Things Not To Ask/say To A Baker!

Decorating By step0nmi Updated 30 Jul 2016 , 8:35pm by costumeczar

ellavanilla Posted 13 Feb 2013 , 9:03pm
post #391 of 3218

ah, the old standards! I have one which everyone has surely had:

 

customer: I want XYZ elaborate cake to serve 200 for my birthday.

me: how nice, here is the price.

Customer: my father is paying for the cake and has a small budget of $100  (what an unbelievable surprise!)

me: the prices is...

customer: but i am well known in the community and there will be a lot of photos taken for the local magazine

 you will get a lot of business from my party. ... blah blah blah...

 

has anyone ever gotten business from a donated cake? I never have. 

 

I also don't like being asked to cut the cake I provided for an event, which I also attended.  You know, I'd like to enjoy the wedding, instead of being elbows deep in buttercream for 30 minutes while the bride and groom have their first dance. 

Chef_Stef Posted 13 Feb 2013 , 9:13pm
post #392 of 3218

I think any of these should be at least added to a list of "Please, think before you ask *this*"  for brides' check lists.  Most are just because they really don't know their way around serving sizes, wedding cakes, etc, but still...they always make me remember to smile before answering.

 

1.  "Is your cake dry?"   (umm.  yes.  yes, it is.  That's what all.those.awards are for)

 

2.  "How much does a 3 tiered cake cost?"   (this one just needs for them to understand the wiiiiide range of variables here)

 

3.  "Can I get this cake (3-tiered photo) for 20 people?"   (well if we start with a cake pop for a TOP tier...then, sure)

 

4.  "My sister (mom/neighbor/aunt) makes cakes too, so can you show us how to make/stack/deliver/setup this cake?"    (I better not hear this AFTER a tasting and an hour of my time!!)

 

Again, most of them are common sense or, I don't know, lack of tact, or whatever. 

 

But guess what? I'm taking a break from customers for this whole year, and taking my life BACK--my actual life, where I go camping and kayaking and shopping with my family, and spend time in my garden!  So at least for most of these, right now, my answer is "I'm not available that day.  Bye!"

ellavanilla Posted 13 Feb 2013 , 9:31pm
post #393 of 3218

Oh I had forgotten this one from a potential investor:

 

If I invest, technically, my teenaged daughters will be your business partners, since they love to make cakes. I'm sure you won't mind having them come

in and make cakes. They can be your helpers...

 

uhhhhhhm no thanks.

carmenscake_helsinki Posted 13 Feb 2013 , 9:36pm
post #394 of 3218

AThe worst for me was to hear: "Hope the cake and cream will be fresh! " Oohhhhhh yes of course I will put a spoiled cream on your cake...people are just insane!

maddy1977 Posted 13 Feb 2013 , 10:46pm
post #395 of 3218

How about the ones that called on a Thursday to ask to order a cake for Saturday when you already have 3 or 4 more orders to full filled...

I always say, "sorry but  I'm booked for the weekend" -___- do they seriously think we bakers grab a cake mix box and a can of frosting and work magic in an hour?

I had a bride on Feb 11th requesting a quote for a wedding cake for March 9th -___-     LOL

Annabakescakes Posted 13 Feb 2013 , 10:51pm
post #396 of 3218
Quote:
Originally Posted by chollyhale 

Wow this was the best thread EVER for this newbie to the community (and cake business 1 1/2 years) to stumble upon. I can't decide which of you I like most, but I absolutely adore most all of you! SO FREAKIN FUNNY! I have one to add... Same girl, I went to school with for years, years ago, EVERY SINGLE CELEBRATION IN HER LIFE-- Her: Hey it's Nate's birthday again and we're wanting to do something REALLY BIG! It needs to feed at least 50, we're thinking a 3 foot tall Jake and the Neverland Pirate Ship with edible characters...and magical unicorns flying around the masts... Me: Whoa! Well yeah, I'm sure we can draw something up but a 3D cake of that size is definitely going to cost AT LEAST ....but here are some other budget friendly options.. *Now this is the part that really gets me every single time!!!* Her (5-7 days later): Nevermind girl, I just found out my sister/lady from church/friend/Mom really wanted to make the cake for them...I'll get you to do the next one!! PLEASE SPARE ME!!! I too have had the invite one too...Them:"Hey, can I get a 2 tier Spongebob cake for Bev's birthday?" Me "Yeah that'll be..." Them:"Cool, you should totally come too, and bring your kids, Bev would love that!" Me: "Thanks for the invite, we might stop by." Them: "Ok, you should just bring the cake then. Do I still have to pay ... for it?" Me: HECK NO! Your conditional invitation totally warrants a custom cake, but what should I bring for a gift!?!

