Wedding Cake Delivery

Business By sonia57 Updated 1 Jun 2010 , 9:38pm by costumeczar

sonia57 Posted 31 May 2010 , 1:41pm
post #1 of 29

Yesterday, I delivered a wedding cake to a country club. I am fairly new at this. This was my second huge delivery. The first one was no problem. This time, I got to the venue 4 hours prior to the event. The cake did not really need to be refrigerated. They did not allow me to set up. Instead, they put the cake in their walk-in fridge and told me that they would set the cake up themselves. I was stressed for a number of reasons. First, I was worried that the gumpaste flower topper would soften because of condensation then secondly, I was just worried that the cake will be a lot less than perfect because they don't really care cuz they did not have to work hard at making that cake. So, tell me whether I made a mistake in getting to the venue very early. What do you guys do to ensure that you will be the one to set up the cake at the venue? icon_sad.gif

28 replies
spring Posted 31 May 2010 , 2:18pm
post #2 of 29

Did you contact the venue prior to delivery and ask what time you should deliver the cake? No way would I have allowed the club to set up my cake. The cake is my responsiblity, not the clubs. If the club was not ready for the cake, I would have taken the cake and returned later.

The humidity in walk-ins vary....sometimes a great deal. Also, what else is being stored in the walk-in...garlic, fish??? For these reasons I won't put my cakein other places walk-ins.

We deliver our cakes no more than 2 hours prior to the event start. The delivery time is always confirmed with either the venue or wedding planner.


Minette

Cakechick123 Posted 31 May 2010 , 2:35pm
post #3 of 29

I agree with everything the prev poster said!

also I do not let venue staff dictates what happens to MY cake! If it cannot be refrigirated I will not allow them to place it in there. YOU are the professional and you know what is best for the cake. If that topper melted they would have blamed you, not the venue staff

I also deliver max 2 hours before the event, and I phone the venue to confirm this.

weirkd Posted 31 May 2010 , 2:42pm
post #4 of 29

Yah definetly contact the venue. Ive had some freak out because I was setting up an hour before the start of the reception. They said they didnt want any venders around when potential guests might come in. I've also had where it was an hour before and they hadn't even set up the cake table yet. And even sometimes you contact them and they still dont have things ready!! But I try to be there no more than an hour and a half before the reception. This way the cake is sitting out when others are working and it could possibly get damaged. And NEVER let an employee of the venue handle your cake without you being present. They dont care!

terrylee Posted 31 May 2010 , 2:44pm
post #5 of 29

Minette - you are so right.....the cake is our responsibility. I would never leave a cake until I have set it up and it is in it final resting spot.....I have had caters tell me to set it up here and they will move it later.....no no no....I will wait....but I'm like you 2 hours maybe 3..but I always insure a set up time and the cake table be ready.

Sorry sonia67 you had to go thru that stress.....We have all had our trials with delivery. Keep up the good work..

momvarden Posted 31 May 2010 , 3:07pm
post #6 of 29

I agree with everyone. I had a the r2d2 cake that had to be delivered to a country club. they told me they may move him after i left if they did not like his location of where they told me to set him up in the first place. I said< I wish you decide where you want it now not later and we can move him. I than said, its just that if you move and something happens you would feel badly and i would not be around to fix him. They said ok that sound great. So we moved it together.

tarheelgirl Posted 31 May 2010 , 3:13pm
post #7 of 29

I always contact the venue prior to delivery to make sure everything is ready for set up and usually try to get there no later than 2 hours before the reception. I deliver all of my cakes chilled and assembled so this gives it time to come to room temp. Never leave your cake in the hands of someone else!!

sonia57 Posted 31 May 2010 , 4:13pm
post #8 of 29

Thank you for all your replies and advice. As I have said I am a newbie. It is sad that I have to learn the hard way. I still do not know how the cake set up went. I know this client personally. I do not know if that's good or bad. My next question is do I call them for a followup (cuz I am dying to know how it turned out...) and how soon can I call them for a follow up? And then what do I do if it did not turn out positive (hope not though)?

