Free Anniversary Cake But Can't (Don't Want To) Do It

Business By Jen1002 Updated 19 Sep 2011 , 5:55pm by cylstrial

Jen1002 Posted 19 Sep 2011 , 2:09am
post #1 of 22

First of all, I delivered a wedding cake last year; the fiance (who was the most involved man I've ever experienced in the design of everything) was there as were MOB and MOG and it got oohs and aahs. I was there for probably 30 mins setting up the cake. Talked to groom and left. Ample time for someone to say something if all was not right.

I delivered a cake to the same venue a week later and coordinator gave me a heads up that bride had been trying to get a refund from every vendor they chose. Sure enough I got an email from her saying cake was leaning, flowers weren't the right color etc. I explained that I have photos of cake at venue and it was fine as noted by everyone who saw it and there was ample time and people who could have said something and for SURE would have if there was in fact a problem and b- her fiance made the cake base and I made them sign off on their contract that i advised against this and they assumed responsibility after delivery.

The bride just emailed me about her free anniversary tier. There was definitely a 'tone' in her email-no politeness whatsoever. She requested her cake and requested that I order the 'gumpaste flowers that were supposed to be on her wedding cake, not the homemade ones and in case I forgot what they were supposed to look like shed email a picture to refresh my memory'.

I offer a free, fresh 6" anniversary cake and have never had an issue. I had one issue with a bride and she never contacted me about an anniversary cake, as I believe is proper etiquette. I am so put off that she tried to get money back for her cake and is now not only contacting me for her free cake but that she is suggesting I order gumpaste flowers for it all the while being condescending. I will be out of town for her anniversary and don't know how to handle this. I have had this happen with other brides and always offer to do it a few days early or another date that we both agree to and its never been an issue. But with this one I don't even want to offer her another date at all! Am I wrong here and how do I handle this?

21 replies
jason_kraft Posted 19 Sep 2011 , 2:27am
post #2 of 22

What does it say in your original contract? If you agreed in the contract to provide the free anniversary cake subject to your availability, you should still provide it on another date even though the customer was rude.

cakestyles Posted 19 Sep 2011 , 2:51am
post #3 of 22

I agree, you have to honor your contract.

But, I'd draw the line when it comes to the gp flowers. That's ridiculous.

I offer a free 6" on the 1st Anniversary also, but I don't replicate their top tier.

Is that what she is expecting? A replica of her cake? yikes!

JackieDryden Posted 19 Sep 2011 , 2:58am
post #4 of 22

I too offer a free anniveersary cake, but not a "replica" unless it's pretty basic. I'm still newbie-and have made friends wedding cakes so far I haven't even hit an anniversary yet! icon_smile.gif But that seems rediculous. Does it state that the free cake is a replica? If it doesn't I would e-mail her back stating that-I can see flavor options being the same cake flavor.

BlakesCakes Posted 19 Sep 2011 , 3:14am
post #5 of 22

I'd explain that I'd be out of town, so the cake will need to be frozen and then properly defrosted in the refrigerator, etc. and that I will need to deliver it (or she'll need to pick it up) on xx/xx/2010.
I'm happy to provide a cake in the flavor of their wedding cake, but that it will be simply decorated and will not include any flowers--gum paste, or otherwise-- and that if she wants flowers for it (for some reason), she should consider purchasing them herself.

And then, saying it as tactfully as possible, "Take it, or leave it."


Rae

Jen1002 Posted 19 Sep 2011 , 3:17am
post #6 of 22

There is nothing in my contract about their anniversary cake. I will be out of town the weekend of her anniversary and would like to just say something to the effect of

"I'm so sorry but I will not be able to do your cake since I will be out of town that week. But have a wonderful anniversary"

I would offer another option but her attitude leaves me less than inspired to do so.....

BlakesCakes Posted 19 Sep 2011 , 3:26am
post #7 of 22

Sorry, the wording of your original post made is seem like people signing with you for a wedding cake will receive a free, fresh, 6" 1st anniversary cake..........

If that's not the case--that they weren't told that or didn't sign on for that---then she wants to buy a cake and you're not available to do it. No problem telling her that.

If you want the $$, then quote her a price & tell her that it'll need to be frozen.

Rae

Jen1002 Posted 19 Sep 2011 , 3:53am
post #8 of 22

I offer it free but it is not in my contract at all. She is expecting me to replicate the top tier which had black scrolls and pink flowers cascading down the side. That's why I'm having so much trouble with this I guess- if she had come to me gracefully this wouldn't even be an issue. I've done the same design for other brides and included the scrolls- I'll do it no problem if the design is simple. I just can't imagine myself giving someone a hard time once and then asking for a freebie. I get nervous sending back food at a restaurant!!

ReneeFLL Posted 19 Sep 2011 , 4:05am
post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen1002

There is nothing in my contract about their anniversary cake. ..... I would offer another option but her attitude leaves me less than inspired to do so.....




Quote:
Originally Posted by Jen1002

I offer a free, fresh 6" anniversary cake ....




