Crazy-Gray Posted 28 Feb 2013 , 2:02pm
post #1 of

I’m a little nervous about this one; it transpires that their venue will be unmanned until shortly before people are due to arrive; it’s a country house manned by trust volunteers.  

 

I have about an hour of set up (conservative estimate!) and so the janitor will be letting me in ‘early’ …I refused their generous offer of setting the cake up at 3pm the day before!

 

Would you request the venue’s event’s organiser be there with the janitor and she sign, or would you request the groom be there to sign over responsibility for the cake?? I have a nasty nagging feeling that won’t leave me alone- I struggle just to trust venue staff at the best of times, I want it signed for!!

53 replies
Jennifer353 Posted 28 Feb 2013 , 2:43pm
post #2 of

Assuming your set-up takes the hour or so wont that time finish (ie when you are preparing to leave) be fairly soon before they arrive and by that time the venue organiser should be there?

 

Sorry that's a very convoluted sentence but not sure how to make it clearer!

Crazy-Gray Posted 28 Feb 2013 , 2:53pm
post #3 of

ADoors open at 12 and my delivery time is 9.30 so that's a good bit of hanging round, it might be worth it though... And you're right, I'm not gonna get a signature till after I'm done with the setup lol

-K8memphis Posted 28 Feb 2013 , 3:04pm
post #4 of

as has recently been discussed on here

 

a picture is worth a thousand signatures

 

to me, as long as i am delivering the thee already tableclothed/skirted cake table, i'm fine

 

i snap pictures in several directions to show the room placement so if cake or cake table gets moved there's proof it ain't on me

 

but i think it's a good idea to mind your gut feeling too

 

could you deliver at 10:30 so the wait is not so long?

Crazy-Gray Posted 28 Feb 2013 , 3:16pm
post #5 of
Quote:

could you deliver at 10:30 so the wait is not so long?

 

Hmmmmm I guess the traffic could just happen to be busy that day! lol

 

I think I'll re-arrange the time, something's just not sitting right with me and I'll feel better nudging it forward a little :)

 

I think I'm inventing worries for myself- too many cakes due this week! lol

-K8memphis Posted 28 Feb 2013 , 3:24pm
post #6 of

i think the mark of a cake decorator is to have back up plans for back up plans

 

we only have a brief window of opportunity to get our jobs done right so we naturally safeguard upon safeguard

 

occupational hazard

 

icon_biggrin.gif

jason_kraft Posted 28 Feb 2013 , 3:26pm
post #7 of

AAs a condition of delivery I would require that the customer or an authorized representative be present to sign the invoice.

Crazy-Gray Posted 28 Feb 2013 , 3:38pm
post #8 of
Quote:

As a condition of delivery I would require that the customer or an authorized representative be present to sign the invoice.

 

 

That's going in my contract right now! <D'oh moment as to why I haven't done so before!>

-K8memphis Posted 28 Feb 2013 , 3:40pm
post #9 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft 

As a condition of delivery I would require that the customer or an authorized representative be present to sign the invoice.

 

that's one way to do it but you will loose an order or two that way

 

generally with a tier cake--folks are off getting married and hopelessly haplessly intertwined in more family drama than is decent or healthy

 

if a cake maker can't get the job done without hand holding/hand writing then some brides will go elsewhere

 

i figure my job is to do all their thinking for them on that day regarding their cake

 

i tell my brides, worry about the ring bearer, worry about aunt louise getting tipsy and relating family secrets to the minister,

don't worry about your cake i'll take care of everything for you

jason_kraft Posted 28 Feb 2013 , 6:00pm

AGenerally, your responsibility for a delivered product only ends when the customer takes possession of said product. If the customer can't plan to have someone at the venue then I would not accept the order, and if the customer wants to book with you they will find a way to make it work. For example, if the reception venue is far from the ceremony and you will be delivering during the ceremony and no planner is available, the customer can authorize the on-site venue manager to sign for the cake (when this happens I will contact the venue directly to make sure they understand that someone with authority needs to be there).