KASCARLETT Posted 31 May 2010 , 4:30pm
post #9 of 29

It's just me, but I would have called the client when I was there and told them what you said here because if something DID go wrong (which hopefully, it didn't) you wouldn't be blamed for it. And yep, I would call to make sure it was set up properly.

sonia57 Posted 31 May 2010 , 4:36pm
post #10 of 29

Yes, I did call the client and her mother to tell them that I delivered the cake but that the venue staff would not allow me to set up at the table. And then I sent her 2 photos of the finished cake.

tesso Posted 31 May 2010 , 4:40pm
post #11 of 29

CONTRACT !! say the words with me.. always do a contract. mine states that I will be there 2 hours prior to event. ONLY I set/assemble the cake. No one else is authorized to doctor, add flowers, or extras of any kind to the cake, without first consulting me and I will add the extra item, if and only if it does not clash, make it unsafe to eat, or ruin the cake or design.

If they want to argue, I will just pack my little cake back up and head back home. I had a bride want to put fresh flowers on her cake, I told her absolutely not, because they were poisonous, that we could use artifical, which she did not want. I get the cake there, set up and along comes the florist with a few extra flowers for the cake. It wasn't pretty. but those poisonous flowers DID NOT touch that cake !! It was the MIL orders to put the flowers on the cake, bride didnt even know about it. She was happy with what we had come up with. MIL didnt care that they were poisonous, (she gave me the your are so stupid look and said, they arent going to be on there long) icon_confused.gif idiots. I was so glad the bride choose the option for me to stay and serve the cake. icon_twisted.gif

Remember to stand up and fight for your cakes, no one else will.

mommyle Posted 31 May 2010 , 4:55pm
post #12 of 29

After I deliver and set up, I have the event person at the facility sign off on it. That way if ANYTHING happens, I delivered a cake that was in good shape when I left! Oh, and I take a photo, too. Good on you for taking photos and calling mom. CYA all the way!!!!!

Ladiesofthehouse Posted 31 May 2010 , 6:23pm
post #13 of 29

I am adamant--when the cake is ordered I go over every tiny detail about delivery time, location, contact at the venue, etc. The people ordering the cake usually have a thousand other things they are working on and planning on the day of the event, so you have to take charge and make sure your cake is well taken care of.

I learned a valuable lesson myself...a customer called me from out of state to order a special cake for her dad in the local retirement center. She was flying in for the party and told me to deliver at 10:00 am for a noon party. I delivered at 10:00am and everything was fine.

Turns out the plans were changed and the party was moved to 7:00pm that evening. I only found out because a friend works there and called to let me know that the cake was going to sit out all day in a public area. She knows enough about cakes that she thought she better call and let me know.

I called the retirement center and was brushed aside (your cake will be fine--don't worry) I insisted that the cake be refrigerated because it was carrot with cream cheese frosting. They argued there was no room in their refrigerators, but I told them my next step is to come and get the cake and then the customer would have to come and pick it up from me.

They agreed to refrigerate it there and I even insisted that they go through and make sure there were no strong smelling foods in the refrigerator even though the cake was boxed.

I could tell she thought I was being a real pain in the rear, but I don't care! I worked way too hard on that cake, the customer paid a lot for it and was trusting me to provide a beautiful cake that tasted good and wasn't going to make a bunch of elderly people ill.

After that episode I really hammer people about delivery times and make them sign in my contract that we both agree what time the cake will be delivered.

