Customers Have No Concept Of Time!!!

Decorating By TPACakeGirl Updated 23 May 2011 , 6:02pm by jules5000

TPACakeGirl Posted 17 May 2011 , 7:57pm
post #1 of 31

Just this week alone, I have received two requests that were crazy. The first was a request for this Saturday, the 21st. The client wanted 216 under water themed cupcakes for a school dance. The next client wanted a 3 tier Phineas and Ferb cake for THIS SUNDAY.

Ummmm, what are these people thinking? It's already Tuesday. Who waits this long to plan their parties and to secure cakes?

30 replies
sebrina Posted 17 May 2011 , 8:18pm
post #2 of 31

LOL! I help out at a local bakery sometimes & she had a quote out for the grand opening of our new airport. They wanted a replica of the ENTIRE airport! They waited until the week of the grand opening to contact her! LOL! Looks like they will have to go to Walmart! thumbs_up.gif

MamaDear Posted 17 May 2011 , 8:19pm
post #3 of 31

Crazy people... run, run as fast as you can.... don't look back or the men with the white jackets may get you by mistake!!!! Seriously some people just can't be helped.

216 cupcakes with an underwater theme...in three days, fine, ice them lil suckers with a spatula using blue buttercream and mix a little white in with it here and there and call 'em waves... ha ha (get it? cupcakes. under. water!!!)

Three Tier Phineas and Ferb in four days, fine they're supposed to be on vacation all the time so do a buttercream cake and sprinkle some brown sugar "sand" on it, use some of the aforementioned wave technique with some leftover icing and put mini-photo album on top with their picture on the front cover and title it "P&F's Summer Vacay", you can write whatever message in the "sand"... ha ha ha ha

Sorry, just trying to use a little humor to make you feel better... seriously. just. run.

carmijok Posted 17 May 2011 , 8:20pm
post #4 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by TPACakeGirl

Just this week alone, I have received two requests that were crazy. The first was a request for this Saturday, the 21st. The client wanted 216 under water themed cupcakes for a school dance. The next client wanted a 3 tier Phineas and Ferb cake for THIS SUNDAY.

Ummmm, what are these people thinking? It's already Tuesday. Who waits this long to plan their parties and to secure cakes?




the answer is, people who have no idea of how long it takes to do something like this--which is most customers. The question is, are you going to do it? Because if you do, then they will continue to have no idea and you will constantly be banging your head against a wall! good luck!

Brevity Posted 17 May 2011 , 8:36pm
post #5 of 31

216 cupcakes and a tier cake, sound like -cha-ching!- to me. When people order last minute, charge them the "pain in the ass" fee. I know it's annoying, but as for the actual work - sounds pretty easy....I don't really see the huff. (?)

MamaDear Posted 17 May 2011 , 9:03pm
post #6 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brevity

216 cupcakes and a tier cake, sound like -cha-ching!- to me. When people order last minute, charge them the "pain in the ass" fee. I know it's annoying, but as for the actual work - sounds pretty easy....I don't really see the huff. (?)




Depends on how much other work she has, whether the customers are regulars and how much patience she can muster. I would huff too.

costumeczar Posted 18 May 2011 , 1:42am
post #7 of 31

I had two requests today for birthday cakes for TODAY. And they also said that they had ideas about the designs, so it's not like they were willing to take whatever someone had available.

Brevity Posted 18 May 2011 , 1:54am
post #8 of 31

Ok the 'today' people really are something. (And seriously sad, when it's a cake for their kid!)

Brevity Posted 18 May 2011 , 2:00am
post #9 of 31

Ok the 'today' people really are something. (And seriously sad, when it's a cake for their kid!)

jason_kraft Posted 18 May 2011 , 2:04am
post #10 of 31

We've had so many requests for short notice orders, we've started keeping a few basic 8" cakes in our freezer to accommodate these customers. So far it's been working out pretty well. People still can't pick up the same day (the cake needs to thaw overnight) but we can at least see some revenue from those customers with minimal extra effort on our part.

jules5000 Posted 18 May 2011 , 2:06am
post #11 of 31

If you decide that you can do the order(s) then I would let the people know that you will do them, but there is an extra fee for last minute orders of any size like that. It would be different if the cupcakes were to be frosted a simple white buttercream and all, but to have a theme and this late in the game they have to expect that there is going to be extra charges. If not they will find out from someone. I would not back down on this. I can guarantee you that you have to order at least 6 months to a year ahead for a wedding cake from a reputable bakery so why wait until the last minute for a large order of cupcakes and another special cake? i realize it it two different people, but the only way that they are going to learn is to be charged extra for last minute orders. I am sure that there will be someone else that can do the order and would not charge them an extra fee, but will their cakes taste good or just look good and if they go with the other company your headache is gone. If you really need the business, my suggestion would be to say Ok, I can do this order this time, but the next time you have an order of this size with a special theme, I need (just an example) 3 weeks. if I do not have the (what ever time allowance you choose) 3 weeks then I willl have to add an additional charge. then make sure that you stick with that for your sake. Good luck.

