Just Another One Of My Mistakes Someone Can Learn From...

Business By KellyJo3 Updated 22 Jul 2011 , 2:47am by ShandraB

KellyJo3 Posted 15 Jul 2011 , 11:40am
post #1 of 21

So I had a lady call a couple weeks ago for some petit fours. She wanted 200 of them! I had never made them before and made sure to let her know that I had never made them before. She was very persistant and ask me to try them out. Bad mistake, if you do not know how to do something and never have before do not practice on a customer's order, specially when you only have a short amount of time.

I told her I would try and then she asked how much I would charge for them. Well, in my thinking I thought they would be very easy to do since they were so tiny. So I only charged her 1.00/piece. Another bad mistake!!

These were the hardest things I've ever had to make! They turned out horribly lumpy and kept falling apart. Not to mention the amount and the time it took just to do a few of them. I way undercharged!

After alot of failed attempts I eventually had to suck it up and call her and let her know that they were just not turning out and apologized a gazillion times, yet I reminded her that I had told her I never had made them before, but that it was my fault for agreeing to do them. So I gave her a couple options either I'd give her a full discount or I could make her something else at a discount. She chose the option of me making her something else and asked for 200 mini cupcakes dipped in poured fondant with sugar roses on top. Now with these I would've charged at least 2.00/piece so technically I discounted her 200.00. Plus she asked me to make her a 6" cake that I made for her for free.

Luckily she had called a french bakery that quoted her 5.00/petit four and they explained to her why they were so much because of how hard they were to make, which helped me out with her understanding more. This was a very stressful mistake that I have defintley learned my lesson for. After all of my hard work and time I only made a small tiny profit specially after I had to buy much more supples.

I know everything I did wrong and will learn from these mistakes for sure! I thought I'd post this so that others don't have to learn the hard way!

20 replies
leah_s Posted 15 Jul 2011 , 12:18pm
post #2 of 21

Yeah, I always quote $6 each for petit fours. That stops the conversation right there, which is what it's supposed to do. NO one in my city makes them.

KellyJo3 Posted 15 Jul 2011 , 12:24pm
post #3 of 21

I do not blame you one bit!! My husband wants to master how to make them because he's seeing a big dollar sign. I told him go right ahead and I will point all of the petiti four orders to him because I want nothing to do with them lol!

Kiddiekakes Posted 15 Jul 2011 , 12:53pm
post #4 of 21

Yup..Petit Fours..PIA....LOL

CWR41 Posted 15 Jul 2011 , 3:08pm
post #5 of 21

The first time I made them at home, I only needed to make 7 of them... I swore NEVER again! That was 25-30 years ago.

We used to make them all the time commercially, and it's so much easier with the correct tools and equipment (and space) in a commercial facility, yet still tedious. I don't know if you've seen the Mahalo video, but perhaps it will be helpful for those who decide to take it on:

http://www.mahalo.com/how-to-make-petit-fours/

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 15 Jul 2011 , 3:24pm
post #6 of 21

Oh my gosh, I tried making petit fours one time, what a PAIN IN THE BUTT!

snocilla Posted 15 Jul 2011 , 5:19pm
post #7 of 21

Holy Crap! As soon as I read 200 petit fours, I had to look to see where you were from! This lady called me, after you cancelled! But I told her I couldn't do them on such short notice, especially not having done them before! I really did not even want to try!

LKing12 Posted 15 Jul 2011 , 10:37pm
post #8 of 21

I did petit fours once. I burned every finger tip. They turned out all right. But they would definitely be very pricey were I to ever be asked to make them again!

KellyJo3 Posted 15 Jul 2011 , 10:44pm
post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by snocilla

Holy Crap! As soon as I read 200 petit fours, I had to look to see where you were from! This lady called me, after you cancelled! But I told her I couldn't do them on such short notice, especially not having done them before! I really did not even want to try!



lol, yep that would be her! I'll send ya a PM next time warning you! : )

JGMB Posted 15 Jul 2011 , 11:16pm
post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by CWR41

I don't know if you've seen the Mahalo video, but perhaps it will be helpful for those who decide to take it on:

http://www.mahalo.com/how-to-make-petit-fours/





Thanks for sharing the video!!! A few months back, I took a Petits Fours and Mini Cakes class at Wilton, but I like his method of covering them all at once much better.

Recently, a ladies' group I belong to asked me to bring petits fours to our luncheon. The hostess asked me to make them 2" each, though!!!!! One of the sweet older ladies said, "These are so big, they're more like petits sevens." Everyone got a good laugh -- I hope I have a quick wit like that at her age!

