Venue Messed Up Cake?

Business By underthesun Updated 19 Jul 2011 , 10:14am by thecakediva40

underthesun Posted 10 Jul 2011 , 9:48pm
post #1 of 34

I've owned a bakery for a little over a year, now and had my first very sad, unhappy bride, this week. First, she started out very very positive about the banana split cake being cut in the back (loved it!). However, she described the cake as having wires hanging out of the flowers (live), gooey white stuff behind the gumpaste bamboo and the fondant had two large cracks. They could not and would not serve the cake. She couldn't believe a bakery would deliver this and expect her to be happy.... ME NEITHER! Luckily, I have a photo of the completed cake, at the venue. I've sent it to her and am waiting her response.

However, I am very distressed. I can't hardly wait to hear if this is the cake she was presented, by the venue. What do you say to the venue? I'm assuming since she did not have the cake served, they didn't fess up. We're a very small town, with few venues. Do I go back to them and risk losing their weddings?

33 replies
cakestyles Posted 10 Jul 2011 , 10:33pm
post #2 of 34

I guess I'm not completely understanding what happened.

Do you think the venue ruined your cake or do you think they presented her with an entirely different cake?

Sorry, if I'm being a little dense. lol

veronica970206 Posted 10 Jul 2011 , 11:03pm
post #3 of 34

I agree Im confused as well...Do u think the Venue brought in a different cake or that they damaged your cake? I hope she took pics of the "ruined" cake, just so you can see & compare to the pics u took b4 u left...So sad, I hope it goes in ur favor...I wish you the best xoxoxox

Navyempress Posted 11 Jul 2011 , 12:35am
post #4 of 34

I am confused as well.. What do design flaws (that's mostly what she described), have to do with serving the cake? Even if there were wires sticking out of flowers, cracked fondant, or sticky stuff (royal icing maybe?), why couldn't they cut and serve the cake?

Brevity Posted 11 Jul 2011 , 12:56am
post #5 of 34

How long was the cake at the venue before the reception started? Have you spoken to anyone else involved? Did you put the flowers on, or a florist?

leah_s Posted 11 Jul 2011 , 12:57am
post #6 of 34

I dont' understand either. What do a couple of design issues have to do with serving the cake? Pull the flowersoff and put a knife to the cake.

underthesun Posted 15 Jul 2011 , 12:36am
post #7 of 34

So sorry, this was confusing. I was still very upset.
The banana split cake that she raved about was being served in the back by the venue. The Wedding Cake itself, is what she said had wires sticking out of flowers, icing oozing from behind the bamboo and cracks in the fondant.

I know for a fact, there were no cracks and I know there were no wires in the flowers, because after the groom delivered them to me to take to venue and place on cake, I had to take apart the flowers because they were too big for the cake plate, the bride had provided. There were no wires left.

Also, got to thinking about it, and I don't even use icing to attach gumpaste to fondant. I simply use water added with a paint brush.

I'm over it... basically, lesson learned, this was a budget wedding and either the bride was not being truthful or the venue dropped the cake. Another lesson learned, don't deliver a cake that I do not place directly on the cake table, myself Bride and groom convinced me to leave it for the venue since the wedding was outdoors, in Florida, in July.

Thanks for letting me vent!

Kiddiekakes Posted 15 Jul 2011 , 12:42am
post #8 of 34

Sounds fishy to me....If you have photos to prove the cake was fine and unscathed when it left or you delivered it....I would say it's the venues problem to deal with the bride about the issue...sounds like they did something questionable!

cakestyles Posted 15 Jul 2011 , 12:56am
post #9 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by underthesun

Also, got to thinking about it, and I don't even use icing to attach gumpaste to fondant. I simply use water added with a paint brush.




Well, it's possible that the water broke down the fondant causing it to "ooze".

But, that's neither here nor there. None of the things she complained about render the cake inedible. Right?

Cosmetic? Yes

But I don't understand why the venue didn't want to serve the cake.

Have you phoned the venue and asked to speak to the person/people who decided that your cake couldn't be served? I would definitely do that as your reputation could be on the line, especially with this particular venue.

