Stitches Posted 13 Aug 2013 , 4:47pm
post #1 of

Sheesh I need to respond to an email that pisses me off so much that I can't not show my anger in my response, so I can't figure out how to write back. For a cake due this weekend they pulled the lower guest count today....5 less people..........5!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

And they want me to take out 5 servings so they can pay a couple bucks less! URG......

 

Help, please............what's a reasonable response to that kind of email with-out showing how mad it makes you????

 

(I'm only human and it that kind of thing makes me now dread doing their cake. So much for putting your best effort into something that isn't appreciated.)

63 replies
manddi Posted 13 Aug 2013 , 4:57pm
post #2 of

AWow... talk about cheapskates! I'm so cheap I've been known to pinch a penny so tight it squashes out to the size of a nickel and even I'm not that bad! Was there a contract stating no changes made after x date? How many servings did they originally order?

Rosie93095 Posted 13 Aug 2013 , 4:58pm
post #3 of

How about no with a capital NO! That is crazy.

 

Dear customer:

I am sorry that you will have fewer guests at your wedding than expected, but at this late date, it is not possible to change the number of servings you have ordered for your event. A lot of time and preplanning goes into your cake in order to make it special for you. This planning includes the construction and sizes for all tiers, decorations, etc.

 

Since you agreed to X servings in our contract, I will be making your cake with and expecting payment for that amount of servings. I am sure that you and your guests will enjoy the cake and sharing your special day.

Best regards,

morganchampagne Posted 13 Aug 2013 , 4:58pm
post #4 of

ACould you maybe tell them the design you've agreed on is dependent on the serving amount and cannot be changed at such a late date?

Something like that. Or that because there's already a contract in place and there's only DAYS before the event that no changes can be made.

AZCouture Posted 13 Aug 2013 , 5:03pm
post #5 of

ANope. Doesn't change the amount of work for you, one little bit and nor the cost of ingredients, etc.What, they want a refund for the servings? Surely they've paid in full already.

AZCouture Posted 13 Aug 2013 , 5:04pm
post #6 of

AI see not. Yet another of the million reasons for payment on full WEEKS before event. ;-)

therealmrsriley Posted 13 Aug 2013 , 5:05pm
post #7 of

How cheap!? Was there a date in the contract that stated that you will not accept changes after X date? If so, you can always refer back to that.

 

"Hello _____,

 

Thank you for getting in touch with me regarding your guest count. According to our signed contract, no changes can be made to the cake after the date we agreed upon. I apologize for the inconvenience and I look forward to working with you for your special day."

 

Something like that.....?

AZCouture Posted 13 Aug 2013 , 5:08pm
post #8 of

ABecause they unfortunately still owe money and they already display unreasonable expectations, I would probably suck it up and knock off the 5 servings. If it comes down to that and them being happy and praising you, or badmouthing you over 5 lousy servings...I'd eat the $20, or whatever it is. And never make that mistake again.

AZCouture Posted 13 Aug 2013 , 5:10pm
post #9 of

APick your battles. This ain't one of them. Full payment in full from now on, abd you'll never have a story like this again. I said no before because I didn't realize they still owed you.

AZCouture Posted 13 Aug 2013 , 5:14pm

ABut you know them better than us, it's probably a judgment call I'd make on the spot depending on the circumstances. Ramble ramble ramble Jamie...Lol

Rosie93095 Posted 13 Aug 2013 , 5:16pm

Agree with AZ- I thought they had paid in full

scwright Posted 13 Aug 2013 , 5:16pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stitches View Post

Sheesh I need to respond to an email that pisses me off so much that I can't not show my anger in my response, so I can't figure out how to write back. For a cake due this weekend they pulled the lower guest count today....5 less people..........5!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

And they want me to take out 5 servings so they can pay a couple bucks less! URG......

 

Help, please............what's a reasonable response to that kind of email with-out showing how mad it makes you????

 

(I'm only human and it that kind of thing makes me now dread doing their cake. So much for putting your best effort into something that isn't appreciated.)

