I recently did a wedding cake and when I set it up and left, it was in perfect condition. I got a call 30 minutes later from the venue that the cake was leaning and the bride was the one who pointed it out.
I went back and tried to see how I could fix it, but there was nothing much I could do as it was a buttercream cake and it would have taken long to remove the decorations and restack it.
The bride was very laidback about it, didn't whine or complain, and said the cake was gorgeous and more than what she expected etc etc.
She also said that they'll cut the cake right now, and take it inside, so it doesn't have to stay standing for another hour, when the original cake cutting was scheduled.
I was considering giving her back maybe a $100 refund as the cake was leaning forwards, but didn't really look like it might fall.... any thoughts on this?
It was a $300 cake for 75 servings (6/8/10 tiers). TIA!
I had this situation myself a few years ago with a pillared wedding cake when I first started out and it's a nightmare I will never forget. The venue staff separated the tiers after I left and placed them on individual cake stands.
I was mortified afterwards because the bride really wanted a pillared cake so I gave her back the full price of the cake. Again, she was totally understanding and not remotely put out about it (which is extremely rare you will find if a cake is less than what was promised to a customer), but I felt bad about it and decided it wasn't worth the bad PR. She was extremely appreciative of the refund and since ordered lots more cakes from us.
The venue on the other hand were extremely nasty about it and really went to town on it. I felt so uncomfortable dealing with them after that whenever a bride enquired about a wedding cake for that venue since then, I just told them I wasn't available for that date.
I would definitely offer your customer the $100 refund and thank her for her courtesy and understanding.
In the meantime, get to the bottom of what went wrong so that you don't have to suffer this stress again. Good Luck!
Thanks for the reply! Do you think a $100 refund will be too much, or should I do a $50 or $75 refund?
Because the cake was still standing, and it was find when I had left it assembled. They also did cut the cake and serve it to the guests, so the design or servings weren't really affected...
AIf you feel $100 is fair, since you are the one who saw it, I would go with your gut.
I'd offer her an additional (small) discount on a future order as well.
AWithout seeing a picture it's hard to say, but it sounds like the customer was still happy with the order. You might want to test the waters by offering something like a free 8" celebration cake or some free cupcakes for a future order. If the customer pushes back and requests additional compensation you could offer a partial refund.
Ask yourself what you'd do if you were the owner of a big bakery, your employees (not you) made the cake and the money wasn't important at all. That can help make the decision you'll feel best about in the long run.
It was bad enough for the bride and venue to call to see if you could do something about it.
Which means it wasn't what it was supposed to be. And they had to juggle their schedule.
I think $100 is the least I would offer, honestly. Probably $150 would be more of my comfort zone. I feel that it is my job to make sure that cake is secure and standing on level until cake cutting, barring major security issues like a huge bump/shove or table collapse.
Personally, I think it's better to "over-compensate" in these situations where the cake wasn't 100%. The customer will appreciate that you were genuine about the cake not being up to scratch and it'll be much cheaper in the long run than bad PR. I would definitely offer the $100 refund, since it was a wedding also.
AHello PJ, First of all the most important issue is WHY it leaned and to not have any issues in the future. But I think a good faith refund of a small amount is good business ethic. Next, I have a clause in my contract stating I am not responsible for the cake after delivery and set up AND I have a page that the bride and groom sign before I leave saying that the cake satisfactory.You have no idea if someone else caused the cake to lean by messing with it/ the table which would not be your fault.