Is the bride asking for a refund?

costumeczar Posted 15 Jul 2011 , 2:21am
post #10 of 34

Always call the venue and ask to talk to the person who cut the cake. They usually have a totally different story about what happened than the bride does. She hears everything third-hand because she's so busy during the reception, details tends to be lost.

cocoanna Posted 17 Jul 2011 , 8:25pm
post #11 of 34

That's really sad. And annoying, considering how we are so careful about the cakes we deliver. Good thing you took a photo. It would also help a lot (especially for those who have bakeries) to have the banquet manager/event coordinator/whoever's in charge of the reception sign 2 copies of a "received in good condition" document before you or your delivery guys leave the venue. At least you have proof that upon leaving, the cake was in good condition. That way it's clear (and common sense) that you're no longer liable for whatever else happens to the cake after.

tonedna Posted 17 Jul 2011 , 8:57pm
post #12 of 34

Learn to sign a contract upon delivery stating that the cake was delivered in perfect condition. This way if something happens after, you have proof that you delivered a good cake.
Edna

underthesun Posted 17 Jul 2011 , 11:00pm
post #13 of 34

Thanks for the info about a contract for deliver! I have not been doing this, but definitely will from now on. Good info!

tonedna Posted 17 Jul 2011 , 11:21pm
post #14 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by underthesun

Thanks for the info about a contract for deliver! I have not been doing this, but definitely will from now on. Good info!





You welcome!
Is good to add to that you are not responsible if anybody moves the cake and something happens to it.
Edna

love2makecakes Posted 18 Jul 2011 , 1:11am
post #15 of 34

So what happened? What did the bride have to say about your photo that you sent her?

underthesun Posted 18 Jul 2011 , 1:32am
post #16 of 34

She said the photo was at the wrong angle and you couldn't see the issues. I have yet to be able to get hold of the venue supervisor. The issue being it is an air force base. I am chalking it up to experience and giving a partial refund. It was a small cake and I'm ready to be done with it. I've stated to her, via email, that I absolutely know there were no cracks in the fondant and no frosting was used to attach the bamboo. I absolutely know that it was delivered in excellent condition and something must have happened at the venue. She did not respond.

However, I have learned from this experience. I will have a contract, as suggested by others for the venue to sign.

MY other thought is that the bride had a very small budget and never wanted to pay this much for a cake, which was not a lot. My radar went off during our consultation and next time I'll listen to that inner voice. The first time in over a year in business and I would like to hope it doesn't happen again!

AnotherCaker Posted 18 Jul 2011 , 2:29am
post #17 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by underthesun


MY other thought is that the bride had a very small budget and never wanted to pay this much for a cake, which was not a lot. My radar went off during our consultation and next time I'll listen to that inner voice.




Annnnd the penny drops. That's the problem right there. Move on, you're done, there wasn't a damn thing wrong with it.

cutiepiecupcake Posted 18 Jul 2011 , 4:28am
post #18 of 34

Sorry this has happened to you.. very hurtful and indeed frustrating. I agree with Edna.. a contract is very necessary icon_smile.gif AnotherCaker is right also.. the penny definitely dropped, and I'm thinking it would have been in your best interest to have maybe referred this bride to another business (walmart maybe lol) at that very moment your gut instinct kicked in. But hey.. we live and learn. Thanks for sharing with us your experience xx

costumeczar Posted 18 Jul 2011 , 11:03am
post #19 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by underthesun

MY other thought is that the bride had a very small budget and never wanted to pay this much for a cake, which was not a lot. My radar went off during our consultation and next time I'll listen to that inner voice. The first time in over a year in business and I would like to hope it doesn't happen again!





That's right, if your psycho radar goes off, listen to it.

In my experience I can't get poeple at a venue to sign off on cakes. I've put in my contract that I will take pictures to prove delivery was completed, and I use that as proof that everything was fine when I left. If I worked at a venue and someone tried to get me to sign something to prove that a cake was delivered as contracted I wouldn't sign it. How would I know what was contracted or not unless I saw the contract? Half the time when I deliver it's only the kitchen staff who's around anyway, and they're not going to sign anything on behalf of the venue.

janeoxo Posted 18 Jul 2011 , 11:38am
post #20 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherCaker

Quote:
Originally Posted by underthesun


MY other thought is that the bride had a very small budget and never wanted to pay this much for a cake, which was not a lot. My radar went off during our consultation and next time I'll listen to that inner voice.



Annnnd the penny drops. That's the problem right there. Move on, you're done, there wasn't a damn thing wrong with it.




Totally agree, nothing at all wrong with the cake.

Just a tip, when I leave a cake I always photograph all 4 sides and the top, that way no-one can use the same excuse she used that the picture is from the wrong angle!

