Too Many People At Consultations?

Decorating By cakelady2266 Updated 13 Oct 2011 , 2:19am by howsweet

cakelady2266 Posted 9 Oct 2011 , 10:34pm
post #1 of 27

This is the second time this week I have had too many people show up at a consultation. Now get this....when scheduling the appointments both clients asked how many people could they bring. I politely told them since space is limited please have no more than 3 people (including themselves) total at the meeting.

Wednesday it was bride, mother, father, sister and grandmother. Today it was bride, groom and 3 children under the age of 8.

My shop is small and the table only seats 4, so just guess who gets to stand and conduct a meeting. This happens often and it's getting old. Since I'm not a storefront or near any businesses/shops where the overflow could hang out, what am I suppose to do with everybody? What is the best way to handle this?

26 replies
bobwonderbuns Posted 9 Oct 2011 , 11:01pm
post #2 of 27

To the bride I would say "Okay, as we discussed we only allow up to three people in the consultation. Which two people would you like to stay with you?" It doesn't take a football team to pick a cake flavor. icon_confused.gif

PattyT Posted 9 Oct 2011 , 11:12pm
post #3 of 27

Would charging for any additional people over _# help? 2-3 ok, but after that ...you're not hosting a dessert party.

cakelady2266 Posted 10 Oct 2011 , 12:20am
post #4 of 27

I have never charged for consultations but I'm thinking of implementing a cover charge or maybe getting a bouncer LOL. It just awkward when they all pile into the shop like it's McDonalds or something. I need them to realize the consultation is not a cake party.

BlakesCakes Posted 10 Oct 2011 , 12:47am
post #5 of 27

I would have had no problem greeting them with, "So, which 3 of you will be staying?" and then I would have sat down while they played musical chairs...... icon_mad.gif

I would also NOT allow any children under the age of 12---EVER icon_cool.gif

Rae

QTCakes1 Posted 10 Oct 2011 , 1:21am
post #6 of 27

I actually started stressing 4 people max. to the point that I let them know that anything above that would not be able to accomodate.

cakelady2266 Posted 10 Oct 2011 , 2:07am
post #7 of 27

I'm thinking that "math dumb" isn't exclusive to just cake pricing. My largest crowd yet was 10, bride, MOB, FOB, groom, MOG, FOG, and 4 of the grooms younger siblings.

In the future the additional folks are just going to have to stay outside in the car. I just need the person picking out the cakes and the person paying for it. I'm not hosting an intergalactic caker here, (if you've seen Men in Black that was my feeble attempt to be funny)

cakestyles Posted 10 Oct 2011 , 2:30am
post #8 of 27

Wow that's just nuts. I guess I'm lucky, I've never had anyone but the bride and groom come for a consult.

I think you just have to be very clear that there will only be space for 3 people and don't feel bad if you have to remind them of that when they show up with a small army. lol

Good luck!

indydebi Posted 11 Oct 2011 , 2:43pm
post #9 of 27

I never really had this problem, but I attribute it to the good groundwork I lay out ahead of time. My email confirming the appt spells out, among many things, that a total of 4 people may attend, and I added "I only have 4 chairs." I always had a chair and workspace set up for ME and no one sits there. I did all of my consultations on my laptop DURING the consultation and I can't do that standing up.

I also spelled out that "small children should be left at home or with gramma as a catering facility is not a very entertaining place for children while parents are in a business meeting." Notice the phrase "BUSINESS meeting" is used. icon_twisted.gif

When running a business, one needs to take control of the business. There are some very good posts in this thread with very good advice. Making people follow the rules ("Which 3 are staying?") isn't rude ... it's just making them follow the rules. thumbs_up.gif

tigerhawk83 Posted 11 Oct 2011 , 8:48pm
post #10 of 27

People think they can bring little kids anywhere. I'm a cancer doctor and I have folks who bring their adult kids, who then bring the little grandkids to a medical consultation appointment. So they run around the exam room while I'm trying to have a serious discussion with the adults about grampa's cancer treatment - the kids are opening drawers, bugging the parents, etc - and I mean LITTLE kids, 2 or 3 years old. I just want to say to the parents "What WERE you THINKING" except that is the point - they don't think.

Some folks think kids don't "count" in numbers - so you say 3 people and there are 3 adults but the 5 kids don't "count"

cas17 Posted 11 Oct 2011 , 9:50pm
post #11 of 27

I have on my website "up to 4 including themselves and no children under 12" for their complimentary consultation. I reiterate this in my appt reminder email and also ask how many will be at our meeting. It's worked perfectly up until recently. I was told four would be attending and in walks the groom's best man with his 2 year old. No explanation. Did they think I wouldn't notice???? What do you do when that happens? Do you really look at them and ask who is going to leave with the child? That just seems kinda rude and doesn't set a nice tone for the consultation. Of course, it was as bad as you could imagine with the little one grabbing and knocking over the samples, making a mess and throwing her teddy grahams everywhere. Had to quickly wash the table cloth after they left to remove her fingerprints before my next consultation arrived. It was very distracting trying to talk over a little one. I think I will use stronger language from this point going forward and tell them to not even think about bringing any kids as I've been through that and don't want to do it ever again!

