Cake Consultations (Not Tastings)

Business By pinkpiggie78 Updated 7 Jun 2011 , 12:45pm by Stephy42088

pinkpiggie78 Posted 10 May 2011 , 10:50pm
post #1 of 15

I am sure this has been hashed out before, and yes I searched here and using google without success.

Anyway, I see some folks on here distinguishing between a cake tasting and cake consultation. I usually use them interchangeably, but in reality, they are different. I only offer tastings with consults to brides or for special occasion cakes orders that are $250 or more. However, I was wondering if anyone offers just a consult/design session to those with a small order. I don't feel it is worth my time to sit down with someone spending $100, but I know I get asked about them all the time.

14 replies
jenmat Posted 10 May 2011 , 10:57pm
post #2 of 15

nope nope nope. If it is under $100, then I am the little troll down in the bakery and they don't get to see me. Little stuff can be done over the phone or email, and design for under $100 is usually (hopefully) minimal. They can always go to a storefront bakery if they need to actually "see" someone in order to make a decision.
In fact, I hem and haw when anyone other than a bride wants to have a consult. I just don't have time! My tastings are usually booked out one month, so to fit a celebration customer in is just not going to happen.

Then again, its just me, I don't mind being small beans right now, and I don't have a hard time (anymore) letting some customers go because they're needy. I know that wouldn't work everywhere in every town or city, but around here, people are pretty down to earth, and not many need to be coddled. Yet. icon_smile.gif

cakegirl1973 Posted 11 May 2011 , 1:25am
post #3 of 15

If someone wants a consultation, they usually want a tasting, too. I won't do it if the order is for less than $250. I am a legal home based baker who works full time at another job. It simply is not worth my time. That being said, I have done plenty of phone consultations for cakes less than $250. I try to guide the conversation so that in 10-15 minutes I have answered their questions and got the design info that I need.

mombabytiger Posted 11 May 2011 , 5:29am
post #4 of 15

Small celebration cakes are usually pretty boilerplate ("She loves monkeys!", etc) that they can be handled over the phone or in e-mail pretty easily. I wouldn't have time to meet with anyone for small cakes.

pinkpiggie78 Posted 11 May 2011 , 11:02am
post #5 of 15

Thanks ladies! I just wanted to see if someone had a different point of view than me! I get at least a phone call a week about "coming in" (I an a legal home baker with a 4 yo and 14 mo) to talk about a cake to feed 20!

cakesbycathy Posted 12 May 2011 , 5:47pm
post #6 of 15

I only do in-person consults (which include a tasting) for orders over $100. Anything smaller we work out over the phone and/or email.

costumeczar Posted 13 May 2011 , 1:37am
post #7 of 15

I would be reluctant to do in-person consults for anything under $200. The time involved would cut into my profit margin too much. If something's under $200 it's probably a basic 3-D cake, which would be something that I could just get pictures of from the client and make without doing too much "design" stuff.

People will try to get all kinds of consults and tastings out of the planning process. They've seen too many people being catered to on tv and they think that they should get all the bells and whistles even if they're not spending much. They don't realize that the time involved adds up on our end, and that time is a commodity...

I've had people ask me to do a cake that looked like the Coliseum, and then ask if I'd do a sketch of it so they could see what it's going to look like. I told them that it would look like the Coliseum and that I don't really need to do a sketch.

I also have a bride this weekend whose planner called me to order a dummy cake with just the top tier real so that she could have a wedding cake but then have cupcakes instead of cake to serve. So then after the bride told me that she wanted the top tier to be chocolate the planner said that the bride wanted to know if they could come in for a tasting. I told them that since it was for a 5" tier, and they'd probably tasted chocolate before, it was a no on that. The planner was obviously embarrassed that she had been made to ask me at all, so at least someone knew it was a strange thing to ask!

KalisCakes Posted 7 Jun 2011 , 2:20am
post #8 of 15

What about limiting days/times on consults and tastings? I use an online appointment service (which I LOVE!) and am thinking about limiting consultations to only Tuesdays and Wednesdays, or if that seems too limited, Tue--Thurs....

cakegirl1973 Posted 7 Jun 2011 , 2:35am
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by KalisCakes

What about limiting days/times on consults and tastings? I use an online appointment service (which I LOVE!) and am thinking about limiting consultations to only Tuesdays and Wednesdays, or if that seems too limited, Tue--Thurs....




My tasting/consultation day is Sunday. I've made a couple of exceptions, but not many.

cakegirl1973 Posted 7 Jun 2011 , 2:36am
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by KalisCakes

What about limiting days/times on consults and tastings? I use an online appointment service (which I LOVE!) and am thinking about limiting consultations to only Tuesdays and Wednesdays, or if that seems too limited, Tue--Thurs....




My tasting/consultation day is Sunday. I've made a couple of exceptions, but not many.

KalisCakes Posted 7 Jun 2011 , 6:01am
post #11 of 15

Awesome! Glad to know I'm not the first to consider this. I won't do Fridays, Saturdays, or Sundays, cuz those are crunch time days and delivery days. And I won't do Mondays cuz those are my recovery/sleep in and do laundry days. icon_smile.gif

cakesbycathy Posted 7 Jun 2011 , 11:01am
post #12 of 15

I try and do mine Tues, Wed or Thurs. I will do a Sunday if those other days don't work.

pinkpiggie78 Posted 7 Jun 2011 , 11:11am
post #13 of 15

My tasting day is Sunday too! I make as few exceptions as possible.

I am amazed how many people ask for a Sat tasting... really?

dreamacres Posted 7 Jun 2011 , 12:34pm
post #14 of 15

well I have just decided to do consultation for every cake. Call me crazy but experience has caused this. Was doing a cake for this weekend for a lady from Fl. Have spoke over the phone several times and email. She arrived in town and called this week to say we should meet concern the design. We had decided on a bible cake, she had sent the scriptures she wanted. I told her the design was done after our last conversation, when we agreed on the bible cake. Her comments was she did not want the cake to be "surreal" she wanted it to be funny. She wants a toolbelt and comic hands added which was changed when we decided on the bible. I have decided to do the bible cake as all the work is done (edible images, and roses), and add another cake free of charge to the board for the toolbelt and such. I do not blame her, I made every mistake in the book. It is a friend did not have the contract signed. People just do not understand that for me I start the work on the cakes weeks in advance. Maybe someday I will change my mind but for now I prefer to have a sit down contract signing time, rather then making free cakes. I feel face to face is soooooooooo much better.

Stephy42088 Posted 7 Jun 2011 , 12:45pm
post #15 of 15

I only do tastings and consultations for orders over 100 servings. Anything less than that and it is a $25 fee.

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