I get this all the time! If it is family I like, I will often do it, like I brought a 10" birthday cake for my husband 98 year old great aunt, for free. Another time my nephew (by marriage) asked his grandma (my MIL) to ask my husband and me if he could have his graduation party at our home, since his mom (my SIL) has 6 cats and 2 dogs and their home smelled like a kennel. We redid our bathroom,  got new window treatments, borrowed tables and chairs, had the carpet cleaned, and sprayed for ticks outside, and she still wanted the cake for free icon_eek.gif NO!! Just, NO!! I don't even like her! 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ellavanilla 

ah, the old standards! I have one which everyone has surely had:

 

customer: I want XYZ elaborate cake to serve 200 for my birthday.

me: how nice, here is the price.

Customer: my father is paying for the cake and has a small budget of $100  (what an unbelievable surprise!)

me: the prices is...

customer: but i am well known in the community and there will be a lot of photos taken for the local magazine

 you will get a lot of business from my party. ... blah blah blah...

 

has anyone ever gotten business from a donated cake? I never have. 

 

I also don't like being asked to cut the cake I provided for an event, which I also attended.  You know, I'd like to enjoy the wedding, instead of being elbows deep in buttercream for 30 minutes while the bride and groom have their first dance. 

No, ma'am, I have not! I did do a free "upgrade" on a cake, and got tons of business for it. She was 18, had a tiny budget and her second child was right about to fall out of her, and her mother wanted her married before it did. I did the cake for about 2/3 of what it would've been, and ":gave" her the design and extra labor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chef_Stef 

I think any of these should be at least added to a list of "Please, think before you ask *this*"  for brides' check lists.  Most are just because they really don't know their way around serving sizes, wedding cakes, etc, but still...they always make me remember to smile before answering.

 

1.  "Is your cake dry?"   (umm.  yes.  yes, it is.  That's what all.those.awards are for)

 

2.  "How much does a 3 tiered cake cost?"   (this one just needs for them to understand the wiiiiide range of variables here)

 

3.  "Can I get this cake (3-tiered photo) for 20 people?"   (well if we start with a cake pop for a TOP tier...then, sure)

 

4.  "My sister (mom/neighbor/aunt) makes cakes too, so can you show us how to make/stack/deliver/setup this cake?"    (I better not hear this AFTER a tasting and an hour of my time!!)

 

Again, most of them are common sense or, I don't know, lack of tact, or whatever. 

 

But guess what? I'm taking a break from customers for this whole year, and taking my life BACK--my actual life, where I go camping and kayaking and shopping with my family, and spend time in my garden!  So at least for most of these, right now, my answer is "I'm not available that day.  Bye!"

I get 1 &2 ALL THE TIME! I mean, c'mon, people!!! Use your head!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ellavanilla 

Oh I had forgotten this one from a potential investor:

 

If I invest, technically, my teenaged daughters will be your business partners, since they love to make cakes. I'm sure you won't mind having them come

in and make cakes. They can be your helpers...

 

uhhhhhhm no thanks.

 

They can come by to clean up the mess, after, but there is no flipping way that qualifies as a business partner! 

Quote:

Originally Posted by carmenscake_helsinki 

The worst for me was to hear: "Hope the cake and cream will be fresh! "
Oohhhhhh yes of course I will put a spoiled cream on your cake...people are just insane!

Uh, how stupid! Of course you will use fresh cream icon_rolleyes.gif and fresh cake. I wouldn't go into it with a customer who is obviously not very tactful, and maybe a bit dumb... But with both, they do need to age a bit... Fresh cream will not whip, and fresh cake is a bit dry and tasteless, it is much better the next day. WE know that, but it would just be too much for the simple headed twit!

maddy1977 Posted 13 Feb 2013 , 11:05pm
post #397 of 3218

Here's two more...

1-I had someone called me on a Friday to cancel her Saturday order -__-...I had already made her fondant decorations and her cake was on the oven.

2-What do you all think of making ALL your relatives cakes for FREE for every little celebration they have? -__-..sorry but can't do that anymore, I'm doing

this for a living and not a hobby now. At least get me ALL the ingredients and money for gas to bring you the cake.

