cakegirl123 Posted 8 Jan 2011 , 3:10pm
post #1 of

At my tastings I limit the number of people to 4. How does everyone else handle it when the bride calls and asks to bring more people? I always say that my place is really small and I only have samples and enough chairs for 4 people but they insist on it anyway. The maximum allowed is on my website and brochures! Do you just say no? I'm afraid I'll lose a potential customer.

Thanks!

32 replies
Loucinda Posted 8 Jan 2011 , 3:36pm
post #2 of

There is absolutely NO reason for having more than 4 people. If they are insisting on bringing more, I would stand my ground. Someone like that is more than likely going to be a PIA anyways. I do free tastings, so it is my rules. If you want more than what I offer, you are going to pay for it.

cakesbycathy Posted 8 Jan 2011 , 3:48pm
post #3 of

I would just repeat "I'm sorry but I do not have the room to accomodate more than 4 people."

If they keep pushing then you can say "I understand if you need to look elsewhere for a cake."

You can say it in a friendly but firm way.

Really, if someone is being a PITA about the tasting then chances are they are going to be a PITA for the whole process. Better off not having them as a customer anyway.

Cakechick123 Posted 8 Jan 2011 , 3:59pm
post #4 of

why would they need more that 4 people to decide on the cake?

Stick to your guns! Like a pp said, if she's a PITA now, she will be even a bigger PITA after you have her deposit!

giggysmack Posted 8 Jan 2011 , 3:59pm
post #5 of

Lol!! I know about this it made me feel like an amusement park!

leah_s Posted 8 Jan 2011 , 4:03pm
post #6 of

ditto cakes by cathy.

You get control of the situations now, or you'll never get control of it.

Back in the extremely brief time I was shadowing to be a teacher, the supervising teacher offered this one piece of advice, cleaned up for posting. "Set your rules clearly from the beginning and communicate them without question. You can always become more lenient, but if you start out lenient, you can not get tougher later."

giggysmack Posted 8 Jan 2011 , 4:06pm
post #7 of

I generally only wanted max 2 at an appointment (preferably 1) as I found too many people was too many opinions and took way too long

Ruth0209 Posted 8 Jan 2011 , 4:21pm
post #8 of

I've had it happen just a couple of times. I hate it the most when they bring their kids. They're a terrible distraction.

I don't really care how many they bring. I only provide so many samples. Unfortunately, having a lot of people there makes it harder to talk business.

I usually box up their leftover samples and send them away with them. If they want a lot of people, you might suggest that they just bring two so they can talk design and money without distractions and that they take home some samples for the others to taste since that's probably the only reason they're tagging along anyway.

kansaslaura Posted 8 Jan 2011 , 4:27pm
post #9 of

I think at times they think it's a way to get a free desert bar. Personally, if I were the bride I wouldn't care what everyone else thought.

Slightly off topic, but relevant. I was flipping channels and landed on "Say Yes to the Dress"... there was a bride with all of her bridesmaids, mother and a couple of friends thown in....all chattering about this dress or that. By the end of the appt she had no clue what she wanted, trying to please them all. Who needs a mob to tell them what looks/tastes/is right for THEM?

Geeze!

jillmakescakes Posted 8 Jan 2011 , 4:31pm

If they insist, tell them that they can bring more than 4, however there are only enough chairs for 4 people. If they decide that the extra person stands, so be it.

If, however, you have the gut PITA feeling, cut them loose now! That is my new year's resolution. Every bride that I had the gut feeling about, turned around and tried to bite me in the a@@!!!
icon_surprised.gif

bobwonderbuns Posted 8 Jan 2011 , 4:34pm

I had a consultation a couple years ago (from HADES!) where (long story short) what I was told and how it turned out were two VERY different things. I was told the bride, groom and bride's mother were to be at the consultation. This was true. What they DIDN'T tell me was that in addition to that were the bride's father, the grooms parents, a sister or two (don't know who they belonged to) and some guy who thought he was the Donald Trump of the cake biz (who kept telling me how to run my business!) icon_confused.gif Not to mention the fact that all his advice was SERIOUSLY out of touch! icon_cool.gif

All these people wanted cake, all of them had opinions, and every last one of them badgered the poor bride until she was in tears. I finally took her and we went for a walk after I told her (loudly) in front of all of them "don't worry about them, this is YOUR day. Now let's go for a walk and discuss what YOU want for YOUR wedding."

Needless to say I did NOT get that commission! icon_lol.gif So now I tell people "I can happily accommodate UP TO three people, NO MORE." End of discussion! icon_twisted.gif

brincess_b Posted 8 Jan 2011 , 4:51pm

'sorry, my consultation area can only accomodate 4.' and lets face it, four is generous of you! id be tempted to add 'should you wish more people to taste my cake before deciding if its what you and your groom want for your day, i can sell an additional 6 inch/ cupcakes for $X'.
any money the brides assorted people are pushing to come to the tasting, and she will probably be glad to be able to say 'sorry, the caker has a strict limit.'
xx

cakegirl123 Posted 8 Jan 2011 , 7:33pm

Thank you for all your responses! I just got back from the appointment. My one hours appointment turned into 2 hours , the bride left without choosing a cake design or flavors. You know what that means. Another appointment with the same bride is in my future. Too many people= too much talking. The next time that happens I'll remember today and say NO!

nhbaker Posted 8 Jan 2011 , 8:16pm

My tastings policy is "max 6 persons, no children". I figure a max of 6 allows for both sets of parents to attend should they like.

