How Do You Do Your Wedding Cake Consultations

Business By HaydenSC Updated 20 Apr 2015 , 1:46am by Lindasicings

HaydenSC Posted 3 Sep 2010 , 11:53am
post #1 of 28

We have been in business a long time, but am curious as to how other people conduct their consultations.
Specifically:
Do you provide a quote at the consultation?
Do you follow-up?
How many flavors/fillings do you offer at the consultation-if you do a tasting along with the consultation at all.
Do you charge for the consultation?
Please include anything else you have found helpful for your situation.
I am looking to streamline the process for us. Sometimes it seems like the consultations, phone calls and e-mailing take up as much or more time than the baking and decorating does!
Thanks!

27 replies
dchockeyguy Posted 3 Sep 2010 , 5:37pm
post #2 of 28

I let them choose 3 cakes for the tasting, and I don't charge. If they want more than 3 things to taste, there's a charge for that. I do usually follow up with an e-mail to see if they have any questions.

The quote thing kind of depends, and I need to get better about that. If I can figure out the flowers, etc, before hand, then I'll give it to them then. If not, and I need some time to do math, they'll get it later.

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 3 Sep 2010 , 6:42pm
post #3 of 28

I have wondered the same thing! We were leaning towards not doing the tasting and the consultation all in one, because we don't necessarily want to do the tasting until we have a commitment from them to use us. Maybe if we were to the point of doing several consultations a week, we would be able to bake a batch of cakes just for that so we could do the tasting too, but right now with only having one at a time, it doesn't make sense to make a whole recipe of cake for one tasting. Once they have committed financially and signed a contract, we obviouly would feel more comfortable spending money on a tasting. We do offer tasting for free though, just plan to do them separately from the initial consult for now.

hsmomma Posted 3 Sep 2010 , 11:44pm
post #4 of 28

I do tastings once a month, with a minimum of 4 couples. Many months I make it two days in a row so I can accomodate a dozen or so couples. Then I only have to bake once for the tastings. I rarely get a "no show" and if I do...I had to bake anyways for the other couples.
I make each appointment an hour long. Generally they take about 45 minutes so I usually end up with a small little window of time between tastings to clear dishes and take a breather.
On the plates, I slice up small slices of cake (I bake in a loaf pan for tastings). I typically have 4 or 5 flavors of cake and then 4 or 5 fillings. I put a fondant heart cut out on the buttercream so they get to try fondant too. Then I have packed up 4 jumbo cupcakes that they can go home and share. The box is dressed up with a ribbon and my business card.

dreamcakesmom Posted 3 Sep 2010 , 11:52pm
post #5 of 28

hsmomma- I love the idea of baking tastings in a loaf pan- so much easier to slice nice looking pieces!

indydebi Posted 4 Sep 2010 , 10:19am
post #6 of 28

I often wonder how people say "No tasting until you book with me" when the purpose of the tasting is to see *IF* they want to book with you? icon_confused.gif

I do 3 flavors of cake (already frozen in 2" squares so all I do is pull one of each and in 10 minutes, they're thawed); multiple icings and fillings (that are on hand so there is no preparation of these). I email the quote the next day, with all forms and attachments. I did not charge for samplings.

Relznik Posted 4 Sep 2010 , 11:12am
post #7 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by dreamcakesmom

hsmomma- I love the idea of baking tastings in a loaf pan- so much easier to slice nice looking pieces!




I was just thinking the same thing. And I have a wedding consult on Tuesday. I'm going to bake the cake in a loaf tin, then slice and freeze the rest! Brilliant idea - thank you!!

cylstrial Posted 5 Sep 2010 , 11:31am
post #8 of 28

Here's a link to the same topic that's going on. It has some pictures.

http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&p=6932097#6932097

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 7 Sep 2010 , 12:06am
post #9 of 28

Hmmm, I guess I always thought the tasting was more to determine which flavor of cake and icing they wanted than to determine whether they wanted to book with you or not. Not that I don't see where that would make sense. I'm just still really new to it all! Still learning, so please don't attack!

So does everyone do the tasting and the consultation together? Is that standard practice?

indydebi Posted 7 Sep 2010 , 12:14am
post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeMasterSRC

Hmmm, I guess I always thought the tasting was more to determine which flavor of cake and icing they wanted than to determine whether they wanted to book with you or not. Not that I don't see where that would make sense. I'm just still really new to it all!


