Tasting... A Little Confused

Business By Pebbles1727 Updated 9 Feb 2011 , 12:12am by CupQuequito

Pebbles1727 Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 3:12am
post #1 of 41

Ok, you'll,
i have a tasting coming up. Told the bride I can do 3-4 flavors for them to try and suggested some based on their budget, also told them what flavors are available. Now, here is what I get in regards to what they want to taste....

[i]1. Here is our take on Vanilla:

Vanilla sponge, infused with vanilla syrup, layered with raspberry preserve and vanilla buttercream.

2. Here is our second "vanilla":

Lemon sponge, infused with lemon and Limoncello syrup, layered with lemon curd and lemon buttercream.

3. Here is our chocolate choice:

Chocolate and orange, chocolate sponge cake iced in a grand marnier chocolate ganache.

4. Chocolate with raspberry

5. Groom's cake will probably be carrot cake as that is harrison's favorite.[i]

Does it sound like a little bit extreme for a tasting? Do any of you actually offer that kind of flavors? Do you charge extra for these?
Here are my problems with it:
1. I don't do syrups...
2. Even if I decided to accomodate the bride, I would have to purchase liquor to make things happen...and then had nothing to use it for
3. Then, if she chose one of these things, the price per serving will go up due to the ingredients used, and that would be above the number she is trying to keep her cake for 200 under
4. It is an outside wedding on the coast of AL in the summer (read hot and humid), ganache and curd are trouble waiting to happen, so I would not feel comfortable using either one of those for her cake anyways. Do you normally offer tastings for flavors that you know in advance, you won't be able to do?
5. If I do what she requests, that tasting is going to cost me a pretty penny, is that normal?

I'm sorry for so many questions, I'm rather new to the wedding cake business. Of course, I can politely respond to the bride that I don't do the things she requested and suggest she looks for another vendor, but...Is this kind of requests are usuall and ordinary? Do I need to get myself prepped and make it work if I want to do wedding cakes? Is most of the brides expect this and I need to revamp my idea of what I should offer as options?

Thank you all so much in advance. Maybe this wedding thing is not for me...

40 replies
awatterson Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 3:16am
post #2 of 41

Are those flavors in her budget?

cakeandpartygirl Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 3:25am
post #3 of 41

If they want all of that they would definitely have to pay for it!! Are those flavorings that you normally offer if not I wouldn't do them? I would reiterate to her that the choices of icing isn't condusive for her venue and then offer her alternative flavors.

Pebbles1727 Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 3:25am
post #4 of 41

Number 1, 4, and 5 are, which is basically vanilla, chocolate, and carrot cake. Do brides normally ask for these catchy sounding flavors that require more expensive ingredients? I just was not prepared for that. All the wedding I've ever been to in this area just had a regular vanilla cake icon_sad.gif

Pebbles1727 Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 3:28am
post #5 of 41

Everyone here offers complimentary tastings, so I cannot charge. And no, these are not flavors I normally offer. I guess I could, but I don't. Are brides looking for that kind of flavors? If they do, I need to reconsider what I was planning on doing...

indydebi Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 3:28am
post #6 of 41

First, I don't consider "lemon" cake the same as "vanilla" cake.

Second, you need to take control of your business and determine what YOU consider the tasting to be. I considered it a time when they would determine if they liked my baking. I did NOT consider it a time when they got to try out every flavor on the menu to decide WHICH cake they wanted. (Try that with Pizza Hut when you plan a pizza birthday party!)

Third, you need to determine what kind of samples you will offer. leah has a list of sampling flavors and if a bride asks for blah-blah flavor, leah has told them, "Sorry that's not on the list .... what flavor from the list would you like to try?"

Fourth, sounds like this chic watches too many cake tv shows. Never in 30 years did I have a bride use the word "infused" to describe the free cake bite she wanted to sample. icon_confused.gif

ShaunPepe Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 3:33am
post #7 of 41

I have never done a tasting, so I don't have too much experience giving advice on that. However, the bride's choices are alittle over the top for me. I don't understand why she would ask you to make her these cakes to sample when you never said you offered those selections. She has obviously seen those flavour combinations on another baker's website and is trying to see if you can make them for her. I don't think I would make most of those suggestions, especially for a tasting.

