beauty4151980 Posted 3 Jan 2011 , 11:48pm
post #1 of

A potential client wants to taste the following flavors at her cake tasting:

Cake flavors: Carrot Cake, Red Velvet, Spice, Devils Food, White Almond Sour Cream

Filling flavors: Cream Cheese Buttercream, Banana Cream, Chocolate Bavarian Cream, Bavarian Cream

She wants to bring friends along to the tasting. How much should I charge per person based upon the flavors chosen? Thanks in advance for your help!

24 replies
leily Posted 3 Jan 2011 , 11:59pm
post #2 of

i would charge more than anyone would want to spend.

I may have those flavor of cakes in the freezer for tasting, but i am not going to make all of those fillings. I would look at it like an order and charge for filled cupcakes or a small 6" cake in each flavor w/filling. So a one layer 6" square serves 9 people. 9servings for 4 cakes = 36 servings. I would take that times my per serving price and add in a little more for all the different fillings they want.

Also, i would set the maximum number of people she can invite. This isn't a desert party, it's a tasting. If she wants the desert party she can do it at her house with all the cake she ordered. She's meeting with me to discuss her cake, i don't want to hear the opinions of everyone else (they aren't paying for the cake)

flamingobaker Posted 4 Jan 2011 , 12:08am
post #3 of

I agree, what does she mean by "friends'? There should be one friend, or a mom and a friend, or a fiance and a friend, but definitely no multiple friends.

I also think you are giving them way too many options. Like IndyDebi says"the spice cake tastes like the white cake, but with spice" and "Chocolate Bav Cream tastes like Bavarian cream, but with chocolate." I can see the carrot and the red velvet and just one more cake flavor.

I don't charge for tastings but that is because I limit the options.

indydebi Posted 4 Jan 2011 , 12:37am
post #4 of

As I point out in my blog article, "It doesn't take a baseball team to decide if you like white or carrot cake." http://cateritsimple.blogspot.com/2009/08/ask-question-how-much-is.html

Plus "decisions by committee" turn into a nightmare.

The Golden Rule: Those with the gold get to make the rules. I offered free samplings which meant I got to pick what was served. I also viewed a sampling as a time when they got to see if they liked my baking .... not as a time when they got to order a sample of everything on my cake/catering menu just so they could decide what they wanted. Not happening.

If it were me ...... icon_rolleyes.gif

"I provide 3 cake flavors of my choosing. Anything over 3 is $25 per flavor/per person."

So 2 add'l flavors with 4 add'l people .... $25 x 2 flavors = $50 x 4 people = $200. They are not paying for THE CAKE. They are paying for the xtra time you have to take out of your VERY BUSY DAY to bake this extra cake for them. Time is money .... if they want your time, they have to fork over the money.

playingwithsugar Posted 4 Jan 2011 , 12:52am
post #5 of

And it must be paid for (and the check cleared) in advance.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

FromScratchSF Posted 5 Jan 2011 , 1:06am
post #6 of

LOL, I wing it most of the time since this is a new career for me, so one of my 1st tastings I had Bride, Groom, 2 moms, 1 aunt, and 2 BFF's show up. Now, the bride told me she was bringing all those people and asked if it was OK, but it didn't occur to me they'd all want free cake. I had tastings for 2 people. Mom #1 asked me to go get more cake. I politely told her that wasn't possible. Needless to say I was the target of 10 eyeballs shooting daggers at me and snipping negative comments the whole time about how "dry" the cake looked or how "slimey" the frosting looked.

Yeah, I didn't get the job. Which was probably for the best. It still makes me laugh though, and now I have a 3 people limit and they have to share 2 tasting portions.

Annabakescakes Posted 5 Jan 2011 , 2:42am
post #7 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by FromScratchSF

LOL, I wing it most of the time since this is a new career for me, so one of my 1st tastings I had Bride, Groom, 2 moms, 1 aunt, and 2 BFF's show up. Now, the bride told me she was bringing all those people and asked if it was OK, but it didn't occur to me they'd all want free cake. I had tastings for 2 people. Mom #1 asked me to go get more cake. I politely told her that wasn't possible. Needless to say I was the target of 10 eyeballs shooting daggers at me and snipping negative comments the whole time about how "dry" the cake looked or how "slimey" the frosting looked.

Yeah, I didn't get the job. Which was probably for the best. It still makes me laugh though, and now I have a 3 people limit and they have to share 2 tasting portions.




OMG! LOL! Dry cake and slimey icing, eh? That is just too funny, because it wasn't me, but now that I have heard this, if it ever happens to me, I'll have to laugh!

