I had a request a few days ago for a cake tasting for a wedding later this summer. No problem...I don't have any openings in the next couple weeks so scheduled her a tasting in April.
I told her I have two types of tastings. One is free, where I give them a few types of cake and some fillings to mix and match. The other one is $25 and it involves them choosing three flavors and three fillings, and I actually give them three cake slices exactly as ordered (and like it would come from their wedding cake) to try. She said she wanted the free one but really likes chocolate mousse so I said I could try to make sure that makes it into her free fillings.
She wrote back a few days later saying actually after reading my cake list, she wants three flavors and like SIX fillings to try. I replied "Oh okay then you want the paid tasting?" She wrote back like "Huh? I thought you said I could have a bunch of fillings to try."
I tried to patiently explain that the free one was "chefs choice" as its whatever I have on hand from other recent cake orders, etc. The paid one is custom...and that since I work on my own I have to make up new batches of EVERY filling they choose, which is why I charge.
Got an email today cancelling the tasting.
*shrugs* Its her loss, honestly. I sent her a price quote, worked in her tasting, and was, I feel, very accomodating to her needs...gave her choices, etc. And my cakes are always raved about in flavor.
I guess I"m asking for feedback...was that super confusing or what? Unreasonable? I felt it was unreasonable for her to email me with six different fillings she wanted to try....for free!!!! And they were not just like "preserves, buttercream etc" they were like "cookies and cream, lemon mousse, chocolate mousse" etc, all stuff I would have had to make up fresh. Sure let me just make up 2 quarts of mousse JUST so your picky tastebuds can tell me I'm not good enough for you!
Is it all the bridal tv shows these days giving these brides some sort of sense of royal entitlement? I was at a bridal expo recently and like most others on this site, everyone likes my moist homemade cake. Everyone who tasted my cake at the show was like "Oh my word, AMAZING." Except one bride who tasted my chocolate cake (one of my most popular ones, it is rich and fudgy and moist) and she tasted some, made a face, and practically tossed it at her mom and walked on. Her mom kinda apologized saying "Its okay, she's picky, and she knows I'll eat it."
Spoiled rotten, geez!
Okay rant over, sorry guys.
The fact that you offer a free tasting is almost unheard of around here. Tastings are $25 and the fee is deducted from the cake charge if they book. Period. The girl was incredibly unreasonable and it if wasn't worth the $25 to taste her wedding cake in advance then the cake must not be that important to her...OR...she was just getting free cake from you. Not a loss.
And, yes, children in their late teens and early 20's have been given the right of entitlement...by parents afraid to say no in case they damage self esteem. SIGH.
Be patient, stick to your guns and don't let people like this rifle you up.
I'm no professional so I have never had a tasting, but I think the bride is the one being unreasonable! I can't believe she would try to get you to make up specific fillings for her to try for free! Hello? It costs you to make them! Totally her loss. Sounds like you were more than accomodating so I say to her, tough .
If I ever become legal I am going to keep this in mind. I like the idea of charging for a tasting and then taking it off of the price of the cake if they book.
I bet she comes back, when she realizes that no one else will put up with her demands. I just don't understand why brides think they are so special, sure its a special day, but that is no excuse to expect everyone to cater to their every need, just because its their day.
I offer free tasting: three cake flavors, three filling flavors...want more? then you pay...you don't like it? go away...
I've almost never have a problem with this.
I hate people who think the world revolves around them and everybody has to acommodate their wishes.
I started with paid tastings but then I found some brides would not go for that.
So I came up with the idea of two choices...I usually have something in the freezer (leftover batter made up into small rounds), or even chunks leftover from carving someone's cake. So I figure its not hard to put aside a few types of buttercream, chocolate buttercream, some preserves, and maybe a pudding and then 3 or so flavors of nicely cut slices of leftover cake. That doesn't cost me anything really...so that way the cheap customers can taste my work for free.
However if they want to get picky about it, they can pay...and the kicker is I decided it does NOT come off their bill. Because they have the opportunity to have a free tasting....to me, a custom tasting is the same as buying a small cake. (As a matter of fact is technically a third option...for people wanting to taste cake before buying a smaller party cake I offer an 8" homestyle iced cake in any flavor/filling for $25).