Pebbles1727 Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 3:37am
post #8 of 41

Thank you Indideby. I thought I did determine what my tasting is, and then I got this request, so trying to figure out if what I decided to do is sufficient. I did provide them with the list of available flavors and none of the ones she requested other than chocolate was on the list.
Like I said, I'm pretty new to the wedding cake buz. I have baked pastries and desserts for events for about 8 years now and have done birthday/occasional cakes for the past 3. So far, when it comes to cakes, people just stick to vanilla and chocolate. Once in a while I got requests for something different, but even then it's more like carrot cake, red velvet, strawberry or champagne. So, I assumed that brides will follow suit...maybe I was mistaken

Pebbles1727 Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 3:43am
post #9 of 41

I like the idea of having a list of "tasting flavors" Leah has. Do you know how many flavors on that list and how many she allows bride to taste?
And by the way, I did tell the bride that she can taste my vanilla, chocolate, champagne, and one of her choice if she would like to add another. In response, I got her list..like I said, I'm confused...

cakeandpartygirl Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 4:09am
post #10 of 41

If we take out all of the infused flavors we have a vanilla cake with raspberry filling and vanilla buttercream. That sounds simple enough. Then the second one is lemon cake with lemon curd filling and lemon buttercream. and the rest of them just maybe have a chocolate cake with an orange and reuse the raspberry filling from the vanilla. To make it easier for yourself, use the same batter for the lemon cake and vanilla cake by adding the flavor to the cake after you have split the batter. So essentially you are making 3 different cake batters. I hope that will help.

cakelady2266 Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 4:17am
post #11 of 41

I feel your pain. Bridezilla sounds like a victim of cake show overload. Some brides sure do like to show off their cake knowledge when they call. I don't know what worse the ones that "know" everything or the ones who don't have a clue. I don't have my flavors separated by basic and additional on my website, but I will soon.

I tell brides who call or email that they have a choice of up to 3 basic flavors (vanilla, butter, strawberry, chocolate, lemon etc), I offer these samples in single 4 inch layers. If there is something in the additional flavor category they are interested in they can purchase a full size cake. Apple, mounds, hummingbird and flavors like that are not requested often so I don't keep those flavors on hand in the freezer. I really don't feel inclined to divide a recipe up for a single 4 or make up a bunch of somethings that won't be requested to years. And no my family is not going to eat a bunch of cake left overs, we don't eat cake.

And the ones who requested 101 flavors to sample will almost always go with a basic vanilla or butter cake.

laurenboxall Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 4:25am
post #12 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaunPepe

I have never done a tasting, so I don't have too much experience giving advice on that. However, the bride's choices are alittle over the top for me. I don't understand why she would ask you to make her these cakes to sample when you never said you offered those selections. She has obviously seen those flavour combinations on another baker's website and is trying to see if you can make them for her. I don't think I would make most of those suggestions, especially for a tasting.




Spot on ShaunPepe - she's just copied and pasted from a wedding info site: http://www.the-wedding-information-site.com/cake-flavor.html

You may want to reitterate to her what you can offer, maybe explaining that these are your tried and true recipes and that there is a (monetary and time) cost involved in making a new recipe that is not on your list?

If she wants something you don't offer, then she has to pay for it. If she doesn't want to pay for it than she can pick something from your list.

Pebbles1727 Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 4:32am
post #13 of 41

Oh my goodness, she surely did, LOL. That solves the problem. Here is my response to her. What do ya think?

Quote:
Quote:

As for the cake flavors I dont use syrups. If thats what you would like, you may want to consider a different vendor. Theoretically, I could use syrups for your cake, but with use of Limoncello and Grand Marnier, there is no way I can keep your price point for wedding of 200. Ganache is not a stable icing/filling choice and lemon curd is not a stable filling choice for Southern AL outdoor reception. Since there is no way I can offer these to you as an option for your cake, I would not want to include them for the tasting either. I can do tasting with my vanilla, lemon, chocolate, and carrot cake flavors, my vanilla and lemon buttercream, and vanilla, lemon, and chocolate crème fillings, and raspberry filling.
Hope that helps with your options.


