I was contacted by a local play place (with the bouncy houses and put-put and arcade etc.) to make birthday cakes for them. The owner is re-vamping the birthday package that they offer to include a cake if the client wants it. She wanted me to offer a "plain" version and a "fancy" version. She also wants the contract to state that I am obligated to fill their cake needs and she would not buy cakes from anywhere else. She said they do up to 10 birthday parties a weekend (but that doesn't mean that all 10 parties would opt for cake). She wanted me to come up with example cakes and prices for a brochure. I just started my business a couple of months ago - and part of me thinks, "great - business assurance!" But the other part of me thinks, "wait, most people will want plain inexpensive sheet cakes, and I would rather be doing wedding cakes." But right now I only have 3 weddings booked over the next year, and only a few other custom cakes. I want to establish myself as the custom cake lady, but is it worth it to pass up the promise of business? What would you do?
It would depend on two things for me. 1. How much do I need the business. 2. How much is the playplace paying you for the cakes? If she's going to pay you enough that you feel it's worth it,a dn you need the cash flow, then I'd do it to get a start.
BUT...if you only want to do wedding cakes then you can't look at it as a way to build a customer base. If you can bang out a sheet cake in no time than I say go for it, but again, it would depend how much she's willing to pay. If she's saying that she'll pay you $10 for each cake, forget it. She'd need to pay the regular retail that you'd charge any random customer, so find out the details first. Then get it in writing!
Maybe you could do it on a trial basis for 3 months or so to see if it works out for both of you.
At this point in your business I would do it. IF you are ok with repetition. IF you get your asking price for the cake. You will get real fast and it's easy money. People who have birthday kids know people who need wedding cakes.
Somebody else is gonna market your cakes for you? Oh heck yeah.
Watch that contract like a hawk--if it's complicated don't hesitate to get legal assitance.
Object of the game--retain control.
Best of the best to you!
I can say that if I was a mom that was planning my kid's party at a place and they offered to take care of the cake too, I would jump at the offer. One less thing right?
Another question is, are they going to market the cakes as your cakes? Like K8memphis said, somebody else marketing your product is great, if they're going to market it as your product. When they do the sales pitch to the mother/parents are they going to say "You can also add a birthday cake to your package, supplied by (your company's name)." or are they going to say "We can also supply a birthday cake." Because at the end of the party, I want the clients to say "Kristan Ashley does awesome cakes!" not "Party play place does awesome cakes".
See the difference? Would the parents be walking away with your business cards?
She also wants the contract to state that I am obligated to fill their cake needs and she would not buy cakes from anywhere else.
When I was the cake supplier for a similar play place/arcade it worked out well. We had 5 or 6 total designs to choose from for boy or girl. The owner would kindly call in to specify what name to write on each design, and was always friendly placing the orders almost in an "is this okay for you" sort of way. There wasn't a contract--we didn't need one, and it worked. (I wouldn't have signed one anyway.) Of course, I was "obligated", but if something was to prevent me from fulfilling their orders, they'd need to be "allowed" to go elsewhere.
Just one other thing to consider if you haven't already is if all 10 parties in one weekend did want a cake, would you be comfortable filling 10 orders? I work a regular salary job as well. I don't think I could get more than one of these done a night so that's only 5 by Saturday AM and it would take up all of my time at night. Although if you know there are 10 to get done, you could get a better assembly line that I currently have and be tons faster