I'm going to start charging for tastings

Business By LoveMeSomeCake615 Updated 12 Feb 2014 , 3:04pm by SweetShop5

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 11 Feb 2014 , 6:16pm
post #1 of 9

So this isn't a question, just a vent sort of thing.


Since we closed our storefront and are doing cakes out of our home now (under cottage food law, don't have a cow :P


I've tried to give them as much pricing info as possible ahead of time when they initially contact us, I even do the math for them, give them a quote for basic, and then say "If this sounds like it would work in your budget, we can go ahead and set up a time to meet for a tasting!" In other words, if you're going to be cheap, PLEASE don't waste my time! They go ahead and schedule a tasting, and then I send them the quote that is usually only a little bit more than the ballpark I gave them, sometimes it's the EXACT same as the ballpark, and I get "We found another vendor who will do it for cheaper." :-x


So, I'm done giving away cupcakes and my time. In the past we have charged $25 for the "bride's choice" tasting, but that's going to be the fee for all tastings now. If they book with us, I will apply the fee to the cost of their cake, because I'm nice like that. :wink:


Since we have scaled our business back anyway, it's just not worth it to me to do this stuff for free anymore.


/End rant

8 replies
costumeczar Posted 11 Feb 2014 , 6:19pm
post #2 of 9

I just started doing group tastings for free, and individual tastings for a fee, and The first four people who scheduled paid tastings booked with me. I don't think that it's an unusual thing anymore since more people are charging.

Sweet Traders Posted 12 Feb 2014 , 1:06am
post #3 of 9

We also just recently started charging for tastings. Feel as though it helps weed out the more serious clients as oppose to the ones that try every cake vendor in the area : )

FromScratchSF Posted 12 Feb 2014 , 2:40am
post #4 of 9

I started charging for tastings last year.  Brides think because a dude put a ring on their finger it means they get to eat free cake everywhere with no intention of being an actual customer, they just want the experience for their special day.  That works for brick and mortar bakeries, I guess, that have cake laying around or freezer space to freeze those tasting samples, but I don't, so I guess I'll never know if I lost business because of it.  But I do know that if someone paid me for their tasting it at least covers the cost of the product I'm giving away and rules out those looking for the "tasting experience".  The final straw was a "free tastings" with someone looking for a cake for 25 that have already put down non-refundable deposit at another bakery but just wanted to "make sure" giggle giggle.  Uh, great.  Thanks.  That's awesome.  So I now will also only meet with people needing 100 servings.


I personally hope the industry starts turning around with this as a whole and starts charging for tastings.  

AivaCake Posted 12 Feb 2014 , 3:05am
post #5 of 9

The first cake tasting I ever did was free and it was the last, for a reason.  That stuff is HARD WORK.  I offer the brides 5 cake flavors of their choosing, along with fillings and buttercream flavors, for up to 3 people for $50.  I've never had a complaint.  I've seen lots of people on facebook talk about "bakery hopping" for cake tastings because it is free.  Hell, I've even seen facebook posts from either cakecentral or mycakeschool asking about cake tastings and I was SHOCKED at how many people said theirs was free or it was rolled into the cake price.  To me, its an order.  Its 3-5 different small cakes you're having to bake individually, so why wouldn't you charge for it?  I'm integrating a new "Cake tasting Sunday" once a month where I block 4 hours  for 4 brides to come back to back for an hour long consultation and tasting so that I am not trying to schedule out all these different taste testings while pushing out all these orders.  But I still charge the same amount.  Its worked out pretty well and the response has been really good, too.  If I had a freezer full of cake scraps that I could offer as tasting cakes, I'd probably give it free, too LOL.

LoveMeSomeCake615 Posted 12 Feb 2014 , 1:56pm
post #6 of 9

That makes sense! I would love to be able to do a group tasting and get it all done at once, but I don't think it would work right now, especially since I have to meet at Starbucks. Maybe someday!


That's what I'm hoping it will do for us too! It's not even the money so much as it is the time I am taking out of my schedule, when I could be home relaxing after a full day of work. I understand that not everyone I have a tasting with will book, but when they are going elsewhere b/c of price when I TOLD them what the price would be before we met...GRRR


Wow, asking for a tasting when they have already put a deposit down elsewhere?? How lovely! :-t  

I'm hoping the industry will change in this regard too. A lot of cakers in my area have always done free tastings, which is why we have hesitated up till now. We didn't want to be the only ones charging for them, but I honestly don't care anymore. If people are turned off by having to pay, they can go elsewhere.


Yes! Absolutely.

AZCouture Posted 12 Feb 2014 , 2:43pm
post #7 of 9

AYep, group tastings. I see that is catching on, and it's a great thing for your sanity. And your time! Oh the time it saves you! Especially if you realize that one or two people may have flaked on the group tasting, and it doesn't even faze you. Phase? Phaze? Whatever. But those same people flaking on individual tastings? Grrrrrr!

costumeczar Posted 12 Feb 2014 , 2:46pm
post #8 of 9

If you don't have a storefront or  an office location, you might be able to partner with a rental company that has a showroom and have the tasting there.

SweetShop5 Posted 12 Feb 2014 , 3:04pm
post #9 of 9

I charged 20$ for my first tasting but now I charge 25$ for a tasting, with the choice of 3 flavours and 3 icings.

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