Venue Called - Where's The Wedding Cake? HUH?

Business By pastrychef101 Updated 1 Aug 2011 , 1:48am by frostinggalore

johnson6ofus Posted 26 Jul 2011 , 3:10pm
post #61 of 108

OP-
(HUGS)..... icon_biggrin.gif

NOT your responsibility to run someone else's business. YOUR hands are clean, YOUR business runs. I am impressed you have notes from a February "looker" (MOB) that came in to ask a few questions. Clearly, YOU did YOUR job.

The venue/ planner... that's their problem. I won't even excuse the MOB- heck, even ordering a cake a WalMart they ask what flavor, how big, what color icing.

carmijok Posted 26 Jul 2011 , 3:47pm
post #62 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chasey

Quote:
Originally Posted by southerncross


I don't think Foxicakes intended to insinuate that you were in any way at fault (at least thats not how it read to me). She seems to just want to give some ideas to avoid a repeat of this incident that was a loss for everyone ... the wedding parry had no cake, the MOB is caught with egg on her face, the venue has an unhappy customer and you missed out on a cake sale. It's clear you did everything you could do with checks and balances but every slip is an opportunity to plug holes in the system.




Ditto that! thumbs_up.gif




Ditto, ditto that!
I think she was just presenting ideas for you to CYA in the future so you wouldn't be getting any more calls like that on a Saturday. I did not read that post thinking she thought it as your fault. NO one can think this situation lies with you!! It's just how can you avoid any confusion from others down the road that's all. It was well-intentioned advice that you can take or leave.

pastrychef101 Posted 26 Jul 2011 , 5:44pm
post #63 of 108

Thanks, everyone. I just wasn't in a good mood at the time I read the comments so my apologies. icon_biggrin.gif This has been a valuable lesson learned from the standpoint of further protecting ourselves. People read our contracts and are amazed at the contents, but I tell them these things actually do happen. As I said previously, I made the decision to have a separate contract for this venue's clients and a procedural list if they don't decide to contract with us at the initial meeting. I plan to give them a copy of the procedures so that the process is clear and they understand it is not the venue's responsibility to contract their cake, select the design, or flavors. I plan to send the venue a copy of it for reference so that they know that each of their clients will have the process clearly in writing. This really should be done from the beginning by the venue, but I certainly don't want to go through this again. From what I found out, similar situations have happened in the past with other vendors. Hopefully this will prevent us from being in the middle of something like this again. It definitely takes stress to a whole new level. icon_lol.gif

love2makecakes Posted 26 Jul 2011 , 5:52pm
post #64 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by bakeacakea

Thanks, everyone. I just wasn't in a good mood at the time I read the comments so my apologies. icon_biggrin.gif This has been a valuable lesson learned from the standpoint of further protecting ourselves. People read our contracts and are amazed at the contents, but I tell them these things actually do happen. As I said previously, I made the decision to have a separate contract for this venue's clients and a procedural list if they don't decide to contract with us at the initial meeting. I plan to give them a copy of the procedures so that the process is clear and they understand it is not the venue's responsibility to contract their cake, select the design, or flavors. I plan to send the venue a copy of it for reference so that they know that each of their clients will have the process clearly in writing. This really should be done from the beginning by the venue, but I certainly don't want to go through this again. From what I found out, similar situations have happened in the past with other vendors. Hopefully this will prevent us from being in the middle of something like this again. It definitely takes stress to a whole new level. icon_lol.gif




I'm just curious as to what is in it for the venue to order the cake from you? Do they have a markup on the cake? I guess I'm really wondering how it works if they (the client) sign a contract with you and they (the client) have to go over everything with you and sign your contract and then turn around and sign a contract also with the venue and pay the venue. I really don't see what the point of having a package lined up for the cake with the venue themselves. Seems like a lot of extra steps.

Now I'm only curious because I have a venue that has told me they have accounts with wedding cake places that agree to pay the venue a markup on the cakes they contract from these specific cake shops. So essentially they push certain cake shops where they will make money of those cakes. In this case I can see the benefit.

pastrychef101 Posted 26 Jul 2011 , 6:21pm
post #65 of 108

[quote="love2makecakesI'm just curious as to what is in it for the venue to order the cake from you? Do they have a markup on the cake? I guess I'm really wondering how it works if they (the client) sign a contract with you and they (the client) have to go over everything with you and sign your contract and then turn around and sign a contract also with the venue and pay the venue. I really don't see what the point of having a package lined up for the cake with the venue themselves. Seems like a lot of extra steps.

