Unrealistic budgets...wasting my time!

Business By loriemoms Updated 2 Mar 2010 , 3:54am by johnson6ofus

Kitagrl Posted 22 Feb 2010 , 3:01am
post #31 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeMommyTX

I have a customer who orders from me several times a year, all her friends and family order from em as well , so she has tasted basically every flavor I make, yet still she asked for a tasting with every order?
I don't do it because I only do tastings for 100 servings or more and she's a serial minimum serving purchaser.
But it cracks me up when she wants to have a tasting for the same flavor cake she had ordered previously, as if she forgot what chocolate tasted like?




That would so drive me nuts....

I made the mistake of telling someone my minimum price amount to include a free tasting and she started thinking about increasing her budget just barely to that amount so she'd get the tasting. Whatever.

Sometimes I feel like saying 'READ MY REVIEWS! THEY ARENT LYING!" haha.

indydebi Posted 22 Feb 2010 , 3:05am
post #32 of 52

brea, I offer the wedding cake as my gift to all of my nieces/nephews. There is only ONE rule:

The cake is free. But if I start getting a 'zilla attitude, then YOU get an invoice for the full price. 'Zilla attitude is defined by me and it's measurement is dependent on what mood I'm in when you start to piss me off. Like having the NERVE to want to taste my FREE cake to see if it's "good enough" for you or not, especially since you've been eating my cake for a long time! icon_mad.gif
So tell this non-relative chic that tastings are for those who spend money and it's for those who spend over $400 ONLY. Her choice.

JenniferAtwood Posted 22 Feb 2010 , 3:06am
post #33 of 52

We never offered a tasting. If they wanted a taste they would need to buy one of our pastries. Altough at the time we only were asked maybe 4 times a year. Now, we get asked at least 4 times a day. We came up with a base price for a tasting cake 6" with four fillings. Brides wanted to taste 10 fillings. We then went to a 1/8 sheet iced no filling and we put the fillings on the side. Works great. We charge x amount for a white cake with 4 fillings. every additional 2 fillings is x amount more. Special cake x amount more and so on. (all of our fillings are custom made, so I might have to make a small batch of filling for just one bride)

Two weeks ago a bride got two sample cakes (one italian cream and one custom flavored with 10 separate fillings for each) it cost her $125.00. She paid in full in advance, as per our policy. I don't want to bake a special cake just to throw it away.

I feel bad sometimes, although I know they are paying for my time. Why give them that much product for nothing. So I decided to change our policy. Brides will still need to pay for the tasting cake, however when they order the wedding cake I will take the price for the tasing cake off up to a certan percentage..Don't want to take $125 off a $300 cake.

Kitagrl Posted 22 Feb 2010 , 3:08am
post #34 of 52

I had a lady who wrote saying she was sick of her normal baker and wanted a more exciting one and was going to spend the day collecting vanilla cupcakes (she did say "buy") from various places and wanted one from me.

I didn't have one but I saved her back a piece from a cake I was carving at the time.

Wrote back with no reply. She did write the next day like "Darn I didn't get your email in time". I still had it boxed up so said she could come get it. By that time I was like " I don't think I even want her for a customer, why am I doing this...."

Its okay..she picked it up but I'll never hear from her again. I can tell. She seemed a bit above picking it up from a "residence"...at least judging by the look on her face when I handed her container out the door.

mcaulir Posted 22 Feb 2010 , 5:01am
post #35 of 52

Back to the original statement about budgets:

My PIL gave us our cake as a wedding gift and I had no idea how much they paid for it, so never researched the price of cakes and would have still had no idea how much a cake should cost. I suspect I would have vastly underestimated.

Money wasn't super tight around the time we got married, and if a baker had asked me my budget, I probably would have given a laughably low figure, even though I was perfectly capable of spending more money, and would have been willing to once I knew how much these things cost.

I hope all this makes sense? My point is that people may have no idea how much a cake should cost, might give you a 'budget' which is not what they're able or willing to spend at all. And I know they should do their research, but some people just won't.

Just another perspective. Asking for a budget first might weed out someone who would spend the money if you let them know what they could get for a little more.

indydebi Posted 22 Feb 2010 , 5:08am
post #36 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcaulir

I hope all this makes sense? My point is that people may have no idea how much a cake should cost, might give you a 'budget' which is not what they're able or willing to spend at all. And I know they should do their research, but some people just won't.



