heartsnsync Posted 1 Aug 2012 , 3:56am
post #1 of

I had a wedding cake tasting set up today but they never showed up and were not answering their phone. I charge for my tastings but have always collected at the tasting. I did not have any batter frozen for the flavors they wanted to try so I actually had to make them up which took time and money. I even made up two sugar orchids on a branch because they were wanting them on their cake so I wanted to give them a display of my work. So, in other words, I wasted about four hours of time and some money on a no show. It was to have been a pretty large wedding, too.

How do you all handle this? Keep calling the number? Write them a letter (I do have their address), or just wait to see if they call me back? Meanwhile, I put the cake samples in the freezer just in case it gets set up again.

28 replies
KoryAK Posted 1 Aug 2012 , 4:25am
post #2 of

It's pretty rare for me, but it happens from time to time. At one point I tried to collect the consult fee when they booked it but that did NOT go over well! As far as the wasted samples, that's part of the cost of doing business. For the flowers, you can still use them for a future order hopefully.

Wen someone doesn't shop up for me I leave a "sweet" message or two saying hey let me know if you're having trouble finding the place and let me know if you'd like to reschedule. If they legitimately forgot, I don't want them so embarrassed that they don't rebook. If they deliberately stood me up, well I can't make them come in.

Pearl645 Posted 1 Aug 2012 , 4:35am
post #3 of

The freezer is your best solution right now. I have an assortment of cupcakes in an airtight cake box since May and they are still fresh. Every week or two I take them out and sample to see how long cupcakes can last in the freezer with the same great quality.

Unfortunately, there will always be no shows in this business. You can try following up with them tomorrow and see if they would like to re-schedule. If they have a good reason for not showing or calling you, then you can understand. I have done this before but if on the 2nd schedule date they don't show and I can't reach them via phone, my assistance with their cake ends.

I have to admit, on one occasion a bride never showed till over an hour later and I did tell her I wasn't able to help her with her wedding cake. Her wedding was 3 weeks away and she wasn't taking my calls to say she was running late and pretty much lied and said all calls to me weren't going through. Bear in mind I called her several times after she said she was on her way and she never answered or called back till over an hour later. I nearly missed a delivery.

TheSugarLab Posted 1 Aug 2012 , 5:26am
post #4 of

I haven't had any no-shows yet, but then again we've only been in business for three months and haven't done a wedding cake yet (several large party cakes though). I read that Pink Cake Box requires a credit card to reserve the booking appointment and that if someone misses an appointment or cancels less than a week before, they won't refund the booking fee. It may sound "harsh" but it can prevent losing time and money.

I actually worked for a plastic surgeon in high school, and we took so much information when a patient booked a consultation, that we were able to charge them cancellation fees. If they miss an appointment, that could have been another patient (or in our business, customer) that would have kept their appointment.

ApelilaRains Posted 1 Aug 2012 , 6:23pm
post #5 of

I would require a tasting fee prior to the tasting date and I would charge a fee for no show.

AZCouture Posted 1 Aug 2012 , 6:36pm
post #6 of

I don't do private tastings. The first time I had a no show, I'd blow a gasket. I had a tasting last weekend where 9 couples were scheduled to attend. It was a mix of people who were already booked with me for their upcoming event and people still shopping. One couple did not show. Meh, didn't even notice it.

cupadeecakes Posted 2 Aug 2012 , 1:41pm
post #7 of

None since I started requiring a credit card # to secure their appointment! Seriously, I have found that when people have a financial stake in something they are much more committed to it. Odd are your doctor or dentist does the same thing. Miss your appt? That'll be $40 please.