Katiebelle74 Posted 31 May 2010 , 6:49pm
post #14 of 29

I try to deliver as close to the event time as reasonably possible (no more than hour to hour and a half before). The venues around here rarely have the cake table set up before that (no matter how many times you call them!) and quite often will attempt to move the cake on their own after you leave. I had a beautiful perfect cake delivered and set up, had mother-of-the groom (who paid for the cake) sign off that it had been delivered on time and in good condition. The country club later moved the cake after it had been sitting long enough to warm up, they drug the table with the cake on it across the room... rattle and rolled that baby until it was leaning. That looks crappy on me in front of all those wedding guests... they don't know the waitstaff did it. I had the waiver signed so I was covered but still it sucks! I have also invested in a cakestackers support system since this so my cakes can better withstand the caterers/waitstaff. Get everything in writing, do a CONTRACT, have the bride sign where it states how the cake is to be handled. I worked in the country clubs and hotels for years and more often than not everything you say to them goes in one ear and out the other, rare is the one who will listen, respect and adhere to what your telling them. The only thing you can do is have it in writing so that IF/When they screw up you've covered yourself and it is clearly on them.

indydebi Posted 31 May 2010 , 9:51pm
post #15 of 29

I usually (I could say "always" with just a couple of exceptions) delivered one hour prior to the start time of the reception. Someone said a venue didn't want vendors in there when guests arrived? Then blame the guest who arrives an hour early! Geesh! It takes no more than 10 minutes to set up a cake! As a matter of fact, I TOLD my brides that I needed to set up one hour prior "....becuase I want to be gone before your guests arrive. I think it just looks tacky to have the cake still being set up when folks start to arrive."

It was made very clear to the bride that I would set up one hour prior. Any new venue (one I hadn't been in before), I would do my intro phone call and confirm the time.

I never had a problem. Once, there was confusion and the table wasn't ready but the wait staff was great about getting a table together for me right away.

In any case, I'd probably get banned from CC if I typed out my reaction to "leave the cake, we'll assmble it later!" from a venue! icon_mad.gif

sonia57 Posted 31 May 2010 , 11:00pm
post #16 of 29

Once again, thanks for all the replies. However, I am still waiting for somebody to comment on when is the proper time to do a followup call in this case. And what should I do if it was a negative feedback. Does anyone think that the client deserves some money back if the feedback was negative.

indydebi Posted 31 May 2010 , 11:03pm
post #17 of 29

If there was a problem, they'd call you. No call ... no problem.

You're done. Move on.

momvarden Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 12:22am
post #18 of 29

What if you sent them a thank you note for there business, and just mention that you hope there day went well and that the cake was to there satisfaction.

sonia57 Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 12:33am
post #19 of 29

I think you are right, ladies. I should just leave the matter alone and be thankful that I have not heard from them. However, the thank you note is a very good idea.

snocilla Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 2:46pm
post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

It was made very clear to the bride that I would set up one hour prior. Any new venue (one I hadn't been in before), I would do my intro phone call and confirm the time.




Can I ask what you usually ask in an 'intro phone call'? I will be delivering my first wedding cake to a venue in a couple of weeks, and was actually searching to see if there were discussions on talking to the venue beforehand, when I found this post. Thanks!

costumeczar Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 3:08pm
post #21 of 29

I call the venue a couple of days ahead of time and ask for the person who will be there when the cake is delivered, or the catering manager. I just confirm that time that I'll be there, or check to see if they need me there at a certain time. Don't call and talk to the person who answers the phone, make sure that you talk to someone who knows what the setup is going to be. Have them call you back if you need to.

snocilla Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 3:10pm
post #22 of 29

Thanks costumeczar!

spring Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 3:47pm
post #23 of 29

What Costume Czar said plus I like to introduce myself and give them my contact information.

I understand that I am a "guest" at the venue and it is important to know the rules of the house, so to speak. What time should I bring the cake in, will someone be there to tell me where the cake table is...if not can you email me the floor plan, what door do I come in???? If I'm providing a cake stand, when and where do I pick it up.

All venues have there own way of doing things. I always try to follow the rules and not make waves...be a good "guest" so to speak.

Minette

carmijok Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 4:27pm
post #24 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by sonia57

Once again, thanks for all the replies. However, I am still waiting for somebody to comment on when is the proper time to do a followup call in this case. And what should I do if it was a negative feedback. Does anyone think that the client deserves some money back if the feedback was negative.