Loucinda Posted 5 Jan 2011 , 5:25am
post #8 of

I do just as indy says. I pick the flavors of cake and filling that are offered. It is whatever cake I had to bake that week. IF they want to try a particular flavor combo - they have to pay for it. Doing it this way allows me to keep the tastings free and less stressful for me. (2 people limit also)

mommynana Posted 5 Jan 2011 , 6:00am
post #9 of

thats what my kids got me for xmass it comes with 2guns,mow my prob..is that i got eveything in place when i but he color in the gun,dose it really use up all that color and not get to far or are u soupposed adjust the power presure or can someone please help and y don`t any instructions come with anyof these things its a mini air compressor piston type and it just says oel-less powerful compact,reliable and quite sorry this did t go to the right post

leah_s Posted 5 Jan 2011 , 1:49pm

I have a tasting menu and the brides can choose from that.
"Oh can't I taste carrot cake?"
"No, sorry that's not on the tasting menu. The tasting menu includes flavors that I know I will be making every week. If you want to try the carrot cake, you can purchase it."
"Well, how would I know if I like your carrot cake?"
"You'd have to purchase one, just like you'd purchase one to try from anywhere else."

"What fillings can I try?"
"Whatever I happen to have made and have on hand."
"I'd like to try chocolate truffle."
"Sorry that's a special order item and is never just 'on hand'."

You gotta take control from the beginning or you'll never get control.

beauty4151980 Posted 5 Jan 2011 , 5:16pm

Thanks for all of your responses. She wants to include two friends, and they are all willing to pay for the tasting. Ugh---decisions, decisions! This is all new to me, so it's a bit overwhelming!

Wesha Posted 5 Jan 2011 , 5:37pm

I have a 3 person minimum, the bride, groom, and another person of their choice. They get to sample 3 basic flavors that I normally would have in the freezer (cupcakes) and my buttercream icing. If they want to sample the fondant, then, I make a tiny fondant flower and place on the cupcake...I feel as though all the extra people are not needed because it is not there wedding or their wedding cake for that matter. Just my honest opinion.

costumeczar Posted 5 Jan 2011 , 6:15pm

I also limit it to three people. I did that when the committee one bride brought to the tasting with her made her burst into tears because they all kept telling her what she should do. I choose basic sample flavors so they can get an idea of the range of flavors that I do.

If you're going to charge, how much would you charge to make five different flavored 6" cakes with four different fillings? You'll probably have to make that much, so I'd charge at least $25 each for teeny one-layered ones, which means $125. That's a pain in the butt fee added in there, too.

VaBelle Posted 5 Jan 2011 , 6:22pm

I have seen a couple of people here say that they charge so much for a tasting and if the person books, then the money goes towards the cost of their cake. I like that idea so you're not out the money of a tasting and you can come up with a fair price for materials and your time.

FromScratchSF Posted 5 Jan 2011 , 7:19pm

There are a few places here that only offer tastings at a the same time, same day once a month, you RSVP to attend it (I don't know if there is a charge). Has anyone had any experience with that type of appointment? I'm not sure how the consultation part happens, I just imagine a room full of people eating cake and leaving, but these bakeries must have some success with it otherwise they wouldn't be doing it, right?

costumeczar Posted 5 Jan 2011 , 7:46pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by FromScratchSF

There are a few places here that only offer tastings at a the same time, same day once a month, you RSVP to attend it (I don't know if there is a charge). Has anyone had any experience with that type of appointment? I'm not sure how the consultation part happens, I just imagine a room full of people eating cake and leaving, but these bakeries must have some success with it otherwise they wouldn't be doing it, right?




I do kind of the same thing, with all my appointments on one day back to back. It works for me, and I'm going to try an open house this month too. that would be less of individual appointments and more of a tasting only with general questions being answered.

cakesbycathy Posted 6 Jan 2011 , 1:09am

I've started offering a "Baker's Choice" tasting which is free and includes 3 flavors of cake and filling of my choosing (whatever I have on hand at the time). I also offer a "Bride's choice" where they can pick 3 flavors and 3 fillings and it costs them $25.

I limit it 4 people total.

I just had one mom ask if they could please bring a 5th person since Grandma was visiting from out of town. I charged her an extra $10.

SwtCanuck Posted 6 Jan 2011 , 1:22am

I do it both ways. I offer whatever I am making that week or if I have a large amount of consultations I will book them back to back, give them what I am making that week and make an extra cake of a special flavour. It is also a plus to try to get a bulk number of consultations done in 2 days instead of dragging it out over a month.