TheCakeDude Posted 2 Aug 2012 , 3:49pm
post #8 of

Maaaan I just had a no show yesterday! I do my cake tastings free of charge, since I book a very high percentage of cakes consulted on, but lately a few of these no shows is making me reconsider a tasting fee... One woman scheduled a tasting, didnt show. We called her just before we closed that day, and she said "Oh, Ive been in the hospital since last night because I was dehydrated." Hate to sound insincere, but if you were there since last night you should've called! BUT, feeling bad for her we rescheduled to the next week. SHE MISSED IT AGAIN!!!! We didnt call her this time, but she called us a few days later to reschedule, and we told her since we wasted 2 tasting appts., she needed to pay a tasting fee. The story goes on from there, but in summation she tried to manipulate us by giving my wife and I different stories... Im thinking the consult fee might help these situations....

costumeczar Posted 3 Aug 2012 , 4:38pm
post #9 of

I do all my tastings on one day, and I usually schedule between 6-10 couples. I generally have one or two not show up. I don't charge for tastings, and I don't bother to contact people if they don't show.

Pearl645 Posted 3 Aug 2012 , 9:50pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by cupadeecakes

None since I started requiring a credit card # to secure their appointment! Seriously, I have found that when people have a financial stake in something they are much more committed to it. Odd are your doctor or dentist does the same thing. Miss your appt? That'll be $40 please.




Interesting. I never thought about asking someone for their credit card number but this is smart business-sense. Great info here. Do you use some online site to make the charge to the credit card to secure the appointment before they come? Not familiar with this.

vgcea Posted 3 Aug 2012 , 10:36pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by cupadeecakes

None since I started requiring a credit card # to secure their appointment! Seriously, I have found that when people have a financial stake in something they are much more committed to it. Odd are your doctor or dentist does the same thing. Miss your appt? That'll be $40 please.




cupadeecakes how does this work? Do you go ahead and process the transaction on the day of the tasting whether they come or not?

cai0311 Posted 5 Aug 2012 , 8:34pm

In my area it is uncommon to charge for a tasting; so my tastings are free too. I have had 3 no shows in 4 years - so I am too worried about.

If the bride schedules her appointment more than 3 days I always call her the day before the tasting to confirm the appointment and go over requirements again (no more than 3 people, bring color samples, pictures of cakes she likes...).

I don't allow a bride to pick the flavors/fillings for the tasting. She gets what I have. If the bride asks I explain that to keep cost down I use what I have here, but if there is something specific to let me know and between now and her appointment if I have an order to that, I will save some for her tasting.

cupadeecakes Posted 9 Aug 2012 , 1:42pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by vgcea

Quote:
Originally Posted by cupadeecakes

None since I started requiring a credit card # to secure their appointment! Seriously, I have found that when people have a financial stake in something they are much more committed to it. Odd are your doctor or dentist does the same thing. Miss your appt? That'll be $40 please.



cupadeecakes how does this work? Do you go ahead and process the transaction on the day of the tasting whether they come or not?




Sorry to drop the thread, but I have been SUPER busy this week. My tastings are free, but I inform the client that there is a "no-show" free that is secured with a credit card. I get the credit card # and only charge it if they don't show up. I do have a merchant account setup through QuickBooks that allows me to take CC payments.

Pearl645 Posted 9 Aug 2012 , 2:19pm

Thanks icon_smile.gif

vgcea Posted 10 Aug 2012 , 5:12am
Quote:
Originally Posted by cupadeecakes

Quote:
Originally Posted by vgcea

Quote:
Originally Posted by cupadeecakes

None since I started requiring a credit card # to secure their appointment! Seriously, I have found that when people have a financial stake in something they are much more committed to it. Odd are your doctor or dentist does the same thing. Miss your appt? That'll be $40 please.



cupadeecakes how does this work? Do you go ahead and process the transaction on the day of the tasting whether they come or not?



Sorry to drop the thread, but I have been SUPER busy this week. My tastings are free, but I inform the client that there is a "no-show" free that is secured with a credit card. I get the credit card # and only charge it if they don't show up. I do have a merchant account setup through QuickBooks that allows me to take CC payments.




