What Questions Should I Ask When A Customer Wants A Cake?

Business By myriah93 Updated 11 Nov 2010 , 2:50am by mom2twogrlz

myriah93 Posted 28 Oct 2010 , 8:04pm
post #1 of 18

So basically what should the baker ask the customer? a list of questions would be so helpful! XD thumbs_up.gif

17 replies
tootie0809 Posted 28 Oct 2010 , 8:17pm
post #2 of 18

The first thing I ask a customer is what date they need it for. If I'm already booked, no need to continue the conversation further than that. After that question is answered, and assuming I'm available, then I start with what type of cake are they looking for (wedding, birthday, etc.). What size do they need? Do they have a design already picked out or any design ideas in mind? What is their budget for the cake (if it's an unrealistic budget for the design and size, then we talk different pricing options or if it's just way too low for my minimum, then I just tell them I can't accommodate their budget). Those are the main questions I start with. Then obviously you get into the details, colors, flavors, etc. of the cake and get the order placed.

borerunner42 Posted 28 Oct 2010 , 8:19pm
post #3 of 18

here are just a few questions I have from my Order Form I made. I have just started into the cake business, so I am very new & need pointers too! But this is what I ask so far:

Name:
Date of Event:
Pick up time for cake:
Delivery Yes/NO (I charge a fee for simple cakes)
Desired servings or size of cake:
Event Theme (Birthday, Anniversary, Shower, Graduation, etc...)
Style Desired: (flowers, animals, birds, shapes, castle etc...)
Colors Desired:
Cake Flavor:
Filling Flavor:
Icing Flavor:
Extra Details (additional fee): Fondant, Flowers, Gumpaste, Bow etc...
Any Allergy information:

Christy0722 Posted 28 Oct 2010 , 8:22pm
post #4 of 18

When someone asks me to do a cake, the first 3 questions out of my mouth are:

1 ~ What date do you need it? If i'm booked, conversation ends.
2 ~ What size cake are you looking for AND How many people do you expect to feed?
3 ~ What is your budget? If they want a 3 tiered for $50....sorry....then the "cake mogul" education begins!!!

If all of the above are answered and all parties are in agreement, then you need to know cake flavors, fillings, icings, fondant, decorations, etc. Once you know all of this, THEN you can give them a price. I never quote a price until I have all the info.
Hope this helps!!

thecakeprincess Posted 28 Oct 2010 , 8:35pm
post #5 of 18

good info

caymancake Posted 28 Oct 2010 , 8:36pm
post #6 of 18

The questions I usually ask/topics I touch on are:

- the date/time they need the cake for (to make sure I'm able to do it)
- the type of event
- the theme/colours of the event
- if they have any ideas already...otherwise I start to develop some ideas with them.
- their budget
- the cake flavour/flavours
- icing flavour/colour/choices
- filling flavours (if applicable)
- final price
- deposit

snowshoe1 Posted 28 Oct 2010 , 9:35pm
post #7 of 18

First I ask the date (to see if we are booked), what type of a cake they are looking for, then I explain our base pricing. I don't see any reason to pursue a conversation after talking base pricing unless they wish to proceed. I never ask what their budget is.

50% of the time after I explain base pricing, I get "oh, I need to talk to my husband/wife, etc..." - we translate this as "ugh...I won't pay that but don't want to tell you". Saves me lots of time.

indydebi Posted 28 Oct 2010 , 11:28pm
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Christy0722

When someone asks me to do a cake, the first 3 questions out of my mouth are:

1 ~ What date do you need it? If i'm booked, conversation ends.
2 ~ What size cake are you looking for AND How many people do you expect to feed?
3 ~ What is your budget? If they want a 3 tiered for $50....sorry....then the "cake mogul" education begins!!!


Ditto on this response. Get those first 3 questions out of the way right up front and all things will go smooth(er) from that point on. Don't waste any time on any other questions until you know the answers to these three! thumbs_up.gif

P.S. Debi's note on question #2: I had a guy asked for pricing for a "full sheet" and he only needed to feed TEN people! icon_surprised.gif But that's why you're asking both of these #2 questions.

jason_kraft Posted 29 Oct 2010 , 12:17am
post #9 of 18

I don't even ask customers what size cake they want...I ask how many people they need to serve, then I suggest one or more cake sizes.

cakesbycathy Posted 29 Oct 2010 , 12:24am
post #10 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonkraft

I don't even ask customers what size cake they want...I ask how many people they need to serve, then I suggest one or more cake sizes.




