Just A Little Vent Thread Re. Venue (Long)

Business By Kitagrl Updated 20 Jun 2011 , 4:26pm by costumeczar

Kitagrl Posted 19 Jun 2011 , 1:00am
post #1 of 13

Well this year I have started supplying a smaller venue with wedding cakes. I started I guess about 6 weeks ago actually doing the cakes.....I give tasting boxes which they freeze and give out, and I supply most of the cakes. I have a good cake friend who takes any "overflow" cakes that I cannot fit in my schedule (or my fridges) and the venue is fine with this and works with both of us.

This is a newer relationship so we're still working out the kinks with the information and payment. The payment! Lots of kinks. haha. Gonna tell you what my week was like with the payments....

So at the beginning I requested prepayment or deposit but they don't work that way so we discussed payment upon delivery. No problem, if its an ongoing relationship that's okay. The first cake I delivered she forgot to leave the check at the front desk for me, so she was nice about it and brought it by my house the next day.

The next cake, she remembered the check at the front desk.

The third time, I did a cake and my friend did a cake, because I also had a very large cake order for my own client. The venue lady I work with said that she decided she can't remember to put the check at the front desk so she wants to start having me be paid by Accounting every other week when they send out vendor checks. Um well okay, I guess. So I deliver my cake without payment. My friend delivers her cake without payment.

I email and double check when checks are being sent...she tells me Monday or Tuesday (this past week). Okay. My friend writes...my friend finds out they neglected to get her vendor information so HER cake money is going to ME, so I will have to pass it on to her. My friend very displeased. I try to calm things down, I go ahead and cut a check to my friend for her cake and then I'll just get my checks when they arrive.

Time goes by...I also have a cake (delivered today) that was supposed to be included in this elusive check. Friday comes. No check. I write again. The lady says "Oh I don't know why but Accounting sent out Friday this week...so the checks are in the mail, I meant to get them for you but I missed the mailman."

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I think for awhile. Write her back saying I am uncomfortable with delivering a third cake without pay (now I'm claiming my friend's cake as mine because I already paid her earlier.) I request a check at my delivery today. She writes back and says one cake's worth is in the mail but she will pay me a check for the other two cakes upon delivery. (Even though she said all three were in the mail just minutes before!)

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I did deliver the cake today and did receive two cakes' payment. The other one is I guess in the mail although I'm going out of town Mon-Wed and will not get it right away. icon_rolleyes.gif

She said she will be sure my next two cakes (two weeks from now) are paid the week of delivery (technically I should get it before delivery).

This venue has filled up my calendar...without it, my calendar will be spotty because I haven't had a whole lot of calls and some calls I have had to turn away due to already having these weddings on my books. Its easy buttercream cakes for the most part, so easier and less stressful than the fancy parties and fondant cakes. So its not that I want to stop working with them, and I'm sure (I hope!) payment gets more streamlined (I firmly suggested I receive these checks BEFORE I deliver the cakes rather than AFTER....)

So...its just been a long week, fighting for these stupid checks!!!! haha. Plus, my edible image lady who was GREAT just up and decided to stop communicating with her customers (left my friend hanging with no images and no refund) so I had to try to find someone else to send my file to real quick and get it printed for next week....I'm sad because the other lady sent the best quality edible images I have ever worked with. Oh well.

That and on Thursday I was supposed to get a cleaning lady because I bought a 50% off deal thingy...and I waited for 3 hours for her before they called saying their computer and phone systems were down and the cleaning lady had a family emergency and that they had to cancel for the day. icon_evil.gif

Talk about a LOUSY customer service week! No wonder people are happy when I reply to their emails right away!!!!

12 replies
LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 19 Jun 2011 , 1:06am
post #2 of 13

Wow! Sounds like you had a rough week! I hope the venue can get their stuff figured out so that you can get paid consistently from now on!

pixiefuncakes Posted 19 Jun 2011 , 1:26am
post #3 of 13

I don't know how the banking system works in the USA but I'm sure they would be able to arrange a direct deposit into your account. It would actually be easier all round then writing cheques, depositing cheques etc. Maybe something to consider?

Kitagrl Posted 19 Jun 2011 , 1:30am
post #4 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by pixiefuncakes

I don't know how the banking system works in the USA but I'm sure they would be able to arrange a direct deposit into your account. It would actually be easier all round then writing cheques, depositing cheques etc. Maybe something to consider?




It doesn't sound like they do that...? They sit down and write all vendor checks every two weeks, I guess....and staff paychecks go out the opposite two weeks.

jules5000 Posted 19 Jun 2011 , 1:48am
post #5 of 13

I think that I would be giving this lady a business visit and letting her know that by all of this inconsistency in your getting checks and her company messing up your friend's checks and so forth that she is putting you into a very touchy situation with a friend who you have worked with on a great basis before and you do not appreciate it. Of course I know that you need to word this very carefully, but I would let her know that while you like the constant work that you are getting from her, that the being paid is getting to be a problem because you can't count on when it is going to happen. Tell her that you need them to be consistent or you can't afford to work for her. I know that this may be hard, but if you are not getting paid consistently for the work you are doing and the time it is taking maybe you could figure out another way to drum up some other business for yourself. She needs to know that the inconsistency is the problem. You were willing to work with her on the every two weeks thing, but so far you haven't even been able to count on that. Tell her that you have bills to pay too and if the money isn't there when it should be that you are the one that is going to look bad. It is not fair to you to do the work, take your time and not be able to count on getting paid for it. You can bet they are getting paid when the order comes in.

