I am considering approaching a few local restaurants about carrying my cakes. I have a few questions for those who currently wholesale their cakes to restaurants, but I don't want this thread to turn into a licensing discussion. I am fully licensed, insured and legal. I would just like my questions answered and any useful advice given professionally please.
1. I am thinking of calling the different restaurants first and asking to speak to the manager. Then introducing myself and asking them if there's a time that we could meet to talk about cakes that I could offer them. Is this the best approach to take? Does anyone have any useful tips or advice they can give for this? I am not a pushy person by nature and sales have never been my strong area. I would have a price sheet to give them, along with a listing of all my flavor choices and samples. Is there anything else I should take?
2. What size cakes do restuarants typically purchase to serve? I was thinking of 8" round cakes (2 layers of cake with a layer of filling in the center). Would this be the best size to target? If so, how many servings do restaurants usually get out of an 8" cake? 12? 14? I know their servings are usually a lot more generous than most. I'm thinking of offering pre-marked cakes, not pre-cut so they stay fresher, but enable the staff to easily cut and serve slices that are consistent in size. Any advice in this area?
3. How would you recommend packaging cakes for this purpose? I typically use cardboard cake boxes for my retail customers. Would this be sufficient for wholesale accounts too?
Thanks in advance!
Just a partial answer.
I am familiar with foodservice cakes that are 10" diameter no more than 3" high and predecorated to 16 portions. The garnish is usually in the centres of the slices.
After you get a tentative deal, ask for a 3 month trial. Do NOT commit yourself until you can see that you get paid on time.
Other questions to ask, how frequently do they want you to deliver, and how frequently will they pay your invoice. Other questions for you to check out are how does the restaurant plan to maintain freshness and sanitation (take a walk through their kitchen to make a delivery yourself every so often).
Hi, I've been working in restaurants and clubs for 25* years as a pastry chef. Answers:
- 9" cakes are ideal usually they are 4 layer cakes,16 servings per cake. They prefer cakes to be pre-sliced...........but they'll buy them unsliced. More important, they expect the servings to be garnished....ready to plate
- you want to contact the Chefs not the Managers. Chefs make the food purchases and decisions. Sometimes Managers chime in, but it's always the Chefs decision
- when they are talking price, it's wholesale they want to know. They will double or triple the cost of your cake
- delivery must be included, they don't pick-up
- I'd include photographsof each cake on your price sheets for them to remember
- many kitchens put their cakes in tupperware to store them. I'd suggest they do similar, it's cheap and highly effective.
- you need to set a min. order amount to make your free delivery worth while for you. Typically businesses set a min. of $100.00. I've never seen less then that. Then when they want to order less then $100. you charge a delivery fee ($25.00)....pretty standard.
- they'll expect you to offer net30 once they've become an established business with you. Until then, make them pay c.o.d..
- typically you'd ask them for credit references (and call on those to make sure they pay their bills on time) MANY MANY restaurants don't pay their bills on time. If you see any signs of them stalling or not having a check ready for you when you deliver consider them high risk...........and never let them owe you alot of money on net30
Thanks for the great replies and helpful hints! I really appreciate it! Definitely things to keep in mind.