sweettreat101 Posted 18 May 2011 , 9:56am
post #12 of 31

I have learned to say no. No matter if I need the business. I have a regular customer who always waits until the last minute. I seriously think these people think it only takes a couple of hours to bake and decorate an extravagant cake. The last time she tried to place an order she only gave me two days. She wanted one layer of white and one chocolate tres leches cake and 3 D to boot. I told her that she had to give me at least one weeks notice that I couldn't make her cake. She seemed shocked like I was kidding. I told her I was already booked and she needed to give me proper notice next time. Now she tells me a month in advance.lol. And the bad thing is she only orders tres leches cakes. I hate working with a soggy wet cake. The 3 D cookie monster was a chore. Stand your ground don't add the extra stress from last minute orders unless you really need the business. Just politely tell them you are already booked for the week.

jules5000 Posted 18 May 2011 , 6:20pm
post #13 of 31

I am glad that you can stand your ground whether you need the business or not. I just hope that some of the newer ones will keep this in mind. It will make life so much easier on them.

HeyWife Posted 18 May 2011 , 6:48pm
post #14 of 31

I had the same thing a few weeks ago. One woman wanted a two tiered zebra print cake with multi-colored zebra stripes for her daughter's 16th b-day party....two days later. Then I got someone wanting a 3D go-cart for 30 people with only 3 days notice. Don't think so. I think people see cakes being whipped out in an hour on tv, forgetting about EDITING, and assume we can do the same thing.

DivaWeava Posted 18 May 2011 , 9:04pm
post #15 of 31

OMG!!! I was just going to start a thread on this topic myself! I had a customer ask yesterday, if I could make... 10, yes only ten banana cream pie cupcakes for her husband's birthday that is on Thursday.

I sent her an email and explained that I was booked for the rest of the week, and that I could possibly fit the cupcakes in for next week. I guess I should have told her that I have a minimum order on cupcakes, because today she sent back an email and asked for 6 or 8 cupcakes! Seriously???

As much as I hate turning down a customer, it erks me how people just think that specialty cakes, cupcakes, and cake pops, just come together in seconds flat!

I am still debating on whether or not to make them, and what exactly to charge her. If I do end up making them, I will be kindly telling her that I generally have a minimum order, and that I will need more notice for her next order.

Got to love those who are ignorant to the fact that as much as we love to make cakes, we also have lives of our own, and do not enjoy scrambling to put orders together. Or, as a fellow CCer put it, beating our heads against a wall!!! (0:

Have a great day everyone!!! (0:

Cake On...

fabray13 Posted 18 May 2011 , 9:24pm
post #16 of 31

a few weeks ago i got a call for cupcakes. 5 dozen cupcakes, 5 flavors...for the next day! People just dont realize. It takes me close to a hour just to make a full batch of my buttercream! Needless to say, i said NO!

DivaWeava Posted 20 May 2011 , 4:02pm
post #17 of 31

This must be the week for last minute orders! I just got another inquiry about a sports themed cake for this Saturday!!! Whoa people... It takes at least three days for me to get a cake together. Bake, torte, fill, rest, frost, fondant, decor. These things take time, and don't just happen overnight!

I really hate to miss out on a new client, but sometimes you just have to say no to keep your sanity!!!

Have a great day! (0:

MaurorLess67 Posted 20 May 2011 , 5:24pm
post #18 of 31

I agree-I really do think it's because people see amazing cakes created on TV in an hour-which is so far from the truth. I wish they would reveal the prices people are paying for these masterpieces! Then they may realize the fabulous prices many of you offer your customers-

(I have read the threads and have seen the photos that go along with the prices charged- I always think its way too low- I would pay double for your creations!)

Thanks for sharing everything- everyone- I'm so glad I found CC!

Mo

jules5000 Posted 20 May 2011 , 6:04pm
post #19 of 31

unfortunately, I have never seen a show where these cakes are created in an hour, but I have seen Last cake Standing and I would hate, I think, to even try to imagine what one of those cakes would go for, but at least they are done in 8 hours? I know that there is more to those also other than what you see, but I think they are more realistic then the ones you are talking about.

I do not get cable, but occasionally catch that show on at the gym when I am working out. IT is fun to watch.

Realistically, I believe that the only way customer's are going to get educated about the time these cakes take is if we do it by standing our ground and telling them that we have to have more time to do speciality cakes then they realize and there is no way that we can make what they want in the time they have given us. We will make them a sheet cake and have as many details on it as possible, but there is no way we can do anything elaborate at this late a date. Give them the amount of time that they need to order it ahead of time next time and stand your ground.

kimmisue2009 Posted 20 May 2011 , 6:25pm
post #20 of 31

My new gbaby (grandbaby) is exactly three weeks and two days old and I am already planning his first birthday cake.

TPACakeGirl Posted 20 May 2011 , 9:21pm
post #21 of 31

Sorry I didn't respond back after creating this post. I never received a notice that anyone had posted back.

