Free Anniversary Cake. I'm Not Feeling It!

Business By sweetlayers Updated 22 Aug 2013 , 5:53am by Nadiaa

sweetlayers Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 7:46pm
post #1 of 32

So after 2 years of doing wedding cakes, I have decided to can the free one year anniversary cake. It's just not good business in my opinion. I am honoring the ones currently promised, but the free cake a year later is just not working for me and is a waste of my time and resources.

I had a MOB tell me I was not doing good business because I didn't offer a free cake for the year anniversary. icon_confused.gif But I told her I didn't do it anymore because my cakes are very reasonably priced from the start. I offer the best customer service I can during the wedding planning phase. I have a long list of happy clients after the wedding is over and my company doesn't "owe" anyone a free cake one year later.

So my question is, where did this idea of the free one year anniversary cake come from. Also, does it really make business sense with the price of supplies going so sky?

31 replies
sillywabbitz Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 8:03pm
post #2 of 32

How big of anniversary cake were you doing? If it was just a little 6 inch I can't see it costing you that much. Could you do it on wedding cakes over a certain serving amount (basically over a certain price). If it makes you less competitive then I would reconsider but for me as a bride if I interviewed 3 cake decorators and

decorator a: Good cake, decent decorating talent + free anniversary cake
decorator b: good cake , great decorating talent + free anniversary cake
decorater c: great cake , great decorating (no anniversary cake)

and prices were comparable I would go with decorate c... because to me I want the cake on the day to be fabulous...I'm not sure how many people actually eat an anniversary cake. I always assumed most of the brides forgot and never came back for the anniversary cake but apparently I'm wrong about that.

nhbaker Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 8:04pm
post #3 of 32

This isn't something I offer, however, I did give a coupon for a free 1st anniversary cake as a gift to a couple (friends of mine) who I did a wedding cake for and I found it to be more of a PIA than anything else. First of all when the called for it they gave me a week's notice, and it's not like you could say no, right? Then, they changed the flavor at the last minute. I was already stacked with orders and having to add that on was just more hassle than it was worth. IMHO I'd have to agree with you and canning the idea. Maybe you could offer them a small discount off of their first anniversary cake. Still a nice gesture, just not as appealing as free (therefore they may not call for one icon_wink.gif ).

yums Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 8:24pm
post #4 of 32

I personally like the idea of offering it. If you are getting negative feedback about not offering it but you are worried about cost, why not include it in the price you quote them? If you call for it, you made your money already and if not plus for you. And for changing flavors and only a week notice.......I think a week is plenty for a simple 6" cake but if you don't feel that way- the coupon say they must give X notice and can only be used for your orginal wedding flavors.

leily Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 8:31pm
post #5 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by yums

the coupon say they must give X notice and can only be used for your orginal wedding flavors.




Like mentioned above my certificates say that their cake will be the same flavor as their wedding cake (and i state the exact flavor on the certificate incase they have multiple flavors in their cake) and that they will need to give me 2 weeks notice. So even if they call me 2 days before their anniversary, they will get the cake 2 weeks later.

Just an option, i know everyone does things differently, but i wouldn't feel obligated to do it within one week if my certificate says otherwise.

jenmat Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 8:36pm
post #6 of 32

I offer the anniv cake at the time of the wedding. Its a 6" heart, fave flavor from their cake, and then iced simply with their new monogram, and packaged in a short box with a window, so they can wrap it and put it right away into the freezer. They LOVE it, and it was no skin off my back.

I cannot imagine offering a free one a year later. I have a "busy season," so the only time this wouldn't be a PITA is if the wedding was off-season. I couldn't imagine that in addition to my new June weddings, I now have to cater to 24 other couples who are cashing in their free cake coupon!

Now, if I were a big bakery with a staff, this would be a genius marketing technique. Get them back in the door, so then they remember you when baby comes along, etc. Maybe that's where it came from?

cakesbycathy Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 9:41pm
post #7 of 32

I offer it and the brides love it. I do not give them a certificate, just tell them they are responsible for contacting me at least a month before their anniversary to set up a time to come and pick it up. I am baking anyway, so it's not that much more work to mix up the batter for a 6" tier and it doesn't take that much time to decorate and box up for them. Costwise, I am not out that much.

TexasSugar Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 10:20pm
post #8 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetlayers


So my question is, where did this idea of the free one year anniversary cake come from. Also, does it really make business sense with the price of supplies going so sky?




I think the idea of the free one year anniversary cake came about so people could serve the 6in cake at the wedding and didn't have to freeze and save it for a year.

jillmakescakes Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 10:58pm
post #9 of 32

The bottom line for me... it gets them back on the phone, on my website, and in my store a year later- when a lot (not all, mind you) might be starting to think about baby shower cakes. It gives me another way to reconnect with my brides. I make them a 6 inch round, their choice of flavors, iced white with /filling, happy anniversary written on top and a simple bead border. I timed it one day and it took me 25 minutes to level, fill, frost, write and border all 3 anniversary cakes for that week.

