's cake lady" haha.

(Working on changing that!!!)

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