sleepy20520 Posted 9 Jul 2012 , 5:34pm
post #1 of

We have been diong our cake tastings/consults at the local Legion for a couple years now (i worked there for MANY years before cakes) and we had an agreement with them... we dont use their kitchen for cooking, all we use is their table for an hour probably 1 or 2 times a week max! anyways they want us to pay $25 per tasting now and that just isnt going to work so im trying to look for new places to do it. Our kitchen is in our house so id prefer to do it somewhere else, more "professional"....thoughts? where do you guys do yours?

21 replies
auntginn Posted 9 Jul 2012 , 5:49pm
post #2 of

Sorry I can't help you on a location idea. But.. here is another take on it.

Many including myself charge for cake tastings. And many have tastings just once a week.

The $25.00 is about the going rate for the tastings and you could let your customers knows what day of the week it will be. Then if they book with you give them credit for the $$. This way you won't have to change locations.

Paperfishies Posted 9 Jul 2012 , 7:14pm
post #3 of

Starbucks...The client purchases a dozen cupcakes, up to 3 flavors. We meet at Starbucks or a local coffee shop, I answer any questions they have, give them an info packet, they pay for the dozen cupcakes and we go on our way.

auntginn Posted 9 Jul 2012 , 9:59pm
post #4 of

And how does Starbucks feel about you do business in their location? Howbeit, they do not sell the exact same item but they do have cupcakes and other bakery items.

cai0311 Posted 10 Jul 2012 , 8:00am
post #5 of

I operate a legal home bakery. I hold consultations in my dining room. In my experience no one has thought this unprofessional, but rather like to see the condition of the home their cake is being made in.

Now, I dont have kids so toys or noise is not a concern for me. My house has an open floor plan so the client can see everything, meaning the house has to always be clean. I think it puts people mind's at ease when they know the home is clean and there are no pets.

1234me Posted 16 Jul 2012 , 9:26pm
post #6 of

I do them at my home. I have an office and set up in there. My tastings are free of charge for orders feeding over 100 people. I have also gone to the bride's home but prefer them to come to me.

AZCouture Posted 16 Jul 2012 , 9:45pm
post #7 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by Paperfishies

Starbucks...The client purchases a dozen cupcakes, up to 3 flavors. We meet at Starbucks or a local coffee shop, I answer any questions they have, give them an info packet, they pay for the dozen cupcakes and we go on our way.


I've always wondered that myself. How come people can bake and decorate at home, but not have clients meet there? Why wouldn't you want your clients to know where their product is being prepared? Really just curious.

Spooky_789 Posted 16 Jul 2012 , 10:39pm
post #8 of

I think for some it is a safety concern - having strange people in their home. They may feel safer by meeting at a neutral location. That's my guess.

Pearl645 Posted 16 Jul 2012 , 10:50pm
post #9 of

Yes I agree with these last 2 posts. I do want my clients to see where all the baking and decorating is taking place. It puts their mind at ease but on the flipside there is a major security issue doing it at home. I was actually gonna post something on this.."how do you screen your customers".

I had a lady and a man come to my house last week for a wedding cake consultation and I didn't like the vibe from them at all. The man was looking all over my house and asking who else lived here, and peering all over etc etc. I got an eery vibe..not a genuine customer vibe and it was just me and them in my house. I have since put a higher minimum price on wedding cakes to screen potential customers. When they told me they sell cheap stuff at the side of the road I realized these ppl really shouldn't be here and neither are they my customers. If you are selling items for $2US at the side of the road, you are not my customer. Worse, the location they are having the wedding was not really something I would consider to have a decent wedding. I don't know how else to screen 1st time people other than a higher minimum wedding cake price.

What do you all suggest?

AZCouture Posted 16 Jul 2012 , 10:54pm

Screen them! I charge a minimum $150 for anything and a really good estimate of price is understood before I make an appointment. So I don't get weirdos or looky lous. Looky lous can look all they want at my website, but I don't have time for it in person. I know this can't work for everyone, but I also can't imagine meeting at some remote location.

AZCouture Posted 16 Jul 2012 , 10:56pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pearl645

I don't know how else to screen 1st time people other than a higher minimum wedding cake price.

What do you all suggest?




You need to practice some scripts. Talk to other people on the phone and see what sounds pleasant, free from attitude, but firm and business like.

