Mediocre Review...just Wondering Your Thoughts...

Business By aandsmommy Updated 30 Mar 2011 , 6:51pm by leah_s

aandsmommy Posted 17 Oct 2010 , 9:22pm
post #1 of 22

Hi everyone...I did a cake a few weeks ago that was filled with raspberry curd and fresh raspberries. I spoke with the planner about delivery times and requested to deliver it at the last possible time since fresh raspberry curd should be refrigerated. The planner and I discussed it and I delivered at the agreed upon time. The brides mother gave me a bad review and was upset the the cake was "delivered so late and that people saw me delivering the cake." She also mentioned that I should have changed the cake cutting schedule if I felt the cake should not have been out standing for so long. I felt as the cake vendor my responsibility was to try and fit in as best as possible with the event planners schedule and not to try and rearrange the schedule that the planner set up. She was also upset that some guests did not have the fruit filling (due to the buttercream dam I used so the filling would not ooze out). She said some pieces of cake were not good that night and the one she had the next day was good. Not sure how that was possible, since I baked them all the same day and I made the curd in one large batch.

Anyhow, just wondering if you tell the event planners what time to cut the cake and if you let the client know there is a buttercream dam. Just trying to improve my business if need be.

Thanks!

21 replies
hsmomma Posted 18 Oct 2010 , 12:23am
post #2 of 22

I had a bride email after her wedding just to ask if I remembered their cake was suppose to have a filling besides buttercream. I explained about the "dam" and that was why she didn't have any in her slice when they cut into it for the ceremonial cake cutting.
She was wonderful and understood but, now I explain the "dam" to all my couples that choose a specialty filling...just so that doesn't happen again.

gatorcake Posted 18 Oct 2010 , 12:41am
post #3 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by aandsmommy

Hi everyone...I did a cake a few weeks ago that was filled with raspberry curd and fresh raspberries. I spoke with the planner about delivery times and requested to deliver it at the last possible time since fresh raspberry curd should be refrigerated. The planner and I discussed it and I delivered at the agreed upon time. The brides mother gave me a bad review and was upset the the cake was "delivered so late and that people saw me delivering the cake." She also mentioned that I should have changed the cake cutting schedule if I felt the cake should not have been out standing for so long. I felt as the cake vendor my responsibility was to try and fit in as best as possible with the event planners schedule and not to try and rearrange the schedule that the planner set up. She was also upset that some guests did not have the fruit filling (due to the buttercream dam I used so the filling would not ooze out). She said some pieces of cake were not good that night and the one she had the next day was good. Not sure how that was possible, since I baked them all the same day and I made the curd in one large batch.

Anyhow, just wondering if you tell the event planners what time to cut the cake and if you let the client know there is a buttercream dam. Just trying to improve my business if need be.

Thanks!




One question, did the bride not know about the need to deliver the cake at the last possible moment? Seems like that would be something you would mention when they were deciding their options -- ugh hope this does not sound critical just trying to think of other things that might explain the MoBs reaction.

You may have also been thrown under the bus by the planner. I could easily see the MoB going to the planner and complaining about when you delivered the cake and the planner saying well they told me it had to be this way rather than them taking the hit for their schedule.

Sorry this happened to you.

Kitagrl Posted 18 Oct 2010 , 1:01am
post #4 of 22

That's no fun! Sorry about that!

Definitely should have had a contract with the delivery time...I'm actually working on an opposite issue right now...(contract in a few weeks, have not done the cake yet)...I usually deliver about an hour before the reception starts, as an average. But her venue wants my cake, which will be filled with whipped ganache and preserves, delivered like three hours early, and that does not count the hours it will sit before serving!!!!! So I told the bride that I was uncomfortable with that and we should try to work out a better time....so hopefully she is able to do that for me.

But ultimately, the bride should know, and have in writing, what time the cake will be delivered....