Now I'm only curious because I have a venue that has told me they have accounts with wedding cake places that agree to pay the venue a markup on the cakes they contract from these specific cake shops. So essentially they push certain cake shops where they will make money of those cakes. In this case I can see the benefit.[/quote]

The venue provides many of the services in-house. There are only three services that are outsourced with other vendors. We have a standard per serving price we offer their clients unless it is an extremely elaborate cake. The package deal is supposed to give the client a "piece of mind" knowing that most everything is taken care of and the venue has vendors pre-selected. It certainly didn't do that in this case...lol. The price of the cake is within the range of the starting price for our basic cakes so I'm making my usual profit on the cakes. It does help knowing that we are getting some consistent business, but it is mainly set up as a service for the client to make things easier on them as well as keep services in-house with the venue. Of course the venue is the one making additional money by not having those services outsourced. I'm not sure if there is a finders fee incorporated into the package for having vendors pre-selected for the clients. And I don't have any sort of contract with the venue. I am going to discuss this with the venue, however, after what happened. I think there needs to be some sort of contract between us and the venue regarding payments along with each of our responsibilities. Things have worked so smoothly up to this point, but now it is definitely warranted.

kakeladi Posted 26 Jul 2011 , 6:26pm
post #66 of 108

One thing that no one has mentioned as far as the OP's reputation: I bet everyone atttending the wedding heard/was told that her bakery didn't show! icon_sad.gif Those people are not goiing to learn of the outcome - that it probably (looks like at this point) is the venue's fault. They are still going to think it was the baker icon_sad.gif

Lili5768 Posted 26 Jul 2011 , 6:31pm
post #67 of 108

My thoughts are tht Foxicakes was right on the money with her advice. I'm sure people who have supervised or been in managerial positions are aware of the importance of follow up and recheck.

Very obviously someone in charge of these details at that venue dropped the ball. And judging by the fact that the MOB has called you twice, is it possible that the venue is taking the blame off themselves and placing it all on you?

What I would do is write the venue a very courteous and friendly letter explaining much as you have said it here, and expressing your concerns for any negative reviews that may affect your business (due to THEIR negligence).
But put this in writing, I think it's a situation serious enough to warrant that.

As for the MOB, remember, her daughter had her wedding without a cake!
Not because of your fault, but because of the venues. It's enough to make anybody cry and for a long time!
I would be as sympathetic as I possibly could. If she should call you again, give her your undivided attention and put all the blame on who deserves it, but let her vent and then you explain again that humanly there was nothing you could do. She'll understand.

As for the venue, well, next time I would check and double check and triple check on what cakes are due, but then, who has the time for that? icon_wink.gif

pastrychef101 Posted 26 Jul 2011 , 6:50pm
post #68 of 108

I forgot to mention that we aren't the exclusive cake vendor for this venue. There are two other cake vendors that can be selected for a client's package deal. When I never heard back from the MOB, of course I assumed she went with one of the other cake vendors for her daughter's package. When we met, she did indicate she was visiting at least one of the other cake vendors. Therefore, I did not feel it was my obligation to contact the venue prior to the wedding for any sort of checks and balances and why I disagreed with Foxicakes comments. It would have helped with the big picture had I provided that important information. icon_lol.gif I do agree with Foxicake's comment that if the venue had our business listed as the cake vendor and never received an invoice, there should have been some sort of follow up on their end. Thank you so much for pointing that out.

Lili7568 I am very concerned about the fallout and why I am still very stressed. I appreciate all the support, and it does help tremendously. However, I too am concerned that the 150 guests at the wedding and the other vendors think that we did not deliver the cake. Rumors spread like wildfire, and I do not want to be known as the cake vendor that failed to deliver a bride's cake. They are not privy to all the details, and this could have serious repercussions for us.