Pearl645 Posted 16 Jul 2012 , 11:01pm

Thanks AZ. Great tip there.

AZCouture Posted 16 Jul 2012 , 11:03pm

Yeah, I never just schedule a blind consult. We discuss pricing, theme, etc. no matter what. I need to know a rough idea of what they are looking for, and they need to know pricing. It's not fair for either party to get halfway into a consult and possibly get shell shocked from the price. That's uncomfortable for everyone. icon_sad.gif Plus, it's a waste of time for both parties.

Pearl645 Posted 16 Jul 2012 , 11:07pm

True AZ. Thanks for the tips today.

Nazarine Posted 23 Jul 2012 , 4:46am

I've been trying to figure this out too. I'll be renting a licensed kitchen, which is part of a little coffe shop. I'm going to ask the owner if she wouldn't mind me doing tastings and consultations there. Maybe I can work something out with her where she gets a fee or something. I don't want people coming to my home for security issues. It just wigs me out. Plus I have 2 small children that are home with me. It's not an issue for the client as the cake will be based elsewhere so they don't need to see my kids or my home.

bbenner1 Posted 31 Jul 2012 , 7:13pm

I have been making kits of several cake flavors and about a dozen 1 oz containers of my buttercreams and fillings, I pack it in a pretty gift bag with paper and send it with my B&G to enjoy at their leisure where they choose and with whom-no pressure. It goes over great and they let me know within x number of days what their choices are. thumbs_up.gif

costumeczar Posted 31 Jul 2012 , 8:25pm

I share an office with 4 other wedding businesses, and we have a calendar where we can sign up to use it. I do my consults there.

Some states don't want people to pick up products or do consult with clients at their houses because if they gave you permission to do that there are people who would pave their front lawns and put in a parking lot in a residential zone. When I started my home business I was told specifically that I could NEVER have clients come to my house. That changed later, but it was something they specifically told me not to do.

Coffee shops don't care if you do business there, there are people who park their butts in there all day and work, do meetings, and just use their electricity and wifi connections. They sell food and coffee, so they don't care. I wouldn't take cake out and spread it out all over the table, but if you meet with clients there and then give them a box of cake to take home they don't mind.

I also wouldn't want to have people I don't know come to my house, so I don't like to have clients come here. Creeps me out.

lovinspoonfull Posted 31 Jul 2012 , 8:43pm

I have really been racking my brain on this subject, as I have not so far gotten to the stage of consults yet. I agree with you costumeczar. Creepy to have strangers in and out of your house. I would be creeped out as a customer as well! I think a nice local coffee shop sounds like a great place to meet, have a talk about cake over coffee, and hand off a pretty box of samples to be eaten at leisure.

FromScratchSF Posted 31 Jul 2012 , 10:24pm

I use a Peets Coffee (like a Starbucks, if you've never heard of Peets) around the corner from my condo - legally I can't meet people at my house. Anyway, I've been doing consults there for over 2 years. I bring my own platters, forks/knives etc and I set up in plain view with cake samples, my ipad rotating my portfolio images, and samples of my sugar flowers, a printed menu etc.all on the table. My deal with Peets is I always order a beverage and guarantee each person will order a beverage when they get there. Never had a problem with someone not ordering a coffee or tea because everyone does. Sure, I'd love a more professional setting but I try and class it up as much as I can.

Edited to add: and I always bus my own table after people leave. They've never asked me, but I do anyway just to keep relations happy.

sharon24 Posted 31 Jul 2012 , 10:44pm

if you don't meet at your home for consultations but you bake at home don't the customers collect from your home anyway?
i do consultations at home or at the brides house if they request an evening. Not had a prob yet but have only just started, i do have a conversation with them first either phone or email so they do know my prices.

susiekoos Posted 31 Jul 2012 , 10:54pm

I meet all my clients at Starbucks and have never had an issue . I would feel uneasy having strangers in my home or even going to their home . We drink coffee and talk about cake !
Works perfect for me and my customers icon_smile.gif

costumeczar Posted 31 Jul 2012 , 11:13pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharon24

if you don't meet at your home for consultations but you bake at home don't the customers collect from your home anyway?
i do consultations at home or at the brides house if they request an evening. Not had a prob yet but have only just started, i do have a conversation with them first either phone or email so they do know my prices.




They required deliveries only when I started. I do mostly wedding cakes so it isn't really an issue.

Quote by @%username% on %date%

%body%