 

Did you have contract in place stating the last date they can make changes to their order? If so, stick to your contract if not then unfortunately you will most likely have to revise the cake/price to accommodate their request.

therealmrsriley Posted 13 Aug 2013 , 5:18pm

Oh. I see they haven't paid in full. I agree with AZCouture....especially on wedding cakes. Full payment at least two weeks prior from here on. If you want to take money off for the 5 servings (...that sounds crazy to even type...) then I could see you doing that since they haven't already paid the complete balance. It's a relatively inexpensive lesson learned. I'm not saying it's fair to you, but....

SecretAgentCakeBaker Posted 13 Aug 2013 , 5:32pm

AIs it possible that the customer just doesn't understand how wedding cakes are dealt with? They may think it is similar to giving a head count to the venue. Perhaps try explaining that to them first. It may just be a misunderstanding. Good luck!

Stitches Posted 13 Aug 2013 , 5:36pm

Wow are you guys fast with the help! Thanks.

 

It is a repeat customer, as such I waive deposits and don't require contracts on small cake orders. BUT still not my ideal customer base as she and her group are always pinching me for extras, discounts and last minute lowering of counts. WHICH is ALL completely my fault! I haven't had a lot of this kind of work so I hadn't set up rules around it. From the time I posted this question until now, I was correcting my website and I added a final count deadline of 10 days before an event.

 

It's for a hockey jersey cake...........

 

After my immediate anger has passed I think I will take Az's advise and choose my battles wiser (and continue working wiser). Her network of friends has been the bulk of my specialty cakes. Until I have more ideal clients I'm not going to battle over 5 servings. But I'm still not happy.............it takes all my enthusiasm out of making that cake now..........I hate that............

 

thanks guys...........I guess my mini crisis is settled.

kikiandkyle Posted 13 Aug 2013 , 5:46pm

I don't know what the size of your cake is, but I'd probably say if you can knock it down a size, offer her that option - ie "I can do a smaller version of your cake but it will only serve x, otherwise we can stick with the original cake size (and serving number) as discussed". 

melmar02 Posted 13 Aug 2013 , 6:08pm

A

Original message sent by kikiandkyle

I don't know what the size of your cake is, but I'd probably say if you can knock it down a size, offer her that option - ie "I can do a smaller version of your cake but it will only serve x, otherwise we can stick with the original cake size (and serving number) as discussed". 

I agree. Besides, I'm not sure I have any pan where the next size down is only a 5 serving difference.

Annabakescakes Posted 13 Aug 2013 , 6:25pm

I would tell her what the next size down serves, and costs, then let her choose which one she wants. The one that serves all her guests with 5 servings to spare, or the one that serves HALF her guests. And I would make sure she didn't get 1 crumb more than HALF her serving count, if I had to hand carve it from a cardboard template.

DeliciousDesserts Posted 13 Aug 2013 , 6:29pm

A5 servings on a jersey cake!?! What are you going to shave the edges 1/4" all the way around.

"Thank you for letting me know the guest count has changed. This particular style cake serves x, the next size serves y. ". The current size will be a bit more cake than you need but that next size may not be big enough for your guest count. Please let me know which size you prefer.

DeliciousDesserts Posted 13 Aug 2013 , 6:30pm

AAlso wanted to say that I calculate the cost of a sculpted cake by how much I need to make. I don't discount the part that is discarded.

AZCouture Posted 13 Aug 2013 , 6:41pm

Wait what?? I thought we were talking about a tiered wedding cake. Good grief.

liz at sugar Posted 13 Aug 2013 , 7:14pm

I agree with the above posters - offer her a smaller size that serves X people, which won't be enough, or the size she chose.  Make her decide if she wants too little cake or too much.

 

Liz
 

tracyaem Posted 13 Aug 2013 , 7:17pm

I guess I don't really understand why you would change your price.

 

I know we all say we charge "per serving" but that doesn't translate to charging per guest. When I talk to a client I find out how many guests and then say what their options are - it's rarely, if ever, exactly their guest count. And if they are having 10 and the cake serves 12, they pay for 12 servings. If one person cancels, it doesn't change the price, they are still getting 12 servings.

 

I agree with others - respond by saying the cake they chose serves x and costs $y and the next size down serves x-a and costs $y-b.