My business partner and I did provide a shoulder for the MOB to cry on yesterday. She was hysterical! We have such sympathy for her and the bride and let her cry and vent. Had someone called us at an earlier point the day of the wedding, I could have whipped up something or could have at least taken one of our display cakes so that the bride could have some decent pictures. With a design not being selected, any of our display cakes would have worked. The venue purchased a grocery store cake for the ceremonial cutting of the cake and photo op, which made the MOB more upset.

AnotherCaker Posted 26 Jul 2011 , 6:55pm
post #69 of 108

bakeacakea, do you blog, and if so, do you link it on Facebook? This is a good opportunity to post a thread about contracts and maknig sure things are in writing and confirmed. You don't have to point it out and use names (of course not), but you can make it in general, and reference "an unfortunate incident that occured recently" that is specific to someone thinking they had a cake coming, when they didn't. If people who were at that wedding happen to see it, it may be an aha moment for them.

AnotherCaker Posted 26 Jul 2011 , 6:58pm
post #70 of 108

I actually posted a blog once that mentioned what a great cake free weekend I had once, where I got to catch up on all the upcoming orders, in the hopes that people from a wedding I didn't do saw that and knew I didn't make the train wreck of a cake that was there. The bride didn't want my prices, and boy did she get what she paid for. I did a lot of business for this wedding planner, and didn't want anyone thinking I had anything to do with it, so that's why I posted a blog that day. It worked.

Lili5768 Posted 26 Jul 2011 , 7:07pm
post #71 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by bakeacakea


Lili7568 I am very concerned about the fallout and am still very stressed. I appreciate all the support, and it does help tremendously. However, I too am concerned that the 150 guests at the wedding and the other vendors think that we did not deliver the cake. Rumors spread like wildfire, and I do not want to known as the cake vendor that failed to deliver a bride's cake. They are not privy to all the details, and this could have serious repercussions for us.




Believe me I would be stressed too! This is why I thought that if you could just somehow win the MOB over. She may them spread the good word to her guests/friends and family and you could do some damage control in that way.
I don't have a business so I don't exactly know what you should do, these are just some thoughts on this. My concern at this point would be to mitigate the damage, but exactly how, perhaps someone with more experience could help there!

I'm really sorry this had to happen to you! Best of luck and I sincerely hope everything works out for the best!

saffronica Posted 26 Jul 2011 , 7:08pm
post #72 of 108

I used to work at a bakery that had a similar arrangement with a venue. In our case, however, the bride would order through her coordinator at the venue, who would then place the order with us. Every month the coordinators would fax us a list of all the cakes they were expecting, and I would go through and make sure we had a complete order for each one. You'd be surprised at how many times that list saved us from missing a cake we had never received an order for.

Chasey Posted 26 Jul 2011 , 7:47pm
post #73 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by saffronica

In our case, however, the bride would order through her coordinator at the venue, who would then place the order with us. Every month the coordinators would fax us a list of all the cakes they were expecting, and I would go through and make sure we had a complete order for each one.




Well there is a good idea for you to consider! That would truly provide added benefits to this venue/baker relationship. You would free up your time and perhaps in return, you build in a little profit for the venue so that you are top of the list for bakers.

Do you like providing a tasting for each bride? Do you charge for that? I'm basing the following suggestion on the understanding that a bride is trusting the venue's choice in baker and is not having an official tasting.

From what you have explained (or how I understood it!) the venue is just being nice and sending a bride your way? They aren't making any money from your cakes, but they are potentially sealing the catering deal with the bride by selling the "whole package."

What if you provided a portfolio book to the venue with specific looks and what serving sizes that package price gets them? If the bride likes what she sees, she orders through the venue coordinator who is completely responsible for all choices and a signed contract. Makes sense for them to pay you when you receive that "order."

If the bride wants to upgrade her flavor/design/etc. there could be an upcharge of $25 to meet with you directly and discuss her new cake price. The bride would have to sign off on that form as well (stating she is contacting you directly by xxx date.) The venue will still have to shoulder responsibility by making sure they receive an invoice from you after the meeting.

I just feel like if you are part of a venue's package deal, the venue should be handling ALL of the contracts. You provide the invoice for the order once it was selected by the bride and coordinator OR they provide you the statement that the bride is ordering directly from you with a surcharge and known price increase. icon_smile.gif She can have her tasting that way.