I can't tell you how many brides have told me that was a major selling point for them.

Do I 'owe' it to them? Nope. Just one way I find to go above and beyond for my customers.

momma28 Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 11:10pm
post #10 of 32

I offer a free 6 inch undecorated round to my couples on their anniversary. My couples love it and it works for me.

costumeczar Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 11:27pm
post #11 of 32

I don't offer a free one, but I let people order one and pay for it if they want to. The top tier of the wedding cake isn't included in the serving count when I calculate that, so if they want to save that they can, and if they want to serve it that's up to them.

I find that making the little ones a year later is more of a pain in the butt than anything else, so there's no way I'd offer a free one. I do primarily wedding cakes, so I don't really worry about repeat customers (although I have had a few icon_wink.gif ). If I had a shop then I might use it as a way to lure people back in a year later, but it's not worth it to me the way that I work now.

KimmyKakes4Me Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 11:30pm
post #12 of 32

What is this 6 inch cake nonsense? That's 10 to 12 servings?? 4 inchers people! You always have enough batter ot bake those piddly pans, and wrap them well and into the freezer they go. Instant anniversary cakes always on hand.

KHalstead Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 11:31pm
post #13 of 32

in lieu of the free anniversary cakes, I just send them a "congratulations" card on their anniversary each year and that usually gets them back here to order more cakes. I tell them they can just order a small cake to match their wedding cake a year later if they'd prefer to not freeze the top cake for a year, and a few have done it...but I'm not giving them away for free!

jason_kraft Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 11:37pm
post #14 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by KimmyKakes4Me

What is this 6 inch cake nonsense? That's 10 to 12 servings?? 4 inchers people! You always have enough batter ot bake those piddly pans, and wrap them well and into the freezer they go. Instant anniversary cakes always on hand.



The 6" anniversary cake is not served at a wedding. For a party a 6" double layer round is more like 4-8 servings.

We don't offer free anniversary cakes either, and we've only had one bride elect to freeze her top tier, since we explain to the bride at the tasting that the new tradition is to enjoy the cake while it's fresh and order a smaller cake a year later.

KimmyKakes4Me Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 11:43pm
post #15 of 32

Yes Jasonkraft, thank you. People still don't count the top tiers when quoting prices? Ai yi yi. I charge for all the cake I make.

jason_kraft Posted 27 Sep 2010 , 11:48pm
post #16 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by KimmyKakes4Me

Yes Jasonkraft, thank you. People still don't count the top tiers when quoting prices? Ai yi yi. I charge for all the cake I make.



For the bride that chose to freeze the top tier, we certainly did charge her for that top tier. The only place that top tier was not counted was when the cake size was selected based on the required servings.

costumeczar Posted 28 Sep 2010 , 12:10am
post #17 of 32

Ha, I charge for the cake, but I don't include it in the serving count. I tell them that the bottom tiers will be enough serve their guests, and they can choose to either save or eat the top tier.

sweetlayers Posted 28 Sep 2010 , 1:52am
post #18 of 32

Thanks for your feedback. I have good prices like $2.75 buttercream $3.75 fondant per serving as I focus on the budget bride much of the time.Therefore, it gets a little more costly when clients want one cheap wedding cake and then one free cake a year later when I'm bogged down with paid orders. To make matters worse, sometimes I had to ship them out of town overnight so that incurred even more cost. I know every business is different, but for me, the free cake was a real headache.

costumeczar Posted 28 Sep 2010 , 2:22am
post #19 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetlayers

Thanks for your feedback. I have good prices like $2.75 buttercream $3.75 fondant per serving as I focus on the budget bride much of the time.Therefore, it gets a little more costly when clients want one cheap wedding cake and then one free cake a year later when I'm bogged down with paid orders. To make matters worse, sometimes I had to ship them out of town overnight so that incurred even more cost. I know every business is different, but for me, the free cake was a real headache.




