What Are The Rules For Cake Tasting?

Decorating By sberryp Updated 21 Jun 2010 , 6:51am by indydebi

sberryp Posted 16 Jun 2010 , 3:57am
post #1 of 12

What are the rules for cake tasting? (If any) Can I charge? Do you do them in groups. Do you freeze the cakes for things like this? I really like making my cakes fresh. Please share how you conduct your cake testing. Thanks

11 replies
Cakechick123 Posted 16 Jun 2010 , 7:19am
post #2 of 12

I dont think there are any rules, here is how I do mine

I do mine on a free Saturday or Sunday (sometime both)
I book brides in every hour, so I can see 7-10 in one day
I bake 4 flavours the day before and fill and cut into 1x1" squares (they dont get to pick flavours, if they do want to taste specific ones they can buy a small tasting cake.)
On the day I have my portfolio as well as some othe cake books with pics. I tell them to bring colour samples and ideas they have with.
We discuss the cake, they taste the flavours and go home. I then mail them a quote and if they accept a contract and invoice.
I dont charge for mine

The way I do it has evolved over 3 years, Ive read how other people do theirs and taken from it what suited me.

Hope this will give you some ideas

indydebi Posted 16 Jun 2010 , 12:42pm
post #3 of 12

I baked various flavors of cakes in 8" squares. Those cakes were cut into 9 squares (3 rows x 3 columns) and placed into a freezer gallon-size ziplok and thrown in the freezer.

At appt time, I'd remove one square from 3 flavors (choc, white and whatever). The cakes were presented "naked" with dollops of icing and fillings that the couple could mix-n-match with the various cake flavors.

I never charged. My cost for ingredients was less than $1 per appt. To me it was part of the advertising budget. After spending some time to tweak it, my confirmation email sent the message that this was a SERIOUS business appt, so I didn't have much problem with no-shows. Also bear in mind that I frequently did catering tastings, so I would also be preparing chicken, green beans, rice and more for these appts.

The "rules" are whatever you set. I limited it to 4 people (and I told them I only had 4 chairs); the sampling was to see if they like my baking, NOT for them to taste everything I made so they can DECIDE what they want. I would flat out tell them in the confirming email that if they were a no-show at 15 minutes past the appt, then I'd be packing up and leaving, so if they got caught in traffic, just give me a call and let me know.

sberryp Posted 16 Jun 2010 , 11:54pm
post #4 of 12

Thanks for the advice. I really would like to set one up just really just don't know how to start it.

sberryp Posted 16 Jun 2010 , 11:56pm
post #5 of 12

Thanks for the suggestions. I really like your ideas cakechick123. indydebi- I think that I am going to set limits like you because I don't want people just coming over for free cake.

Awent9 Posted 17 Jun 2010 , 2:08pm
post #6 of 12

we do a lot of cupcakes at my work so we generally do our cake tastings using those and our standard buttercream flavored a couple different ways... although i really like the other ideas posted here!!! we don't charge for it either...

sweetcakes Posted 18 Jun 2010 , 4:19am
post #7 of 12

how do you keep them from not going over the hour? The last one i did, it was just over 2 hrs. we met in the evening, DH was out of town. they booked, but when they came they had no idea of what they wanted so we really started from scratch.

indydebi Posted 18 Jun 2010 , 4:26am
post #8 of 12

You can keep it to an hour when you control the conversation. And that gets easier with time. I scheduled mine every 2 hours (because I also had to go over catering foods and menus) and I had my routine down so that this never became a problem.

Side conversations will derail your time table .... take control and steer the conversation back to the cake.

Indecisive couples can eat into your time allocation ..... take control; what I did was tell them, "The good news is I don't have to know the flavor now. We'll put down "TBD by such-n-such date" and you can just let me know."

Another option is, if you charge for different flavors (which I didn't) is take the most expensive one they contemplated and use that one "subject to confirmation and/or change no later than such-n-such date". Then move on. But at least you have SOMETHING decided, even if it's a just "for now" decision.

But really .... the key is YOU keeping control of the conversation. It's a skill and a talent that is cultivated over the years, especially in a sales position (and face it, folks. Like it or not, we are salesmen first!) icon_biggrin.gif

sweetcakes Posted 18 Jun 2010 , 5:13am
post #9 of 12

Indydebi, your so right!! i didn;t have control, i will work harder on that. Perhaps i need to make a check list because it is so easy to get off track or forget whats next. Umm, i will give this some serious thought.
When will you be holding your lecture series in TX or writting your book? LOL!!! YOu'd be a great demonstrator at an ICES convention, just the 'doing business like a business' talk would be so worth a ticket or two.Thank you for your advice.

Cakechick123 Posted 18 Jun 2010 , 6:59am
post #10 of 12

it takes practice icon_smile.gif and like Debi says you have to be in control the whole time. I find with most brides that they already have an idea on what they want so they are there to taste the cakes and maybe discuss colours, those consults are done in 30 min max

the ones that are clueless, those are the problem ones, in the beginning I had 4-5 wedding cake magazines out with 1000's of pics, this one bride sat and went through each one and went back and forth trying to decide (tg that day I could spend 2 hrs on her) I finally told her I would give her quotes on 5 designs because she couldnt make up her mind. After that I limit my books on the table to two. If you give them loads of options then that just confuse the indesisive bride more and that then makes the appionment longer.

with practise you will be able to tell in the 1st few minutes if this is a relaxed fast appointment or if this is going to be a painfull drawn out one and you just change the gameplan to suit the moment

indydebi Posted 18 Jun 2010 , 12:10pm
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cakechick123

After that I limit my books on the table to two. If you give them loads of options then that just confuse the indesisive bride more and that then makes the appionment longer.


And that's one of the techniques. Limit their choices to two.

- Do you prefer round or square cakes? (Notice I'm not asking "what shape cake do you like?")
- Do you want an all white cake or cake with color? (notice I'm not asking "What colors do you like?")
- Do you like cakes touching ... like this one? Or space between the tiers ... like this one?

This is a great sales tool that I learned years ago. Don't ask open ended questions ... it's too much decision for them. Narrow it down to two choices ONLY with each question.

For brides who had no idea, I'd have them flip thru my photos and make them put a post it on every page that they stopped at. I'd tell them that SOMETHING about that cake caught their eye, so we'll just flag it for now. When they are all done, we look at the cakes that they flagged and you'd be amazed at the similarities! I'd ask them, "what was it about this cake you liked?" We'd begin to narrow down style, and even the type of border. This was a GREAT metod for the indecisives!

indydebi Posted 21 Jun 2010 , 6:51am
post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetcakes

When will you be holding your lecture series in TX or writting your book? LOL!!! YOu'd be a great demonstrator at an ICES convention, just the 'doing business like a business' talk would be so worth a ticket or two.Thank you for your advice.


Since I love a stage and a microphone, that would be a dream come true for me! All I need is the invitation! icon_biggrin.gif

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