 

Even if (heck, especially if!) they are your primary customer base you want to make sure they don't keep taking advantage of you.

jason_kraft Posted 13 Aug 2013 , 7:19pm

A

Original message sent by SecretAgentCakeBaker

Is it possible that the customer just doesn't understand how wedding cakes are dealt with? They may think it is similar to giving a head count to the venue. Perhaps try explaining that to them first. It may just be a misunderstanding. Good luck!

This. From a layman's perspective this probably seems like a perfectly reasonable request, there's really no reason to get angry about it or assume that it means the customer won't be appreciative.

summervilsweetie Posted 13 Aug 2013 , 7:28pm

When I take a cake order, once i see what they want in a cake, I tell them what I will have to do to get the result they want. For example if someone sees a three tier themed cake but say they will only have 25 people, I let them know what it will cost for the size cake they want. I let them know there will be left over and then see if they want to down size. I have not had a problem, but I will not let them change a week before the even because of what I have already done for their cake. I don't think they will be able to find a cake like they want for the price in less than a week. I hope this helps.

Stitches Posted 13 Aug 2013 , 8:50pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by jason_kraft 


This. From a layman's perspective this probably seems like a perfectly reasonable request, there's really no reason to get angry about it or assume that it means the customer won't be appreciative.

I do think your right Jason. But it is so petty of them to ask for 5 less portions....that's the thing that angers me. There are some unspoken social behaviors that we choose to exhibit or not. Would you ask for a discount off your pizza if it had 15 pepperoni's on it verses 16, but it was a great tasting pizza none the less? That is petty!

 

Here's the thing, until I stop coming across new issues, there always something new popping up. It makes me crazy thinking about all the smallest details you must include when you giving someone a quote. I try to be friendly, like a friend and not make people sign legal releases to every petty detail . I don't want to be like those drug companies that advertise on TV with a 10 second commercial of what good things their product does and than dedicate 50 seconds to disclose every possibly side effect whether real or imagined.

 

When I gave her a quote it was per serving based on the complexity of the design. I gave her the option of a simple jersey laid over the top of a round cake or a 3D jersey cake. I could knock it out of the park with a 3D version (if I chose) but what I think I'll do is give her a simpler version of a 3D cake. It's won't be any less of a cake than she expects....but it won't be a cake that pull out my fine art skills on. Less money= less time.

ellavanilla Posted 13 Aug 2013 , 9:31pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Stitches 

Here's the thing, until I stop coming across new issues, there always something new popping up. It makes me crazy thinking about all the smallest details you must include when you giving someone a quote. I try to be friendly, like a friend and not make people sign legal releases to every petty detail . I don't want to be like those drug companies that advertise on TV with a 10 second commercial of what good things their product does and than dedicate 50 seconds to disclose every possibly side effect whether real or imagined.

 

 

 

 

 

THen I think you just say no. DEspite the saying, not everything is negotiable. That's that. You'll feel better in the long run, just saying no. 

AZCouture Posted 13 Aug 2013 , 10:04pm

AThat's what a good concise contract is for, and plenty of time between the event date and final payment. I'm not talking a 4 page contract, I'm talking very to the point instructions.

"Final balance is due before or on ----. Any revisions to design, or addition to serving count must be addressed at the time of final payment, blah blah blah. A decrease in serving amount may be honored but any deduction of price (if applicable) will be at the discretion of baker. Requests for changes of any kind after this date will be honored at the.discretion of the baker only."

Blah blah blah...I just kinda pulled that out of the air.

liz at sugar Posted 13 Aug 2013 , 11:13pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by ellavanilla 

 

 

 

THen I think you just say no. DEspite the saying, not everything is negotiable. That's that. You'll feel better in the long run, just saying no. 

 

Yes, I think too many people think they have to accommodate every odd request someone makes . . . it is your business, and you don't have to.  You just say no, I don't offer a discount for last minute guest count changes.  You don't have to put every weird thing in a contract - you tell them how you are going to do business, and they either take it or leave it.  Period.

 

Liz

ellavanilla Posted 14 Aug 2013 , 12:10am

i kinda got wise when i read Earline's comments on sizing (i think it was earline).

 

she says "these are the servings that the cakes make. the bride chooses the size that's closest to the number of servings she requires."

 

I was like, "duh!" 

 

"light bulb moment!

 

it was then i realized that i can conduct my biz how i choose, and I can say no. it was liberating.

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