Thank you!

mkirby Posted 29 Aug 2012 , 7:51pm

thank you for the advice about charging for the no show appointments by asking for a credit card number when they book a tasting. I wish I had read it earlier though. Recently a bride and her fiance were scheduled to come by for a tasting and I went out of my way to make their flavors. Well, they were a no show. I have 2 posted phone numbers so I was mad. Later when I checked my facebook messages, low and behold the bride had typed a "sorry something came up' message and a "hope there's no inconveniece to you" and "but we're available next week". I give everyone a second chance since things really do come up and posted back "I'll bring the samples to work with me ( I also have to work full time at a hospital job) and they'll love me for it" just to let her know time and money was spent but that we would try again in the future. We picked a day and then guess what? Once again, one hour before they were due she sends a message on facebook (what is wrong with a phone call???) "our plans have changed; my Mother announced to us she's baking the 200 cupcakes for us as a gift" but we're still coming to discuss and sample your cakes for our 4 inch topper!! Seriously??? NO ONE expects a cake testing for a stupid little cake topper. I was sooooooooo mad!!! So when she typed she could still make the appointment that evening if I wanted I just typed back that a cake testing would not be conducted at all for such a small order and that if she still wanted a minicake she could send me a picture of the cake with a check to pay for it in advance. Was that wrong?

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 29 Aug 2012 , 8:38pm

No, that was not wrong. Good for you for putting your foot down! I wouldn't have done a tasting for a 4 inch cake either. We have a minimum order of 50 servings for wedding cakes, so if they want a free tasting, they had better be planning to get at least 50 servings from us!

KoryAK Posted 30 Aug 2012 , 7:44pm

Nope not wrong at all. And for the future, I would have just wrapped and frozen those samples to use for their next tasting.

costumeczar Posted 30 Aug 2012 , 11:13pm

A tasting for a 4" top tier? That's a new low for people to ask for!

confectionaryperfection Posted 31 Aug 2012 , 12:29am

i charge for tastings and get paid ahead of time... i also go to them for the tasting, so if they cancel or are not home, i am already paid and i know it is on them that they werent available.

FullHouse Posted 12 Dec 2012 , 5:52pm

Reviving this thread...

 

I offer free tastings for wedding cakes of 100 servings or more and offer a paid tasting for under 100 servings.  Never had a problem, but always wonder how I would handle it if a couple says yes, they are planning a cake of at least 100 servings, do their free tasting then try to book for say, 75 servings.  Have any of you ever run into this issue?  If so, how did you handle it?  Turn down the order?  Grin and bear it?  Add a fee (can't see this working, they could just switch to another baker instead)?

BakingIrene Posted 12 Dec 2012 , 6:27pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by FullHouse 

 

I offer free tastings for wedding cakes of 100 servings or more and offer a paid tasting for under 100 servings.  Never had a problem, but always wonder how I would handle it if a couple says yes, they are planning a cake of at least 100 servings, do their free tasting then try to book for say, 75 servings. 

If you charge a nominal fee (like $20) which is credited to the final cake when they place the order, then no serious customer is going to be dinged...only the shameless freebie hunters.

FullHouse Posted 12 Dec 2012 , 10:22pm

Thanks, Irene.  The problem with charging is that no one does in this area, me doing so will deter a lot of couples.  I am completely understanding if someone has a free tasting with me and another baker and decides the other baker better fits their needs, I'm just wondering about those that book a tasting with the expectation that they are going to order 100 servings and then wind up ordering significantly less when they get their actual RSVPs.  Do you all just go with the hope that this doesn't generally happen and if it does chalk it up to the cost of doing business, or do you add a tasting fee to their order equal to what you would have charged had they known the servings would be less ahead of time.

BakingIrene Posted 13 Dec 2012 , 1:24am
Quote:
Originally Posted by FullHouse 

Thanks, Irene.  The problem with charging is that no one does in this area, me doing so will deter a lot of couples.  I am completely understanding if someone has a free tasting with me and another baker and decides the other baker better fits their needs, I'm just wondering about those that book a tasting with the expectation that they are going to order 100 servings and then wind up ordering significantly less when they get their actual RSVPs.  Do you all just go with the hope that this doesn't generally happen and if it does chalk it up to the cost of doing business, or do you add a tasting fee to their order equal to what you would have charged had they known the servings would be less ahead of time.

