AHi everyone. I'm a newbie. I have just started my business for a year now. A client has booked me to make her wedding cake in april. I've done a wedding cake for a friend before. But this is a real customer, so i'm pretty nervous abt it. I want to know what are the steps in taking a wedding cake order. Do u sit with the client first, and give them a tasting platter with various flavours of cake? What about the quote? Do u normally give quotes of different designs or just ask them to choose the design? Then prior to the wedding day, do u get in touch with the reception centre? On the day, who does the cutting at the kitchen? Yourself or the kitchen staff? Do you provide your own knife/spatula/cake stand? Sorry for many questions. But i really need to learn lots :) TIA...xx
Hey HD14! Congratulations! I'll try to answer some of these questions from what I do but ultimately, it's something you'll come to learn on your own and do what feels and works best for you since everyone does it a little differently :)
- Do u sit with the client first, and give them a tasting platter with various flavours of cake?
I do cake tastings as the last thing before I finalize the cake contract. This has helped me weed out people who are just trying to taste as much free cake as possible. We figure out design, date, venue, servings, etc. all via phone or email before i meet them. If they're willing to put in the work for the whole order, I figure they're serious about ordering their cake.
- What about the quote? Do u normally give quotes of different designs or just ask them to choose the design?
I don't quote anything until I know the basics. How many people are they trying to serve, where is the venue (for delivery fees), what design do they want, are there sugar flowers or intricate piping? After I know what they want, then i give them a quote.
- Then prior to the wedding day, do u get in touch with the reception centre?
If it's a new place I've never been to (like a real wedding venue), I'll call and ask for best way to get the cake in and where the room will be. If it's something like a local church, I just google directions and get there on time.
- On the day, who does the cutting at the kitchen? Yourself or the kitchen staff?
Nope, not me! I drop the cake, take pictures, and run! :) I've only had one person ask if I stay to cut the cake and usually it's just not possible since I have other cake deliveries. The kitchen staff/catering staff should know how to cut the cake.
- Do you provide your own knife/spatula/cake stand?
I do provide cake stands because most people don't own 16 inch round cake plates :) but I do have a rental deposit that's pretty steep just to ensure that they'll bring it back to me (it's in the contract that they have one week to bring it back or I cash the deposit). Most cakeries charge for cake stand rentals but I don't. I own a cake knife and spatula but have never provided it for a bride. They should know that up front.
I hope that helps! It'll be great! Please share how it goes!
Salt Cake City
AWow Jennifer at Salt Cake City! Thank u sooooooo much for answering all my questions. They certainly help me a lot! Yes the wedding will be at a gorgeous venue, and i'm already nervous abt it! Heheh.... Thank u! I really appreciate your time :)
AOh.....tasting is the last thing to do? I do that as a first step!
Yeah, I've had two bad experiences where the first thing the couple asks is "When can we do a cake tasting?" Next thing I know, they're at the tasting telling me they have already put a deposit down somewhere else but wanted to see their other options anyway. Now my policy is that you can't have a deposit down anywhere else and I try to have everything else figured out before they come. That way, we're only finalizing details and eating cake at the cake tasting :) I've found that it weeds out the people just looking for free cake (my cake tastings are complimentary if the cake is estimated to be over $175). I've had people order a small birthday cake and ask for a cake tasting! haha. People are funny sometimes!
Salt Cake City
I probably book 80% of my cakes before the tasting. I don't do individual tastings though, rather once every few months or so, or as demand dictates. People book their dates and we finalize design details, and they all come on one day spread out across half the day, and sample. I mark down what they want, and we're done. There is always one or two who attend that are a "blind consult" (meaning I know nothing about what they want, budget, design idea), but they usually book too once they see the couples who are already booked, excited about all the flavors laid out. I usually have about 5 or 6 cake flavors and at least 13 or 14 filling choices. I'd rather spend a day making samples up for 20 people, than have a couple over every weekend to taste two or three things. No thanks! That is too much work. And, if one couple flakes out on attending the tasting, it's not even noticed. The other couples were there, and I'm not out anything, where if I prepped things special for a single appointment and they flaked, I'd be out time and ingredients and I'd be pissed.
AYes, that's a great idea to have a few couples at once at the tasting. But i don't have that many couples to invite. Lol.... I agree, tasting after they book n at least pay the deposit :) thank u everyone! Very useful info for a newbie like me :)