There's no hand holding involved, the signature is for your protection to indicate that you no longer have responsibility for the cake and the customer (or a representative) is satisfied with the delivery.

leah_s Posted 28 Feb 2013 , 6:33pm

I delivered wedding cakes for 12 years.  How many times did I get a signature?

 

Zero.

 

I did however, get lots of pictures, to prove "Its was FINE when I left it!"

cakesbycathy Posted 28 Feb 2013 , 7:02pm

Requiring someone to sign off on the cake is not always feasible.  You may not find someone from the venue willing to assume responsible for signing.  And frankly, requesting that the GROOM be there is not going to go over well IMO.  Pretty sure most grooms are busy doing other things.

 

Your contract should state that once delivery and set-up is complete you are no longer responsible for the cake.  Take plenty of pictures from all angles once set-up is done.  That way if there is an issue you can show the cake was fine when you left.
 

Izzy Sweet Posted 28 Feb 2013 , 7:06pm

If you are nervous you could get the bride or groom to sign off that no one will be there for delivery and that is not going to be set against you if something should happen.Put that you will take pictures and the pictures will serve as the job being done in full and afterwards it is not your responsibility. Have them sign something before the event if you have too signing off on this.

jenmat Posted 28 Feb 2013 , 7:15pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s 

I delivered wedding cakes for 12 years.  How many times did I get a signature?

 

Zero.

 

I did however, get lots of pictures, to prove "Its was FINE when I left it!"

This

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by cakesbycathy 

Requiring someone to sign off on the cake is not always feasible.  You may not find someone from the venue willing to assume responsible for signing.  And frankly, requesting that the GROOM be there is not going to go over well IMO.  Pretty sure most grooms are busy doing other things.

 

Your contract should state that once delivery and set-up is complete you are no longer responsible for the cake.  Take plenty of pictures from all angles once set-up is done.  That way if there is an issue you can show the cake was fine when you left.
 

And this too.

 

I tried have a sign off form and one of the venue guys told me that if I required a signature I could take my cake with me. Apparently they had a lot of trouble with cakes tipping and having to be accountable. They are one of my best venues now, but I could see his point- it is my responsibility to make sure the cake can withstand normal activity, and my contract's responsibility to cover me if something happens. I've delivered my share of cakes since then and since I use good supports I have never had one have any issues. 

 

Is this cake so precarious that you do not trust that it will make it before everyone gets to the venue or that someone will come and do something to it before they get there?

-K8memphis Posted 28 Feb 2013 , 7:36pm

people conducting weddings are very busy and distracted often stressed out the wazoo--i don't care if they are satisfied with delivery

 

a signature does not indicate that the cake was standing straight like a photo does nor does it indicate that the table has been moved like a photo can

 

a signature does not even prove that the cake arrived and was set up--you have to get the person that signed it to prove it--but a photo does! it also shows that the band was not set up close to the cake table when i had a chance to do something about it--a photo is invaluable and discreet-that the cake table was not placed in front of the sunshiney window melting the buttercream when i set up--it captures invaluable information

 

some venues are so big it's stupid--i don't wanna go chase somebody down & inconvenience them to go take a look-see at my cake--they're gonna notice it sooner or later and they will sure fire let me know if anything comes up--my cakes are guaranteed to the cake table--i'm done then--over and out--

 

a signature is an unnecessary bother to me --i wanna gth out of there

 

but i can see where a signature to an accountant business type person like you would be important

 

but there is more than one way to do it

 

all their thinking done for them--boxes for leftovers put under the cake table-- check!--honeymoon cake boxed & ready to go-- check! first anniversary cake boxed & ready to go-- check! cake set up in it's majestic glory smelling it up like aromatherapy on steroids-- check!! don't forget the groom's cake--check!!

 

i want them to not even know i was there it goes that smooth

Crazy-Gray Posted 28 Feb 2013 , 7:57pm

AGreat points folks thank you very much!

