ASo I'm in pastry school. After I graduated from college in May, I jumped straight back in there. Of course I do have my cake business on the side.
I work REALLY hard. I mean really hard. I have been blessed with success, I know not everybody experiences it. But here's the thing...family/friends/associates always want me to "show" them things.
People who are hobby bakers. They all ask can they come help out for a day. Can they come learn. I love to bake! Can I come help? I find it really annoying. Extremely.
Is this just what comes along with it? I feel kind of bratty not wanting to help, but I'm not running a teaching program. This is my business. Idk...I feel conflicted lol. What do you guys think.
AThis happened to us quite a bit when we were running our bakery...I would generally spend a few minutes on the phone answering questions, eventually pivoting the conversation to our private baking and decorating lessons which were offered at $70/hour and up depending on the curriculum.
AYeah...it's been suggested that I teach a little bit but I have no interest in that. At least not right now. I guess really I just have to suck it up and not be a baby about it
AJust tell them no
AYes, just say no!
AI know you're super busy but maybe adding a blog to your website, you could have people direct Q&A there and maybe select a few to answer in a post, and maybe take some pictures while your working. I realize this would take some time to put together as well.
I understand putting your time, effort, finances, etc. into learning and getting where you are. If someone else wants to be where you are they should start from the beginning and learn like you had to lol, I understand.
I have had a few acquaintances, not really people I consider good friends but I know them-everyone knows how that goes, anyway they are always asking me if I need help or can they help or what can I show them. I don't want a 'helper' right now, I like doing things the way I do them it's typically faster for me.
Just tactfully remind them that you are running a business and not a school and then maybe suggest a school that they could attend.
AI dunno... I ask my FIL about DIY, he knows a lot more about it than me, his own trial and error... buying tools he wishes he hadn't... Hopefully he doesn’t feel the ire described above toward me?!
So I don't mind giving advice where I can to friends and family, so long as there's no harm in them helping- ie no working in my kitchen unless they get a food hygiene cert (legal req't)... they aren't planning on becoming competition.... it all comes round in the end...
If they were to take up too much of my time though I'd be recommending research sites instead of just answering questions.
...Although thinking about it- I don't have many frineds so the demand on me is very low! lol if you are a lovely popular person I can understand it all ading up!
Friends and family - yes, I'd help out. The likelihood of them setting up a business is pretty remote, so why not. And as you've said yourself, you're lucky that you have a successful business so it's unlikely they'd steal all your customers anyway!!
Acquaintances who I'm unsure about... I would help up to a point. I actually had an acquaintance who is a competitor ask me about something! I told her I had done it, but so very long ago that I couldn't remember and that I'd just look it up on Google!
I don't have time to give lessons to anyone. The little spare time I do get I treasure. And if I am working on an order I do not want anyone under foot. I would simply state.....I am so glad you are interested in baking! It's loads of fun. Here is a brochure to the school and it only cost me $31,000! (yet I am supposed to teach you for free?)
"I'm sorry - it's pretty much a one person operation and I tend to be very focused and run over anyone who's around. Why don't you sign up for some classes at the school? Here's their number - they won't flatten you in the kitchen lol."
AI've usually gotten requests from friends to "help out." The answer is usually no because having a newbie around to teach while I'm working would slow me down. Recently I had two people try to set up private lessons with me. This time the answer was no because I'm not set up to teach. No curriculum, nothing. Teaching is something I'd consider in the future but for now the focus is on the business.
If they don't take "no" for an answer, I'd follow up with Gary's idea: Are you ServSafe certified? If not, you really can't assist in my kitchen.
I have no problem helping someone out or giving advise, but nobody, and I mean nobody, uses my kitchen but me. Well, there was one time my mother made tea in it, lol.
Actually I've only had one girl ask to come in and bake with me for fun, and to get some tips, but I've had a lot of requests from people wanting to rent my kitchen, or use it to self cater a wedding or something.
I just say, "sorry, that's not possible." that's all the explanation I give, lol.
AOoooh i find this sooooo annoying!!!! I'm a professional makeup artist and i get this all the time! Clients ask me how do you do blending? whats the best way to apply foundation? How do you do this? How do you do that? I went to college to learn everything and get my certificates- go do the same thing if you want to know something. Its also annoying when it takes years to learn/practice something and they think they can learn it in a few minutes.
AFriend/family member is a mechanic? "Can you come teach me how to retune my engine?"
Accountant "Can you come teach me how to do taxes?"
Hairdresser "Can you come teach me how to do a full head of highlights with an ombré style?"
Etc etc etc. This is your job, you don't mind answering a question here and there but they have pastry school for a reason.
AI am so glad you guys understand! I honestly don't mind answering questions. Like you guts say,,it's really unlikely that they'll be on a professional level after me giving them a few pointers. And I'm always happy to discuss ingredients!
But the constant can I come help you out? "Omg I love to bake, let me be your apprentice" or the constant request to teach people things. And it just really started coming out of the blue from everybody who's ever picked up a spatula lol.
So maybe what I'll do is say "if you have a specific question I can point you to some resources to help"
AThe servsafe thing is a good one! Although I know 2 people who would go pay the $10 and take the class to become it. So I'll think of something else for them lol
So glad you posted this. I get this all the time and I have no interest in teaching anyone. I get asked "can I come help or watch you work on a cake"? I think people have seen too many cake shows where people are laughing, playing pranks and joking around while working on cakes. I can promise you it's not like that when I'm working!!! TV makes it look like lots of fun. I enjoy it at the end of the process. But this is work! :)
A lady at my church stopped talking to me because I didn't invite her over to watch me make cakes. Really.
That is so ridiculous! Where do people get off. I never knew how truly idiotic people were until I started this business.
I am involved in my church and people were asking all the time if I can tech them. So, during summer time I tought 2 lessons on how to do gumpaste flowers. By the end of the second lesson people were saying "that's a lot of work" and "I dont have the patience to do this" :) So, no one asks anymore, because they all remember the work they had to put in :)
On the other hand, I was one of those people few years ago, asking if I can help someone so that I can learn. But I asked a lady from another town about 100 miles away. Basically, I came and worked in her shop and learned as I worked. She didn't pay me, I worked in exchange for learning. But her being out of town I was not her competition, so it worked out well for both of us.
"Can you fix my computer?"
This flowchart is surprisingly accurate: http://xkcd.com/627/
ha ha I used to get the same until I started saying "are you sure you want me to find out which websites did this to your computer?" [quizzical knowing look]
Or point them in the direction of a local cake decorating group, if there is one.
Just bumped into your page... Listen I bake from home, and I agree with everyone who wrote.. Everyone wants to be a baker, a decorator, etc. but they want it for free. But as some batter cake said.. $31,000 and up depending on the school and the amount of years. Once they hear this, their desire to bake will end.. Or just post somewhere in your surrounding that everyone could read. I am not a teacher this is the name and phone number to the baking school please call. and end of that... Good Luck.
If the safe serv. doesn't work.. then just put the amount you paid to get to where you at in front of them, and then tell them how much you'll charge to teach them and watch they will start backing away. I discovered people just want to do what you do because it seem easy , but when they discover the time, and work that it takes. They'll be screming "oh no this is not for me, I don't have all that time."! . This should work.
A"Aw! Haha! If I ever need an apprentice, I'll let you know." Change the subject.