HTH

Jx

indydebi Posted 18 Jul 2011 , 12:18pm
post #21 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

If I worked at a venue and someone tried to get me to sign something to prove that a cake was delivered as contracted I wouldn't sign it. How would I know what was contracted or not unless I saw the contract? Half the time when I deliver it's only the kitchen staff who's around anyway, and they're not going to sign anything on behalf of the venue.


With my caterer hat on, I whole-heartedly agree with this. I would never, and my staff was under strict instruction to never, sign for anything from another vendor. Ever.

This is one of those things on my peeve-list that starts with Things That People Say "Oh the CATERER Will Do That For You!":
- Oh the caterer will cut the cake! (Not unless you prearrange it and pay for the service.)
- Oh the caterer provides plates for the cake you bought from someone else! (Not unless you pay for them in advance.)
- Oh the caterer will sign off on the delivery (no way in hell)
- Oh the caterer will cue the band! (Not unless my name is Ricky Ricardo ... yes, I really got asked this once!)

jenmat Posted 18 Jul 2011 , 2:21pm
post #22 of 34

I'm one of those who used to have a sign-off sheet. I say USED to. Many of the venues had no problem signing it, but one venue told me that if I wanted them to sign it then I would need to take the cake back and deliver it moments before guests arrive, or not at all. They would have none of it.

I realized that even though my form said that I was not transferring liability to them, nor was I having them sign off on design or flavor, it still made them uncomfortable because they really don't have that much control over the cake.

I decided it was my responsibility to deliver a cake that could withstand bumping, jostling and the like.

underthesun Posted 18 Jul 2011 , 3:11pm
post #23 of 34

All good additional info. I delivered cake this weekend and took pictures from all sides. I do learn from my mistakes. Thanks for the information from a caterers side of view. icon_biggrin.gif

AnotherCaker Posted 18 Jul 2011 , 3:54pm
post #24 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenmat

I decided it was my responsibility to deliver a cake that could withstand bumping, jostling and the like.


Amen! Don't see many statements like this anymore. icon_rolleyes.gif

cakestyles Posted 18 Jul 2011 , 5:08pm
post #25 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherCaker

Quote:
Originally Posted by jenmat

I decided it was my responsibility to deliver a cake that could withstand bumping, jostling and the like.

Amen! Don't see many statements like this anymore. icon_rolleyes.gif




Boy, you can say that again!

Bri122005 Posted 18 Jul 2011 , 5:37pm
post #26 of 34

I have a question kinda on the same subject (maybe I should make another post?). I have a 7 tier cake to deliver in Oct. I'm going to transport with the tiers seperated and assemble on site. I was thinking that I didn't need a center dowel going through the entire cake since I would stack the cake on the cake table on site. The cake shouldn't be moving at all. But, this thread makes me a little nervous about that. I'm planning on dowels and cake plates in each tier as normal and then having a center dowl going through the bottom 4 and top 3 tiers to help support. Just nothing going through all 7 tiers. Is this a mistake?

AnotherCaker Posted 18 Jul 2011 , 5:43pm
post #27 of 34

I did a really thin tall 7 tier a few months ago, and I didn't use a central dowel. I don't like people having to pull things apart and have a hard time cutting the cake. But, depending on the table, where it will be sitting, etc., etc., I would use something if I felt it absolutley required it.

costumeczar Posted 18 Jul 2011 , 6:06pm
post #28 of 34

What are the diameters of the tiers? You might want to use a center post structure (going from the board up, not a dowel going through the cake into the board) to make sure it doesn't tilt if it's a super-tall, thin profile, but if there's a decent amount of difference in size between the tiers you don't need anything.

Regardless, a center dowel that goes from the top of the cake all the way through is pointless uness it's anchored so deeply into the board it won't budge. For 7 tiers that would have to be a pretty long dowel.

AnotherCaker Posted 18 Jul 2011 , 6:11pm
post #29 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

For 7 tiers that would have to be a pretty long dowel.


Yeah, no kidding. Didn't think about that. And it would be useless.

louanne Posted 18 Jul 2011 , 6:32pm
post #30 of 34

my sign off policy is, i will deliver and set up take photos from all angels as proof, if you want to inspect your cake you or and authorized agent must be present and sign off ( i still take photos) If i deliver and the cater or venue or someone will be moving the cake i take my pictures where i leave it and someone has to sign that it was delivered satisfactory, i have all my brides list two authorized people with phone numbers that can be contacted to sign off on the cake. while my cake will withstand normal handling, i had a venue drop a cake and tried to pin it on me ( reception was outside so cake needed to be moved outside at reception time) the caterers did not realize the brides mother had inspected and signed off on the cake beforehand.

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