How Do You Handle Tastings?

Business By adven68 Updated 2 Mar 2010 , 2:37am by Jenn2179

adven68 Posted 24 Feb 2010 , 12:51am
post #1 of 23

So, my thought is to charge $40 for a tasting and consultation for 2 people for 30-60 minutes....and to apply the $40 to the price of the cake if over a certain amount...maybe $400?
I am thinking of offering 2 cake flavors and 3 fillings. Is that reasonable?

do you guys make cupcakes or just a couple of small cakes? do you give them the leftovers to take home?

how do you go about group tastings...I would imagine it's like a big party...

thanks!!

22 replies
cakesbycathy Posted 24 Feb 2010 , 2:42am
post #2 of 23

I charge $25 for the tasting and that gets applied to their balance if they book with me.

They get to choose 2-3 flavors of cake and 2-3 flavors of filling. The bride and groom can bring up to 2 other people with them. I usually box up the leftovers for them to take home and share with their family. The brides really like this icon_smile.gif

I haven't done any group tastings.

adven68 Posted 24 Feb 2010 , 3:43am
post #3 of 23

Thank you!!! that helps a lot...

springlakecake Posted 24 Feb 2010 , 5:30pm
post #4 of 23

This issue has been a problem for me. I originally wanted to charge about $25 for the tasting and then apply it toward the balance. I thought if they just wanted the consultation, I would do that complimentary. This was so that I don't get a bunch of people that arent too serious coming for free cake. However, I think it turned some people off. Once person told me that they had "never heard of such a thing." Then what was happening was that I had people coming over for the free consultation, then if they liked me were going to want the tasting another time. I get that, but now I have to do TWO consultations?!?

I am a small time business, so I just can't afford to bake several cakes just for the tasting! Too costly and too much time. So I have been trying a few ways to freeze small portions. I bought some of those ziplock bags where you can pump the air out. So far so good.

indydebi Posted 24 Feb 2010 , 6:40pm
post #5 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by springlakecake

I am a small time business, so I just can't afford to bake several cakes just for the tasting!



I would bake once for every 9 tastings.

Bake one each, choc - white - 3rd flavor of yoru choice, 8" square pan.
Cut cake into 9 squares (3 rows by 3 columns). It fits in a freezer gallon zip lock bag.

I'd remove one of each flavor about 30 minutes prior to the appt. WIth an assortment of icings and fillings, they can mix-n-match the flavors 'till they run out of cake.

The roughly slightly-bigger-than 2x2" square is MORE than enough cake for sampling. I usually had some left over that needed trashed.

Bake once .... freeze .... thaw in under 30 minutes.

SweetArt Posted 24 Feb 2010 , 10:33pm
post #6 of 23

I have the people stop by for a consultation. We talk about their cake and they pick out the flavors they want to try. They get to choose the 4 cake flavors, and I pick the 4 icings and 4 fillings that will go with them. (I bake and freeze my sample cakes into 6" rounds.) 1 day a month I pack up all the boxes and they stop by and pick up their box any time that day. It has been wonderful only dealing with tastings once a month, and they love taking it home to try with family.
LL

surgery2 Posted 25 Feb 2010 , 1:20am
post #7 of 23

I put a group of brides for tastings in my piano (music) room and put on some Mozart softly playing in the background. It gets me booked every time. I do groups of 4-5 clientele at a time

surgery2 Posted 25 Feb 2010 , 1:24am
post #8 of 23

my music room BTW
LL

adven68 Posted 25 Feb 2010 , 2:28am
post #9 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by surgery2

my music room BTW




OK surgery....Can I book your music room for my consultations?? LOL..it's stunning

springlake...I don't think it's unreasonable at all to charge...your time is worth more than they are paying imo.....and if they book, it's free!

sweetart...love your idea...do you charge for that?

debi....I always admire your precision....never a question and your experience is priceless....thanks so much everyone for your advice....it REALLY helped!

springlakecake Posted 25 Feb 2010 , 1:56pm
post #10 of 23

i don't think it is unreasonable to charge either...but since it doesnt seem like anyone else around here is charging, it seems to turn people off. I do like the idea of sending the samples home with people. I actually did that last time similar to sweetart.