AlphaSierra Posted 13 Feb 2013 , 11:05pm
post #398 of 3218

I work at a Dairy Queen, decorating and making the cakes there... Get a phone call one day with a "Hi, I'm at Safeway and they are printing an edible image for me. Can I get it on a cake?" I respond with a for sure, when do you need it by, what size is the image, writing, cake size blah blah blah... "Oh, I need a sheet cake, for today, the image is 8x11."  Okay sir, I'll see what I can do. Usually we need 24 hours notice but since we have one in the freezer ready to go, sure! After you deliver the image, we'll need about an hour or so. "Okay, I'll be down in 10 minutes". Half an hour goes by, and the guy finally shows up. No big deal, but he says ''okay, i'm here with the image. You have 15 minutes and I'll be back for the cake."  We discussed a different time on the phone, so I tell him that, and he just gets mad and says that I now have 10 minutes, and leaves. So I rush to the back to slap the image on the cake, whip up the icing, the writing, and the border... And he didn't come back for FOUR hours! 

Rewolf399 Posted 13 Feb 2013 , 11:06pm
post #399 of 3218

This thread is both funny and makes me shake my head, wow!  I make custom cakes part time and have a full time job.  My nephew is getting married in 2 years after college and is planning the wedding and budget already, which is small since they will both be graduating.  His fiancee asked if I would make the wedding cake for them, I told her that I would be happy to.  I live in Texas, they live in Vermont, and I would be going there to attend the wedding anyway.  But I wouldn't normally ship half my kitchen up there, so I wanted to get some details so that I could plan and let her know what to budget and if I could realistically do it for them.

 

She told me they were going to invite 200+ people.  Before things could get out of control and assumptions made by anyone, I emailed her a few websites that showed how big a cake for that many people would be and how much it would cost, just so that she could understand the grand task that she was asking for.  I knew that they wouldn't have that kind of money in the budget.

 

I made the suggestion that she let me make her a beautiful 2-3 tier 10"/8"/6" for the showcase cake that they cut and serve each other and immediate family/wedding party, that I would make sheet cakes of the same recipe that the caterer could keep in the back and cut and serve and no guest would be any the wiser.  I said that I would kick in my time and $300 toward perishable/non-reusable ingredients and decorations, and I would transport my kitchen gear to VT to make the cake as my wedding gift to them.  I said that anything above and beyond that, they would need to pay for (which means she would get the cake for free if she took my recommendations).

 

I wouldn't be working in my own kitchen, I wouldn't have the refrigerator or freezer space to make a cake for 200+ people, but I could do the smaller cake and the sheet cakes without too much problem.  I thought it was a great offer, but I haven't heard back from her yet and it has been 2 months or so.  I know the wedding isn't until 2015, but I would have expected some response, like "wow, that's so sweet, thank you, we will talk more as the event gets closer".  Nothing!  SMH

Annabakescakes Posted 14 Feb 2013 , 12:02am
post #400 of 3218
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlphaSierra 

I work at a Dairy Queen, decorating and making the cakes there... Get a phone call one day with a "Hi, I'm at Safeway and they are printing an edible image for me. Can I get it on a cake?" I respond with a for sure, when do you need it by, what size is the image, writing, cake size blah blah blah... "Oh, I need a sheet cake, for today, the image is 8x11."  Okay sir, I'll see what I can do. Usually we need 24 hours notice but since we have one in the freezer ready to go, sure! After you deliver the image, we'll need about an hour or so. "Okay, I'll be down in 10 minutes". Half an hour goes by, and the guy finally shows up. No big deal, but he says ''okay, i'm here with the image. You have 15 minutes and I'll be back for the cake."  We discussed a different time on the phone, so I tell him that, and he just gets mad and says that I now have 10 minutes, and leaves. So I rush to the back to slap the image on the cake, whip up the icing, the writing, and the border... And he didn't come back for FOUR hours! 

..... ...... .... Wha?.... UH....  WHAT A BAST-  TURD!

AlphaSierra Posted 14 Feb 2013 , 12:13am
post #401 of 3218

It's like... You had 365 days in advance to plan your kids birthday (they happen every year!), atleast give us some notice! :P

Annabakescakes Posted 14 Feb 2013 , 1:28am
post #402 of 3218

AYeah, no kidding!

hbquikcomjamesl Posted 14 Feb 2013 , 1:32am
post #403 of 3218
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annabakescakes 
..... ...... .... Wha?.... UH....  WHAT A BAST-  TURD!

A what? Sounds like misbegotten feces.

mcaulir Posted 14 Feb 2013 , 1:48am
post #404 of 3218

Here's my latest.

 

I taught primary school in town A and now live in town B, about 5 hours' drive away. A parent of a student I taught when he was 11 is a FB friend, and really wants me to make my ex-student's 18th birthday cake. She'll work out how to get the cake frm here to there. Fine, no problem.

