Hi everyone! I delivered a cake yesterday that was supposed to be done in buttercream (it was 4 tiers separated with flowers) and I just plain forgot that the groom was not a fan of fondant. It had so many flowers on it and was not the most stable cake, so I felt the fondant helped with stability. Anyhow she mentioned it to her planner and I would like to follow up. Just not sure what to say and if I should offer anything.
I would explain it like you did to us. You didn't want them to end up with a cake disaster on their special day. And you are very sorry.
I believe honesty is the best policy.
What does your contract say? Mine includes a footnote letting my clients know that all final decorating decisions are mine. If adjustments need to be made for practicality or design improvement I have that right.
I would not appologize, maybe you forgot that the groom was against fondant, but if you felt that the fondant was needed for stability, it is what it is. Just because it is on the cake doesn't mean he has to eat it. In fact, most weddings that I go to with fondant covered cakes never make it to my plate with fondant. The kitchen pulls the fondant off to cut and serve.
My suggestion would be, if you really want to send them a note, to send them a note letting them know you heard this or that from the planner and left you concerned as their satisfaction is important to you. Tell them that you understand that the groom did not want fondant, but due to design contraints the fondant was needed to be able to provide them with their wedding cake image.
In my opinion if the cake was supposed to be Buttercream it should have been in that and nothing else.Stability aside...it is up to you to know whether a cake will be best in all mediums and discussed with the bride beforehand.If I know that a style of cake will not do well in BC and suggest fondant I do so well before the wedding and make sure the bride is aware of it..Personally if I were a bride and didn't like fondant and asked for BC and I received a fondant cake...I would be rather upset..but that is JMO...I would talk to the bride and find out how upset she is and go from there..I think you should offer her a partial refund too.
If the bride pays for a buttercream cake then your job is to deliver that. You are REQUIRED to notify her of changes before you make them, once she has paid the contracted deposit.
Stability is something that is addressed by using proper dowels, chilling the cake, and using the correct kinds of cake and filling for the height. YOU are the person who is supposed to know how to do all of this BEFORE you even think of selling cakes.
I hate to tell you this, but this specific bride can probably get a full refund if she takes her contract and photos to small claims court. Even if you didn't have a written contract, the fact that you collected a payment is an implied contract that gives the purchaser certain rights.
In my opinion if the cake was supposed to be Buttercream it should have been in that and nothing else.Stability aside...it is up to you to know whether a cake will be best in all mediums and discussed with the bride beforehand.If I know that a style of cake will not do well in BC and suggest fondant I do so well before the wedding and make sure the bride is aware of it..
Agreed...if the customer says no fondant and the design they want must be done in fondant, you need to give them the choice to accept fondant on the cake or choose a different design. At least a partial refund is in order.
Thanks for the replies. I have been making and selling cakes for over 10 years...quite simply I made a mistake which of course, I am sad about...I know what the mistake was, but I was looking for advice on how to proceed. I do have in my contract that I reserve the right to make changes based on, but not limited to, unavailability of ingredients, aesthetic design, ingredient substitution based on adverse weather or stability of cake. I will follow up with her and see what her thoughts are...if she is not bothered by it, then I will take it from there. If she is upset by it, I will certainly partially refund her.
How much buttercream do you put under your fondant? I agree that the bride should have been contacted beforehand, but I know for me sometimes these things are going down in the middle of the night and I'm not going to wake her up over it (I'd probably send an email though). If you put a full layer of buttercream underneath your fondant, I would try to spin it as a free upgrade due to design constraints.
yep, plenty of buttercream underneath...my cakes are smaller than my boards and I take my buttercream to the edge...plus I do 4 layers of cake and 3 layers of filling, so there was plenty of buttercream. just going to honestly apologize and see what her response is.
For those stating that they have the "right" to make major changes to an order like making a fondant cake instead of what the client paid for... All I have to ask is REALLY?
When I pay for a premium product, it's YOUR job as the professional to tell me at the consultation whether or not what I am proposing will work with the medium I prefer. IF due to your lack of understanding of the challenges of the project you find that what we agreed on, and what you were contracted to provide, is not feasible, you darn well better check with me before you decide on making major changes to my wedding cake.
I'm no lawyer but I seriously doubt that "I'm the almighty caker and reserve the right to give you whatever cake I like" clause will stand in court.
And if someone I paid for a service comes at me with that nonsense as their explanation for a breach of contract, they better have a good lawyer.
Okay, this is getting a little out of hand...never did I say I could do whatever I wanted...I made a mistake, I am owning up to it and I just wanted a way to talk to the client. They ordered a grooms cake with fondant...the groom not liking fondant was a comment made during the tasting. Again, I made a mistake and it slipped my mind, and since they ordered one cake with fondant (specifically his, I went ahead and did it on the bridal cake).
I do have that clause because in some instances, changes need to be made to cake...for example, when a client wants local strawberries and I go to pick them and the season can vary by at least 2 weeks...and I may not be able to get exactly what the client wants. So, in that instance, they get strawberries from California...I do my best to inform them as soon as I possibly can, but again, I need to reserve the right to make that change. Most people definitely understand this.
Look, I am not some almightly cake goddess who thinks I can just mess with my clients...I am in this business to please my wonderful brides and have done so for the past 10 years. Nor will I not ever make a mistake...I made one and I will take care of it.
Anyhow, bowing out now.
Okay, this is getting a little out of hand...never did I say I could do whatever I wanted...
Most of the comments above are making counterpoints to previous posters in the thread who said an apology was not necessary, not trying to attack you.
Thank you Jason. OP, my comment was not directed at you. You admitted your mistake and I respect anyone who can own up to messing up. It's the folks who think there's nothing wrong with what happened that I was speaking to.
vgcea, I appreciate that...thank you. This of course is stressful to me....I spoke with the planner and she said it was not a big deal at all and the bride just mentioned to not tell the groom and now I am wondering if the groom even knows what fondant is, since he ate it on Friday night with his grooms cake and loved it all. Anyhow, I am still planning on following up with the bride, but I am hoping it will just blow over.
Aandsmommy, I have a lotta respect for how you handled that, and also handled all the comments made on this thread. Its tough enough making a mistake, which everyone certainly does one time or another, owning up to it and learning from it is another thing. So well done and keep on caking!