I'm hoping someone can shed some light on this for me. Next month I'm delivering a cake to an offical wedding venue for the first time...nervous- Who, me?
Before this I've delivered my cakes to homes and other places but this cake isn't small potatoes. The bride has given me the contact info for their wedding coordinator at the venue should I have any questions. I feel like there are some questions I should ask about arrival time, placement of the cake...what else? I honestly don't know what exactly I should be asking and don't want to come off as unprofessional. I already know there will be no fresh flowers on the cake so I don't have to be concerned with coordinating with a florist. What would you ask the venue coordinator or what do you feel would be important to know?
Thank you so much for reading this
An official wedding venue does this all the time! No need to be nervous! In my experience, they have a cake table that they use for every wedding usually in the same spot. You need to know when you can get in and what door you should use. If it's a heavy cake, they will probably have a cart you can use. And be nice and gracious to everyone you encounter. These people talk!
No matter how many places I delivered to, whenever I went to a new place, I always did an introductory call.
About 3-4 days before the event, I'd call to introduce myself, let them know I was doing Sally Sue's cake this saturday.
- I asked them if they needed a copy of my license and a certificate of liability insurance (and if so, how does it need made out and to what fax number should my agent send it?);
- I wold tell them I planned to deliver at whatever-o'clock (usually about one hour prior to reception start time) and if that works ok with them;
- I'd ask if there was a particular door or entrance I needed to use. (One country club venue had this great Vendor's Entrance for all of us, complete with lots of carts and rolling shelves to help us move our stuff to the designated reception room and a posted schedule of what room our event was being held in. It was awesome!)
- If I had returnable equipment (rare), i'd ask if they were ok holding it for me until Monday when I would come back and pick it up. Most were a-ok with this.
But get your ducks in a row ahead of time. Dont' wait until the last minute when a last minute surprise is not what you want to encounter with a buttercream iced cake in the back of your vehicle!
I generally delivered cakes to the venue 2 hours prior to reception start time. The event start time is something you need to ask the bride. Also confirm with her which room is being used for her event, since some venues have several reception rooms! Write all of this, plus the venue coordinator contact info on your cake contract!!
Confirm with the venue that is ok if you arrive 2 hours (or whatever) prior - and if the table will be ready at that time (draped with linens). You can't deliver the cake if the room is not set up! Keep the phone conversation professional and to the point.
You can either ask the bride, or the venue where the cake table will be located, but ask the venue coordinator where to park and which door to use. Def ask about a cart- but most venues I've gone to, don't/or won't have one. I bought my own.
And yes, be courteous when speaking to anyone at the venue! But also be professional: don't gush about this being your first 'real' venue, or how you are so nervous, etc. Keep comments and conversation professional and minimal.
And dress the part: wear a "uniform"...wether it's just black pants and a white polo shirt or your chef jacket. You will look more professional and be taken more seriously than "suzy-homemaker" in jeans and a t-shirt and apron.
I'm not as experienced as the others who have posted here, but thought I'd chime in with one more idea. Before trying to carry or roll a heavy cake into the venue, I do a "walk-thru" and make a visual inspection to make sure the proper doors are unlocked, the table is set up & ready, and that the reception room is nice and cool, etc. I bring a helper to stay with the car with the AC on!
Thank you all so very much for your professional opinions and advice! It's so appreciated!
Check under the table linens and make sure the table is set up properly. You don't want to walk away from the cake and find out that half an hour later your cake is destroyed because the person who set up the table didn't do it properly and it collapsed. Also make the sure the table is level. If you set your cake on top and it looks a bit lopsided, there's a good chance it's the table not the cake.
Can you tell I've had some table issues?
Here is a second on the pre-delivery walk through and table check. Yes, you go down on hands and knees and get your head under the table to be sure it is locked in place BEFORE the cake comes in.
I have never had a cake fall because of the table, but I was delivery a cake (5 tiers 100-pounds) with the chef when the owner of the hall walks by. He says over his shoulder as we were putting the cake on the table, "Did you check to make sure it's locked down?" I said no, should I?? He says "You can't trust us!!" WHAT!! So Chef and I put the cake on a different table and we both just "look" at each other and go under the table. Yup, all four legs weren't locked in place. I have always checked the table before the cake goes on. Period.
AND, if you are having ANY kind of issues or doing little fixes with the cake, DON'T TELL THE STAFF, just quietly deal with it yourself. Always have an emergency kit for these times. The staff tend to elaborate your story, blow it up and it comes back to bite you in your backside. But that's another story.
The staff tend to elaborate your story, blow it up and it comes back to bite you in your backside.
No kidding! Way back in the day, when I was first getting started (it was a whole 'nuther husband ago! ), I delivered and set up a cake that was a 3-tier pillar-n-plate set up. Something went screwy and one of the tiers wasn't being supported right so it was leaning. This was before I had learned about carrying that emergency kit with me!
I set all the tiers on the table and told the DJ, "if anyone comes in, tell them don't worry about the cake. I have to run home to get another piece of equipment so it won't lean." Went home ..... got what I needed .... set up cake ... all was well.
When the bride returned my equipment, she asked about "the problem" I'd had with the cake. I told her "no biggie. I just had to get a piece of equipment to finish setting it up."
Turns out the DJ had told (someone .. bride? MOB?) that "the cake fell over so the cake lady went to get some stuff to fix it."
I laughed and told the bride, "If your cake had fallen over, you wouldn't have had a cake at all!!"
Just a quick question...do you ask someone at the venue to confirm (with their signature) that the cake has been delivered. If so, what type of document do you have them sign? Thank you.