I'm still pretty new to baking. What started out as "for fun" has turned into a small side business (very casual). Anyway, I'm doing a wedding in September. The mother of the groom is someone that I kind of know and she got my name from someone we both know.
I did tell her that I am NOT a professional, but that I really enjoy making cupcakes and have had very positive feedback.
Anyway, she left a message for me yesterday asking when we could get together for a taste testing session because she, her son, and his fiance want to taste test the cupcakes. Huh???
First of all, I never said anything about a taste testing. I understand they want to taste my cupcakes and pick out flavors, but that's an awful lot of work for someone who does this casually on the side. It's not like I can make 1-2 cupcakes of each flavor. I pretty much have to do a minimum of 6 per recipe and that's a lot!
What should I do? Should I tell her I don't do taste tests because I'm not a professional? Tell her I will do a taste test but they must pick out X number of flavors and I would charge her? Or should I say that I need to increase the original quoted price to include my time and ingredients for the "taste test"?
I'm not opposed to a taste test, but that's a lot of extra work and money for me, and this is just supposed to be a fun little thing for me!
You may want to check into the licensing requirements for your area before you start selling. The venue may not accept food without a license and insurance.
For cupcake tasting, I tell them that I will make extras when someone orders the flavors they requested and they can have a few for free. You can also make some for samples and save a few for them to taste. Either way you are out very little time and money.
Have you received the money up front and the contract signed for the cupcake order???? I'd be a little miffed that she "expected" this when you said nothing of the kind about taste testing.
I'm not sure if is in time to help you, but here are my file notes about taste testing.
This advice below is from a number of my colleagues, but I have removed their names for privacy. Hope it helps.
Suggestion if you do NOT want to do tastings:
Do you ask the butcher for a taste of the steak you want to buy, or do you ask a restaurant to give you a free meal before you pay for one?? No. If you don't do tastings, explaining it to people without insulting them can be tricky. Say something like its not really feisable for me to do that but I would be happy to give you some references of past clients or people who have enjoyed my cooking.
Another suggestion from someone else: "Here's how I do tastings. I'll send you a proposal, then you'll pay $ x for a tasting of 4 different cupcakes (or whatever you want to whip up--be sure you have flavor choices). If you contract with me, the $ x will go toward your balance."
Third suggestion, different person: I can tell you that it is a pain to do those $20 "bridal" tastings. Many people think of this as a cheap date, expecting the caterer or baker to fall all over themselves. Our word of mouth business was so successful that we didn't need the hassle of the freebie-seekers. (Sorry, but that's how you are labeled.)
scp-Yes, all of that has been checked into and it is fine for me to make cupcakes for this wedding. I do appreciate your concern.
Fabric-No contract. Really, I don't want to get into all of that because then it becomes more of a business.
I guess I'll talk to her today and feel her out. I think I'll just explain my predicament and the fact that I would have to make too many cupcakes to do a taste test, but if I bake cupcakes for something else in the next couple months she can come over and have some extras.
As someone who does this for fun it does seem like a lot of money and time!