I have been finding the hassle of getting signatures a huge PITA, but last year (the train cake) got poked and prodded by *amazed* staff and/or guests. That and the customers reaction really annoyed me and since then i've gotten myself into 'sign for' mode... Think its time to man up!

I'll keep signed delivery/collection notes for small celebration cakes but setting up at venues from now on will be photos only! I'm 100% happy with support structure and design, i just have to accept that poking fingers aint my problem even if mrs grumpy face tries to make it my problem!

I really really love the 'i'll take care of everything cake-wise', they really do have enough to worry about!

Thanks again, you've helped a stressed baker decide his plan! :-)

Bonnie151 Posted 28 Feb 2013 , 9:29pm

AI only get a signature for any kitchen cakes or extra cupcakes (once had a venue "lose" 90 extra cupcakes! Fortunately they had been signed for!). Most venues here won't sign - they don't want to assume responsibility for the cake when they know nothing about the internal structure.

costumeczar Posted 28 Feb 2013 , 10:02pm

This topic is coming up a  lot lately...I never get signatures, but I do take photos to make sure I have documentation that the cake was set up and looks the way it was supposed to. I have a section in my contract that says that's how I prove delivery.

jason_kraft Posted 28 Feb 2013 , 11:22pm

AIMO getting a signature on delivery is similar to getting liability insurance. Ideally you will never need it, but if there is a problem you'll wish you had it.

I absolutely agree that getting pictures from multiple angles is important, the problem is the gap between the time stamp of the pictures and when the customer first sees the cake. Having the customer sign a separate disclaimer beforehand if no one is available to sign on delivery is a good alternative.

-K8memphis Posted 28 Feb 2013 , 11:33pm

so the signature protects the cake from the time you leave till the time the bride sees it--ohh

when you say it like that  icon_biggrin.gif i get it

 

in 40 years i never wished i had a delivery signature

 

in all the places i've worked and they be many we never got siggies

 

but clearly from an accounting and strictly business first standpoint/background i can see where that is important to you and there's nothing wrong with that

 

but i'm from a cake background--i'm allergic to reports and cahhn't breathe, knees grow weak, when i have to do accounting

 

the fewer papers i have the better ;)

 

i would loose it on the way home for real-- i have enough trouble hanging on to the retainer checks from a consult

costumeczar Posted 28 Feb 2013 , 11:45pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft 

IMO getting a signature on delivery is similar to getting liability insurance. Ideally you will never need it, but if there is a problem you'll wish you had it.

I absolutely agree that getting pictures from multiple angles is important, the problem is the gap between the time stamp of the pictures and when the customer first sees the cake. Having the customer sign a separate disclaimer beforehand if no one is available to sign on delivery is a good alternative.

That makes absolutely no sense. Once the cake is set up and photographed the gap between that time and when the bride sees it is irrelevant. If the venue pushes the cake over, or some idiot sticks their fingers into it, the outcome is the same and the photos would be enough to show that the cake was in good condition on being set up. My experience is the same as a previous poster (I think Jenmat), that nobody wants to sign for something they know nothing about. If someone tried to get me to sign for a cake that I had no part in ordering or designing I wouldn't sign anything.

 

What people fail to remember (and it keeps getting brought up again and again in these threads) is that customers usually complain about the cake being dry if they complain at all. It's unusual for a cake to fall over, but when someone complains it's usually about the texture of the cake itself, or that it wasn't what they ordered. Having a signature from someone at the venue, or photographs for that matter, don't prove squat when it comes to whether the cake was dry or not. And if the customer says that the cake wasn't what they ordered you can't argue that the venue signed off on it, so too bad.

costumeczar Posted 28 Feb 2013 , 11:47pm

If the bride has people there who are dumb enough to touch a cake she takes the risk of having fingerprints in it. I once told a little kid who was hanging around watching me a little too closely while I was setting up that she'd better not touch the cake. And that if she did the bride would be really mad and they'd have to call the police to come fingerprint everyone to see who did it. She ran away for some reason.