TwoLittleEs Posted 16 Jul 2011 , 4:31am
post #11 of 21

We recently made petit fours for a friend's birthday party as our gift. We made them ONCE in a cake class, so we figured we could do it on our own again. HUUUUGE pain in the butt! I would've whipped up a 4-tiered cake in the amount of time w spent on those dreadful things!

fedra Posted 16 Jul 2011 , 4:47am
post #12 of 21

I made some petite fours to take to a bridal shop opening. I made 30 of them and I SWEAR that they were the hardest, most frustrating thing that I had ever made (cakewise). I lady who went to the opening called and asked me to make her 100 and I said sorry I only petite fours for displays. That was the end of that. I'd rather frost 10 full size cakes before taking those on again!

CupQuequito Posted 16 Jul 2011 , 5:03am
post #13 of 21

I know why, when I got married 2 yrs ago, that my baker had a, 'surprise vacation trip by my husband the weekend of your wedding' come up!

And I didn't even want fondant! I haven't even tried, now that I do this! I haven't had time. I still want to be able to do it, so that I could be someone that 'can' in my city. lol Keep ya posted. :p

Occther Posted 17 Jul 2011 , 12:17pm
post #14 of 21

Call me weird, but I actually like making petit fours. I found a great recipe for an almond cake. I make two layers with raspberry jelly between layers and buttercream on top. You freeze in between each step. Then I dip each one individually frozen - kinda like dipping cake balls - but you have to elevate the rack to be able to removed the skewer from the bottom. I probably made 400 for bridal show and 250 for wedding favors.

Thanks for sharing the video CRW41. Would definitely be a faster way to cover all of them.

If anyone is interested in the recipe, pm me and I will see if I can scan it - or find it on my hard drive (lol.)

cakestyles Posted 17 Jul 2011 , 1:20pm
post #15 of 21

I also freeze my cake layer til almost hard, torte the layers really really thin and than spread preserves in between. (I usually torte a 2" layer into 3 layers of cake so I end up with 2 layers of preserves in between 3 layers of cake per petit four)
Pop into the freezer once again to keep them firm, take the layer out, cut into squares and pour the icing on while they're still semi frozen.

Petit fours are a LOT more work than mini cupcakes, so I think you ended up with a lot less work and aggravation.

Mini cupcakes are pretty easy therefore should cost less than petit fours anyway, so I don't think you messed up the pricing as much as you originally thought.

Your costs are lower because you're not filling the mini cupcakes as you are with the petit's and your labor is less because it's a lot quicker to make mini cupcakes than it is to make petit fours.

KellyJo3 Posted 17 Jul 2011 , 1:50pm
post #16 of 21

I agree that mini cupcakes are a lot easier to make if they are basic mini cupcakes covered with fondant, but these each had handmade sugar roses on them and were dipped in poured fondant so normally I would have charged 2.00 a piece for them.

I know they should cost less then petit fours, but had I known about petit fours I would not have charged her 1.00 a piece. Oh well you live and learn.

JessiesCreations Posted 17 Jul 2011 , 2:16pm
post #17 of 21

I absolutely love to eat petit fours and after making my first batch a few months back, I know have deeper appreciation for people that can crank those little suckers out. I learned alot from the watching the video and I will probably end up making them again soon.

mombabytiger Posted 18 Jul 2011 , 2:58pm
post #18 of 21

There's not enough money in the world to entice me to make petits fours. And I know how to make them. No cake balls either. The people who make decorated cake balls are heroic in my book. Some of them are so imaginative and adorable. I just don't have that kind of time or patience.

alvarezmom Posted 21 Jul 2011 , 7:19pm
post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by CWR41

The first time I made them at home, I only needed to make 7 of them... I swore NEVER again! That was 25-30 years ago.

We used to make them all the time commercially, and it's so much easier with the correct tools and equipment (and space) in a commercial facility, yet still tedious. I don't know if you've seen the Mahalo video, but perhaps it will be helpful for those who decide to take it on:

http://www.mahalo.com/how-to-make-petit-fours/




What a great video!

maybelline Posted 22 Jul 2011 , 2:31am
post #20 of 21

That video makes it LOOK so easy!! I have never attempted petit fours but now I want to give it a go. Thanks for the link. icon_smile.gif

ShandraB Posted 22 Jul 2011 , 2:47am
post #21 of 21

I'm with mombabytiger - I just do not have the patience for all those gorgeous cake balls, but I think I'm about to try petits fours. Almost. Maybe. icon_smile.gif

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