I'm confused. You say that your contract does not have anything in it about a free cake, but yet yoy say you offer a free 6" cake. Do you just mention it to them at the time of them ordering their wedding cake? If that is the case, I would make them a free 6" cake in the flavor of the wedding cake. Nothing elaborate, just nice and simple. It also has to be picked up or delivered either before or after when you are gone.
If you are leaving town, I would not tell her that, just that you are not available to do her cake during that weekend.

Also, why would you offer her another option if you don't have it in your contract?

carmijok Posted 19 Sep 2011 , 4:35am
post #10 of 22

I would email her and say
" I provide a small 6" cake to brides at no charge on their first anniversary. It is not a replica of the wedding cake, but rather a tasteful small cake to share with each other on your special day. Additional decoration such as gum paste flowers or specific design, will incur an extra charge.
Unfortunately I will be out of town the week of your anniversary and will be unable to provide your anniversary tier for that date. Should you wish to have it earlier I can produce it before I leave or after I return. Let me know what you decide!
Thank you.'

That should be a nice way to tell her that you will supply a cake, but if she wants something special there will be a charge...which you should do!
Good luck with this one! thumbs_up.gif

johnson6ofus Posted 19 Sep 2011 , 4:53am
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by carmijok

I would email her and say
" I provide a small 6" cake to brides at no charge on their first anniversary. It is not a replica of the wedding cake, but rather a tasteful small cake to share with each other on your special day. Additional decoration such as gum paste flowers or specific design, will incur an extra charge.

LOVE THIS PART (above)

Unfortunately I will be out of town the week of your anniversary and will be unable to provide your anniversary tier for that date. Should you wish to have it earlier I can produce it before I leave or after I return.

I would say, "Unfortunately I am already booked from _____ (date) to _____ (date). I can prepare it for you in advance with freezing/ thawing instructions or you can select a date that is not already booked for your celebration cake.

Let me know what you decide!
Thank you.'

That should be a nice way to tell her that you will supply a cake, but if she wants something special there will be a charge...which you should do!
Good luck with this one! thumbs_up.gif


Jen1002 Posted 19 Sep 2011 , 4:54am
post #12 of 22

Thanks everyone- carmijok i like your suggestion. Maybe I need to rethink the anniversary cake,I did it when I first started to offer something that no one else does in my area.

btrsktch Posted 19 Sep 2011 , 2:59pm
post #13 of 22

I offer a free anniversary cake to all my brides/grooms who book with me. However, I DO NOT offer any customization of it, and it must be in thier original top tier flavor. And, they have the entire month of their original date to pick it up.

I would go ahead and do the cake, and make arrangements for her to pick it up, but unless you specifically stated that the anniversary cake is a replica, then I'd give a basic iced cake with borders. Absolutely no extras unless she is willing to pay for them.

IMO, the fresh/frozen issue is irrelevant. What does that have to do with anything? And, as far as her attitude and not being 'nice' about it ~ give her the one last cake and be done!

southerncross Posted 19 Sep 2011 , 3:31pm
post #14 of 22

Jen, I'm assuming that there was no provision in the written contract about an anniversary cake, however if you verbally offered to provide an anniversary cake as part of the your providing the wedding cake and the groom accepted that offer or even implied that he accepted the verbal offer, then you have a contractual obligation to provide an anniversary cake (how the groom would enforce that contract provision in court is a whole other story...filing fees in small claims court start around $80 and go upwards and the court could charge you for those fees if the groom prevailed...but then I digress). An oral contract can be just as binding as a written one.

More to the point is that some of our customers aren't always pleasant Perhaps we should put a clause in our contracts that the customer (and MOB, MOG, best friends, etc) must be nice to the baker and show a little gratitude for such lovely cakes that we take such time and effort over). This is true whether we have storefronts, home based businesses, or just hobby bakers. You should bake the anniversary cake (I see no reason why it can't be frozen in advance and suggest the bride order her own sugar paste flowers to insure they are exactly to her liking).

And while you do this, just keep repeating to yourself "Illegitimi non carborundum" --- google it if your latin isn't perfect

Cake_Karen Posted 19 Sep 2011 , 3:47pm
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by southerncross



And while you do this, just keep repeating to yourself "Illegitimi non carborundum" --- google it if your latin isn't perfect




icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

Cricketina Posted 19 Sep 2011 , 4:13pm
post #16 of 22

Hi Jen

Sorry you are having issues....I went to your profile to see if you had posted the cake but I didnt find any cakes in your profile?

rlowry03 Posted 19 Sep 2011 , 4:31pm
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnson6ofus

Quote:
Originally Posted by carmijok

I would email her and say
" I provide a small 6" cake to brides at no charge on their first anniversary. It is not a replica of the wedding cake, but rather a tasteful small cake to share with each other on your special day. Additional decoration such as gum paste flowers or specific design, will incur an extra charge.

LOVE THIS PART (above)

Unfortunately I will be out of town the week of your anniversary and will be unable to provide your anniversary tier for that date. Should you wish to have it earlier I can produce it before I leave or after I return.

I would say, "Unfortunately I am already booked from _____ (date) to _____ (date). I can prepare it for you in advance with freezing/ thawing instructions or you can select a date that is not already booked for your celebration cake.