I do the same. Cake muggles generally have no idea how many people a half sheet feeds. They may know the lingo but not what it means.

indydebi Posted 29 Oct 2010 , 12:30am
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesbycathy

Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonkraft

I don't even ask customers what size cake they want...I ask how many people they need to serve, then I suggest one or more cake sizes.



I do the same. Cake muggles generally have no idea how many people a half sheet feeds. They may know the lingo but not what it means.


Oh I like to ask this one for my own entertainment! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif They're not going to get it right and its fun to see what they THINK the size will cover or what the budget will buy! icon_lol.gif

Rose_N_Crantz Posted 29 Oct 2010 , 1:14am
post #12 of 18

I've learned to ask this question after a few "incidents". This is best to ask when you get a client that is like "oh, I don't really care how it looks. Just do whatever."

"Alright! Is there anything you absolutely do NOT want on the cake?"

examples could be certain colors (like black). I've had people say they're getting a cake for a 50th birthday party, and they are not picky about the design at all. Then at the last minute they say "oh, but no black or gravestones or anything like that please."

Christy0722 Posted 29 Oct 2010 , 2:50pm
post #13 of 18

One of the main reasons I ask about the customer's budget is because everyone, and I do mean everyone...me included...has champagne taste on a beer budget. But I do know my limitations....

That being said, I had a bride contact me a couple of months ago for a December wedding. She wanted.....3 tiered wedding cake on pillars with a flowing fountain underneath and 2 satelite cakes with bridges connecting to the top layer. All fondant covered with snowflake decor. All three tiers decorated differently. She also wanted a winter scene complete with handmade white deer and evergreen trees to surround the satelite cakes.

Of course, the first thing I thought of was she's looking at a $1000 +++ cake. icon_biggrin.gificon_lol.gificon_biggrin.gif If I would have spent 2 hours gathering all the info and sketching this monster out WITHOUT knowing her budget...I would have been a little ticked. icon_mad.gif Anyone want to venture a guess as to this brides budget??????

Answer ~ $250. Number of invited guests ~ 200.

Now you know why the budget question is in the top 3.

jillmakescakes Posted 30 Oct 2010 , 1:19am
post #14 of 18

I learned this one with my naughty cakes (no mistakes, thank goodness):

What skintone color is needed?

This works for any cake with flesh on it. Also check hair color for any figures.

borerunner42 Posted 9 Nov 2010 , 8:18pm
post #15 of 18

Wow! This is all so informative! Thank you for all your input & replies.

I have a castle cake to do this weekend. For a little boy....my plan is to bake a 1/2 sheet (12"x18") cake & divide it up into different sizes for the tiers to make the castle. In my head it doesn't seem like it will be enough cake to make a tall enough base tier or cool looking castle. But the mom only needs cake to feed 30-40 people. I thought i could decorate a foam board as the bottom layer of the castle, to save her money & not make a ton of extra cake. So what does one typically do in figuring out how to charge for a themed cake like this? And how much cake have you all made to make a castle? I'm planning on using BC & very little if any fondant(maybe just around the top of the towers) and plan on baking some batter in soup cans for the towers.
Ok, sorry for such a long question! I've just been having a hard time figuring this out & how to design it.
thanks!

Unlimited Posted 9 Nov 2010 , 11:02pm
post #16 of 18

An Order Form is most helpful. Design one that includes every possible detail, and once it's completely filled outyou'll have your "work order" to refer to along with a record of what was actually ordered.

leah_s Posted 11 Nov 2010 , 2:31am
post #17 of 18

All good advice and great questions. Here's three more:

Cash?
Check?
or Charge?

icon_smile.gif

mom2twogrlz Posted 11 Nov 2010 , 2:50am
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

All good advice and great questions. Here's three more:

Cash?
Check?
or Charge?

icon_smile.gif




Love it.....Leah always has the best answers. icon_lol.gif

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