I'm thinking of the future and hoping that you are super busy with orders and need hassle free transactions with venues!

gourmetsharon Posted 26 Jul 2011 , 7:58pm
post #74 of 108

Just a quick thought and I know that you aren't in the wrong but it might be nice to offer the newlyweds something as a goodwill gesture. Maybe a discount on a 1 year anniversary cake since they won't have that.

Might bring in future biz when they do realize it wasn't your fault and they will need other cakes for baby showers, 1st birthday, etc. etc.

[/b]

labmom Posted 27 Jul 2011 , 1:25am
post #75 of 108

I just wanted to say that I think that GourmetSharon, had such a great idea for the offer of an anniversary cake other cakes. It shows concern and true feelings about what happened. Very nice thoughts!

pastrychef101 Posted 27 Jul 2011 , 1:35am
post #76 of 108

That is a great suggestion, and I think I'll call the MOB tomorrow and offer the anniversary cake to the couple. icon_lol.gif Thank you for the wonderful input!

terrylee Posted 27 Jul 2011 , 1:58am
post #77 of 108

been reading through all of this....what a horrible experience for you and for the bride.....It was no way your fault. Maybe because of all the excitment and craziness of getting a wedding together the MOB could have assumed the cake was taken care of...but the venue dropped the ball also. Glad you had the chance to talk it out with the MOB. I love the suggestion of an anniversary cake.....

gourmetsharon Posted 27 Jul 2011 , 2:12am
post #78 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by bakeacakea

That is a great suggestion, and I think I'll call the MOB tomorrow and offer the anniversary cake to the couple. icon_lol.gif Thank you for the wonderful input!




welcome! sometimes a small gesture can go a long way.

tokazodo Posted 27 Jul 2011 , 2:16am
post #79 of 108

Playing devil's advocate icon_evil.gif What a great way to save money and get out of purchasing an expensive wedding cake, and save face while doing so. icon_wink.gif

Lili5768 Posted 27 Jul 2011 , 2:20am
post #80 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by tokazodo

Playing devil's advocate icon_evil.gif What a great way to save money and get out of purchasing an expensive wedding cake, and save face while doing so. icon_wink.gif




LOL! I hear ya! icon_wink.gif

Curtsmin24 Posted 27 Jul 2011 , 2:40am
post #81 of 108
Quote:
Quote:

What a great way to save money and get out of purchasing an expensive wedding cake, and save face while doing so.




I was thinking the same thing. Maybe she didn't want to pay for the cake and dropped the ball on purpose. But what kind of a mother would do such a thing.

carmijok Posted 27 Jul 2011 , 2:41am
post #82 of 108

I know you are concerned about your reputation...but the good news is that people have very short-term memories and so often what we see as absolute disasters, most people could care less about. I can almost guarantee that NO one who attended the wedding remembers who was supposed to supply the cake and didn't. Just that they were at a wedding and it wasn't there.

Everyone has their own life problems to deal with and a bakery snafu at a wedding is probably low on the list of concerns to everyone except those that were directly affected by it...a.k.a the MOB, you, venue and bride.

That's why the goodwill anniversary cake is a great idea. The only way this could be a negative for you is if the bride and MOB keep it alive.

Good luck! icon_biggrin.gif

Foxicakes Posted 27 Jul 2011 , 3:12am
post #83 of 108

WHOAH!!! WOW!! Okay, You definitely got the WRONG impression from my post!! I am 110% ON YOUR SIDE here!! Absolutely it's NOT YOUR FAULT. And, I'm sorry that you misunderstood what I was saying in my post. I was ONLY trying to give advice for you to pass on to the venue so that this doesn't happen again to you--or them, for that matter. After all, it was THEIR mistake, but it's your reputation left knee deep in sh@*t right now and that's not fair to you.
Again, sorry you misunderstood the point I was trying to make...

cheatize Posted 27 Jul 2011 , 3:40am
post #84 of 108

I'm not sure about offering the MOB anything. It could be construed as compensation/admission that it was your fault. If the MOB is still calling you after knowing it wasn't your fault, she may be the type to take it to court.

johnson6ofus Posted 27 Jul 2011 , 3:48am
post #85 of 108

The goodwill gesture is nice, but SOONER, rather than later. I wouldn't want the "bad taste" of this nightmare to linger for a year. Offer it when they return from the honeymoon, or at "1 month anniversary" time. That way the nightmare story gets passed around with your nice gesture. A year from now, lets' hope it is forgotten.

