Ok, so yesterday was my second wedding fayre. I had 4 cakes on display, one of which was a super fragile piece (my avatar photo). I knew it was fragile and was completely prepared for a bit of accidental damage but having survived a 3-day cake show on display with thousands of people walking past, I figured that it should be fine for 4 hours when I am within 2 feet of it all the time. What happened totally shocked me. A family unit (including grand parents) came around and the little girl (I say little, she was about 12 years old) walked up to the cake and literally just took two fingers and pulled off a bit of the cage! No hesitation, nothing. Then, as if somewhat proud of herself, smiled, laughed and ran back to her parents who didn't so much as acknowledge me, let alone apologize - they laughed too! It was all 'over' in under a second and I didn't have time to react but I was totally shocked!! I know kids do stupid things but I cannot understand the parents' behavior. Thankfully, the damage was minimal as she chose to do it in a place which by change was re-enforced but it could have been a total disaster if she had literally done it a centimeter higher.
How do you all mitigate against this kind of thing? Do you use 'please don't touch' signs? I have some but always felt it was a little rude somehow, and I'm not sure people would heed the notice anyway?
Needed to vent this one a little as I still find the whole thing a bit much to get my head araound - I don't have kids yet but all the children I do know wouldn't dream of touching something like that - or rather their parents would have told them they mustn't. x
AHave you thought acrylic display cases for your most delicate cakes that are within reach of Jo-public take a look here http://www.wenbarplastics.co.uk/ I saw your avatar design at Birmingham if you remember there were do not touch notices all over the place so I don't think it is unreasonable or rude to use them.
Ooh, no, I hadn't thought of that, thanks for the suggestion! I like people being able to get up close to see it and the vast majority I think are very careful but the small minority can cause a lot of damage :-( I personally don't have a problem with don't touch signs but when mentioning it to friends, they seemed to take offense for some reason (like I was expecting them to be disrespectful and uncaring). Guess it's the difference between having been on the other side of the table! Thanks for the tip :-)
I'm so sorry this happened to your beautiful cake. I can't imagine a twelve year old with this lack of self restraint, nor can I fathom that the adults would think it funny.
It reminds me of a display cake I saw once in a grocery store that was too close to poking fingers. It was completely riddled with finger holes before they finally took it down.
AMaybe instead of just "do not touch", something like "Many hours of dedication went into creating this cake! PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH! It might help. I also find assassin type stares at anyone, of any age, who gets a bit too close for comfort, usually stops them in their tracks!
When I see something beautiful and fragile, I am not offended in the least by a "do not touch" sign, because I know not to touch it in the first place. What a classless 12-year old that was. I would have cried.
First off, those parents should be ashamed. Maybe they were and they covered it with laughing it off. However, these days, who knows? My 6 year old has more self control than that, and if she didn't she would have a hard time finding something to do while grounded....
Second. Either take cakes that aren't so fragile to these shows or make sure that you have some kind of risers behind you and put the fragile pieces back there. I do a few shows every year and I am the only baker out of quite a few that allows couples to get up close and personal with the cakes. Every other cake vendor has their cakes at the backdrop area on risers and then a table in front of the booth so no one can touch the cakes.
People are always touching my cakes, but I've never had anyone purposely break pieces off. Apparently I've been lucky, lol!
Hi. I'm a bit of a lurker here, and have never had cake displays at a show, but I agree with having very delicate cakes displayed behind a booth table and definitely a nicely worded sign detailing work and asking those not to touch. It's not rude, it's polite before things get ugly.
As far as the inappropriateness of the girl and her relatives, some feel it's perfectly fine to do something like that. What I might have done next would probably shock most and irritate others. I would have gone over to that laughing family and explained what their child did and ask how they would like to pay for the damages: Cash, check or credit card? I guarantee that A - they won't be laughing for long, and B - even if they didn't pay for the damage, they probably will be more conscientious with their child's actions in the future.
Just my 2 cents.
Haha :-) I'll have to get practicing!...
Thanks for the comments everyone. The tables generally that we have for stands around here aren't massive but I'll investigate options for putting the fragile ones on pedestals behind the table and things like that.
I was very tempted to be honest but didn't want to make a scene in front of the other brides. Had it been quiet, I probably would have done (after I got over the shock!). It's funny, in a shop you wouldn't necessarily expect anything less than to pay for the damage but for some reason, asking for payment would probably surprise people in this situation...
Thanks again all Happy caking x