MamaDear Posted 11 Oct 2011 , 10:20pm
post #12 of 27

Maybe add some language like "Cake Tasting/Consultations will be $25 for your FOUR person consultation the $25 fee will be applied to your order. Each additional participant is $10 extra. Absolutely no children under 12 allowed. Type up your rules really nice, print them out and frame them in a nice frame to hang in the consultation area. Then do like IndyDebi says and have only 5 chairs. If they show up with kids, tell them they will have to hold them the entire time, in their laps because there is a liability issue with having young children around sharp and small objects.

I really hate how folks in "modern" society think all the rules apply to everyone else except themselves. Good luck and happy caking!

jenmat Posted 11 Oct 2011 , 11:01pm
post #13 of 27

I send a "tasting guide" email that outlines what they should expect.
This is my section on attendance.

"Please let >>>> know how many guests to expect at the tasting. The maximum guests allowed is 4, including yourself. This is both due to seating limitations and for your benefit. It is our experience that more than 4 opinions at a tasting can be extremely overwhelming to our wedding couples. It is STRONGLY encouraged that children under 12 years old are kept at home. Children under 12 will more than likely find this process less than entertaining, and I recommend they stay at home. If you must bring a child, please also bring a DVD to entertain them so that we can focus on the business at hand."

Since sending this to all my wedding couples prior to the meeting, I have not had a problem.

MamaDear Posted 11 Oct 2011 , 11:45pm
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by jenmat

I send a "tasting guide" email that outlines what they should expect.
This is my section on attendance.

"Please let >>>> know how many guests to expect at the tasting. The maximum guests allowed is 4, including yourself. This is both due to seating limitations and for your benefit. It is our experience that more than 4 opinions at a tasting can be extremely overwhelming to our wedding couples. It is STRONGLY encouraged that children under 12 years old are kept at home. Children under 12 will more than likely find this process less than entertaining, and I recommend they stay at home. If you must bring a child, please also bring a DVD to entertain them so that we can focus on the business at hand."

Since sending this to all my wedding couples prior to the meeting, I have not had a problem.




I vote for this as well!!!

carmijok Posted 12 Oct 2011 , 12:05am
post #15 of 27

At the bakery I worked for I once had this woman call up and want to come in and pick out a cake design for her darling son...would 3 be all right? I told her no we had a wedding consultation at that time but she was welcome to come in after 4... so what does she do? Show up right in the middle of the wedding consultation.

Our consultations were held at a table in the front of the bakery and there was a small couch and a couple of antique chairs over to the side. I told her that there was a tasting going on which is why I wanted them to come after 4. She said 'oh well, I was in the neighborhood!' I was not handling that particular bridal consultation so I took her over to the couch and while the bride, groom and parents were talking with the decorator, I told this person in a very soft voice that if she wanted to look through some of the books and find something she liked I would fix up the order (hoping it would be quick).

Well her son was all over the place making noise and banging on stuff, screaming (mother not saying anything to him either), she kept asking questions in a very loud voice and I kept having to answer the phone so needless to say it was very disruptive. I finally went over to her and said I was very sorry, but this really was not a good time for her son's birthday cake consultation since we already had a tasting going on and I couldn't devote the right amount of time to them plus her son was being a bit too noisy...would she mind returning in an hour?

Well she got all huffy and stormed out and called the owner saying how rude I was and that I had 'thrown' them out. Actually I just asked them to return at the time I told them to begin with. It wasn't any big deal...the owner knew what had happened...and agreed with me...but I couldn't get over how rude it was for her to even show up at a time I had told her not to. I don't know if they just don't listen...or just don't care what your guidelines or requests are. It's like some people think that rules don't apply to them! They have an agenda and to hell with anyone else!

lilmissbakesalot Posted 12 Oct 2011 , 12:10am
post #16 of 27

I limit to 2 free and then it's $25.00 a head for extra people. They can bring people but I don't provide cake unless they pay extra. No kids at all unless they are older and it has been discussed.

cupadeecakes Posted 12 Oct 2011 , 12:12am
post #17 of 27

In all my communications I specify that "my consultation space is small and that it can only accommodate 4 people max, and children are not allowed". And I only have 4 chairs (plus mine). I have had "family reunions" show up for the tasting and when they all get in and really see that there's no place to sit (or stand really), the unimportant members either leave or go outside and chill.

cakelady2266 Posted 12 Oct 2011 , 1:12am
post #18 of 27

When these armies show up they just look at me like I can somehow enlarge the space magically. Then some dumb@$$ in the group speaks up with this "Oh we just came to eat cake." I just think to myself I have NEVER wanted a piece of cake bad enough to pack this many people in a car and drive this far. It's a "tasting" not a hoedown. Why the hell do you need that many people anyway?

