Seriously? Tasting For 25Ppl B-Day?!?!?

Business By brea1026 Updated 23 May 2010 , 10:28pm by dreamcakestoo

brea1026 Posted 10 May 2010 , 3:23pm
post #1 of 27

Okay- so I have been in business for 3 weeks now and the tally of rediculous requests just keeps getting bigger!

First it was everyone asking me to donate cakes to this, that, and the other. I have already done over $1000 of donations in just 3 weeks! So I had to tell people that I will start accepting more donation requests in a few months.

Now I am getting all sorts fo requests for tastings! Not even wedding tastings- tastings for a 25 person (that is my minimum) birthday cake! Are they serious!?!?! When I wrote one lady back saying that it takes me 3+ hours to prepare for a tasting so I only do them for weddings, she told me that she "really needed to taste the cake before ordering and she will let me know within 5 days". The crazy part about this is she got my name from a party I did last week with a 2 tier, 2 different flavor cake! Did she not try the cake then? It is just so weird!

Anyways, I could really use some advice. What is your procedure for this? I know I could probably tell her that she can pay for a tasting, but I don't even know that $25 would be worth my time when her total order will be around $100. UGH!

26 replies
melmar02 Posted 10 May 2010 , 3:30pm
post #2 of 27

No way would I do a tasting for that! I don't charge, but if (no, when) I start a business, my tastings will only be for cakes that are over 100 servings.

bobhope Posted 10 May 2010 , 3:36pm
post #3 of 27

that smells fishy there..looks like she wants a "freebie" for a cake...i don't know how/where you do it but i do cake tasting at my place(home) & a maximum of 4 people..minimum of 25 people IMO is too much, it's like having a small party already.important people who should taste your cake are the bride, groom & a couple more relatives..i usually bake a 6 inch cake (3-5 cake flavors)...i do my cake tasting for free icon_smile.gif ...hth

bobbie

cakesdivine Posted 10 May 2010 , 3:39pm
post #4 of 27

I refuse to do tastings for cakes under $300 (100 servings), and if they don't attend one of my free sampling events then they must pay $40 for a private sampling which I will credit towards their order if they book with me. Tell them if they want a taste of cake to place an order for a small cake. I do 1/4 sheets and 8" 2 layer round basics for $35. That is the only way they will get a "sampling" for a cake that serves less than 100 people. Just tell her that it is your policy to not offer samplings for cakes serving less than 100 people and that is the industry standard. I bet no other bakery would do that in town either, and if they do then let them have the PITA woman...you are better off not dealing with her.

cakesdivine Posted 10 May 2010 , 3:41pm
post #5 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobhope

that smells fishy there..looks like she wants a "freebie" for a cake...i don't know how/where you do it but i do cake tasting at my place(home) & a maximum of 4 people..minimum of 25 people IMO is too much, it's like having a small party already.important people who should taste your cake are the bride, groom & a couple more relatives..i usually bake a 6 inch cake (3-5 cake flavors)...i do my cake tasting for free icon_smile.gif ...hth

bobbie




I think you misunderstood. Her smallest cake she offers is one that feeds 25 people, not that she requires a minimum of 25 people at her samplings...LOL!

brea1026 Posted 10 May 2010 , 3:43pm
post #6 of 27

sorry- I worded that bad!

This is for a lady who is having a small birthday party for her son, who will only order the minimum number of slices (25), and wants to do a tasting before she places her order. I think it would just be her and her son at the tasting, but my problem is that I can not take the time and expense of doing a tasting for an order that is only going to be $100 total.

I really appreciate the sympathy and reassurance!

ddaigle Posted 10 May 2010 , 3:58pm
post #7 of 27

Do you offer samples at your shop? We offer little pt4 size samples of our popular cakes. They are in cupcake liners and covered on the case. They could be the edges that didn't make the cut for cake squares or a cancelled/no show cake. You could tell the people wanting a tasting that you offer samples everyday...or whatever your schedule would be.

bobhope Posted 10 May 2010 , 4:06pm
post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesdivine



I think you misunderstood. Her smallest cake she offers is one that feeds 25 people, not that she requires a minimum of 25 people at her samplings...LOL!




ooops hehe...i believe i did icon_smile.gif

Montrealconfections Posted 10 May 2010 , 4:15pm
post #9 of 27

I only do tastings for potential orders over $400. I charge $20. for the tasting which is credited on the actual order should they decide to place it. This weeds out the folks looking for a freebee you don't want these folks as customers anyway. And the folks requesting "donations" promising this will get you orders it's a load of #@$%! People at an event don't look for the organizer to find out who made the cake small birthday parties where everyone knows each other gets you referrals. I've found that baby showers are the number 1 events since it's all ladies they are after all the ones who order the cakes. If you just started your business be patient you can't rush building a clientele it comes with time you'll get there but not by giving it away for free.