-K8memphis Posted 6 Jan 2011 , 1:53am
Quote:
Originally Posted by VaBelle

I have seen a couple of people here say that they charge so much for a tasting and if the person books, then the money goes towards the cost of their cake. I like that idea so you're not out the money of a tasting and you can come up with a fair price for materials and your time.




Honestly, I've never really understood this. You are out the money and time for the tasting if it's subtracted from the wedding cake order. Then the tasting was free, right?

cakeRocket Posted 14 Jan 2012 , 8:25pm

I'm also pretty new to this as well and i have a bride who would like to "purchase" an assortment of cupcakes (mostly chocolate and vanilla with a few different varities of BC) to taste. I'm not sure if i should charge her for it or also put it towards the final bill if she chooses to sign a contract with me.

And if choose to charge how much? Any advice is always greatly appreciatedicon_smile.gif

luvscakes Posted 17 Jan 2012 , 10:34pm

I do tastings only 1 Sat. a month. And I let them know this is for 2 people only. Sometimes it's the couple, other times it's the bride and mom etc.
After I was stood up a few times, I began to charge a "deposit" of $25 which is applied toward the cost of their cake.
I do think I've lost some customers... well, not real customers but brides who are out playing and tasting everything they can, even if they cannot afford the bakery. Personally, I don't mind that I've not had to waste my time or ingredients on them. Charging has definitely made it so that only the customers truly interested in getting my cakes have my time.

(On a side note, I do allow them to choose up to 3 flavors. Usually they only want 2 though.)

carmijok Posted 17 Jan 2012 , 11:59pm

I ended up being the person who did the tastings at the bakery I worked for. The owner did not charge. We would serve a 4" french vanilla cake with two fillings, bavarian cream and raspberry on opposite sides of each other. The cake was smooth iced in buttercream with a shell border. She would also serve a chocolate cake ball with the bride to be's initial on top of it. She'd put them on a clear small glass cake pedestal..very pretty. Then we'd have glass plates and water in a cute pitcher and a sliver server to cut the cake with, silver forks and clear china plates to serve them with. The presentation was what impressed people. She basically just gave them a taste of vanilla cake and a taste of what her chocolate cake was in the cake ball. The two fillings were our most requested and that's what she used.

It worked great. Whenever there was extra batter on baking days, she'd make however many 4" rounds she could and freeze them. We'd do that too with other flavors.
If someone wanted a specific cake flavor, if we had it we'd serve it. If not, they had to buy a dozen cupcakes or a small cake.

Oh...and we'd let the bride-to-be cut the small cake 'for the practice'. They loved it.

luvscakes Posted 18 Jan 2012 , 12:22am

K8memphis- yes, the tasting is basically free if they order a cake. I don't mind giving some cake away for free when they order a wedding cake from me.
I do make a little bit as it doesn't cost a full $25 to bake for them.

I bake 2 reg. cupcakes in each flavor. I "stuff" them with filling, and top with my buttercream. I always have forks for them to eat with, an top them with something cute... a flower, a sprinkle, a cookie etc. I always also take a small sample of both my white and chocolate fondant.

I freeze my leftover batter in ziplock bags, then cut the tip and squirt into the cup. voila! It helps me not waste a lot of batter that way!

I love the idea of the 4" on a pedestal. Cute idea, but my flavors are so different I like the bride to get a sample of what she is interested in so I could give 4" cakes in every flavor icon_smile.gif

Honeybees Posted 18 Jan 2012 , 12:52am

I did an open house when I first started out to see what people thought of my recipes. I experimented with some flavors and allowed people to try them. I had a 2 day event. IT WAS A MAD HOUSE! Parents bringing kids, kids stealing samples, parents allowing it to happen.Kids screaming and I wasnt able to sit down with anyone and take because other guests just came over and acted like it was some kind of party. This will NOT happen again for me. I got a lot of orders from it but it was pure madness. A few people came both days just to stop by and get free cake.
So needless to say this wont happen again. In future I'm going to pick one day each month to have people stop by to sample "with an appointment" and they will be limited to 1 guest and NO KIDS EVER!

cerps Posted 22 Jan 2012 , 4:27am

Good thoughts on the tasting...the one thing that bugs us is when we set up an appointment and they no show, we schedule girls to be in the cake shoppe so I can focus on the consultation and not shoppe visitors. I am liking the $25 deposit idea and then apply it to the cake when ordered. Where I'm at I haven't heard of anyone charging for tastings locally.

How do you get them to pay the deposit? Like when they email and set up a consultation or when I meet them at a bridal show?

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