obsessed Posted 30 Nov 2011 , 3:50am
post #1 of

Cakes are a hobby for me...usually worked on late at night and into the wee hours of the morning long after my young children have gone to sleep. I work full time outside of the home during the day. Needless to say, I cannot do this too often and without reasonably careful planning.

This is the second time now, I have recieved a late Tuesday/Wednesday night message (on Facebook which I don't even check every day) starting with..."I know it's short notice but"...could you make me a cake for Saturday? and "I already have a design picked out." (Both times from the same not so close friend)

Really??


I know it happens all the time and that I am not the only one this happens to but come on! Sure, I could get it done but I don't know that I really want to (I turned her down last time). Since I do not regularly decorate, it's not like I even have a few rounds in the freezer that I could offer up.

Gaaaaaahhh! Ok. Vent over. I feel better now. Thank you so much. icon_smile.gif

19 replies
BeccaW40 Posted 30 Nov 2011 , 4:27am
post #2 of

Lol...I completely understand! Very rarely do I do a short notice cake anymore. icon_surprised.gif

JanH Posted 30 Nov 2011 , 9:42am
post #3 of

It would appear that you don't have adequate information on your facebook page to advise potential customers of the correct way to schedule a cake order.

If you don't inform them of the way your system works, they don't know that it's not okay to ask for a cake the day before they need one.

If baking is a hobby, don't let it take away from your children or jeopardize your health. Just let everyone on facebook know that custom cakes take time, so they need to plan accordingly. A win-win outcome for everyone. icon_smile.gif

HTH

susies1955 Posted 30 Nov 2011 , 10:59am
post #4 of

I would just write:

"Just got your message and sorry but I'm all booked up. icon_smile.gif"
icon_smile.gif
Susie

JanH Posted 30 Nov 2011 , 11:11am
post #5 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by susies1955

I would just write:

"Just got your message and sorry but I'm all booked up. icon_smile.gif"
icon_smile.gif
Susie




Why lie?

It would be more professional and just as easy to advise that a two week advance notice is required. (Even if OP has to apologize for not including that info on her FB page. Since she states she's a hobby baker, I'm sure others will understand this necessary request for a custom made and decorated cake. After all, she's not a Walmart, with a fully staffed bakery and frozen stock on hand.)

And since the OP doesn't check her facebook page everyday, I'd recommend that she come up with a more timely method for potential customers to contact her (either by phone or email).

HTH

susies1955 Posted 30 Nov 2011 , 11:32am
post #6 of

It is not a lie and she is not a professional. She says she does it for a hobby as I do.
"I" said what "I" would say and it would not be a lie.
When I say I'm booked ..... I am. I can be booked up with cake, kids or whatever.
icon_smile.gif
Susie

AnnieCahill Posted 30 Nov 2011 , 12:02pm
post #7 of

This happened to me with a co-worker. I politely explained that for what she wanted, I would need to go out and buy a new pan and do a lot of hand sculpting, and this was with three days notice. So I said no.

ChilliPepper Posted 30 Nov 2011 , 12:04pm
post #8 of

Oh how often does this happen to us. And with respect Jan, the people who constantly bombard me with late requests know full well how long in advance they should book so I don't in any way shape or form feel unprofeesional or indeed guilty when my response is a flat 'NO'.

CP x

Cakery2012 Posted 30 Nov 2011 , 1:50pm
post #9 of

Just explain nicely that you would love to make her cake. But 3 days notice is not enough time for a custom cake. Tell her you need at least X weeks notice. I honestly think some people think cake decorators must have a "magic oven".

JanH Posted 30 Nov 2011 , 2:16pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChilliPepper

Oh how often does this happen to us. And with respect Jan, the people who constantly bombard me with late requests know full well how long in advance they should book so I don't in any way shape or form feel unprofeesional or indeed guilty when my response is a flat 'NO'.

CP x




It's great that your customers know what the requirements are for ordering one of your custom baked and decorated creations. icon_smile.gif

And if they don't get with the program, they should expect nothing less than a flat 'NO'. thumbs_up.gif

However, I only know what the OP stated her situation was.... And she didn't provide any info so that we would know how she states her ordering requirements (or if she has any) - only that she was frustrated with late orders.

Educating your customers so that they know in advance what the requirements are will go a long way. And then sticking to your own
policies will guarantee you're not aggravated by these late requests.

As I previously stated, it's possible to have a win-win outcome if everyone is aware of and playing by the same "rules".
(But if you do receive unreasonable demands for short order cakes - the requestor should be totally prepared to be rebuffed.)

HTH

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 30 Nov 2011 , 2:20pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChilliPepper

Oh how often does this happen to us. And with respect Jan, the people who constantly bombard me with late requests know full well how long in advance they should book so I don't in any way shape or form feel unprofeesional or indeed guilty when my response is a flat 'NO'.

