The mistake was the customer's--she had me deliver Saturday and the party was Sunday. It was a tiered cake with flowers between the tiers and I delivered it assembled because my husband drove and I didn't want to be putting it together at the restaurant.
I didn't want to face driving it back home and then turning around driving it back again the next day, so an employee (my customer's family owns the restaurant I delivered to) found a place in the cooler where they keep only soda in cases, so no food smells. She tried to talk me into leaving it in the kitchen in back and they would take care of it--no way! This is a very busy restaurant with lots of employees.
I had her acknowledge that the cake was delivered in perfect condition and she signed my paperwork and agreed everything was good in front of my husband.
The cake was already paid for, but it still worries me that sitting in a restaurant cooler like that over night wasn't the best thing for the cake. The alternative was for me to bring it home and redeliver, but it would have been sitting in my fridge at home, so not really much difference other than I know it would not get damaged in my fridge.
What is the best thing to do in that circumstance? I haven't heard anything back from my customer about the taste/quality of the cake.
Maybe you should give her a call just to see if everything work out.
As long as everything was in one piece and it was signed off you are covered.
I think you did the very best that you could in this situation. Not only were you on top of the fact that in a cooler with food, the smells would seep in, but that you got it in writing that you delivered it in perfect condition. I'm sure it will taste terrific. Good job thinking on your toes!!
I would depend on how far the deliver was for me. I live in NYC so its insanely difficult to deliver cakes here. I don't see anything wrong with leaving it in the hand of the resturaunt. But there are some cakes that I wish I had just a couple more hours to fine tune... Those I would bring home
I think you handled the situation fine. Did you contact the client on Saturday to let her know of the situation?
For me it also would have depended on how far away the venue was. With gas prices so high, if it were anything over 5 miles I would have left it there, too.
Thanks for the replies everyone. I didn't contact the client at the time because when I got there they told me she knew she had messed up and already told them I would be bringing the cake that day. I wish she had thought to call me too and just arrange to bring it the next day.
It was really disappointing not to have her see her cake and then to worry that it wasn't going to taste as good sitting in the cooler overnight.
Sometimes I think I get waaay too attached to these dumb cakes after working so long on them!