Perhaps a baker's first question should be more along "Have you been having fun doing a lot of comparison shopping and pricing research on wedding cakes?" That may give the baker a clue if they can start in with the sales pitch or if they need to educate a little first.

bennett5 Posted 22 Feb 2010 , 5:32am
post #37 of 52

Thats Brilliant indydebi !! never would have thought to say that...Thanks !!

nhbaker Posted 22 Feb 2010 , 1:08pm
post #38 of 52

I also agree that all the wedding & cake TV shows, websites and even bridal magazines are the culprits. They all give you "advice" (ie tastings) and also tell you where you can "cut corners" or "save money" and the cake always seems to be on the attack! -- Yes folks, it's more important to have the room look pretty and have those bows on the chairs than it is to have a cake that looks and tastes good!

My biggest pet peave it the whole "order a small main cake (or even a fake one) and have sheet cakes to cut up in the kitchen for the guests" -- SERIOUSLY??!!! I refuse to offer that service.

I just did a wedding cake that when the bride and groom came for their consult they told me about their "budget" and how they were trying to stick to it (no, I didn't give them any breaks) etc. When I went to the venue to deliever the cake, you should have seen it! Wow! The flowers alone were over the top! Was told by a wedding guest (cousin of the bride) that they cost around $17,000. -- For something you can look at and will walk away from at the end of the night -- Yup, MUCH more important than a decent cake!

Gotta love it! icon_lol.gif

JenniferAtwood Posted 22 Feb 2010 , 1:15pm
post #39 of 52

I normally give the bride a price on her dream cake first. I know how to see "sticker shock", even on a reserved bride, I will then follow up with how much had you planned on spending on the wedding cake? They normally give me a price and I show them how if they cut out this option and d this instead of this they are closer to their budget. Unfortunatly, I still have the occasional bride that is in Fairytale land and says they were wanting to only spend $100.00 for a cake to serve 300 people. To those brides I very gently explain that no one in this area that I know of charges less then $1.00 per serving.

Kitagrl Posted 22 Feb 2010 , 2:30pm
post #40 of 52

Ice sculptures too...its artwork...and nobody seems to mind paying for THAT...but a cake is artwork you can EAT!!!!

cherbearpizzaz Posted 22 Feb 2010 , 5:29pm
post #41 of 52

Where I'm from there are a total of 3 places you can have a wedding cake made. That's right- 3!!! They will literally turn you away if you even discuss price. They state that prices start at 150+ no discussions. I live in a city with 300,000 people. No wonder so many of us quietly do it on the side. It's hard though, people will say they just want a PLAIN, PLAIN cake. Nothing fancy, just a big white cake for 200 people. -----oh I see, so you can decorate it yourself and I can do all the work so you can pay me nothing.
I hate it when they say nothing fancy, just a plain cake. They should really say they don't want to pay alot. PFFT!

loriemoms Posted 24 Feb 2010 , 5:56pm
post #42 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Quote:
Originally Posted by loriemoms


Does anyone do open houses? (like once a month, quarter, whatever) Do you charge for them?



I want to move to that system, like Jamie does. I'm going to be renting consultation space with some other wedding vendors and when I do I'm going to try out the open house system. I still won't charge for them, though, it just isn't something that people do around here.




Whenever my cat had kittens, I would put them in the paper for 5.00 a piece, then when I met the adoptive family, I didn't charge them anything, to avoid weirdos, labs, things like that. I was thinking of that same mentality...saying I would charge, but once I realized they were serious, not charge, to avoid all these people who want just free cake. I wonder if that would work, as I hate charging as well, I don't think it is done around here either.

loriemoms Posted 24 Feb 2010 , 5:58pm
post #43 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeMommyTX

But it cracks me up when she wants to have a tasting for the same flavor cake she had ordered previously, as if she forgot what chocolate tasted like?



Had a bride who requested to taste "fresh fruit" at the sampling.

What? icon_confused.gif




hahahaha! I have had that too! They wanted to taste fresh strawberries. in February. I told them they aren't going to be the same at all for their wedding in May!

loriemoms Posted 24 Feb 2010 , 6:05pm
post #44 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by nhbaker

I also agree that all the wedding & cake TV shows, websites and even bridal magazines are the culprits. They all give you "advice" (ie tastings) and also tell you where you can "cut corners" or "save money" and the cake always seems to be on the attack! -- Yes folks, it's more important to have the room look pretty and have those bows on the chairs than it is to have a cake that looks and tastes good!

