Need Advice On Group Tasting

Business By DecorateMe Updated 6 May 2010 , 8:17pm by KHalstead

DecorateMe Posted 15 Apr 2010 , 9:26am
post #1 of 11

Hi All,

I'd appreciate suggestions icon_smile.gif

I am setting up 3 or 4 group tastings in the different cities that I service.

I want to invite anyone having a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, Wedding, etc in the next year to come and meet me and taste my cakes.

My questions:
1. Should I charge? If I don't charge I'll probably get more people, if I do charge a nominal fee it will deter those that aren't serious and will help with cost.

2. How should I serve the cake? I was thinking of making up little tasting boxes with a chocolate and vanilla cupcake and a sampling of fillings and frostings. I would give them a knife, napkin and water and there would be place to sit and aste or they could take it home. Or I could make a sheet cake and have 2 flavours to sample on a plate with a fork. Or mini cupcakes?

3. When you have group tastings, how do you speak to everyone? Do you walk around as they taste or do you book another consult with them to discuss their particular event?

4. Follow up. What kind of follow up do you do and what kind of advertising material do you give them?

5. Do you give an incentive to book on the night?

Thanks for your help! I really want these to run smoothly and hopefully boost business.

10 replies
KHalstead Posted 15 Apr 2010 , 6:34pm
post #2 of 11

I would charge a nominal amount and then let them know that if they "book" with you for their cake (meaning put down a deposit) then the tasting fee will be subtracted from their final payment.

that way you get the people that are serious, but you also get some compensation at the time of the tasting to offset the costs involved in preparing the samples.

Something else you might think of as an incentive to book that night is that if they book they can have 25 free servings (on all orders over 100 servings) or 10% off all orders of 100 servings or more.....or something like that?? Then they have the idea that they can save some money if they make the decision right there.

I would send everyone away with a copy of your contract so that they can see your policies, etc. and definitely a business card (bus. card magnet would be even better if you've got print sells em' cheap) that way when they're thinking about the event later on they've got your name/number/etc. handy.

I would mingle while everyone is tasting, might be a good opportunity to have "comment cards" out too, so that everyone can comment "anonimously" about the cakes, icing, presentation, etc. and add notes on things they "would have liked to be different" and you can get some feedback at the same time.

Might be nice to package up some cupcakes 1 of each flavor presented for them to take home for later, or for the missing groom, or their mother, or whomever might help them choose a flavor/baker. These things make an impression on people too!

DecorateMe Posted 18 Apr 2010 , 1:39pm
post #3 of 11

Thanks, that's good advice.

I am putting out a notice this evening (we have local community email lists) and I think I will charge a small fee.

I have magnets, so will be giving those for sure.

I think 25 servings is a lot to give away, it's 25% of what they're paying me for 100 servings. Do you think 10 free servings or a 6" round is enough?

Thanks for the input

JenniferAtwood Posted 18 Apr 2010 , 2:29pm
post #4 of 11

A friend of mine does group tastings as listed below. I haven't tried this, but plan on doing it soon. Three times a year he does this. He has 10 different types of cake so he has 10 different tasting stations. (he only has 3 employees so he has friends and family help). At each station is one type of cake cut into little squares. Also at each station he has piping bags with each of his 10 most popular fillings or the fillings that go best with that particular cake. A bride comes t a station and can choose they type of filling that she would like to try with that cake. The filling is then piped on top of the cake square.
I like the idea as at the end of the night the extras can actually be done something with. ie cake balls, or using the remaining filling in a dessert ect. Also you don't have to guess what filling people would like to taste with what cake.

DecorateMe Posted 18 Apr 2010 , 5:39pm
post #5 of 11

I like that idea, but I think people would want to taste more than one thing, so they would be hanging out at stations rather than sitting...

I'll have to think about it.

KHalstead Posted 19 Apr 2010 , 1:43pm
post #6 of 11

25 servings does seem like a lot to give away........I was in a hurry typing.......10% off would be a better way to go I think!

DecorateMe Posted 6 May 2010 , 7:37pm
post #7 of 11

I had the tasting last night and it went really well ;D

I gave each person/couple a mini cake box with my magnet & 2 cupcakes (one choc, one vanilla) and made sample boxes of 8 fillings and frostings plus choc ganache & fondant.

My DH is a video editor, so he made me a slide show with pics and testimonials which everyone sat watching icon_smile.gif I also made a small display cake.

I gave each person a card with the flavours and a feedback form to fill out. I got everyone to sign up for my newsletter as well.

I got great feedback and I hope they all spread the word icon_smile.gif

Thanks for the help!

WendyB Posted 6 May 2010 , 7:45pm
post #8 of 11

Your box and chart are beautiful! What town was this tasting held in and what other cities do you serve? How was your attendance?

DecorateMe Posted 6 May 2010 , 7:50pm
post #9 of 11

Thank you.
I live in Israel and serve the greater Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv areas icon_smile.gif
The attendance was okay. I wasn't expecting a lot of people because I had it in the town where I live that is very small. It was more of a trial run for my hopefully bigger tastings in bigger cities. My main goal was to get people talking and craving my cakes - which I did icon_smile.gif

cylstrial Posted 6 May 2010 , 8:09pm
post #10 of 11

I think your presentation turned out great! I love it!

KHalstead Posted 6 May 2010 , 8:17pm
post #11 of 11

so jealous of you living in is the ONE place I hope to see before I die (in which case I guess I'll eventually get to see it lol).........until then we're going to the fake Israel in Florida : )

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