Question Re. Limiting Orders

Business By Kitagrl Updated 19 Aug 2010 , 11:02pm by indydebi

Kitagrl Posted 19 Aug 2010 , 1:51pm
post #1 of 9

I'm trying to reduce my workload just a tad so that I have more time to be a mom and wife. (I don't know how some of you have a full time job AND do cakes! Hats off to you!) In the past, taking up to 4 (and occasionally 5) cake orders per week (usually tiered and/or sculpted, with details) was just too much and ideally I'm trying to edge into closer to two cake orders per week, but hopefully larger cake orders. I raised my minimum price slightly, and trying to discourage smaller party cakes (unless its a regular customer, or a cake I'm interested in keeping...etc).

Here's a situation I often run into though...say I have five emails over the course of a week for the same weekend. I am totally empty for that weekend. So I end up replying to all of them with quotes, "knowing" that not all of them will want to pay the price or whatever. BUT then sometimes they all write back saying they want to book! Then, since I've already told them all that I'm available, I can't go back on my word, so I end up with five cake orders (hypothetically) and now overbooked.

Its happened to me several times...anyone know any tricks to avoid this?

8 replies
cakesdivine Posted 19 Aug 2010 , 2:34pm
post #2 of 9

What you need to say in your quote email is that at the time of the email you are currently available, however you book very quickly, and that could change in an instant. Orders are on a first come/first served basis. An order is not considered booked until deposit is received, and payment has cleared.

That will get them to book in a timely manner, and once you hit your weekend max of cakes, any further responses back you simply relay to them that you are now booked.

cakesbycathy Posted 19 Aug 2010 , 2:45pm
post #3 of 9

I agree with Cakesdivine. You need to put in the email that you only accept 2 or 3 orders per date and that they are accepted on a first come first served basis. You might even want to add that you receive numerous inquiries and you highly recommend they book their cake as soon as possible to secure the date.

Whoever gets the deposit to you first, wins. You may feel bad turning away orders but that will help train people to order early.

tracycakes Posted 19 Aug 2010 , 3:16pm
post #4 of 9

I agree. I"m not booked until they pay a deposit. If I have multiple maybe's for a weekend, I let them know that there are others and whoever pays the deposit first gets the cake.

sweetcakes Posted 19 Aug 2010 , 5:41pm
post #5 of 9

i know exactly what you mean. i recently had been going back and forth over emails with some one and then i had another order come in and i had to tell the 1st person that i was now fully booked for that date. She was not happy and told me i was very unprofessional. So make sure you do let them know that you are always discussing potential cake orders with other customers and at any time you can become fully booked for a certain date. Perhaps you could telephone the customer for the orders that you are most interested in first and give them kind of 1st refusal. Then go down the list. Although for me discussing a cake over the phone does not give me time to think and i might quote a price that i later will regret.

Kitagrl Posted 19 Aug 2010 , 5:49pm
post #6 of 9

With me it usually happens if I take a few first time orders, and then I get "old time" customers coming with their regular orders....or whatever....and so I end up with a handful of people I don't want to turn away. Sometimes they're even booking well enough in advance...seems like certain dates are just more popular.

jason_kraft Posted 19 Aug 2010 , 6:25pm
post #7 of 9

I once had a customer who wanted a cake for the following weekend, but we were already booked with several orders (birthday cakes, nothing too crazy). I told the customer we were booked, but I would go ask the pastry chef if we could fit another order in. So I put the customer on hold and the pastry chef gave the go-ahead to accept the order. As soon as I take the customer off hold, she starts yelling at me about how disappointed she was in our company (and so on) before I can get a word in edgewise.

So I told her that unfortunately we couldn't fit the order in. icon_smile.gif

cakesdivine Posted 19 Aug 2010 , 6:52pm
post #8 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonkraft

I once had a customer who wanted a cake for the following weekend, but we were already booked with several orders (birthday cakes, nothing too crazy). I told the customer we were booked, but I would go ask the pastry chef if we could fit another order in. So I put the customer on hold and the pastry chef gave the go-ahead to accept the order. As soon as I take the customer off hold, she starts yelling at me about how disappointed she was in our company (and so on) before I can get a word in edgewise.

So I told her that unfortunately we couldn't fit the order in. icon_smile.gif


Don't you just love when people think their cake is the only you should be dealing with even if they call the day before their event! I mean come on we as cakers should have already known they were going to call and book with us so we should have turned all that other business that planned well in advance away...LOL! icon_lol.gif

One of my fave quotes: "Lack of planning on your part DOES NOT constitute an emergency on my part" (have no idea who said it)

indydebi Posted 19 Aug 2010 , 11:02pm
post #9 of 9

Excellent suggestion about adding a note to your quote emails. Can you also put a calendar on your website that shows "these days are closed"? That will do a number of things. It encourages them to book early. It shows you are in HIGH demand when they see a lot of dates already closed. It doesn't waste anyone's time if you're already booked solid.

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