I have children myself and I like kids too. But a consultation/tasting is just not the place and time for kids. I need the bride to spend this time focusing, deciding, depositing and then going.

carmijok Posted 12 Oct 2011 , 3:39am
post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakelady2266

When these armies show up they just look at me like I can somehow enlarge the space magically. Then some dumb@$$ in the group speaks up with this "Oh we just came to eat cake." I just think to myself I have NEVER wanted a piece of cake bad enough to pack this many people in a car and drive this far. It's a "tasting" not a hoedown. Why the hell do you need that many people anyway?

I have children myself and I like kids too. But a consultation/tasting is just not the place and time for kids. I need the bride to spend this time focusing, deciding, depositing and then going.




Ha ha...try doing a radio remote where you offer free slices of pizza or hot dogs. We would get entire families coming back for seconds. One time a lady (and I use that term loosely) had her husband and four kids with her and actually gave me an order like I was a car hop! And have you been to Sam's Club on a Saturday? All those little sample stations look like a jungle watering hole! Yikes!

Katiebelle74 Posted 12 Oct 2011 , 4:24am
post #20 of 27

Tastings drive me nuts. Due to all reasons listed above and then some. The "rules" "What to expect at a tasting" etc.etc. are all in an email which I swear they do not read. Finally I have made it clear that the tasting is not booked until the email (with the rules - is filled in - certain sections have questions they have to answer) and emailed back. Works much more of the time but there is still an idiot here and there. I've been stuck standing up VERY irritating. CRAZY how people act about cake tastings.

cakestomuch Posted 12 Oct 2011 , 4:30am
post #21 of 27

Carmijok
What do you mean by "doing a radio remote"?

carmijok Posted 12 Oct 2011 , 5:55pm
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakestomuch

Carmijok
What do you mean by "doing a radio remote"?




I worked in radio for many years and we did remote broadcasts from businesses periodically. Usually we'd do the free food thing at places like car dealerships or grand openings.

inspiredbymom Posted 12 Oct 2011 , 6:31pm
post #23 of 27

I have to say I feel for you guys...even the doctor! I have 4 kids. They know what is expected out of them in public. Running around like that ANYWHERE is not tolerated. Now, having said that, I have had to cancel appointments because kids are not allowed. I respect other peoples policies. I only have two people who can watch the kids so it's difficult sometimes as they both work. I don't have grandmas or sisters to help out. My DH and I think that children should know how to behave in public. It is a shame that more don't. Even two year old children are old enough to know what is expected out of them and how to behave. So sad. I guess I better knock on wood as so far, that has not happened to me at a tasting but I'm sure there will always be a first! I'd rather learn from all of you what not to tolerate than learn the hard way! Thanks for sharing!

cakelady2266 Posted 12 Oct 2011 , 7:14pm
post #24 of 27

Carmijok, oh yeah I know what you mean....Costco on the weekends looks like a feeding trough. A friend of mine use to do food demo's there and people would tell her they always ate free lunch at Costco on the weekends.

inspiredbymom, I hear you. My boys didn't often go with me to any business type meetings. They have always known they had to be on their best behavior anytime we went anywhere. But some people don't know how to parent, or don't want hurt their child's feelings or get this "stunt them as individuals, by imposing too many rules on them" whatever in the hell that means. So that's why I cringe when people show up with their wild children, who try to turn my shop into Chuckie Cheese's. There has been a many child and parent I wanted to turn over my knee.

inspiredbymom Posted 12 Oct 2011 , 8:52pm
post #25 of 27

cakelady2266: LOL! That would be funny!

howsweet Posted 13 Oct 2011 , 2:18am
post #26 of 27

Oops, double post

howsweet Posted 13 Oct 2011 , 2:19am
post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by tigerhawk83

People think they can bring little kids anywhere. I'm a cancer doctor and I have folks who bring their adult kids, who then bring the little grandkids to a medical consultation appointment. So they run around the exam room while I'm trying to have a serious discussion with the adults about grampa's cancer treatment - the kids are opening drawers, bugging the parents, etc - and I mean LITTLE kids, 2 or 3 years old. I just want to say to the parents "What WERE you THINKING" except that is the point - they don't think.

Some folks think kids don't "count" in numbers - so you say 3 people and there are 3 adults but the 5 kids don't "count"


Having such insensitive family members and letting your kids walk all over you may cause cancer. I'm only half joking.

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