I have my first two cake tastings this weekend. One bride sent me a picture of the cake she wants, and I have already sent a sketch to the other, so the design is already determined for the most part. I have given both of them an approximate quote, assuming we don't add more details at the tasting.
I obviously plan on taking cake, but I was wondering what else you all bring to a tasting. I was going to bring a calculator to figure exact cost including tax, and two copies of the contract with as much information as possible already filled in. Is there anything else that you all recommend bringing?
Also, I see where a lot of people bring cupcakes, but I was thinking of making a 6" round and slicing pieces that are 1x2x4, so they can also see what size a serving is. Is this a good idea, or do you all think cupcakes work a lot better?
Thank you for your help!
cupcakes are nice because all you need is a napking........if you bring 6" rounds, you will have to bring a knife to cut it, plates, forks, napkins to eat it with.
Might be nice to bring bottled water for them to cleanse their palettes before going on to the next flavor. Also bring your serving chart, just in case they have you rework your sizes of cakes that they're ordering.
definitely bring some business cards to send them all home with, bring a calculator (like you said), scrap paper, pencils/pens, I fill out 2 contracts with them sitting there.....they sign one (the one I keep) and then I let them take the other. I also go home and fill out one electronically and email it to them (this way they have all the policies, etc. outlined and know when payments are due and how much they are).
Another thing that I use a LOT at tastings is I cut a piece of styrofoam to the proper serving size of cake (1"x2"x4") it's a nice visual when they're planning their serving sizes........sometimes they decide to order extra cake based on this and other times they're relived to see that it's not a TINY slice of cake!
Wow! Thank you! You are such a big help! I like the idea of cutting a piece of styrofoam. And when you put it that way, cupcakes do seem like a lot less mess. All sound like great suggestions, thank you!
One last question... What do you wear? Maybe business casual?
I bring cake (obviously lol) in flavor/flavors of their choosing. I usually make a 6 inch round, tort it and then cut it in half if the flavors use the same base cake and then fill (to match requested flavor) and frost with a simple star tip. I dont think they need a 4 layer piece of cake at tasting. I also don't bring my own plates, forks, etc. My tastings are usually at the clients home (sometimes they come to me, but not often)
I also bring my laptop so that if they have a design change I can pull up reference pics for size, color etc. My laptop has a calculator on it so I dont need to bring a seperate one.
Business casual works well. Relax ! You'll do great!!
Thanks Momma! Unfortunately, I don't have a laptop yet, but I'm working on it!
I do much of what KHalstead does. If the order is a bit complex (extra flowers, design details, etc) I give them a ballpark estimate and within 24 hours I email the completed estimate all filled out, a completed contract and all the instructions they need to sign and send in a deposit (no deposit...no saved date).
I take a pie box in which I place a paper plate with a couple of cake samples (wedges cut from 6" rounds that I pre-bake when I'm baking other cake and freeze), litttle nut cups with samples of filling & frosting. Every sample is labeled. I tie a couple of plastic forks and napkins to the outside of the box and I place my business label on the box along with their names. That way when we meet at a coffe shop or wherever they can take the cake with them and enjoy later.
I dress as if I were going to a casual business meeting, dress pants, nice shoes and a dressy sweater or shirt. My hair is neat, my make-up is done and I always make sure my hands and nails are trim, neat and polished (even just a clear coat). You will be using your hands to show them photos, contracts, and cake and it is important that they are well groomed.
Hope this helps.
Just think about what would make your appointments run smoothly, and help you use your time efficiently. I finally figured out what worked for me. It took me about 6 consults to fine tune it, but I was determined to get organized!
1) A 4-pk of cupcakes in whatever flavors I have for that week...usually most popular flavors...three with a swirl of bc and one with a round of vanilla fondant. I pick up the 3-pk of Wilton white cupcake boxes w/ inserts for these.
2) A pretty three ring binder which I organized with plastic pocket dividers in which to place a contract/bus. card/SASE, and tabbed sections for serving charts, flavor/price sheets, monthly calender sheets, blank paper for sketches and lined paper for notes. Also carry calculator and a small sleeve of about a dozen colored pencils.
3) an 8.5x11 pc of white cardboard with small swatches of colored ribbon attached and David's bridal swatches that I've rcvd in the past.
4) I wear khakis and a pink polo shirt, do my hair and make-up, and do the hand lotion/clear coat nail polish thing too. Clean, polished presentation is important.
Thank you all so much! Both tastings went well, and I got deposits out of both of them! Swede-cakes I think I might put together a binder like yours for future tastings.