As far as the cake dam...whoa...never heard of that complaint before!!!!!!! I thought everybody knew about icing dams...its on all the cake shows and seems like everyone has seen them...oh well.

aandsmommy Posted 18 Oct 2010 , 1:44am
post #5 of 22

Points duly noted...I should have had it in the contract. Sometimes I do not get a timeline until days before the wedding (especially when there is a planner) and I just work with their timeline. I asked the planner for the latest possible delivery time and I delivered at that time. I hate to bother the bride with these behind the scene details when a planner is involved, since I thought that was the whole purpose of the planner. Anyhow, lesson learned about agreeing on delivery times with the bride as opposed to working it out with the planner.

UpAt2am Posted 18 Oct 2010 , 1:53am
post #6 of 22

i'd also just watch the size of your dams. the standard size of 1x2xheight means that every piece should get plenty of filling, even if it's an edge piece. the dam doesn't need to be super wide, just enought to hold the filling in icon_smile.gif

aandsmommy Posted 18 Oct 2010 , 1:56am
post #7 of 22

yep, my dams are only once around. I think they just happened to get the first pieces...bummer.

indydebi Posted 18 Oct 2010 , 2:44am
post #8 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by aandsmommy

I hate to bother the bride with these behind the scene details when a planner is involved, since I thought that was the whole purpose of the planner.


But that doesn't mean you exclude the other party. The planner needs to know since she's coordinating all the details. the bride needs to know because, well, she's the bride!

Any conversation I would have with either of them would get confirmed via email with a copy to BOTH of them, so BOTH of them are in the loop and I have it in writing that they both knew about it.

leah_s Posted 18 Oct 2010 , 5:11pm
post #9 of 22

Hmmm . . . I generally ask for the earliest possible delivery time. If I ever show up within an hour of the reception start time, I am late/have been in an accident/something awful happened earlier in the day. But then I never, ever agree to any filling that has to be refrigerated. never. ever. My minimum delivery time is two hours prior to the start and I reserve the right to be there 6 hours before the start. And that's in my contract.

LindaF144a Posted 18 Oct 2010 , 5:25pm
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

Hmmm . . . I generally ask for the earliest possible delivery time. If I ever show up within an hour of the reception start time, I am late/have been in an accident/something awful happened earlier in the day. But then I never, ever agree to any filling that has to be refrigerated. never. ever. My minimum delivery time is two hours prior to the start and I reserve the right to be there 6 hours before the start. And that's in my contract.




I read the same thing in one of Colette Peters book. It gave me encouragement to never put fillings that need refrigeration in my cakes. But then again, I only work for someone making cakes, not making the decisions. I am talking about my own personal cakes made for my family.

jenmat Posted 18 Oct 2010 , 5:31pm
post #11 of 22

Not sure why the raspberry curd couldn't sit out for more than an hour? Its in a cake, which has been sealed with icing and then chilled, and will take a while to warm up to room temp, which will then take quite a while more to go bad. Methinks overkill??

I deliver between 1-3pm. No ifs, ands or buts. I don't want to have an audience. And you WILL have an audience the later it gets.

I can see why you would just inform the planner, because it is easier and less messy, but in this case, tough lesson learned. That really stinks. Is this review posted on a 3rd party website? You may have to post a response to this, without directly insulting the customer. Again, totally feel for ya!

aandsmommy Posted 18 Oct 2010 , 6:37pm
post #12 of 22

Thanks for the input. Yes, cake could certainly sit out for more than an hour...but cake was not going to be cut for another 4 hours after delivery. 1 hour in my car...half hour for set up, 1 hour for wedding ceremony, and then 1 hour cocktails and then cut at 9:30PM...I delivered at 5:00 at the agreed upon time. Anyhow, I do offer refrigerated fillings...it is something I have never had a problem with before as far as delivery times, but glad to know how other people do it and will take that into account.

Thanks!

aandsmommy Posted 18 Oct 2010 , 6:40pm
post #13 of 22

Oh and I did not have an audience. The bridal party was OUTSIDE for the ceremony. There was just a few people with small children in the hall and a few stragglers walking through. I should have mentioned that in the original post.

indydebi Posted 18 Oct 2010 , 7:14pm
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by aandsmommy

Anyhow, I do offer refrigerated fillings...it is something I have never had a problem with before as far as delivery times, but glad to know how other people do it and will take that into account.

Thanks!




One, this is why I encourage couples to cut their cake early in the evening (like BEFORE dinner is served) so the cake can be cut and served right after dinner instead of right after most of the guests have left.