How do they know if they want to book with you until they taste your baking?

I guess I should clarify my statement in that *I* view a sampling as "let me see how good your baking/cooking skills are before I decide to go with you." Some view it different. But in my mind, if they've already decided to book with me, then they don't really need a sampling appt. Just tell me what flavors you want. They don't have to "taste" white or chocolate cake to know what white or choc cake taste like.

bobwonderbuns Posted 7 Sep 2010 , 12:27am
post #11 of 28

I love these threads, so much good info! icon_biggrin.gif

KimmyKakes4Me Posted 7 Sep 2010 , 10:16pm
post #12 of 28

Does white cake taste better than pink cake? I've never understood white cake being used to describe a flavor. For cripes sake, give it a better name. I blame Betty Crocker.

hsmomma Posted 7 Sep 2010 , 10:49pm
post #13 of 28

They can see your work online along with other bakers/decorators.

Generally I have found that they have already viewed my work online or at a show before they contacted me. The designs and artwork is what makes them call. So, it's the tasting that can set you apart at that point.

GGFan Posted 7 Sep 2010 , 10:54pm
post #14 of 28

Do you tell them your price per serving before you meet for tasting? I just don't want to waste my time doing all that work when the couple only want to spend $1.50/serving. How do you let them know without being rude? Thank you icon_smile.gif

jason_kraft Posted 7 Sep 2010 , 11:01pm
post #15 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by GGFan

Do you tell them your price per serving before you meet for tasting? I just don't want to waste my time doing all that work when the couple only want to spend $1.50/serving. How do you let them know without being rude? Thank you icon_smile.gif



Definitely give them a price range...at least a minimum price for very basic decorations and an average price for the type of cakes you typically decorate. We ask for emailed examples of the kind of cake they want beforehand, and from the pictures you can give them an estimated per-serving price.

I would hope you're charging for the tasting as well, with the total applied toward the cost of the cake. This both helps you cover at least some of the cost of your time and ingredients, and it gives them an incentive to order from you if they're on the fence (since they don't want to "waste" the tasting fee).

cakelady45 Posted 7 Sep 2010 , 11:12pm
post #16 of 28

Hi All,

I have been in business only for 4 years and now I am now doing it only part time, but I usually ask a lot of questions during the initial phone call when they call me to ask about setting up a meeting. Same here, they usually have seen what I can do online before they call or by word of mouth which is even better!

I don't usually give prices out on the phone because there are so many variable that can make the price differ. I offer 4 flavor tastings at the time of the consult, for $15.00. If they decide to book with me I don't charge. If they need to think about it, it's $15 that night. if they book later, I take that off the final price of the cake. I have learned (the hard way) to always contact your persepctive clients a week or so ahead of the appt date in case they have forgotten - you would be surprised at how many people "forget" that they have set up an appt to decide about the wedding cake!!

I always tell my customers that a deposit is needed to hold the date also so that they are prepared when they arrive at the consultation. In 4 years I have only had one couple decide against going with me!

Thanks all!

indydebi Posted 8 Sep 2010 , 1:38am
post #17 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by GGFan

Do you tell them your price per serving before you meet for tasting? I just don't want to waste my time doing all that work when the couple only want to spend $1.50/serving. How do you let them know without being rude? Thank you icon_smile.gif


It's not rude to tell them what your prices are. I'm curious as to why you would think it would be considered rude? icon_confused.gif

Not only was my pricing posted online where they could see it before they called, but I also sent them the pricing info in my email to them AND a "Budget Wizard" worksheet where they could figure the cost of their cake and buffet right down to the dime before they ever met me.

I never had to sell my price at a consultation because all of that was done before they got there.

Relznik Posted 8 Sep 2010 , 5:48am
post #18 of 28

Just a quick reply to say I had a wedding cake consult last night.... I baked a cake in a 1lb loaf tin (which took similar quantities as a 5" round!). It was SO much easier to cut into nice slices.... So thank you for that idea!!!!

Oh - and they booked!! Yay! (so I gave them a couple of slices of cake to take home with them!!)

steffla Posted 8 Sep 2010 , 6:32am
post #19 of 28

Relznik,
I am curious, did you fill the cake or just serve them plain cake with dollops of fillings to taste? Thanks in advance!