1234me Posted 18 May 2010 , 10:06pm
post #10 of 27

My website states that I only offer tastings on cakes of 100 servings or more! icon_smile.gif If she isn't going to trust that your cake is good, she can try to get a tasting someplace else for a cake to feed 25 people and I doubt she will find anyone around that would offer one!

brea1026 Posted 19 May 2010 , 1:33am
post #11 of 27

This is what she wrote back to me...

"As I said I prefer a cake sample and so decided to order somewhere else."

Seems to me like I may have dodged a bullet with that one! I know most of the decorators in town and I don't know of any that would do a tasting for that small of a party. =0(

Thank you all for the sympathy though!

leily Posted 19 May 2010 , 11:32am
post #12 of 27

As an option for next time could always tell them that "Tastings are $25, and if you book a cake with me from that tasting that has more than 100 servings it will be applied to your order"

That way you can still offer it, but you're definitely getting your time paid for.

Or if you sell cupcakes, tell her what 1 doz would cost, and make sure you clarify that it's only one flavor per dz ordered, so she doesn't try to get 3 or 4 flavors in that dozen.

Texas_Rose Posted 19 May 2010 , 11:42am
post #13 of 27

When people ask you for donations, tell them that your donation budget is already used up for the year. You can use that line whether you've donated $10 or $1000 for the year...they don't need to know your budget, and you don't need to give away that much cake, unless it's for causes that you really want to support and you can afford to do it.

Eisskween Posted 19 May 2010 , 11:53am
post #14 of 27

Be careful with your tastings. I've had two occasions where people obviously just wanted free cake. I no longer do free tastings, I charge $25, which would be deducted from the price of their cake if they book. I also don't do tastings for all cakes, just wedding cakes.

dalis4joe Posted 19 May 2010 , 12:06pm
post #15 of 27

u r so so so right.... it's just not worth it.... 25.00 not even 40.00.... what we have to do in order to do a tasting it's just way too much for that amount AND take a chance that they might or might NOT get the cake.... the oven... kitchen aid.... ingredients... time.... and like u said... SHE TASTED THE CAKE ALREADY!!! arrgghhh....

I would do like some of the posts say here... make tastings for cakes worth $300.00 or more.... not for such a small cake...

hope all turns out good!

GI Posted 19 May 2010 , 12:14pm
post #16 of 27

Sounds like this lady is teaching her son to be a pansy and premadonna at the same time! icon_confused.gif What boy wants a taste-testing for his birthday? I mean, c'mon! icon_rolleyes.gif

Seriously, after someone has had a slice of your cake from a previous occasion/party, they know how you bake, ice, decorate, flavor of icing, etc., etc., etc. Do they REALLY need to taste yet another flavor! AND, if she booked somewhere else? She more than likely was getting a much cheaper (read: yucky) cake and going strictly on the price.

Personally, I wouldn't donate any more cakes unless you really need that tax write-off! icon_smile.gif

dreamcakesmom Posted 21 May 2010 , 4:10pm
post #17 of 27

Glad she didn;t pursue with you. If they start high maintenance they continue through the whole process that way. Ido a 100 serving minimum for tastings. I recently had a request for someone purchasing 50 cupcakes and I let her know she could purchase a 6 pack of any flavor at the regular price. Can you imagine going in to any bakery and asking for a free slice of cake because you MAY buy a dessert cake. Um no!

catlharper Posted 21 May 2010 , 4:14pm
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by leily

As an option for next time could always tell them that "Tastings are $25, and if you book a cake with me from that tasting that has more than 100 servings it will be applied to your order".




Yup...this is my rule as well except mine is 75 servings instead of a hundred since I do a lot of smaller weddings. That way at least my tasting cost and time is covered...and those who are not really interested don't want to pay the $25...which, by the way, has to be prepaid at the time of setting the appointment, not AT the appointment.