AnotherCaker Posted 27 Jul 2011 , 3:51am
post #86 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheatize

I'm not sure about offering the MOB anything. It could be construed as compensation/admission that it was your fault. If the MOB is still calling you after knowing it wasn't your fault, she may be the type to take it to court.


I would distance myself from that level of crazy as fast as I could. Not your fault, and really not your place to offer anything either. If anyone wants to make nice-nice with this person, it's the venue.

Marina Posted 27 Jul 2011 , 4:34am
post #87 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by cheatize

I'm not sure about offering the MOB anything. It could be construed as compensation/admission that it was your fault. If the MOB is still calling you after knowing it wasn't your fault, she may be the type to take it to court.




I was thinking the same thing, this can be misconstrued for you being at fault and you're just easing your guilt. I wouldn't do it.

tokazodo Posted 27 Jul 2011 , 8:52am
post #88 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marina

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheatize

I'm not sure about offering the MOB anything. It could be construed as compensation/admission that it was your fault. If the MOB is still calling you after knowing it wasn't your fault, she may be the type to take it to court.



I was thinking the same thing, this can be misconstrued for you being at fault and you're just easing your guilt. I wouldn't do it.




Yup, I'm along on this line of thinking too. The mix up was not your fault, you owe them nothing.
Sure it's a nice gesture personally, but this is business.
Pull out your paper work, show it to the venue and be done with it, move on.
Technically, I don't feel you even owe it to the venue to show them the paper work, but it is business and I would do it as a CYA.

And bakesacakea, I wouldn't worry about rumors.

indydebi Posted 27 Jul 2011 , 9:41am
post #89 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marina

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheatize

I'm not sure about offering the MOB anything. It could be construed as compensation/admission that it was your fault. If the MOB is still calling you after knowing it wasn't your fault, she may be the type to take it to court.



I was thinking the same thing, this can be misconstrued for you being at fault and you're just easing your guilt. I wouldn't do it.




In my early early years, I did a wedding for a relative of a co-worker. the bride worked at a hotel, and I KNEW the hotel only permitted the cake to come in .... no punch, no snacks, just the cake. So I sold the bride the cake-only package. She came up to me and asked where the punch was. I told her she didn't order punch, I didn't charge her for punch, and the hotel wouldn't let me bring it in anyway. She was REALLY ticked. To top it off, the bride WORKED at the hotel so I figured she knew their policy! I double checked with the hotel coordinator, "What if I had walked in here with punch?" and she said, "You would have walked right back out with it!"

Since it was a co-worker's relative, I caved and offered a $20 refund (bear in mind this was in the mid-80's so $20 was significant) as a goodwill gesture. I later heard the bride telling a friend, in a victoriously bragging tone of voice, 'She gave me $20 so you know she felt that she did SOMETHING wrong!"

As was mentioned above, she took my goodwill gesture as an admission of guilt. Just think about it before you do this.

gourmetsharon Posted 27 Jul 2011 , 10:31am
post #90 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marina

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheatize

I'm not sure about offering the MOB anything. It could be construed as compensation/admission that it was your fault. If the MOB is still calling you after knowing it wasn't your fault, she may be the type to take it to court.



I was thinking the same thing, this can be misconstrued for you being at fault and you're just easing your guilt. I wouldn't do it.





It's very sad to me that this is what our society has come down to.

I guess I don't see the MOB as that crazy. There was a miscommunication. Her daughter's wedding day had a snag in it after probably planning it for about a year and everything didn't go perfectly. The woman was angry and upset and trying to understand and get the information of why her daughter's perfect day wasn't so. OP was kind enough to speak with her professionally and help MOB realize that it wasn't her fault. It seems from what I am reading from her that MOB realizes that now after a few days of getting the right information about the events.

Yes, you could wash your hands of it all. Or you can turn it into a shining moment and possible future business.

I do like the idea of something sooner too, maybe some post-honeymoon cuppies.

Good luck on whatever you decide.

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