To weed out the rif-raff, I charge the wedding couple $40 (which comes off the bottom line should they place an order) and $10 for each additional person they bring (no credit applied). I always get the tasting money up front regardless of whether they place an order with a deposit that day or not. That way should they cancel, I at least have the tasting fee in hand.

My decision for no kids came about after a couple of "incidents". Once a couple brought their rugrats (3 under the age of 4!!) and my husband and oldest child ended up entertaining them in our backyard. Another couple brought her two hellions that felt like they had the run of my house, inlcuding upstairs and into my kids rooms -- parents didn't seem to care - I was horrified.

Not that parents/in-laws are much better - I can tell you horror stories about them too but I won't go there!

It would be nice to have just the wedding couple only but I don't think that's fair and some brides really need the extra input.

To be honest, I'd rather not do tastings at all but it's part of the biz. icon_smile.gif

.

cakelady2266 Posted 8 Jan 2011 , 8:48pm

I had this problem this morning. I don't have a policy on number of people, kids or time limit but I need one bad. My shop is small and I only have room for 4 at the table and I would like for one of them to be ME. At 9 am this morning I had the bride, bride's mother, groom, groom's mother and father and 2 of the grooms siblings for a total of 7 plus me. I conducted, lol, standing from my bar and served samples.

Why does ANYBODY need this many people at a meeting?

AmysCakesNCandies Posted 8 Jan 2011 , 8:59pm

I don't see where anyone needs more than 3 or 4. Figure Bride, Groom, Maybe MOB, MOG or a wedding planner. I just provide 1 large cupcake of each flavor they are tasting- which is typically easily split between 2 or 3 people. They really only need a bite or two to know if they like it or not. I haven't had more than 4 at a consult, but if more showed up I guess they would just have to figure out how to split that 1 cupcake!

pinkpiggie78 Posted 8 Jan 2011 , 9:10pm

You could offer, for a fee, additional tastings "to go" for all the extras folks to try. This way everyone who wants cake can get some without overcrowding and too many opinions at the actual tasting appt.

indydebi Posted 8 Jan 2011 , 9:23pm

My "confirming the appt" email stated:

You are welcome to bring up to a total of four people (seating limitations).
Since this appointment can be lengthy, we dont recommend bringing children as a catering facility is not a very entertaining place for them to try to sit quietly while mom/dad conduct a business meeting.
You should plan about an hour for this appointment.


if they bring a strangler, I serve teh same 2.5x2.5x2" squares of cake, and if they were also shopping for a catering, the same amount of chicken, meatballs, grean beans, rice, potatoes and other foods (so as you can see, I had a heftier cost investment in my samplings than just cake). I intentionlly only had 4 chairs at my table, plus my office chair for me. Yes, I had people who had to stand, but they knew that up front.

It doesn't take a baseball team to decide if you like white or carrot cake.

Your house, your biz, your rules.

And totally agree with leah's statement. A wedding planner commented on another wedding site that she got a bad review for being nice and lenient. the bride said, "I was confused on what was included and waht wasn't." So the planner was advising Stick to whatever is in the contract. Say 'no' and say it often. At the very very end, if you want to do a little above and beyond, that's ok. but be firm in following your own rules."

playingwithsugar Posted 8 Jan 2011 , 9:43pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

if they bring a strangler....




then you must be in Boston. LOL! fumblefingers! Love ya!

Theresa icon_smile.gif

indydebi Posted 8 Jan 2011 , 9:49pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by playingwithsugar

Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

if they bring a strangler....



then you must be in Boston. LOL! fumblefingers! Love ya!

Theresa icon_smile.gif


icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif straggler!! straggler!!!

And believe it or not, I even looked at that twice to make sure I spelled it right!! icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

brincess_b Posted 8 Jan 2011 , 10:02pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakegirl123

You know what that means. Another appointment with the same bride is in my future.




why?
do you have anything set up like first consult is included, more cost extra?
id see how much you can do by phone - or make it very clear that only her and groom (or 1 other if they are paying for the cake) are allowed.
has she actually paid the deposit?
xx

leah_s Posted 8 Jan 2011 , 10:29pm

[quote="cakelady2266"]I had this problem this morning. I don't have a policy on number of people, kids or time limit but I need one bad. My shop is small and I only have room for 4 at the table and I would like for one of them to be ME. At 9 am this morning I had the bride, bride's mother, groom, groom's mother and father and 2 of the grooms siblings for a total of 7 plus me. I conducted, lol, standing from my bar and served samples.