To sonia57
A week or two after an event is plenty of time for a follow up call if you feel you need to make one. It's good customer service.
You can say something like: "Hello this is (your name) and I'm just following up to make sure everything was to your satisfaction. Do you mind if I ask you a few questions? And then have a couple of questions at the ready to give you the kind of feedback you're looking for. It would either assure you or point out areas of improvement Make it friendly and chatty. Even if you get negative feedback, use that as a tool to improve what went wrong. Do not offer to give their money back. If it was truly awful (which you know it most likely was NOT), then you can apologize and say 'gosh I'm sorry this did not live up to your expectations...may I offer a dozen cupcakes at no charge...or a discount on your next cake,' etc. Something that shows your willingness to make it right and to give you another opportunity to have them eat your good cake.
If you are at all concerned how things went then by all means do a follow up. And don't fear the negative...learn from it. thumbs_up.gif

indydebi Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 7:59pm
post #25 of 29

As mentioned above, I call to let them know ......

"I'm delivering the wedding cake for the Smtih wedding this Saturday. I'm scheduled to deliver about 4:00 .... does that work well with your schedule? The cake table will be set and ready for me by then? Good. Is there any special door I should use for delivery? Do you need a copy of my health dept license and Certifice of Liability Insurance? (if yes....) Who should my agent make out the Certificate to and to what number can he fax this?"

I found that asking about the special door became a pretty crucial question because there were a couple of venues that had one set of doors specifically for all of their wedding vendors. One country club also had rolling carts inside the door to help the vendors! Awesome!!

indydebi Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 8:09pm
post #26 of 29

As mentioned above, I call to let them know ......

"I'm delivering the wedding cake for the Smtih wedding this Saturday. I'm scheduled to deliver about 4:00 .... does that work well with your schedule? The cake table will be set and ready for me by then? Good. Is there any special door I should use for delivery? Do you need a copy of my health dept license and Certifice of Liability Insurance? (if yes....) Who should my agent make out the Certificate to and to what number can he fax this?"

I found that asking about the special door became a pretty crucial question because there were a couple of venues that had one set of doors specifically for all of their wedding vendors. One country club also had rolling carts inside the door to help the vendors! Awesome!!

sweettoothmom1 Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 8:28pm
post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

I usually (I could say "always" with just a couple of exceptions) delivered one hour prior to the start time of the reception... takes no more than 10 minutes to set up a cake! icon_mad.gif




Debbie -
my 1st wedding delivery this weekend. I have the emergency kit list and will use sps for 3tier squares 12/10/8". Do you always complete cakes before deliv? in what case do u assemble on site. i'm still rough on stacking, it usually gets messy and needs some fixing. should freeze a bit before stacking. any other advice? TIA

indydebi Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 9:00pm
post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweettoothmom1

Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

I usually (I could say "always" with just a couple of exceptions) delivered one hour prior to the start time of the reception... takes no more than 10 minutes to set up a cake! icon_mad.gif



Debbie -
my 1st wedding delivery this weekend. I have the emergency kit list and will use sps for 3tier squares 12/10/8". Do you always complete cakes before deliv? in what case do u assemble on site. i'm still rough on stacking, it usually gets messy and needs some fixing. should freeze a bit before stacking. any other advice? TIA


If I deliver the cake all preassembled, it's sit it down, take the pic and out the door in about 2 minutes.

If I need to stack, it's a simple set-up, add a border or ribbon, take the pic and out the door in 10 minutes. I don't pre-chill my cakes and actually rarely run the A/C, even in the summer, during delivery.

Even the cake that required some repair work didn't take a long set-up.

I've read posts where CC'ers have said it took them 4 hours to set up the cake. Four hours? icon_eek.gif Just to set up a cake? I can't imagine taking longer to set up a cake than it does to ice and decorate a cake.

In this industry, time is money, so getting your practices set up for fastest and most efficient is just more profit.

costumeczar Posted 1 Jun 2010 , 9:38pm
post #29 of 29

If I have to assemble anything at the venue I plan on giving myself half an hour, but it rarely takes more than about 15 minutes at the most. That would be to add two tiers with their borders.

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