Good luck Kitagirl.

Elcee Posted 19 Jun 2011 , 1:59am
post #6 of 13

Kitagrl, I wonder if you should be in contact with their accounting department directly. It could be that if you know exactly what they need and when they need it, things may go a lot smoother.

For instance, at my job, in order for a check to be cut on Thursday, my accounting department needs the invoice, the account # to be charged, and a supervisor's signature by Monday. If any of those things are missing, no check that week. I know this, but my vendors don't so it's my responsibility to make sure everything is in order so they get paid. If the person you're dealing with isn't on top of the details, that could be affecting your payments.

A vendor I worked with regularly at my job were terrible about not applying payments correctly or billing in a timely manner. Once I went directly to their accounting department, I was able to structure our payments in a way that fits in with their system and no more problems.

Kitagrl Posted 19 Jun 2011 , 2:05am
post #7 of 13

Elcee, my friend suggested that too...I have a hunch that my venue lady (basically the planner who does the brides) is possibly not getting information to Accounting in time, but who knows...my friend thought I should call Accounting and find out. But I was afraid of making the lady mad by going over head, and I don't want to be "fired" haha.

Jules, I did in an email just state that I have done my part in everything promptly and correctly and I do all my paperwork quickly and ahead of time and that I just wanted my payment to be prompt as well, rather than delivering cakes and feeling screwed that my payments are late...that I work lower budget and I can't really afford to deliver several cakes without being paid, and that I'd like to see my payments come before the cakes are delivered, instead of after (since she feels she is not able to get the checks to me at the time of delivery reliably.)

I hope to see everything fall into a positive groove...haha... my friend thought it was completely unprofessional that they did not even ask my permission or even inform me that somebody else's paycheck was going to my mailbox (and she does NOT work for me, she has her own, independent business...we are just friends and she happens to do my overflow because she can use the work and it was a favor to the venue so they did not have to search for a second caker.)

jules5000 Posted 19 Jun 2011 , 9:52pm
post #8 of 13

I hope you get it worked out soon favorably for you, of course. Good luck

costumeczar Posted 20 Jun 2011 , 12:20am
post #9 of 13

You just need to sit down and talk to this woman to get it straightened out and find a consistent method of being paid. I do cakes for a local venue that's owned by a national chain, and they send me the checks for the cakes after I submit the invoice AFTER delivery. That's just how corporate accounts work a lot of the time. If I asked for payment on delivery they'd laugh in my face, that just isn't how their accounts payable works.

If they write out checks to their vendors once every two weeks, then asking them to change that policy for you is going to confuse them and you'll end up not getting paid. I'd talk to the lady you're in contact with and ask her what the easiest thing for them is. If she says that they want to stay on the same schedule for you and the other vendors, then you need to be willing to do that.

It's kind of like when one client calls to say that they know you only do tastings on the weekends, but they want to come during the week. It's inconvenient for you, it throws you off, and you have a greater chance of messing up and forgetting about the appointment (well, I would, anyway.)

Kitagrl Posted 20 Jun 2011 , 12:30am
post #10 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

You just need to sit down and talk to this woman to get it straightened out and find a consistent method of being paid. I do cakes for a local venue that's owned by a national chain, and they send me the checks for the cakes after I submit the invoice AFTER delivery. That's just how corporate accounts work a lot of the time. If I asked for payment on delivery they'd laugh in my face, that just isn't how their accounts payable works.

If they write out checks to their vendors once every two weeks, then asking them to change that policy for you is going to confuse them and you'll end up not getting paid. I'd talk to the lady you're in contact with and ask her what the easiest thing for them is. If she says that they want to stay on the same schedule for you and the other vendors, then you need to be willing to do that.

It's kind of like when one client calls to say that they know you only do tastings on the weekends, but they want to come during the week. It's inconvenient for you, it throws you off, and you have a greater chance of messing up and forgetting about the appointment (well, I would, anyway.)




Well if she would have told me that from the beginning, that's one thing...she changed in mid stream. haha. And then the checks got behind.

What happens is like 10 days before the wedding we establish all the details and I send a final price, which is our "invoice"...so she has the invoice 7-10 days before the wedding. So she should be able to give the invoices to accounting in time for me to get paid ahead of or right around the time of the cakes rather than two weeks later....and there's also no reason she should send me somebody else's money, but that's okay I don't think that will happen again...my friend made a point to send all her information so they can get her in the system.

I think its just sort of unorganized but hopefully it will get into a more organized groove soon.

cakesbycathy Posted 20 Jun 2011 , 12:32am
post #11 of 13

Maybe you should approach it as a "Let me make your life easier" kind of thing and suggest that you submit the invoice directly to accounting yourself. That way you can get paid on time and there are no more mix-ups, delays, etc.

Kitagrl Posted 20 Jun 2011 , 12:35am
post #12 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesbycathy

Maybe you should approach it as a "Let me make your life easier" kind of thing and suggest that you submit the invoice directly to accounting yourself. That way you can get paid on time and there are no more mix-ups, delays, etc.




If we have any more problems and confusion, this is a great idea and I will definitely suggest it if needed....

costumeczar Posted 20 Jun 2011 , 4:26pm
post #13 of 13

Yeah, it sounds like there are too many cooks stirring the pot over there, and if you can eliminate one person from the chain of events things might go smoother.

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