Ixtli Posted 25 Feb 2010 , 3:59pm
post #11 of 23

I schedule tastings on my baking days (I bake/decorate out of my home).
I make cupcakes with the extra batter and the smell of freshly baked cupcakes really closes the deal. I have yet to have a client not book during a tasting, and they usually pay for the full cake upfront.

tsal Posted 25 Feb 2010 , 4:03pm
post #12 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetArt

I have the people stop by for a consultation. We talk about their cake and they pick out the flavors they want to try. They get to choose the 4 cake flavors, and I pick the 4 icings and 4 fillings that will go with them. (I bake and freeze my sample cakes into 6" rounds.) 1 day a month I pack up all the boxes and they stop by and pick up their box any time that day. It has been wonderful only dealing with tastings once a month, and they love taking it home to try with family.




I'm not in business, but this sounds like a great idea!

KHalstead Posted 25 Feb 2010 , 4:20pm
post #13 of 23

I do one on one tasting/consultations only, no groups. I charge $20 for the tasting (if they book this gets applied to their final payment) and they get 4 samples each of up to 4 flavors of cake + filling (total).

So if they choose 2 cake flavors, they can choose 2 fillings

3 cake flavors, 1 filling flavor, and so on.

I make cupcakes for the samples (4 of each flavor) and then put the fillings into disposable piping bags and tie end with a rubber band. This way they can mix and match flavors as they please.

I put my samples in a bakery box and use toothpicks with little "flags" to label each flavor and give them the piping bags in a little gift bag w/ tissue paper on the side.

They have the option of either tasting while we do the consultation or just do the consultation and taste later on their own (sometimes people feel awkward)

I always provide paper plates, napkins, and plastic forks (all color coordinated of course) in the gift bag as well.

I have had 3 brides so far (out of maybe 12) tell me that the presentation of the samples was the clincher in them choosing me!

I also give people the option of just simply picking up samples, if they already know the specs they want on the cake and just need to decide on flavor....I have a lot of brides that opt for that too!
LL
LL

CakeandDazzle Posted 25 Feb 2010 , 4:35pm
post #14 of 23

I dont charge for tasting, and i usually use extra batter for them so im not really put out.... as for group tasting i love them! lol im am having another tasting party in April, although mine arent for brides (i dont do many weddings) i use them to showcase new flavors and combos or ones people would think or try on their own. This one I am doing mahi tai, chai tea, white w mango mousse, canolli, & a mocha.....

juststarted Posted 25 Feb 2010 , 4:38pm
post #15 of 23

SweetArt, this is so neat!

4realLaLa Posted 26 Feb 2010 , 5:12pm
post #16 of 23

SweetArt you are brillant!!

pastryqueen9 Posted 26 Feb 2010 , 6:22pm
post #17 of 23

Love all the great ideas...you ladies are so talented!

KHalstead I like the look of your label on the front of the box...where did you get those made?

Kellbella Posted 28 Feb 2010 , 8:38pm
post #18 of 23

Might be a little of subject but how do you decide who gets a tasting...do you have a minimum of servings needed before you provide samples, i.e. wedings over 100 people only or do you provide samples for smaller weddings also? Just wondering icon_rolleyes.gif

adven68 Posted 2 Mar 2010 , 1:25am
post #19 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kellbella

Might be a little of subject but how do you decide who gets a tasting...do you have a minimum of servings needed before you provide samples, i.e. wedings over 100 people only or do you provide samples for smaller weddings also? Just wondering icon_rolleyes.gif




KHalstead...brilliant....everyone loves a personal touch!

