Annabakescakes Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 6:47pm
post #1 of 82

I am so sick of people asking "Can you do a (insert whatever theme) cake?"

 

I just want to respond, "Hey, it's all just patterns and shapes and colors, and placement, stupid. If I can do a cake at all, I can do a cake for your played-out, stupid theme...."

 

What do you say? I am sick of birthday cakes, I want to do JUST WEDDINGS...

81 replies
jason_kraft Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 6:55pm
post #2 of 82

A

Original message sent by Annabakescakes

I am so sick of people asking "Can you do a (insert whatever theme) cake?"

I just want to respond, "Hey, it's all just patterns and shapes and colors, and placement, stupid. If I can do a cake at all, I can do a cake for your played-out, stupid theme...."

What do you say?

If we can make the requested cake, I say "yes", with an estimated price range. If we can't or don't want to, I say "no" (or "we do not offer that product at this time") and suggest an alternative product if applicable.

Annabakescakes Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 7:06pm
post #3 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft 


If we can make the requested cake, I say "yes", with an estimated price range. If we can't or don't want to, I say "no" (or "we do not offer that product at this time") and suggest an alternative product if applicable.

You obviously don't get it, at all.

 

I can see that working for a bakery that has really plain, boring cakes. that are all basically the same cake. Like a grocery store. A question like that would mean, "Do you have some flotsam in this shape to put on a cake?'  But when a bakery has a wide range of talents, and unlimited designs, and mediums, it is pretty silly to ask that question. It's like, do you want it 3D, or flat? Toys or molded pieces, shaped, or tiered, or edible images? Airbrushing? Do you want it to have lights and sound? Should it be able to move? Do you want something to fly out of it?  Because I can do it all.

 

Not just a round cake or a rectangle with some questionable piping, and crap thrown on it.

liz at sugar Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 7:09pm
post #4 of 82

If you don't want to do themes, just tell them you specialize in wedding cakes.  Easy!

 

Liz

Annabakescakes Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 7:12pm
post #5 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by liz at sugar 

If you don't want to do themes, just tell them you specialize in wedding cakes.  Easy!

 

Liz

Uh, no, not that easy. I don't WANT to do them, but I want to pay my house payment, and car payment, and feed my family.

liz at sugar Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 7:47pm
post #6 of 82

LOL!

 

Well, I guess you do need a roof over your head . . .

 

In my drapery workroom, we just raised the prices on things we hated doing.  So you can do half as much of the offensive work for twice the price, and free up time for other endeavors.

 

Try raising your prices 10% a month until you encounter some real resistance - I promise you will like it. :)

 

Liz

kimmisue2009 Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 7:47pm
post #7 of 82

I think you need a vacation.

Annabakescakes Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 7:52pm
post #8 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by kimmisue2009 

I think you need a vacation.

I absolutely do. My anniversary is coming up, we are going to see Alkaline Trio (WHOO!) and Bayside (Whoo!) in Columbus. Maybe we can go up the day before, and stay a day after... I need a chick flick, too...

AZCouture Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 7:56pm
post #9 of 82

And possibly a tranquilizer.icon_biggrin.gif Are being specific in a non specific way, like talking about character cakes?

Annabakescakes Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 8:01pm
post #10 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture 

And possibly a tranquilizer.icon_biggrin.gif Are being specific in a non specific way, like talking about character cakes?

Yeah, the one today was Dalmatians, but it could apply to anything. Do you want a freaking Dalmatian, or a freaking white cake with black spots?

Annabakescakes Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 8:02pm
post #11 of 82

Is it Disney Dalmatians? Or a picture of your Dalmatian?

AZCouture Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 8:07pm
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Ah yep, I feel your pain. Thankfully this is a great place to vent...nothing wrong with blowing a little steam off. It's healthy. Like broccoli.

Annabakescakes Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 8:10pm
post #13 of 82

Just yesterday, I was asked if I can make a pony cake. A Pony, or a My little Pony? A farm with a corral? A Barn? A pony head? A saddle? WHAT DO YOU WANT???? There is a first time for everything. Just because I haven't done it, doesn't mean I can't. The quote the other day was, "My wife and I are looking for a pool party cake. Do you make cakes with these designs? If so, do you do cupcake cakes? We are not sure yet if we are going with a sheet or cupcakes."