 

I get an update message - she's having some trouble finding someone to drive from here to there with the cake. I wouldn't like a party invitation and bring the cake with me? There will be other ex-students at the party who would love to see me.

 

Ah, no. I don't want to drive 10 hours round trip with a cake in order to attend a party I wouldn't have been invited to for any other reason, with the bonus being that I could chat with a bunch of 18-year-olds who I'm sure would be thrilled to sit and catch up with their year 6 teacher.

SweetTzippy Posted 14 Feb 2013 , 4:43am
post #405 of 3218

AClient calls to order 2 cupcakes, yes TWO single regular size cupcakes, to celebrate girlfriend's birthday, each a different flavor and... it needs to be delivered to a restaurant at a specific time, no earlier or later (can't spoil the surprise). Can you guess how much he wants to pay?

uberathlete Posted 14 Feb 2013 , 5:00am
post #406 of 3218
Quote:
Originally Posted by SweetTzippy 

Client calls to order 2 cupcakes, yes TWO single regular size cupcakes, to celebrate girlfriend's birthday, each a different flavor and... it needs to be delivered to a restaurant at a specific time, no earlier or later (can't spoil the surprise). Can you guess how much he wants to pay?

 

Unbelievable. The nerve of some people. I've had some people ask me to sell them baked goods without the packaging so that it would be cheaper. I'm like W T F !?

Annabakescakes Posted 14 Feb 2013 , 5:01am
post #407 of 3218

A

Original message sent by SweetTzippy

Client calls to order 2 cupcakes, yes TWO single regular size cupcakes, to celebrate girlfriend's birthday, each a different flavor and... it needs to be delivered to a restaurant at a specific time, no earlier or later (can't spoil the surprise). Can you guess how much he wants to pay?

$4? I would certainly do it, for the right amount of money, no less than $60, depending on where I had to drive, but, putting myself in the place of the girlfriend, why would I care if a (albeit fabulous ;-) ) baker delivers 2 beautiful and delicious cupcakes? I would be wondering what this person is doing walking up to my table, and in such a small box, I would be expecting something a bit more sparkly!

It would be a lot cooler if it was a younger Richard Gere, or Chris Hemsworth... :-D

Ducky316 Posted 14 Feb 2013 , 6:04am
post #408 of 3218
Quote:
Originally Posted by DebbyJG 

Just came across this thread. I've seen and heard many of the ones already posted, and laughed, so I wanted to add my own contribution:

 

A couple weeks ago I got a girl who is planning her sister's baby shower. She sent a photo, three tiered cake, very cute. I gave her the price and my usual info. She wrote back that her budget was $50 less than I had quoted, and then asked, "If we change the colors from brown, pink, and green, to yellow, pink, and green, will the cake be less?"

 

Because...yellow food coloring  costs $50 less than brown?

HAHAHA ROFLMAO!!!!!!!

Ducky316 Posted 14 Feb 2013 , 6:43am
post #409 of 3218

Forget MOISTI want my cake WET!dunce.gif LOL

ellavanilla Posted 14 Feb 2013 , 7:02am
post #410 of 3218
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ducky316 

Forget MOISTI want my cake WET!dunce.gif LOL

 

oh god, i feel like i just walked into a twilight fan fiction forum! 

costumeczar Posted 14 Feb 2013 , 4:18pm
post #411 of 3218

One way to shut people up when they tell you that they'll send so much business your way so they should get a discount, is to say absolutely! They can pay full price now, and for the next year whenever anyone who they refer to you books business over a certain amount in value (which you'll gladly put into their contract to make sure you don't rip them off for all of these bookings) you'll write them a check. That way they can benefit from all of those checks rolling in from all of the business they'll be sending you.

hbquikcomjamesl Posted 14 Feb 2013 , 4:41pm
post #412 of 3218
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ducky316 

Forget MOISTI want my cake WET!dunce.gif LOL

May I suggest a tres leches, then?

shanter Posted 14 Feb 2013 , 9:17pm
post #413 of 3218
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ducky316 

Forget MOISTI want my cake WET!dunce.gif LOL

 

Gosh. It's deja vu all over again!

Apti Posted 15 Feb 2013 , 4:58pm
post #414 of 3218
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar 

One way to shut people up when they tell you that they'll send so much business your way so they should get a discount, is to say absolutely! They can pay full price now, and for the next year whenever anyone who they refer to you books business over a certain amount in value (which you'll gladly put into their contract to make sure you don't rip them off for all of these bookings) you'll write them a check. That way they can benefit from all of those checks rolling in from all of the business they'll be sending you.