I figure the above choices pretty much should please everyone...if not, I guess the person is just spoiled! That or maybe they didn't like my quote for the cake she sent me. I dunno. She probably would have been a bridezilla anyway!
I think you need to stick to one policy and call it a day. I'm sure it will eliminate all the confusion.
My tastings are free, but they are my choice of flavors. That way whatever fillings, icings and cake leftovers I have, I can make up my sample selection of no more than three flavors of each. No special orders for tastings. PERIOD. So far no complaints.
Its just that I find there is a group of people who REALLY want a free tasting (or sometimes a tasting when their cake isn't really going to be big enough to be worth it.)
Others REALLY want to choose their own flavors. But I hate making extra stuff for free because I find I get burned that way.
Thus two choices were born...some for the cheapos, and others for the "I wanna pick my own".
Seems like if I go to one policy, I'll make half of the upcoming clients upset.....
Kitagrl... (trying to think like a prospective client here) this is where I would be frustrated with they two types of tasting you described...
One (the free one) allows you to mix and match flavors, but only with whatever you have on hand.
The other one allows you to pick flavors, but it's already put in finished cake form, therefore, no mixing and matching to taste.
I think having a paid tasting is certainly reasonable, but what I would want from that is to choose a few (# could be variable based on price) cake options and a bunch of filling/frosting options, and let me try different combinations together so I can figure out which one I think works best. I wouldn't want to have them already made up like a slice of wedding cake, as that only lets me know if a combination I came up with in my head is alright, not if it's the best of all the options I was considering. So, really, what I'd want for a paid tasting is more of a ramped up version of your free option.
Of course, I could just be really confused and not understanding what you said.
I don't think you were confusing or unreasonable at all. I had one bride who wanted four flavors of cakes and six flavors of fillings. I told her I could do up to three of each - period. She wanted to try lemon curd AND lime curd. I said I could do one, and that the lime curd would taste just like the lemon, only with lime. Duh. She called back and cancelled. I just didn't care. I'm not a dessert bar.
Sagebrush I did explain that I can separate the paid tasting if they want (not sure if it was to this client or another one)....its just the idea that if they pick custom flavors, I have to charge. They can have the custom flavors however they want, but if they pick, they pay.
Maybe I need to find a way to simplify how I explain it. Or maybe just do the mix and match thing for both....but I've had clients that tell me "I want this cake WITH this filling" and thus was born the "piece of cake" idea.
LOL about the lemon and lime curd...sheesh!
IMO If the bride is serious about her cake, she is not going to mind paying for the tasting. that's what i think. If you offer a free tasting then great if not hey.... she needs a cake; pay for the frigging tasting make your choice and order you cake, that simple.
its just the idea that if they pick custom flavors, I have to charge. They can have the custom flavors however they want, but if they pick, they pay.
Doesn't sound unreasonable then.
Maybe I need to find a way to simplify how I explain it
Yeah... maybe something like:
Available for cakes over x number of servings.
Free tasting: samples of 2 flavors of cakes and 3 types of fillings, flavors dependent on what I currently have available.
Paid tasting: $xx You get to choose x types of cake and y types of fillings & icings, flavors of your choice. Additional flavors can be added at a rate of $x for cake and $y for fillings & icings. Cake and fillings can be combined into slices of cake if you prefer that arrangement.
Sagebrush, yeah I need to....
I don't sell cake but I think the bride is being ridiculous. As a consumer....I would be willing to pay $25 for my own mix & match session. I would ensure that I get exactly what I want.
If in fact the $25 comes out of the total bill to me...I'd be fine with it. As a bride, I'd think of it sort of like insurance. Wedding cakes are a good chunk of money...I think $25 spent to ensure my hundreds of dollars spent is spot on would be worth every penny.
Plus I'd get a fabulous snack!!!
OP- you were right, she was a bridezilla- the end. Didn't mommy tell her when you get it FREE you don't complain?
Want it special and custom for you, pay the price and enjoy it!