Jenn2179 Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 4:43am
post #14 of 41

They get to taste a 2x2 in square of my 6 most popular flavors and 12 standard fillings. You can see my set up on my website under FAQ.

cake_architect Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 4:48am
post #15 of 41

op- i think your response is spot on! too funny that she straight copied those flavors from a website... some people!

indydebi Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 5:08am
post #16 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by laurenboxall

Spot on ShaunPepe - she's just copied and pasted from a wedding info site: http://www.the-wedding-information-site.com/cake-flavor.html


OMG. This brings back horror memories of the bride who did the cut-n-paste of "Ten Questions to Ask Your Caterer" (it was an OBVIOUS cut-n-paste job!) including wanting to know if I cued the band!! icon_eek.gif

For a catering tasting, I served 4 pcs of my Lemon Chardonney chicken; 4 meatballs plain and 4 meatballs with BBQ; green beans with bacon & onion, a rice or potato dish plus the cake/icings. I had one bride who sent in her MEAL request that included 5 meats, 4 veggies, a couple of salads "....and some fresh fruit." Fresh fruit? She's never eaten a freakin' strawberry before????

She arrived and did NOT have her banquet as requested. She was pissed and I didnt' care. It was way too obvious she watched too many bridal TV shows and was out for the "experience".

She also worked in a high school cafeteria, therefore she knew ALL about food prices dunce.gif (until I told her, "Uh, no you don't because GFS and SYSCO give rock bottom pricing to schools and hospitals and then rake the rest of us over the coals to make up for it.") I didn't even send her a quote. She had PITA stamped on her forehead!

Pebbles1727 Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 5:13am
post #17 of 41

Your set up looks nice Jen. What are 12 standard fillings? I did not see that in FAQ. And what is that sheet with circles and squares on it with flavors written in?

scp1127 Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 5:43am
post #18 of 41

That is how I bake and I have a fortune in ingredients in those cakes. I would give her the price up front on those flavors and make sure she is committed to the price. Then charge a premium fo the tasting.

Annabakescakes Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 3:27pm
post #19 of 41

I have two tasting options. Free = whatever I have laying around from previous orders. $30 = special requests.

BuymeCake-I like the thought of just having 6 flavors available to taste, and telling them to buy one if they want to try a flavor not availble.

VanillaCoke Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 3:48pm
post #20 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annabakescakes

I have two tasting options. Free = whatever I have laying around from previous orders. $30 = special requests.

BuymeCake-I like the thought of just having 6 flavors available to taste, and telling them to buy one if they want to try a flavor not availble.




ditto. I do a chocolate and vanilla tasting free. This lady sounds sort of nutty.

Annabakescakes Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 3:58pm
post #21 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by laurenboxall

Spot on ShaunPepe - she's just copied and pasted from a wedding info site: http://www.the-wedding-information-site.com/cake-flavor.html

OMG. This brings back horror memories of the bride who did the cut-n-paste of "Ten Questions to Ask Your Caterer" (it was an OBVIOUS cut-n-paste job!) including wanting to know if I cued the band!! icon_eek.gif




Why, Debi, you don't cue the band??? I can't imagine! icon_rolleyes.gif

Pebbles1727 Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 4:51pm
post #22 of 41

would you consider what she is asking more of a basic cake/filling or more of a premium for wedding industry in general?

Annabakescakes Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 5:05pm
post #23 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pebbles1727

would you consider what she is asking more of a basic cake/filling or more of a premium for wedding industry in general?




I don't know who you are asking, but I definetly consider that to be very premium. Bellagio and Sylvia Winestock and scp1127, and all that. LA-DI-DA! thumbs_up.gif

Pebbles1727 Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 5:22pm
post #24 of 41

I was asking everyone icon_biggrin.gif Thank you. I just need to know if I need to adjust my offerings up, way up or just chalk this up to clueless bride.

jenmat Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 5:55pm
post #25 of 41

Pebbles, do you have a website? This is critical for the modern day bride. When its posted on your website, its considered "law." You can then say, "while those flavors sound delicious, I'm not sure if you've seen my menu. Check out my website for a full flavor menu. You can choose up to 3 flavors and fillings from my menu and let me know if you have any questions about what will work for a summer outdoor wedding."