 

Do you want a pool, above ground or under? Kids or adults? A flipper? A Hawaiian or Tiki type design? Bamboo and hibiscus? A swim suit?  Water slide? A do NOT make CCC, thanks so much for asking!

Annabakescakes Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 8:13pm
post #14 of 82

And I only do sheet cakes if it is germane to the design, Like a pack of cards.

scrumdiddlycakes Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 8:15pm
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Birthday cake requests give me irrational fits of rage. If one more person asks for a 'Tangled tower with hair going all the way to the bottom', I'm probably going to cry.

AZCouture Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 8:19pm
post #16 of 82

This is why weddings are sooooo much easier!!!

kikiandkyle Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 8:24pm
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You mean you don't know that of course they mean their long gone great aunt's dalmation poodle cross that didn't actually have any spots and was pink, and it has to be cupcakes with it's pawprint on them, in an upside down bouquet, and no fondant because it's gross? What part of 'dalmation cake' didn't say that! 

shanter Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 9:01pm
post #18 of 82

icon_lol.gif Bwahahahahahaha. And all of it for $30.00!

KellyMorgin Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 9:28pm
post #19 of 82

Haha you lady's crack me up, i was having a bad day

kvand Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 9:39pm
post #20 of 82

I hate that vague question.  Then I follow with asking them to be more specific.... do they want xyz? how many people do you need to feed? budget? then I usually get I don't know ..... "crickets".  UGH!! then they ask "can you give me pricing for each?"... so i'll spit out a price range and I get the deer in headlights look followed by " oh well I only wanted to spend $50.  so I show them what they can get for $50 and I get but I need to feed 30 of my best friends and I want the cake to be awesome!

 

  btw... have you seen that youtube clip about ordering at a bakery.  Its the animated one where the guy is totally rude to the challenged customer..... it kills me! wish I could find it. If I do I will post it!

BakingIrene Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 9:47pm
post #21 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annabakescakes 

I am so sick of people asking "Can you do a (insert whatever theme) cake?"

 

I just want to respond, "Hey, it's all just patterns and shapes and colors, and placement, stupid. If I can do a cake at all, I can do a cake for your played-out, stupid theme...."

 

What do you say? I am sick of birthday cakes, I want to do JUST WEDDINGS...

I believe the phrase you are looking for is "If you can stand the screaming then I can stand the pain"

 

Not sure how you are going to use that though...

 

Go for the boring stuff first.  Ask them for the date, number of people and THEIR BUDGET. If they want a thousand dollar cake for 50 bucks then you don't need to even read their theme...

 

And aren't many grooms cakes just as wacky?  Do those qualify as "wedding" cakes?

Norasmom Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 9:57pm
post #22 of 82

I love to do birthday cakes but I have turned down all requests for sheet cakes.  My excuse?  The pans don't fit in my oven.  LOL  I see what you mean Anna.  I am the opposite, I don't do wedding cakes.  But I like to do birthday cakes that aren't tacky.  With gum paste roses and fun, elegant designs.  I am so not a bakery...I am a cake designer.  You are too, that's for sure.  I also find that people who want sheet cakes are the people who want to pay sheet cake prices, for sure.  

jason_kraft Posted 8 Apr 2013 , 9:57pm
post #23 of 82

A

Original message sent by Annabakescakes

But when a bakery has a wide range of talents, and unlimited designs, and mediums, it is pretty silly to ask that question. It's like, do you want it 3D, or flat? Toys or molded pieces, shaped, or tiered, or edible images? Airbrushing? Do you want it to have lights and sound? Should it be able to move? Do you want something to fly out of it?  Because I can do it all.

Got it, you weren't very clear in your original post.

It's tough to come up with a standard phrase you can copy and paste since there are so many variations. We often had requests where we would need to guide the customer on what exactly they want, just as you said...if they want a 3D or 2D cake, edible toppers or toy toppers, etc. The most important piece of information is the customer's budget since that will determine what can be done and still stay under the max price. Being able to visualize different designs and the labor required for each on the fly is a critical skill, the better you are at this the more profitable you will be.