Relznik Posted 8 Sep 2010 , 6:40am
post #20 of 28

Morning!

I filled the cakes and then sliced. icon_biggrin.gif

steffla Posted 8 Sep 2010 , 6:47am
post #21 of 28

Great thanks! We are just getting into the wedding area and I am trying to figure out how to do my tastings. We sub-lease a commercial kitchen space so I cant do them there. Thanks for the tip!

GGFan Posted 8 Sep 2010 , 3:52pm
post #22 of 28

Thank you for all the reply icon_smile.gif

Indydebi, I normally bluntly says things so I need to double check myself. I thought it's rude because if they didn't ask the price and you just tell them your price right away. It might sounds like here is my price can you afford it sort of thing. But I think putting the price on the website and send them a pricing sheet together with my reply to whatever questions they have looks more professional. Thank you for the idea icon_biggrin.gif

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 8 Sep 2010 , 9:36pm
post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonkraft

I would hope you're charging for the tasting as well, with the total applied toward the cost of the cake. This both helps you cover at least some of the cost of your time and ingredients, and it gives them an incentive to order from you if they're on the fence (since they don't want to "waste" the tasting fee).




So you charge a fee for the tasting? How much is it usually? Do people seem to be ok with paying an upfront fee? (TIA for your help!)

Jenn2179 Posted 8 Sep 2010 , 10:02pm
post #24 of 28

Do you provide a quote at the consultation?
Usually no, unless it is a pretty simple cake or similar to one I have done before. I sketch up a drawing and type up all the info and email it to them.

Do you follow-up?
I follow up with the email that contains the price quote.

How many flavors/fillings do you offer at the consultation-if you do a tasting along with the consultation at all.
They get to sample my 6 most popular flavors which I have baked in 12 in square pans then cut into 2x2 in square and frozen. They also get to try my 12 standard fillings. I make them and then use a cookie scoop and freeze them and then put into a ziploc in the freezer. About 1 hour before the consultation I pull out the cake and the filling samples. If you look at my website it has a picture of my consultation set up.

Do you charge for the consultation?
I charge $15 for the consultation which is applied toward their deposit if they book their cake with me.

I also send an email for them to fill out which asks basic information inculding the number of servings and the budget so I can see if they understand the base price for my cakes. If their budget is too low then I will let them know.

amycakes22 Posted 9 Sep 2010 , 11:35pm
post #25 of 28

I charge for my tastings, but not for the consultation. It's a $20 fee for the couple and $10 for anyone else, and they get 4 cake & filling combinations. The $20 is applied to their balance if they book with me and if not, it offsets my cost. I usually don't offer anything other than "pricing information can be found on my website" or "cakes start at ___" until they book a tasting. It saves me time and energy, and I've yet to have a bride who has tasted my cake NOT book with me.

I used to offer free tastings and although a LOT of people would book with me, I would have a lot of potential clients bring their entire wedding party and it just turned into a buffet on my tab. Charging a fee also helps to weed out the really cheap brides who want to serve 100 people on a $60 cake budget. icon_eek.gif

bobwonderbuns Posted 19 Jan 2011 , 2:48pm
post #26 of 28

Huh, I stopped getting email notices! icon_cry.gif Glad to see this thread it still around! icon_biggrin.gif

Tayinman18 Posted 16 Apr 2015 , 1:15am
post #27 of 28

We charge $35 for the consultation and tasting. The price comes off the total price of the cake if they choose to book with us. We usually try to get an idea of favorite flavors and what they are looking for prior to consultation to help speed it up some. We put two or three flavors they mentioned liking and the rest our favorites or something new we think they would like. We use extra batter and freeze the cakes pre sliced and ready To go, always sampling for fresh taste first . Hope this helps any! 

Lindasicings Posted 20 Apr 2015 , 1:46am
post #28 of 28

I am just starting, licensed in Sept. I decided to charge $20.00 for the tasting and applied to cost of their cake if they book with me.  I just had my first tasting 2 weeks ago.  https://www.facebook.com/icingsbylinda/photos/a.362689033869572.1073741827.361346660670476/523718477766626/?type=1&theater.  I gave them 3 flavors with fillings for the taste and they brought brides mom & dad.  I gave them a quote and it sounds like a go for their wedding.  I gave them the left over cake to share with grooms family. 

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