Cat

cakesbycathy Posted 22 May 2010 , 4:04pm
post #19 of 27

Definitely doged a bullet with that PITA. Good luck trying to find someone who's going to give her a free sample for such a small order. icon_confused.gif

As for donations, I spent the first couple of years donating gift certificates for free 8 inch rounds. I have decided I am done doing that. Now I will donate a gift certificate worth $25. It can be used toward the purchase of a cake or cookies only. And since I have a minimum order amount of $50 for cakes and a dozen cookies then at least I know the cost of ingredients and supplies are covered.

littlecake Posted 23 May 2010 , 4:34pm
post #20 of 27

when you first open you get all kinds of weirdos, plus everyone wants a handout, "it is really gonna give you good advertising" they say...it just leads to peeps asking for more free stuff....i tell them them when they call i already have picked my charities for the year...stop or they'll bleed you dry.

you kinda have to train your customers...it takes awhile, i'm in my 9th year in a storefront, it does get easier.

indydebi Posted 23 May 2010 , 5:23pm
post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by littlecake

when you first open you get all kinds of weirdos, plus everyone wants a handout, "it is really gonna give you good advertising" they say...it just leads to peeps asking for more free stuff....i tell them them when they call i already have picked my charities for the year...stop or they'll bleed you dry.



True. My husband warned me that "as soon as you hang the "open" sign up on the shop, the first 100 people walking in will be those who want to SELL you something, not BUY something." Being pre-warned, I was aware of it and that made it easier to deal with.

The biggest PITA of this group were the AT&T people, who would send in a different person every month and tell me they were there to make sure I got their recently issued credit on my rates, so if I could give them my phone bill so they could check .......

I told ALL of them, "I don't have AT&T. I don't even have a hard phone line in the shop. Don't they give you guys a list of who your customers actually ARE, first, before they send you out to bother everyone?"

DDiva Posted 23 May 2010 , 5:37pm
post #22 of 27

I also charge for wedding cake tastings (100 servings or more) and apply the fee to the fee if they book.

After twelve years in business I have received hundreds of requests for donations. I came up with this mantra: I donate to customers that support my business. It has made donation seekers realize that in order for me to give, someone has to buy.

indydebi Posted 23 May 2010 , 5:46pm
post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by DDiva

I came up with this mantra: I donate to customers that support my business. It has made donation seekers realize that in order for me to give, someone has to buy.


Oh good one! My father-in-law (ran his own biz for 60 years) said the same thing! I remember one particular story where he was really being pushed to buy an ad or be a sponsor for something and he finally said to them, "How members of your organization do business with me? (long pause) So you want me to spend my money with you, but you and your members aren't willing to spend your money with me." And that pretty much ended the conversation. icon_twisted.gif

andreamen1 Posted 23 May 2010 , 6:15pm
post #24 of 27

tell her do you get a sample when ordering from a super market uhhh i dont think so. charge her extra just for asking a dumb A$$ question like that.

tinygoose Posted 23 May 2010 , 6:44pm
post #25 of 27

I just donated 100 decorated cookies to an annual event. No biggie, I like the cause, and I did it last year. Only this year I printed out a pretty tag on the back for my husbands business "Cookies Compliments of so and so" his phone, company, # etc. Nothing about me which was fine with me. Got the write-off under his name. If he gets one deal out of it, it will be the same as me getting 40 cakes.

dreamcakestoo Posted 23 May 2010 , 10:26pm
post #26 of 27

I just opened my shop before Christmas and same thing, lots of requests for donations. I picked my subjects that I support (elder care and child abuse) and I only donate to those causes. I also donate gift certificates only.

I sell cupcakes at my shop and I use two of three different flavors for the bridal consults. If anyone wants to taste something before ordering I tell them that the cupcakes are made from the same batter, implying that they are to buy a cupcake to sample something. I never had anyone ask for a sample for a small cake and I insist on bridal consults before I will even quote a wedding cake.

It'll get easier when word of mouth gets around and people rave about how good your cakes are to their friends.

dreamcakestoo Posted 23 May 2010 , 10:28pm
post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by DDiva

I came up with this mantra: I donate to customers that support my business. It has made donation seekers realize that in order for me to give, someone has to buy.

Oh good one! My father-in-law (ran his own biz for 60 years) said the same thing! I remember one particular story where he was really being pushed to buy an ad or be a sponsor for something and he finally said to them, "How members of your organization do business with me? (long pause) So you want me to spend my money with you, but you and your members aren't willing to spend your money with me." And that pretty much ended the conversation. icon_twisted.gif




Thank you!!! I'm going to use that one!!

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