I'm one of those anal people who don't offer flavors that aren't on my menu. I know some people will bend over backwards to accommodate brides, but that just sets you up for all kinds of issues in my opinion.

I think its hilarious that she pulled those from a website and assumed that you would offer them. Like we all have the same menu!

As far as your offerings Pebbles, you need to know your area. What are the other bakeries offering for menus and tastings? Once you are armed with that info, you can decide what works for you.

Annabakescakes Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 5:58pm
post #26 of 41

I live in the greater Cincinnati area, and we don't have anyplace that has a menue like that that comes up in any searches I do. The most La-di-da place we have around here is Maribelle, and it is for sale again, after changing hands in the last year or so. There prices are about $6 a serving, give or take. Nobody around here wants to pay that when they can get it for $4 or less ( average is about $2.75 buttercream, $1 more for fondant)from a million "cake ladies" that are everywhere. They have the cottage food laws, so there are plenty "legal" places.

Pebbles1727 Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 7:36pm
post #27 of 41

I do have a website, however I have done flavors in the past that were a little different, not this different though. And I'm not opposed to doing it, it's just seemed extreme for a tasting to me. The places I know around here offer just basic stuff, nothing fru-fru. There is even one place that just does her 'signature yellow" and nothing else. I'm trying to do something different to target an on-location weddings, so the brides are not local.That is why I am asking about other places...maybe non-local brides have different expectations based on what they encounter in their home towns?

indydebi Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 8:02pm
post #28 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annabakescakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by laurenboxall

Spot on ShaunPepe - she's just copied and pasted from a wedding info site: http://www.the-wedding-information-site.com/cake-flavor.html

OMG. This brings back horror memories of the bride who did the cut-n-paste of "Ten Questions to Ask Your Caterer" (it was an OBVIOUS cut-n-paste job!) including wanting to know if I cued the band!! icon_eek.gif



Why, Debi, you don't cue the band??? I can't imagine! icon_rolleyes.gif


My in-house response to that is "Who do I look like? Ricky Ricardo?????!" icon_eek.gif

Annabakescakes Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 8:07pm
post #29 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Annabakescakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

Quote:
Originally Posted by laurenboxall

Spot on ShaunPepe - she's just copied and pasted from a wedding info site: http://www.the-wedding-information-site.com/cake-flavor.html

OMG. This brings back horror memories of the bride who did the cut-n-paste of "Ten Questions to Ask Your Caterer" (it was an OBVIOUS cut-n-paste job!) including wanting to know if I cued the band!! icon_eek.gif



Why, Debi, you don't cue the band??? I can't imagine! icon_rolleyes.gif

My in-house response to that is "Who do I look like? Ricky Ricardo?????!" icon_eek.gif




I seriously lol'ed at that...And choked and wheezed...and think something popped in my forehead...Just laid the baby I sit on Mondays and my own down for a nap.

scp1127 Posted 7 Feb 2011 , 8:38pm
post #30 of 41

I don't do wedding cakes except for family and friends for free. I am going to ballpark that I would charge $50 to $70 for that kind of cake and that is an 8 or 9 inch three or four layer, no artistic exterior except a border, some rosettes, and some fine chocolate (or other flavor appropriate) garnish. I can have as much as $8.00 in alcohol in those types of cakes. If someone wanted to taste them, they would need to purchase a cake in that flavor. If the wedding is months away, three specialty cakes in those flavors for birthdays would be what I would suggest. Then make a final flavor decision closer to the date. But discuss price of the wedding cake up front. Someone with that kind of budget would understand. The cakes aren't difficult, and most spirits can be purchased in minis if you don't use them all the time. I haven't made all of those exact combinations, but I have an cookbook arsenal of recipes I would be happy to share. If I haven't made them, I know enough about the authors' styles to suggest a good recipe.

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