LOVE this suggestion!

scrumdiddlycakes Posted 25 Feb 2013 , 3:07am
post #415 of 3218
Quote:
Originally Posted by maddy1977 

Here's two more...

1-I had someone called me on a Friday to cancel her Saturday order -__-...I had already made her fondant decorations and her cake was on the oven.

I won't start a cake until I have the 50% deposit because of this, and so far, I have never had a last minute cancellation. *knocks on wood*

 

 

The one truly stupid thing I can think of was having a lady order a wedding cake for 130 people, then trying to return the leftover cake for a partial refund.

They loved the cake, she just figured I could resell the bottom tier, since they only ended up inviting 80 guests, and not telling me, lol.

 

I've gotten a couple people that ask whether or not their 4 tier wedding cake for 200+ people will be baked fresh that morning. My answer is always, "don't worry, it will be fresh!". (just not *that* fresh, hehe)

costumeczar Posted 25 Feb 2013 , 11:10am
post #416 of 3218
Quote:
Originally Posted by scrumdiddlycakes 

 

 

The one truly stupid thing I can think of was having a lady order a wedding cake for 130 people, then trying to return the leftover cake for a partial refund.

They loved the cake, she just figured I could resell the bottom tier, since they only ended up inviting 80 guests, and not telling me, lol.

 

 

Oh. My. God. That's the funniest thing I've heard for a long time. I'm going to try this the next time I go out to eat and don't finish my dinner.

SpeciallyYours Posted 25 Feb 2013 , 6:16pm
post #417 of 3218

A

Original message sent by costumeczar

Oh. My. God. That's the funniest thing I've heard for a long time. I'm going to try this the next time I go out to eat and don't finish my dinner.

ROFL That's a thought! :grin:

JPepper Posted 26 Feb 2013 , 3:35pm
post #418 of 3218

I just had to post this!!! This is a question I received yesterday and I just sat there and shook my head. Please note that I am only a hobby baker and don't charge much. The design we were talking about in our email correspondence is the rose cake (that I am baker created) with matching rose cupcakes.

 

 

Thanks for getting back to me so quickly.  Just a couple of questions regarding your prices.  I was just on your website and it list that 6" or 8" standard two level cakes are $25.00; what's the difference between the $25.00 pricing and the $40.00 pricing mentioned below.

 

Also, standard cupcakes are $1.25 on your website.  Is this different than the $1.50 quoted below.  Is it because of the rose swirl?  Is there an alternative.

 

I sooo wanted to reply back and tell her the difference between the $25.00 pricing and the $40.00 pricing is $15.00!!!!!! And yes, the $1.50 pricing on the cupcakes is different than the $1.25 quoted on my site.....BY 25 CENTS!

 

I understand that a lot of people are on a budget but nickle and diming like this is just CHEAP! And I can't stand it when people complain about my pricing!  Cupcakes in my area typically sell for around $2.50 or more. My prices are low and people still complain.  I think I may have just conveniently booked someone else for this day!  LOL!

BakingIrene Posted 26 Feb 2013 , 3:51pm
post #419 of 3218
Quote:
Originally Posted by JPepper 

I just had to post this!!! This is a question I received yesterday and I just sat there and shook my head. Please note that I am only a hobby baker and don't charge much. The design we were talking about in our email correspondence is the rose cake (that I am baker created) with matching rose cupcakes.

 

 

Thanks for getting back to me so quickly.  Just a couple of questions regarding your prices.  I was just on your website and it list that 6" or 8" standard two level cakes are $25.00; what's the difference between the $25.00 pricing and the $40.00 pricing mentioned below.

 

Also, standard cupcakes are $1.25 on your website.  Is this different than the $1.50 quoted below.  Is it because of the rose swirl?  Is there an alternative.

 

I sooo wanted to reply back and tell her the difference between the $25.00 pricing and the $40.00 pricing is $15.00!!!!!! And yes, the $1.50 pricing on the cupcakes is different than the $1.25 quoted on my site.....BY 25 CENTS!

 

I understand that a lot of people are on a budget but nickle and diming like this is just CHEAP! And I can't stand it when people complain about my pricing!  Cupcakes in my area typically sell for around $2.50 or more. My prices are low and people still complain.  I think I may have just conveniently booked someone else for this day!  LOL!

These are perfectly legitimate questions from somebody who has actually READ your website.

 

So:  Update your website.  Why on earth would you have old prices there???

jason_kraft Posted 26 Feb 2013 , 3:55pm
post #420 of 3218

A

Original message sent by JPepper

Cupcakes in my area typically sell for around $2.50 or more.

If market value in your area is $2.50 for cupcakes, why are you selling them for $1.50?

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