I don't think that people are going to be happy with a tasting fee tacked onto their cake contract.  

 

Does it happen frequently that the head count drops that much?  In my experience it was always the other way, customers asked what to do if there are more people.  

cupadeecakes Posted 13 Dec 2012 , 3:26am
Quote:
Originally Posted by BakingIrene 

I don't think that people are going to be happy with a tasting fee tacked onto their cake contract.  

 

Does it happen frequently that the head count drops that much?  In my experience it was always the other way, customers asked what to do if there are more people.  


I offer a similar deal - there's a charge for a tasting of a cake under 100 servings.  Over 100 servings is free (as long as they show up).  If a bride tells me her number is 102 before the consultation, I always inform her that if the number drops below 100 then the tasting fee will be added to the cake.

 

@Fullhouse - Does it really bother you that you might be losing out on these smaller cakes?  Really losing out on the chance of booking a small cake, in fact.  I don't mind doing small cakes, but I can only do so much in a weekend and I would WAY rather do 1 cake for 250 instead of 3 cakes to feed 60.

FullHouse Posted 14 Dec 2012 , 3:15pm

I have no worries about missing out on the smaller cakes because I don't offer free tastings for them.  I guess what I'm really trying to figure out, is how you enforce the 100 serving minimum.  You, know, if someone decides they will tell you they are planning the 100 servings but then either have a smaller guest list than expected or knew that would be the case all along.  Do you add the fee or just suck it up once you have already provided a free tasting.  I've been lucky, but would rather have a plan in place just in case.

Jenniffer, have you ever wound up adding a tasting fee after the fact, and if so, how was it accepted?

cupadeecakes Posted 14 Dec 2012 , 8:32pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by FullHouse 

Jenniffer, have you ever wound up adding a tasting fee after the fact, and if so, how was it accepted?

 

One time I threatened it, and the bride decided it was better to make sure her cake met the minimum (100).  In her case, the price of the tasting fee was very close to what her serving reduction would have been so it was an easy sell.

 

I'll tell what I have more of an issue with:  The number of free samples I offer is dependent upon the amount of guests you are planning to feed.  100-149 = 1 sample, $150-200, 2 samples, 200+ = 3 samples.  I had more than a few say they were feeding over 200 just to get more free samples!

 

Have you considered adding wording to your contract that only allowed an X% decrease in the number of servings after the contract was signed?  I don't allow ANY changes to the cake 30 days from the wedding.  I will gladly add sheet/kitchen cakes though it you need to feed more!

KoryAK Posted 16 Dec 2012 , 3:37am
Quote:
Originally Posted by FullHouse 

I have no worries about missing out on the smaller cakes because I don't offer free tastings for them.  I guess what I'm really trying to figure out, is how you enforce the 100 serving minimum.  You, know, if someone decides they will tell you they are planning the 100 servings but then either have a smaller guest list than expected or knew that would be the case all along.  Do you add the fee or just suck it up once you have already provided a free tasting.  I've been lucky, but would rather have a plan in place just in case.

Jenniffer, have you ever wound up adding a tasting fee after the fact, and if so, how was it accepted?


I have a $35 tasting fee that is credited toward the order, no minimum necessary.  However, this fee is applied toward the final payment meaning that if they cancel or something the tasting was not free.  If you have a minimum order to get the free tasting that they don't meet, you simply don't credit it towards the final payment.

FullHouse Posted 16 Dec 2012 , 6:59pm

Thanks, ladies.  I do have language in my contract regarding changes.  I think I may add a statement to my tasting confirmation email, that I reserve the right to add a fee for their tasting if the 100 serving minimum is not met.

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