I was wondering if I could get some opinions on charging a fee for consultations/tastings. How do you determine what to charge, and do you deduct it from the cost of the cake if they place the order with you? Any advice or thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks!
I only do tastings for large orders and then I charge $25 for tasting up to 3 cake flavors/3 fillings - if they sign a contract, I deduct the $25 from the price of the cake.
Most people will deduct the fee if someone places an order with them.
To determine if you should charge a fee to begin with, I would check out the other bakeries around you and charge if they do. If no one around you charges a fee, but you do, a bride or customer may not choose to even meet with you.
Oh and ALWAYS charge a fee (whether or not you do for the tasting) if the bride wants to try specific flavors or more than 3 or so. You don't want to offer free tastings and have the bride asking to try 6 flavors. That can get expensive.
We do to-go tastings only, the bride gets up to 2 cake flavors (6" rounds cut into small circles) and 2 frosting flavors packaged separately in small deli containers for $30. Additional cake or frosting flavors are $10 each, and the cost of the tasting is not deducted from the price of the cake.
Our tastings are free (Most people around here don't charge for them). But they are only for large events and weddings, and the flavors are up to us. We also offer a "Bride's Choice" tasting for $25, up to three flavors. If they book with us, that is applied to their order. If anyone else wants to taste our cake, it's $25 for a 6 inch round in whatever flavor they want to try, not applied to their order.
There's a lot of different ways you can do this, it really just depends on what works best for you.
Thank you soo much for all the info guys! This really helps me alot. Some bakeries around here charge for tastings and some don't. I was really undecided about whether to charge or not, then I had a bride cancel a consultation/tasting with me. I normally don't do tastings because most people know my work and never even ask, but because she was the fiance of my cousin, I agreed. She requested 4 different cake flavors to try, 1 for the brides cake and 3 flavors to determine the grooms cake. I did 6" rounds for the tasting and didn't think twice because it was family. She sent a text the night before and said they would have to cancel the appointment and wouldn't be rescheduling, so based on this I thought I would do a little asking and see what some of you did.
Thanks again for the sound advice. you guys ROCK!