I declined both orders. I told both people to keep me in mind for future orders and to give me at least 3 months notice if not more. Even if I wanted to take the orders, I couldn't. My week was booked solid.

When I first started, I felt pressured to take everyone's order and to charge them a "fair" price. All that did was make me sleep deprived and full of debt. Now, I stick to my guns on price and on timeframe. If they had asked for 20 cupcakes, I would have squeezed it in. 216??? C'mon. And the funny thing was that the woman said she couldn't find a single person to do it on such short notice, and she had no idea what she was going to do.

sebrina Posted 20 May 2011 , 10:15pm
post #22 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by TPACakeGirl

And the funny thing was that the woman said she couldn't find a single person to do it on such short notice, and she had no idea what she was going to do.




You should have told her that she could always bake them herself! icon_lol.gif Then she could learn WHY not a single person would do it on such short notice! LOL!!!

jules5000 Posted 21 May 2011 , 12:23pm
post #23 of 31

But maybe not the right way to say it. Even assuming that she is someone who can bake.

if there was anyway that you could find out and she said that she could bake then nicely suggest that, that looks like the only way that she is going to get that number this time. The only other suggestion that you would be able to kindly give her is that she buys that many from a bakery that are already iced. I realize that they come in 6's most of the time. So it is going to be a costly thing, and just plain iced at that. but maybe this will be the thing that helps her realize that she really needs to plan ahead. If the situation was not one that she had planned, but offered to bring the cupcakes too after someone else bailed out then she will also learn to tell someone that there is no way that they can get that large a # in that short a time and they need to allow X amount of time if they want them done right and to taste great. She will be educating a lot of people at one time. and of course if she was the one guilty of waiting too long to put an order in than she will hopefully learn not to do that in the future. Good for you for standing your ground.

Rendee Posted 21 May 2011 , 12:40pm
post #24 of 31

I has a lady call me yesterday wanting a fish cake for today??? I told her I wish I could but there is no way I could do it on top of the 4 cakes I have to do before leaving to go out of town on Wed!!!!

FACSlady Posted 21 May 2011 , 12:46pm
post #25 of 31

Cake muggles who watch these cake shows on tv don't seem to realize that the cakes are baked in advance, the frosting is made in advance, and there is more than one person working on each cake. Not to mention that most times the design is already conceived and they've practiced making the cake!

cabecakes Posted 21 May 2011 , 1:06pm
post #26 of 31

Education is the key. I cringed at work this week when a lady was talking about needing a cake for her son's birthday on Saturday and a co-worker suggested I make it. Before she asked, I said, "Sorry...no can do...already got a cake to do this week, and I can't do a cake on that short of notice...especially with all this overtime we have been working." Short and sweet. I don't usually do cakes for people I don't know anyhow. Saves me a lot of headaches since this is only a hobby for me.

Kiddiekakes Posted 21 May 2011 , 6:00pm
post #27 of 31

Unfortunatetly in this day and age with people being busy etc..Lots of people wait until the last minute to order the cake.....If it is something I can do and I am totally not booked I will do it...216 cupcakes is nothing....I like to have small push molds around for things like this and you can make little fondant toppers in no time..the 3 tiered cakes takes a bit more time but again..If I can ..I will!!I also have a minimum on my website for cake and cupcakes so I won't turn on my oven for 10 cupcakes...

MamaDear Posted 22 May 2011 , 6:29pm
post #28 of 31

I do think that people see those TV shows and think folks churn out cakes and cupcakes at the drop of a hat and that is partially the reason they think you can whip up 216 cupcakes in a couple of hours. Non-bakers think that just because a cake mix set of cupcakes only takes 30 minutes to bake that you should be able to pump out 200 in that time and frost them in a jiffy.

Sometimes it is really hard to explain to folks that you just can't do it in that amount of time. They tend to get offended and its difficult to explain to them all the whys. In the end I guess you just have to stick to your guns because if you don't allow yourself enough time to properly bake and decorate, the customer or friend ends up being ticked off at you anyway!

jules5000 Posted 22 May 2011 , 8:31pm
post #29 of 31

after I had written what I did this week on the cost of buying cupcakes if she didn't want to bake them herself. I found out the bakery at my local store charges 3.99 for 6 cupcakes. that is 66 or 67 cents each. you times that times 216 or 250 or what ever she wanted. Wow. That is 144.72. I would not want to pay that kind of money for a store's bakery cupcakes. If I was going to pay that kind of money then I want something that is going to taste good. No .67 apiece is not bad if it tastes good and looks good. I would much rather pay 250.00 for 100 cupcakes if they tasted great and looked great. BUt maybe this is what she is going to have to pay to learn that you don't wait until the last minute if you want quality cupcakes. If what ever occassion she was wanting them for is used to better quality than hopefully there will be complaints there too and she will learn that she can't cut corners. And then there will always be someone that will complain about anything and everything and never plan anything to get quality.

TPACakeGirl Posted 23 May 2011 , 5:16pm
post #30 of 31

It was for the school dance. She ended up getting store cupcakes. They were iced blue and had plastic rings shaped like fish on them.

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