If you can standardize on anything it could be a script, like they use at tech support call centers. You can create a flow chart for the script so you get all the necessary information (with deviations where necessary) and steer customers away from what you don't want to do. Of course if they insist on something you don't want to do, that's when you tell them you won't be able to meet their needs. I do the same thing when a customer requests a new software design or web interface, they often don't know what they really want until I ask clarifying questions.

Many of our customers were from upscale areas so we did some pretty cool stuff...one customer had us create a cake with a cookie topper based on their son's (8 years old IIRC) blueprints for an airplane. They started out wanting a 3D sculpture of the airplane, but as mentioned above it was scaled down due to the budget. That was one happy kid, especially since he had never had birthday cake before due to food allergies.

Paperfishies Posted 9 Apr 2013 , 2:13am
post #24 of 82

AI LOVE sheet cakes...same cost per serving but half the work of tiered cakes. Plus I really love corrie76 and all of her sheet cake designs. It's a bigger area to work and design.

Annabakescakes Posted 9 Apr 2013 , 2:24am
post #25 of 82

Sheet cakes....((((SHUDDER!!! )))) And my sheet cakea are cheaper, they are torted and filled, but I can't see a plain sheet cake going for $84.

 

The potential customer for a Pony cake just sent me a picture for a Decopac cake... I am going to gouge my eyes out. Yes I CAN make it, but I wont.

scrumdiddlycakes Posted 9 Apr 2013 , 2:46am
post #26 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annabakescakes 

Sheet cakes....((((SHUDDER!!! )))) And my sheet cakea are cheaper, they are torted and filled, but I can't see a plain sheet cake going for $84.

 

The potential customer for a Pony cake just sent me a picture for a Decopac cake... I am going to gouge my eyes out. Yes I CAN make it, but I wont.


A sheet cake AND decopac?? ewwww, I'm sorry.

The only time I will do sheet cake is if I am doing a fake wedding cake for some reason, and it hides in the kitchen. I've seen a couple cute ones, but making them makes me grumpy.

jason_kraft Posted 9 Apr 2013 , 2:50am
post #27 of 82

AOur half sheet cakes (2 layers) start at $119, and that's for basic BC only. There is significant demand at that price point (or even higher) if you provide a solid competitive advantage.

The "boring" stuff that contributes to fixed overhead makes it much easier to be profitable.

cazza1 Posted 9 Apr 2013 , 3:11am
post #28 of 82

Anna, take a deep breath, count to ten and then scream and chuck a wobbly and get it out of your system.  The deep breath and the counting are just so you can tell yourself you tried to stay calm.  The screaming and wobbly are actually much more useful as they will actually help get it out of your system for a while.  Either that or go buy a tent!

scrumdiddlycakes Posted 9 Apr 2013 , 3:13am
post #29 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by cazza1 

Anna, take a deep breath, count to ten and then scream and chuck a wobbly and get it out of your system.  The deep breath and the counting are just so you can tell yourself you tried to stay calm.  The screaming and wobbly are actually much more useful as they will actually help get it out of your system for a while.  Either that or go buy a tent!

What on Earth does that mean? It sounds like great fun! haha

Annabakescakes Posted 9 Apr 2013 , 3:20am
post #30 of 82
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft 

Our half sheet cakes (2 layers) start at $119, and that's for basic BC only. There is significant demand at that price point (or even higher) if you provide a solid competitive advantage.

The "boring" stuff that contributes to fixed overhead makes it much easier to be profitable.

Well, a 2 layer half sheet cake is 96 servings, so I would charge $240, bare minimum...like iced, with piped roses on it, and a shell border.  I can make about a dozen roses in 5 minutes.

 

And I do have a solid competitive advantage: My cakes aren't ugly. And they are yummy! Sunday, I had a wedding consultation with a young bride and groom to be, and the guy told me that she goes to every bridal show, and has been looking for me at every show since she saw me at one in January, because my cake tasted the best, and she wanted to have some more. She said the flavor of mine stood out far above all the others. So, I would say that would be another advantage...

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