Two, there is nothing wrong with you telling a couple "If I have to deliver at 4;30 and you're not going to cut it until 9:30, then you can NOT have that filling because it's perishable and I'm sure you dont' want half of your guests to end up in the emergency room with food poisoning, and then deciding to sue you the next day."

i've told brides they can't have something. One bride asked if she could have the whole cake iced in cream cheese icing. I said, "Not if you're planning an outdoor reception in August you can't!" And her cake was NOT iced in cream cheese icing.

You're the pro. You're the food expert. It's ok to tell them "It just won't work and here's why."

jenmat Posted 18 Oct 2010 , 7:47pm
post #15 of 22

aaahhh, so I see. This MOB is just being a PITA. Gotcha. Well, you can't do much about that then. Just do as Indy and Leahs suggest and be more firm and communicate better next time. I would still encourage you to respond to the review if possible, for other brides to see. PM indydebi- she has an amazingly written response to a quasi-negative review she received once. Like most things she does, it was genius how she handled the issue without attacking the customer.

aandsmommy Posted 18 Oct 2010 , 7:54pm
post #16 of 22

good points, indydebi. I always learn something new. I need to be better about that. Bride picked her wedding cake out 4 months in advance, I bugged the planner until I finally got notification the night before the wedding about what time cake cutting was. I felt I should have just delivered as late as possible, rather than have them change the timeline to accommodate me and then MOB have something else to be upset with me about. I need to make a list of these points and discuss them during their tasting and consult. Thanks so much! Do you discuss delivery times at your first meeting? I feel like we meet and then fill out contract (which I will now be adding delivery and cake cutting times) and then we don't really talk much again for straightforward cakes.

indydebi Posted 18 Oct 2010 , 7:58pm
post #17 of 22
bakincakin Posted 18 Oct 2010 , 7:59pm
post #18 of 22

One, this is why I encourage couples to cut their cake early in the evening (like BEFORE dinner is served) so the cake can be cut and served right after dinner instead of right after most of the guests have left.

I was just at a wedding 2 weeks ago, the bride and groom cut the cake before dinner. It was the best thing to do EVER!

KJ62798 Posted 18 Oct 2010 , 8:05pm
post #19 of 22

I'm trying to avoid the very problem right now.

I'm doing the wedding cake for a family member---in LATE June, So Cal, OUTSIDE. "Vendors" can set up at 3, ceremony at 5 but the cake won't be served until 9ish because they are having a 2-stage reception (ceremony + Dinner for family, dessert & dancing w/additional friends)

Bride was hoping for white choco BC w/fresh raspberry filling--NOPE. I've already told her that we will have to do fillings that are stable w/o refridgeration and should probably do fondant. (I'm yet to master IndyDebi's heatproof BC). I've even suggested kitchen cakes w/a dummy for display that has one edible tier for cutting/pics.

Thankfully, we have a lot of time to plan.

Kristy

3GCakes Posted 18 Oct 2010 , 8:12pm
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by bakincakin

One, this is why I encourage couples to cut their cake early in the evening (like BEFORE dinner is served) so the cake can be cut and served right after dinner instead of right after most of the guests have left.

I was just at a wedding 2 weeks ago, the bride and groom cut the cake before dinner. It was the best thing to do EVER!




I think people have forgotten what the wedding cake symbolizes. It's not "just dessert". It's supposed to symbolize their first meal together, and how they will nourish each other. That's why they "feed" it to each other. It really should be cut before the dinner begins.

marie-coccinelle Posted 30 Mar 2011 , 5:52pm
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

Hmmm . . . I generally ask for the earliest possible delivery time. If I ever show up within an hour of the reception start time, I am late/have been in an accident/something awful happened earlier in the day. But then I never, ever agree to any filling that has to be refrigerated. never. ever. My minimum delivery time is two hours prior to the start and I reserve the right to be there 6 hours before the start. And that's in my contract.




And, what are the filling that hasn't to be refrigerated?

leah_s Posted 30 Mar 2011 , 6:51pm
post #22 of 22

I mix 2 parts meringue-based bc to 1 part sleeved filling. comes out sort of like mousse.

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