-K8memphis Posted 1 Mar 2013 , 12:06am

too funny!!!  icon_lol.gif

 

i just whip out my gingerbread boy or girl cookie and a hat pin i take on deliveries

 

i face the kid but i focus my eyes away on the wall kinda creepy and just stab the cookie a couple times

 

 

icon_biggrin.gif

mcaulir Posted 1 Mar 2013 , 2:10am

Technically, a photo doesn't prove that the cake was fine when you left it. It just proves that it was fine at some point while you were there.

 

Of course it's ridiculously unlikely to happen, but it's possibly that you could deliver a cake, take your photo, then trip over and knock the whole thing to the floor.

 

I'm not saying that there's any better way of doing it - I've only delivered a couple of cakes, (maybe 4 times?) and never would it have been convenient for someone to be there to sign for it. And like others have said, I wouldn't be signing for a cake I hadn't ordered or paid for.

-K8memphis Posted 1 Mar 2013 , 2:27am
  1. it's also possible that someone could steal the cake after you take the picture
  2. it's also possible that you could set it up and get the pictures then box it back up and trot it back out to your car
  3. it's also possible to not deliver at all--show up and take photos of the blank cake table and photoshop a picture of the cake into the different angles but you'd have to be pretty good or bad as the case may be

 

there are lots of possibilities

 

and with #3 the signature would be your undoing although you could project a holigram of the cake--so never mind after all about the signature

mcaulir Posted 1 Mar 2013 , 2:51am
Quote:
Originally Posted by -K8memphis 

  1. it's also possible that someone could steal the cake after you take the picture
  2. it's also possible that you could set it up and get the pictures then box it back up and trot it back out to your car
  3. it's also possible to not deliver at all--show up and take photos of the blank cake table and photoshop a picture of the cake into the different angles but you'd have to be pretty good or bad as the case may be

 

there are lots of possibilities

 

and with #3 the signature would be your undoing although you could project a holigram of the cake--so never mind after all about the signature

That's my point. The photo doesn't prove that you left a cake there. Again, I don't think there's any better way of doing it.

-K8memphis Posted 1 Mar 2013 , 3:02am
Quote:
Originally Posted by mcaulir 

That's my point. The photo doesn't prove that you left a cake there. Again, I don't think there's any better way of doing it.

 

 

it proves that a responsible professional ethical cake designer delivered a cake

mcaulir Posted 1 Mar 2013 , 3:37am
Quote:
Originally Posted by -K8memphis 

 

 

it proves that a responsible professional ethical cake designer delivered a cake

If all cake designers were responsible, professional and ethical, we wouldn't have Cake Wrecks to entertain us, would we?

 

And sure, it proves that a cake was delivered, but not that it was fine when the cake person left.

-K8memphis Posted 1 Mar 2013 , 3:42am

yes of course

costumeczar Posted 1 Mar 2013 , 11:26am

The bottom line is that nobody can prove anything,and that you have to do what you can do to show that the cake was there and set up. Having a signature of someone who didn't order the cake, didn't know what it was supposed to look like, didn't know what colors it was supposed to be etc. isn't going to help. Having a photo is more proof that it was what was ordered. Neither will prove anything about the interior of the cake, which is what they usually complain about anyway.

 

most complaints are about things that a photo and signature can't address. I know people who have had the client themselves sign off on a cake when it was delivered, then call  to  complain   about it later. A signature doesn't prove anything, but if something went to arbitration a photo would at least prove the point that what was ordered was what was delivered, looks-wise, which eliminates one thing.

 

in general, when I hear about people complaining they start with one thing, then if that is disproved by the baker they move onto something else. It's the meandering complaint and it's often a way to try to recoup some of their costs. A signature means nothing but the photo would at least shut them up when to compare that to the contract. It eliminates one issue, which is the visual part.

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