Let me know what you decide!
Thank you.'

That should be a nice way to tell her that you will supply a cake, but if she wants something special there will be a charge...which you should do!
Good luck with this one! thumbs_up.gif




I agree. This is a lovely professional email that should get the point across. I would also add a deadline by which she needs to notify you of her decision so you don't hear the night before that she expects a cake!

I always wondered how bakers managed to offer a free cake a year later and fit it into the schedule. I know it's become very common and it's a great idea. SOmetimes I think it could just be another headache!

aligotmatt Posted 19 Sep 2011 , 4:39pm
post #18 of 22

I do not offer any free cake. Brides pay for the top tier on their cake and they can save it or not. I always tell them, even though my normal minimum is well above just a 6" typical top tier size, since you are my client, and subject to availability, you can order a 6" cake for your anniversary. I've had 3 people do it. And if they had a fancy cake that required more work, they still paid the $8 per serving for their 12 servings...

All that said, if you offer it, you offer it. It's kind of nice that it's not written in the contract, because while I still think you need to provide her a cake, you can state the terms of that offer when you write her back. (Unless of course it states on your website - "you can have an identical replica of your top tier for free on your one year anniversary!")

congratulations on your one year anniversary! What I provide is a 6" round cake of your wedding cake flavors that is iced in buttercream with a simple border. If you would like to upgrade to an exact replica of your top tier, their will be a small fee of ....... I am glad to make you an anniversary cake, unfortunately, I don't have any more space available on that particular weekend, I can have it ready by this day before or this day after, or any other weekend that month. Let me know what you decide!

caymancake Posted 19 Sep 2011 , 5:13pm
post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by carmijok

I would email her and say
" I provide a small 6" cake to brides at no charge on their first anniversary. It is not a replica of the wedding cake, but rather a tasteful small cake to share with each other on your special day. Additional decoration such as gum paste flowers or specific design, will incur an extra charge.
Unfortunately I will be out of town the week of your anniversary and will be unable to provide your anniversary tier for that date. Should you wish to have it earlier I can produce it before I leave or after I return. Let me know what you decide!
Thank you.'

That should be a nice way to tell her that you will supply a cake, but if she wants something special there will be a charge...which you should do!
Good luck with this one! thumbs_up.gif


thumbs_up.gif just like what carmijok said!

cakestyles Posted 19 Sep 2011 , 5:21pm
post #20 of 22

[quote="rlowry03] I always wondered how bakers managed to offer a free cake a year later and fit it into the schedule. I know it's become very common and it's a great idea. SOmetimes I think it could just be another headache![/quote]




It's really not that big a deal, I put it on my calendar when they book their wedding cake and I send an e-mail reminder 2 weeks before to see if that date is good for them or if they'd like it a day or two later/before.

I always have enough vanilla bean or chocolate batter left over from my week's baking orders to bake a couple of 6" layers.

90% of my wedding clients become my future baby shower, baptisms, first birthday, first communion, etc., clients.

They reorder over and over from me so keeping in touch with them on that 1 year anniversary is a great way to keep the communication and relationship open if they haven't already ordered b-day cakes from me before the year's up.

edit to fix the quote part...for some reason it's all blending in with my post and doesn't have it's own little box. icon_confused.gif

BizCoCos Posted 19 Sep 2011 , 5:28pm
post #21 of 22

I agree with carmijok and other posters, however, if you do offer a free anniversary cake, you might want to put it in your contract with very specific wording. About the gumpaste flowers, absolutely ridiculous. The term Bridezilla should be changed in this situation to Personzilla, lol, they are not nice people at all times. This new trend of grooms being so heavily involved, wow, give me the old days, yes, it's their wedding also, but!

cylstrial Posted 19 Sep 2011 , 5:55pm
post #22 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by rlowry03

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnson6ofus

Quote:
Originally Posted by carmijok

I would email her and say
" I provide a small 6" cake to brides at no charge on their first anniversary. It is not a replica of the wedding cake, but rather a tasteful small cake to share with each other on your special day. Additional decoration such as gum paste flowers or specific design, will incur an extra charge.

LOVE THIS PART (above)

Unfortunately I will be out of town the week of your anniversary and will be unable to provide your anniversary tier for that date. Should you wish to have it earlier I can produce it before I leave or after I return.

I would say, "Unfortunately I am already booked from _____ (date) to _____ (date). I can prepare it for you in advance with freezing/ thawing instructions or you can select a date that is not already booked for your celebration cake.

Let me know what you decide!
Thank you.'

That should be a nice way to tell her that you will supply a cake, but if she wants something special there will be a charge...which you should do!
Good luck with this one! thumbs_up.gif




I agree. This is a lovely professional email that should get the point across. I would also add a deadline by which she needs to notify you of her decision so you don't hear the night before that she expects a cake!

I always wondered how bakers managed to offer a free cake a year later and fit it into the schedule. I know it's become very common and it's a great idea. SOmetimes I think it could just be another headache!






I also agree that this is the best way to go!

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