Kellbella....I don't discriminate...I'll give anyone a tasting casue they're going to pay for it. I have posted in my pricing guide that I will reimburse the tasting cost for cakes booked within a week and are over $400.


so....i had my first tasting...they paid without a question....they were as pleasant as pleasant could be. They loved the cakes and they booked me for their wedding and a groom's cake! (and I was the ONLY tasting they had)...so they told me....

anyway....I really appreciate all this advice!

icon_biggrin.gif Irene

iprruss Posted 2 Mar 2010 , 2:11am
post #20 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeandDazzle

I dont charge for tasting, and i usually use extra batter for them so im not really put out.... as for group tasting i love them! lol im am having another tasting party in April, although mine arent for brides (i dont do many weddings) i use them to showcase new flavors and combos or ones people would think or try on their own. This one I am doing mahi tai, chai tea, white w mango mousse, canolli, & a mocha.....




I would love to come to your party! icon_smile.gifEveything sounds so good! How do you do these desserts with mahi tai, chai tea? I never had, but I would love to make and try some of them!

iprruss Posted 2 Mar 2010 , 2:21am
post #21 of 23

Bake one each, choc - white - 3rd flavor of yoru choice, 8" square pan.
Cut cake into 9 squares (3 rows by 3 columns). It fits in a freezer gallon zip lock bag.

The roughly slightly-bigger-than 2x2" square is MORE than enough cake for sampling. I usually had some left over that needed trashed.

Bake once .... freeze .... thaw in under 30 minutes.[/quote]

How long can the cakes be kept in the freezer? By any chance can you freeze the icing and which kind? icon_biggrin.gif
Thank you!
Iren icon_redface.gif

Chef_Stef Posted 2 Mar 2010 , 2:34am
post #22 of 23

Whenever I bake, I always bake the extra batter in 3" rounds, then wrap and freeze them in ziploc bags. They get defrosted the morning of any tasting, split in half so they're two rounds each (2 samples, 1 gets saved for later--twice as much sample this way, and less waste).

I have a rectangular plate that holds 3 of these 3" rounds perfectly, lined up next to each other. Then I put some of my IMBC (a good amount) and two filling flavors in 3 small glass ramekins, and they get forks, knives, plates, napkins, etc. They love that they can mix and match the flavors, and they finish them so I don't have to box anything up. It looks like what you see bride mags when they show cake/icing samples...Sometimes they ask for specific flavors, but lately they have all said, "Oh, just let us try whatever you have on hand." Works for me! icon_smile.gif

I've done it where I decorated mini cakes with any flavor they want. I've cut 8" cakes into strips. I've wrapped foil boards and boxed up samples to go, etc., and I LOVE this new, easy way--it works great, AND saves me a ton of time, cake, and supplies (boxes, foil, etc). And they seem to love it, so I'm sticking with it.

I don't charge extra for it, but the cost is built into the pricing of my cakes, because I don't like to nickel and dime 'em to death with separate fees for this and that.

hth

Jenn2179 Posted 2 Mar 2010 , 2:37am
post #23 of 23

I do not charge for tasatings if the cakes serve 75 or more. If they want a tasting and are serving less than that it's $20. I pretty much schedule tastings in the evening but will do them any day except Saturday. For mine I ask that they limit it to 4 people. They have 6 cake flavors to try (tahitian vanilla, yellow butter, chocolate, lemon pound, chocolate chip pound, and vanilla pound). I bake 12x12 in sq cakes and cut into 2x2 in squares. I keep them in the freezer and pull out 1 hour before the meeting. With that the also get to try my 12 standard fillings, 10 of which are just variations of my buttercrem. I make about 2 cups of the filling at a time and use a regular cookie scoop. Scoop onto parchment paper and freeze. Once frozen I place them in ziploc bags to pull out when I pull the cake out.This way I spend about 4 hours working on the samples and such and have enough samples for 36 consultations. My brides love this. If they want to take any extra I put the fillings in 2 oz portion cups and wrap the cake in plastic wrap.

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