My biggest pet peave it the whole "order a small main cake (or even a fake one) and have sheet cakes to cut up in the kitchen for the guests" -- SERIOUSLY??!!! I refuse to offer that service.


Gotta love it! icon_lol.gif




I DON'T get the advice of order a "fake cake" and then kitchen cakes. I tell my brides that a hunk of Styrofoam cost more then cake so if they want a fake cake, it is going to cost the same or even MORE then a real cake...AND they still have to buy sheet cakes to feed everyone! Not only will they NOT save money, they will spend more!

nhbaker Posted 24 Feb 2010 , 8:08pm
post #45 of 52

I gave you my input about cost savings woes but never about the actual tasting procedure I use --

I used to charge $40 for a tasting and have the brides/grooms pick 2 flavors and schedule a date etc. When that got out of control i.e. brides couldn't decide on a flavor or always wanted to come when I was least available, I changed my procedure to this:

Starting this year, I now have a "tasting day" once a month (already marked on calendar for the year). I take appts in advance and schedule couples every 1 1/2 hours starting at 11 and ending at 5 p.m.. I offer 5-6 of my most popular cake/filling combos and charge $40 for the bridal couple, $5 extra for each additional person they bring. When an order is placed and a deposit (non-refundable) received, I credit the $40 (not the extra) off of the total cost of the wedding cake.

The "tasting day" service I offer is for wedding cakes only.

So far (even though I've only done one day) so good!

Hope this helps!

L

Mrs-A Posted 24 Feb 2010 , 9:52pm
post #46 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by loriemoms

I DON'T get the advice of order a "fake cake" and then kitchen cakes. I tell my brides that a hunk of Styrofoam cost more then cake so if they want a fake cake, it is going to cost the same or even MORE then a real cake...AND they still have to buy sheet cakes to feed everyone! Not only will they NOT save money, they will spend more!




better still, you can rent a fake cake these days: http://cakesconfidential.com/gallery.php

although for $300+ i have no idea why someone would do this

loriemoms Posted 1 Mar 2010 , 2:45am
post #47 of 52

There was a lady at the Expo who was selling fake cakes (it was a program you sign up for) My DH said to her when he heard the prices "We dont even charge that much for real cake!"

btw, had a good one today. This lady asked me if I would provide FREE cookies for all the children at the wedding! I said um, well, no. I was so taken aback! What am I, santa claus?

Ixtli Posted 1 Mar 2010 , 11:28am
post #48 of 52

I had a lady contact me about a cake tasting, I don't mind doing them on my baking days and they gotta eat whatever I'm baking. I do them free so I don't mind the extra couple of cupcakes because it always helps to close a deal.
However, her email gave me the impression of that, "entitlement". She said she didn't know how my cakes tasted and it would be a little off to buy a cake without knowing what they tasted like. Asked if I could bake her a mini tester cake because she's looking to order a couple of b-day cakes.
I replied told her my next baking day (Wed) and she can try some of whatever I'm baking and asked what kind of cakes she wanted.
Turns out she wants these two cakes to serve up to 10 people each, one with a detailed character from Transformers (the inspiration cake is a sheet cake) Even if I did it, there is no way I could fit it in a 10 serving cake.
Oh, and the first cake is for this Friday.

This is not wedding related, but same principle....

She actually wanted a small cake, probably the same size of her b-day cakes! LOL

costumeczar Posted 1 Mar 2010 , 11:56am
post #49 of 52
Quote:
Originally Posted by loriemoms


btw, had a good one today. This lady asked me if I would provide FREE cookies for all the children at the wedding! I said um, well, no. I was so taken aback! What am I, santa claus?




Ha, you should have said "Sure, do you prefer a box of gingersnaps or animal crackers?"

quilting2011 Posted 1 Mar 2010 , 3:05pm
post #50 of 52

;charge them for taste testing.

Shannon1129 Posted 1 Mar 2010 , 7:44pm
post #51 of 52

For me, I require a $25 fee for tastings. If the bride chooses me, that $25 goes towards the balance of the cake. If not, the $25 is non-refundable.

johnson6ofus Posted 2 Mar 2010 , 3:54am
post #52 of 52

I am not a bakery, but.... I think it is a "normal" concept for "normal" people to understand that you are entitled to charge for your time and materials. A "tasting fee" seems normal. If they are not "normal", why would you want them as a client?

Geesh--- the grubby freebie hunting "clients" need to go.....

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