I am getting several consultation requests for wedding cupcakes. Do you do anything differently in these consultations? I haven't done a cupcake wedding yet so I want to make sure I am not forgetting anything. I know many people use forms for their wedding consultations. I'm working on one for my wedding/specialty cakes but I was hoping someone could share their cupcake form (if different) so I can have a starting point.
Thank you in advance for any help.
Yes, there are a few things I do differently. I gently ask them why they prefer cupcakes. Are they looking to save money or do they really love the look/idea of cupcakes.
Not everyone eats cake....but people have a tendency to eat more than one cupcake. This is even more true for mini cupcakes & dessert bars. The more variety, the more they want. Sometimes, by the time they add special decorations (fondant discs, special wrappers, etc.) they could end up spending more. If they are at all on the fence, I recommend building the cake of their dreams & comparing it to cupcake prices.
Also, I make tasting cupcakes instead of cakes.
I use the same "consultation worksheet" for both types of appointments. Mine has a space for servings x $. That's easy to substitute.
Oh that makes sense. Can I ask how much do you charge for your consultations? Right now I'm offering four flavors/fillings for a consultation. Most of my recipes can only be reduced to 12 cupcakes so if I offer four flavors, that gets me to $81 if I charged retail. Weve been doing $50 per consultation and I've had two people interested in cupcakes either not respond or say that's too much.
I don't charge for tastings (it's not common to do that in my area). What I offer people is 3 vanilla cupcakes and 3 chocolate cupcakes and 6 different buttercream flavors. If people are balking at your price for a consultation, it might be worth reconsidering what you offer in your tasting package.
Also, I save and freeze batter from orders so I can bake fresh when I need to do a tasting.
I agree with Delicious.
I don't ever charge for tastings because I schedule them whenever I get a similar order to what they want. I just add more batter and save the cupcakes. They can pick them up or have the consultation then. People seem to love it. If the wedding is far enough out, sometimes I call again for another flavor I think they will like. They just pick up a box of 2-4, or a few slices of cake. That's another thing I do... make the cake they want for my next personal event and save some pieces. My way is very informal, but so far, I'm at 100% on my closing ratio.
I do not charge for consultations. Well....I do not charge for the FIRST consultation. In the consultation guide, I warn brides to schedule an appointment once they have the large details in place (date, venue, theme) & to bring any items that will be used for inspiration. Cakes book fast here & brides are sometimes too anxious! Additional consultations are $25 per hour with a minimum of 1 hour & do not include samples. Poor planning or preparedness on the part of a bride (or being very indecisive) can really eat up my time!
The complimentary consultation includes 2 sample cakes. They choose 2 flavor combinations (flavor & filling). I bake 2 - 6" round cakes for them. I even do 4 layers so they can see exactly how a real slice of cake will look. If they are seeking cupcakes, I bake 2 flavors of cupcakes. I give them 2 each then post "extra cupcakes" on my facebook page.
I should probably add that I am a Cottage Law Baker. If I had a display case or did a higher volume, I would do things differently.
When I worked at a "real" bakery (that always burns me), we baked sample cakes & kept them in the fridge. I would slice off a piece of each flavor, usually 6-10, & place them on a tasting tray. Because each cake was 4 layers, there was a bite for up to 4 people.
This year 35% of my weddings are cupcakes instead of cake. I do nothing different for consultations for cupcake weddings. Samples are prepared and displayed (fillings too) the same way for all consultations...wedding cakes, cupcakes, party cakes...
I don't charge for tastings, charging is not common here. I dont allow the bride to pick the favors or fillings. They try what I have on hand. Very few brides ask if they can pick flavors or fillings. I explain that to keep cost down and offer free consultations I use what I have. If there is something they really want to try I check up coming orders to see if that flavor or filling is going to be needed and make a small sample for the bride - but I make sure they understand there is no garuntee they will be able to taste that flavor/filling at the tasting.
Well... I'm beginning to think that $50 is too much, even though it does get applied to the order. I've done some searching and bakeries in California that do charge for tastings charge between $20-$30. Ones that offer complimentary tastings will only do so for orders that will serve at least 100 people and then will charge for those orders under 100 people. I'm thinking this is the way to go.
I think I might call around to the bakeries in the area to see what they do. I replied to the potential client that said $50 was too much and told her I was going to have some extra mini cupcakes from an order on Saturday so hopefully she's still interested enough to try those.
Thank you for all the advice. Its the business aspect of the industry that I have the most to learn about.