Why does ANYBODY need this many people at a meeting?[/quote]

Beause they're not really looking at it as a *business meeting*. They're looking at it as a mini-party.

It's all about setting expectations. Last sentence of the convo when setting the appointment, "And I'll see you and your groom and your mother, a total of 3 people, on Tuesday the 14th and 4:00 pm for our business meeting to discuss the cake design and have a tasting. See you then!"

tryingcake Posted 8 Jan 2011 , 10:56pm

My rules: for cake tastings (which are free):

1) Up to 4 I can attend. (My space actually seats 6... but nope, not gonna do it)
2) No one under 16 under any circumstances. (If they show up with children the meeting is canceled. If they can't follow the rules now, they certainly won't follow them later.)
3) Only the bride and groom may place the final order. I don't care who is paying for it.

If they want to pre-arrange different arrangements, the tasting is $25.

My rules: for dinner tastings (which are free):

Same as above with 1 exception. Only two may attend. I try to book up to 3 couples at any one dinner tasting. If you want a dinner tasting for more than 2, it is $10 per head.

Kiddiekakes Posted 8 Jan 2011 , 11:00pm

She left without a cake design,flavor or a deposit and that means..Likey NO cake order...I would start charging for your tastings if you don't already..I believe that some of these Brides and Grooms and extra family members see these type of appointments as a chance for free cake from numerous cake designers with no intention of ordering from many they taste from...


I say....No cake for you.....

costumeczar Posted 9 Jan 2011 , 12:10am
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobwonderbuns

I had a consultation a couple years ago (from HADES!) where (long story short) what I was told and how it turned out were two VERY different things. I was told the bride, groom and bride's mother were to be at the consultation. This was true. What they DIDN'T tell me was that in addition to that were the bride's father, the grooms parents, a sister or two (don't know who they belonged to) and some guy who thought he was the Donald Trump of the cake biz (who kept telling me how to run my business!) icon_confused.gif Not to mention the fact that all his advice was SERIOUSLY out of touch! icon_cool.gif

All these people wanted cake, all of them had opinions, and every last one of them badgered the poor bride until she was in tears. I finally took her and we went for a walk after I told her (loudly) in front of all of them "don't worry about them, this is YOUR day. Now let's go for a walk and discuss what YOU want for YOUR wedding."

Needless to say I did NOT get that commission! icon_lol.gif So now I tell people "I can happily accommodate UP TO three people, NO MORE." End of discussion! icon_twisted.gif




I had EXACTLY the same thing happen to me. The bride had something like 7 or 8 people who all had big mouths and opinions with her, and she finally just burst into tears. I now limit it to 3 people total, no kids.

costumeczar Posted 9 Jan 2011 , 12:14am

And to answer the original question, I agree that if someone "insists" on bringing extra people, then you should count yourself lucky if you get rid of her business. If she's that entitled before she even meets you, what will she be like if she hires you and thinks that she owns you because she's put a deposit down?

pattycakesnj Posted 9 Jan 2011 , 12:23am

I clearly state in my confirmation email that a total of 4 people are allowed at the tasting. I also charge $25 for tastings, which does get credited to their balance if they book with me. (I collect the $25 at the tasting but may require it ahead of time as I have been stood up twice recently) Come up with a set of rules and stick to them, it is your business.

cai0311 Posted 10 Jan 2011 , 4:08pm

When I email or talk to the bride I say "Consultations are limited to 3 people total. Let me know at least 24hrs in advance how many people will be coming so I put out enough cake for everyone." Up until last week no one had pushed the issue. This past Tuesday a bride really wanted to bring her FH and parents. I told her that is fine but I only provide enough cake for 3 so some will have share. It worked out because I have plenty of room (and they booked, and it is a huge wedding). Next time someone wants to bring an extra person I will say the same about sharing, and then add "If you would like that person to have their own sample there is a $15 fee."

As a side note, I only have 5 chairs at the table I use for my consultations, so I would put my foot down if the bride wanted more than 4 people.

Ruth0209 Posted 11 Jan 2011 , 4:17am
Quote:
Originally Posted by cai0311

When I email or talk to the bride I say "Consultations are limited to 3 people total. Let me know at least 24hrs in advance how many people will be coming so I put out enough cake for everyone." Up until last week no one had pushed the issue. This past Tuesday a bride really wanted to bring her FH and parents. I told her that is fine but I only provide enough cake for 3 so some will have share. It worked out because I have plenty of room (and they booked, and it is a huge wedding). Next time someone wants to bring an extra person I will say the same about sharing, and then add "If you would like that person to have their own sample there is a $15 fee."

As a side note, I only have 5 chairs at the table I use for my consultations, so I would put my foot down if the bride wanted more than 4 people.




What is an "FH?"

Cakechick123 Posted 11 Jan 2011 , 8:35am
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth0209


What is an "FH?"




future husband???? icon_biggrin.gif

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