Oh, forget it! With those prices they can just buy another cake, and you shipping something is going above and beyond. I'd re-evaluate that free cake thing!

tootie0809 Posted 28 Sep 2010 , 2:37am
post #20 of 32

Maybe I'm weird, but I don't understand the free top tier for the wedding cake OR the free anniversary cake. I don't understand why some people give away free servings, whether it be not including the top tier in the price or offering a free cake later. I don't do either, and I've never had anyone ask me about it. I truly don't mean to offend anyone. I'm just curious where giving away something for free became customary and expcted in some areas.

adonisthegreek1 Posted 28 Sep 2010 , 2:38am
post #21 of 32

I had never even heard of a free anniversary cake until I read it on here. No one offered me one when I got married. Our tradition is to deep freeze the top tier until the one year anniversary.

deMuralist Posted 28 Sep 2010 , 3:21am
post #22 of 32

yep, deep freeze the top. It isn't about the taste at that point it is about the cake that came off of the top of the wedding cake, sentimental. The cake at our wedding was so good there was not a crumb left! We went out for our anniversary and ordered a piece of cake to share, much sweeter!

indydebi Posted 28 Sep 2010 , 5:15am
post #23 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by jillmakescakes

The bottom line for me... it gets them back on the phone, on my website, and in my store a year later- when a lot (not all, mind you) might be starting to think about baby shower cakes. It gives me another way to reconnect with my brides. I make them a 6 inch round, their choice of flavors, iced white with /filling, happy anniversary written on top and a simple bead border. I timed it one day and it took me 25 minutes to level, fill, frost, write and border all 3 anniversary cakes for that week.

I can't tell you how many brides have told me that was a major selling point for them.

Do I 'owe' it to them? Nope. Just one way I find to go above and beyond for my customers.



ditto. this was exactly my reasoning for offering it.

My favorite story was the bride who told me her dad was teasing her about "getting that year old cake" out of her freezer soon. She said, "Nope! My cake lady is making me a fresh one!"

Did you catch that?

*MY* cake lady! thumbs_up.gif

cakesbycathy Posted 28 Sep 2010 , 12:57pm
post #24 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetlayers

Thanks for your feedback. I have good prices like $2.75 buttercream $3.75 fondant per serving as I focus on the budget bride much of the time.Therefore, it gets a little more costly when clients want one cheap wedding cake and then one free cake a year later when I'm bogged down with paid orders. To make matters worse, sometimes I had to ship them out of town overnight so that incurred even more cost. I know every business is different, but for me, the free cake was a real headache.




I wouldn't do that at all. For me, they have to come and pick it up and they need to come and get it by 10am or they are out of luck. If you are out of town well then sorry I can't accomodate you. Stop making yourself crazy. either simplify the way you are offering it or stop offering it altogether.

leah_s Posted 28 Sep 2010 , 1:44pm
post #25 of 32

I do provide a gift cert. for a free one year anniversary cake. No more than 40% EVER get redeemed. It EXPIRES on their one year anniversary. And I NEVER ship a cake. Ever.

It's pretty normal around here to offer the top tier free or the gift cert. In fact if I didn't do it, I'd stand out, and not in a good way.

Rose_N_Crantz Posted 28 Sep 2010 , 1:54pm
post #26 of 32

The bakery that did my wedding cake said when I ordered that if I return the cake plates, then they'll give me a gift certificate for a free anniversary cake. Unfortunately I didn't want to be that weird bride that ran around at the reception reminding the servers to return the cake plates to me.

costumeczar Posted 28 Sep 2010 , 2:21pm
post #27 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rose_N_Crantz

The bakery that did my wedding cake said when I ordered that if I return the cake plates, then they'll give me a gift certificate for a free anniversary cake. Unfortunately I didn't want to be that weird bride that ran around at the reception reminding the servers to return the cake plates to me.




That could be a good approach, though. Chances are that people won't bother to return the plates (or whatever else you ask to be returned) so you're not obligated to do the free cake. On the other hand, they DO have the option to do it, so it's not like you're not offereing. If they don't get the certificate for a free cake they'll just blame themselves.

I'm still not going to start offering it, though icon_smile.gif

JulieMN Posted 2 Oct 2010 , 6:29pm
post #28 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Ha, I charge for the cake, but I don't include it in the serving count. I tell them that the bottom tiers will be enough serve their guests, and they can choose to either save or eat the top tier.




That is exactly what the bakery we used for our wedding did. Worked beautifully!

JulieMN Posted 2 Oct 2010 , 6:30pm
post #29 of 32
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Ha, I charge for the cake, but I don't include it in the serving count. I tell them that the bottom tiers will be enough serve their guests, and they can choose to either save or eat the top tier.




That is exactly what the bakery we used for our wedding did. Worked beautifully!

anbussiere Posted 22 Aug 2013 , 3:02am
post #30 of 32

Im new to baking wedding cakes and do have a bride now asking for her free anniversary cake.  She expects a fondant covered cake that matches her wedding cake.  I had no intention of doing that, I was thinking a 5 or 6" basic cake flavor with buttercream.  She requested red velvet with cream cheese. I said that was fine.  Now she is requesting carrot with cream cheese and the yellow fondant covering.... What is your standard expectations in this regard?

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