I don't know what is going on lately with folks wanting a "tasting" for everything! I got a phone call today for a taste test for a sweet 16 for about 50 people and an email for a taste test for a 1st bday party!
I do want the orders but I can't do tastings for everything. I am a licensed home baker and it is just not cost or time effective for me to do this. How do you say no but still make the sale?
Maybe if they would like to order a dozen cc or something? But the order is still not likely to be big enough to take that off the order.
How do ya'll handle this?
I don't know how to answer this but I am not a professional but I have done many cakes for lots of years for family and friends who have tasted my cake and they like the taste. I have not been asked for a "tasting". I would not do it especially being a home baker.
I'm the same as you! Licensed and legal home baker and I've gotten a few requests for tastings for bday cakes...or I've had someone ask me to mail them a cruffle pop (um, no!). What I tell people is that I offer complimentarty tastings to party cakes over $300, and all wedding cakes. But, I've been lucky in that no one's ever not booked b/c I didn't give them a tasting. I do tell them that they can order cupcakes (my min. order is two dozen typically, but i'll do a dozen for them). I also strongly encourage these customers to look at my facebook page if they're on facebook. I tell them that's it's the best way to see candid, unprompted opinions on the taste of my cakes (in addition to how they look) to help convince them that the cake is going to be awesome
lenette, i get tasting calls for birthday cakes all the time. most are first time to order with me, or they are a friend of someone who has but has not actually tasted my cupcakes. what i do, is show them my menu, and let them pick 2 or 3 off the menu and then let them come in and taste my work, usually on a day when i am baking those particular ones anyway. if i have to make them special for them, i do charge for it. if they order, its rolled into the cost. if they dont, then i am not out anything.
I recommend charging for the tasting...we charge $30, and it's applied to the cost of the cake if they order. So far only brides have taken us up on the offer, but I don't see any reason why you wouldn't do a tasting for a smaller cake if they're OK paying for it (unless you are already too busy and have to turn away business).
We charge for tasting as well. We charge $25 and deduct it from the cost if they order. One thing I am doing is making cupcakes out of excess batter, marking and freezing them. They thaw nicely and I can use them for my tastings!
Thank you all for your replies, I think I will offer it for a small fee and see what they say.
I have stated on my website I do not offer tasting for orders under 100 servings. Most people understand why!
I charge $35 for a tasting (4 samples with fillings). For a wedding cake, it is applied toward the final payment. For a party cake, it's an actual cost.
I am also a liscened home bakery. I offer complimentary consultations for anyone ordering a cake with more than 70 servings. Why would I care what the cake is for? I charge the same amount per serving no matter the occasion.
I hold the consultations in my dinning room. I book about 95% of the clients I have consulations with.
I am also a liscened home bakery. I offer complimentary consultations for anyone ordering a cake with more than 70 servings. Why would I care what the cake is
Same here, except my minumum serving amount is 100 for the cake they're ordering.
I understand your point of the occasion shouldn't matter, and it doesn't generally. However, most people around here are not going to have a large enough cake for a bday to justify me spending time and money on a consult. My bday cakes generally run a max of $50 vs a consult for a wedding which is $500 plus.
My point is that for me, especially not being retail, it is not cost effective for me to have a consult and samples for a $50 cake. I think that in some respects the idea of having a "taste test" prior to ordering has gotten a bit out of hand.
I offer tastings for anything over 100 servings, regardless of what the cake is for. If they have less than that I will sell them a 6" undecorated round for $25.
Sometimes I think tastings have gotten to be some sort of "fad" thing...they are going to a "custom" baker so they want to kinda "customize" their whole experience. Um, I guess....
On of the first questions I ask is how many guests they are expecting. If they say a number that is 70 or more I will do a consultation (only if they ask, I never offer). If they say 69 or less and ask for a consultation I tell them I do not hold consultations for events that small. No one has ever gotten bent out of shape with me. I think they want to see if I allow it and if not, oh well, the grocery store bakery wouldn't do it either so it is not like they are getting any less.
I've found most of them don't want to taste raspberry kiwi cake with chai tea and blood orange filling -- they just want to make sure the cake is of good quality, which I understand since they're usually ordering something for at least $250. So I tell them that next Sat. (or whenever it works out for them to pick it up) I'll use some of the batter to make them some cupcakes. I give them 4-6 cupcakes at no charge. But I don't mix up batter just for that.
When you put it that way I think it clicks in their head what they are asking and they are appreciative that you made the cupcakes for them.
we charge $30, and it's applied to the cost of the cake if they order.
I think the op was commenting about making that $$$ back on a $50 birthday cake. It is a big waste of time in chasing a potential $50 order. I think on small orders, I would say it is $30 (or whatever), with that amount being credited to orders over $300 (or whatever).
Some people may really want it, and may be willing to pay for it, but you must cover your costs in time and ingredients. IMHO.
I also charge for tastings unless I know the couple already wants to book with me and they just want to come in to try new flavors we offer to see if they want something other than the traditional flavors that I am not out of money if they don't book. I have only done it twice where I knew the couple would book with me everyone else got charged. So people may balk at you charging if they truly interested in booking with you then they shouldn't mind. I tell them its to cover the cost of ingredients since I have to make up flavors specifically for them that aren't offer in the case that day. I also think its a fad that will fade away eventually..placing a minimum order requirement will end those silly inquiries. If they really want to see what the cake is like.. you can also sell them some cupcakes at a discounted price if they are really interested.. before I moved into my shop and I was baking from home I would sell sample cupcakes to clients for $1.00 each if the cake was under the minimum order requirement for a tasting.