CP x




I was going to say the same thing! Not to say it's not a good idea to have that info out there for people in hopes that they would give you more notice, but we have the at least two weeks notice thing on our website, and we still get a lot of last minute requests. We take a lot of them, but only if it's not going to cause us major headaches. You just have to decide if that particular job is worth it to you. Especially since it's a hobby for you, you have no obligation to say yes!

bobwonderbuns Posted 30 Nov 2011 , 3:55pm

It doesn't bother me a bit to say "I'm sorry, I'm booked." That doesn't necessarily mean I've lied, nor does it mean I'm doing another cake. It means "I'm booked." As in "I have a life and your emergency isn't my crisis." I can't even begin to tell you how many Christmas Eve calls I get saying "oh my gosh, I'm sorry this is last minute but I need a 3 tiered fabulous, highly intricate cake for TOMORROW because I have 300 people showing up for Christmas." ha ha ha ha ha!!! Like, you're kidding, right? icon_rolleyes.gif I very politely tell them "as stated on my website, we DO NOT take last minute orders. If you wanted me to do the cake, you should have made the arrangements much earlier. As it is we cannot accommodate you, nor can other bakeries at this stage of the game. I would suggest you try WalMart to see what they have available." Very nice, not insulting, but geez!!! Last year the girl STILL didn't get it and said to me "but you don't understand, I'm kissing @$$ here." ha ha ha!! And I told her "but you don't understand, as I stated, I DO NOT take last minute orders. Good luck to you." Click. Sheesh! icon_rolleyes.gif

obsessed Posted 30 Nov 2011 , 4:10pm

My apologies...I should clarify. This was just through my personal FB profile as I do not even have a FB page specifically for cakes. Most people know that I make them and that's why they ask but it truly is a hobby...most of my cakes go to good friends and family. Thus there are no guidelines posted anywhere for anyone to follow with regard to placing orders. As with most of my "clients", she is just an old friend who knows I make cakes...but clearly has no idea how long it takes or how much work it is.

It's just frustrating for me because I WANT to make the cake simply because I enjoy it so much but I know I can't.

I feel bad about it but I will be turning her down again. And gently letting her know...again...that I need more notice.

Thanks again...is nice to be able to complain to someone who really understands. icon_smile.gif

Nevie Posted 30 Nov 2011 , 4:43pm

For the times when you just can't say "no" to a last minute order, consider charging a rush fee to compensate for the long and late hours you will have to work.

I love decorating too and never want to turn down a cake, I can relate to your frustration.

nicunurse Posted 30 Nov 2011 , 4:54pm

I understand where you are coming from! I too am a hobby baker and just yesterday was contacted by a friend of a friend... I too got the "I'm sorry its so short notice but I need the cake on Saturday" Here is a picture... then when I give her a quote on what that cake will cost...two tier butter cream with fondant accents, now she wants to haggle. REALLY?? Then she says, what would one tier of cake cost? I'm this close to telling her to go to the nearest grocery store for her cake. Everyone is right, we don't need the hassle or stress of these last minute requests. My time is more valuable to me then a few bucks. icon_smile.gif

kmstreepey Posted 30 Nov 2011 , 5:54pm

I know exactly what you mean. Sometimes they are just asking on the off-chance that you will want to do it. I have had to tell friends that I just can't do it. I usually say something like this: "I'm so sorry. I would love to do your cake, but I just don't have the time to make it nice and I won't do a cake that I can't do my best on. If you give me more notice next time, I might be able to do it, but this week is too full with work and obligations with my children." I know that's a little wordy, but it makes the point in a nice way. Another phrase you might use is "I just can't devote the time to it that it deserves." Unless they've decorated cakes themselves, people just don't understand how long these things take or how hard it is to juggle when it's not your full-time job.

Kiddiekakes Posted 30 Nov 2011 , 7:48pm

Hey priaire girl..where yah from??

Beckalita Posted 30 Nov 2011 , 10:05pm

You'll always get some customers that will try your patience with last minute requests ~ no matter how well you've tried to educate them. Don't feel guilty about saying NO if it's too much, and if you do take the order ~ then charge a rush fee! As others above have said, their emergency doesn't have to be your problem....so don't feel bad if you have to say no.

JanH Posted 1 Dec 2011 , 6:18am
Quote:
Originally Posted by obsessed

My apologies...I should clarify. This was just through my personal FB profile as I do not even have a FB page specifically for cakes. Most people know that I make them and that's why they ask but it truly is a hobby...most of my cakes go to good friends and family. Thus there are no guidelines posted anywhere for anyone to follow with regard to placing orders. As with most of my "clients", she is just an old friend who knows I make cakes...but clearly has no idea how long it takes or how much work it is.

It's just frustrating for me because I WANT to make the cake simply because I enjoy it so much but I know I can't.

I feel bad about it but I will be turning her down again. And gently letting her know...again...that I need more notice.

Thanks again...is nice to be able to complain to someone who really understands. icon_smile.gif




Thanks for the clarification. icon_biggrin.gif

And there are previous threads on non-caking people having no idea the time and effort that goes into custom baked and decorated cakes. To paraphrase the essence of those posts - most people just haven't got a clue!

Hopefully soon when you're asked to make a cake, you'll have some free time to enjoy your hobby. birthday.gifthumbs_up.gif

obsessed Posted 2 Dec 2011 , 3:52am

Kiddiekakes! I'm right next door - in Saskatchewan. Have you ever been to Saskatoon?? icon_smile.gif

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