Cake Tasting Becoming Ridiculous Or Am I Doing Something Wrong?

Decorating By nosh Updated 17 Mar 2014 , 7:20am by nosh

nosh Posted 14 Mar 2014 , 6:14pm
post #1 of 16

AHEY ALL TODAY I LOST A NICE WEDDING CAKE ORDER BECAUSE MY CAKE TASTING WAS APPARENTLY TOO EXPENSIVE. I FIND THAT BRIDES TAKE MUCH ADVANTAGE OF THESE CAKE TASTING SESSIONS, AT TIMES I DONT GET A RESPONSE FROM THESE POTENTIAL CLIENTS. ITS AS IF THEY JUST WANT MY IDEAS AND ADVICE - WELL MOST OF THE TIMES THERE ARE POSITIVE COMEBACKS AND ORDERS ARE THEN PLACED WITH ME, BUT ITS SO FRUSTRATING WHEN I REALLY PUT ALOT OF EFFORT INTO IT AND END UP LOSING THE CLIENT. IS MY SYSTEM WRONG? I CAN`t think of any other way in which to do this, please help!

15 replies
Godot Posted 14 Mar 2014 , 6:25pm
post #2 of 16

AHAVE NO IDEA IF YOUR SYSTEM IS WRONG OR NOT BECAUSE I DON'T KNOW HOW YOU ARRANGE YOUR CONSULTATIONS.

natt12321 Posted 14 Mar 2014 , 6:44pm
post #3 of 16

Quote:

Originally Posted by Godot 

HAVE NO IDEA IF YOUR SYSTEM IS WRONG OR NOT BECAUSE I DON'T KNOW HOW YOU ARRANGE YOUR CONSULTATIONS.

 

Sorry, the fact you put that in ALL CAPS made me laugh so much!!

Back on topic though, OP we can't say you are doing anything wrong because you haven't actually said what you are doing.

DeniseNH Posted 14 Mar 2014 , 6:52pm
post #4 of 16

How many stores do you visit before you buy that wide screen TV you've always wanted?  Several, I bet.  Do you gain knowledge with each store visit as you talk to the customer service person - you bet.  These poor couples have never gotten married before - on the large part - and they're doing the same thing.  Shopping, figuring out what's best for their special day and which decorator they feel comfortable with.  Maybe you're trying too hard and scaring them away.  Relax, be real and sincere - they'll love you for that and rely on you to do the best cake ever for them.  P.S. my taste tests are free and I can count on one hand how many I've lost over the years. 

morganchampagne Posted 14 Mar 2014 , 7:43pm
post #5 of 16

AIt sounds like you're saying you book most of them but some never come back?

nosh Posted 14 Mar 2014 , 7:53pm
post #6 of 16

AThanks for responding guys. ok let me explain my system lol, the cake tasting session is aleays the first face to face encounter I have with the couples. I offer 4 different and cake flavours and I design each cake uniquely trying to, at the same time, show off my decorating or creativity, so to speak. Sometimes couples bring along friends or family members to help them along, I dont mind this at all. I become frustrated when the cakes are so to speak, finished off, and I could see they were really enjoying it, then they would ask for more flavours and so on...but in the first place they agreed to just testing 4 flavours. do you think I offer töo little flavours? Or should I not offer cake tasting on the first consultation, I only do thios to save the couple from having to pay a consultation f€ and then later on, an additional cake tasting fee. Or maybe I should not charge for cake tasting but I rea£y cant afford that yet, this is our only source of income, with my husband being unemployed and a baby on the way, it aint easy guys. Please help with some sound advice.

morganchampagne Posted 14 Mar 2014 , 8:01pm
post #7 of 16

AI don't hold tastings, so I can't offer you any advice on those. From what I've read though.. you should limit the amount of guests to 3.

4 flavors is more than enough.

Definitely continue to charge for tastings

DeniseNH Posted 14 Mar 2014 , 8:04pm
post #8 of 16

Oh, ok, so you don't participate in bridal fairs?  Why not combine the consultation with the taste test.  That's what I do.  One meeting - and if they don't put down a deposit right away then let them know you'll hold their date for one week then it opens up to other customers.  Spend one hour to an hour and a half with them but that's it.  Two things you said raise red flags in my head.  You said you're pregnant.  We all know how little sleep new moms get so if I was a bride I too would think hard about booking you for my wedding - because your heart will be with your baby - as it should be.  Secondly, you said your husband is unemployed, so you may be coming off as really needing this order and like I said in my former post.................try to relax and have fun at the consultation.

kakeladi Posted 14 Mar 2014 , 8:37pm
post #9 of 16

I found consults/tastings would go well about 80-90% of the time.

I did not charge but would offer just 3 flavors, in small bite sized pieces. These were usually 1x2x2 -  half of a usual wedding size serving. .  They are not there to eat dessert - just to taste your cake.  Many times these people have already attended an affair where my cake had been served - be it a party, wedding or bridal fair so they know basically how good the cake is.

I started using the bite sized pieces after throwing out most of a slice.  They would take just a tiny bite anyway & I'd have to throw out the rest.

Before that I offered *1* 6"x3" decorated cake that they could take home - it could be two different flavors.  But sometimes many would want another flavor that was not the usual so I went to the 3 pieces.  It was basically just a way of promoting different flavors that I offered like Butter Pecan or Almond or Lemon Swirl

nosh Posted 14 Mar 2014 , 9:02pm
post #10 of 16

AWow you guys are so honest and I love it! one question to the Morgan person though, how do you manage without offering cake tasting....wow I envy you (laughing). And to the other response, yip I think I will try the bite sizes and I will have to limit the amount of guests!! And most importantly yes, I am pregnant and of course as motherhood kicks in, my baby will be my first priority...and I will try and come across a bit more subtle. Maybe desparation played a big part in this. People, I love and appreciate all the tips and advice.....and I don`t feel judged! Happy baking everyone, well its night time where I am, beta get some shut eye.

morganchampagne Posted 14 Mar 2014 , 9:14pm
post #11 of 16

AYou know, I don't know lol. Ive never offered them and I've only had one person ask. I offer consultations for weddings though..I'll meet with ppl. Most of my customers have had the cake at other events...

Beckalita Posted 16 Mar 2014 , 10:02pm
post #12 of 16

I (and some other decorators I know) deduct the cost of the tasting if the event cake is booked through you within a set amount of time after the tasting.  Gives them a little incentive to book with you, and you aren't doing free tastings for people who have no intention of booking with you. 

DeniseNH Posted 16 Mar 2014 , 10:07pm
post #13 of 16

Just after I posted my brag about only having a handful of walk-aways................I had two back to back consultations that both walked away without putting a deposit down.:-)   One is for next year so I was their first taste test and the other has a death grip on her pocketbook.  Time will tell.  Then again it was a full moon.  :-)

Apti Posted 16 Mar 2014 , 10:56pm
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by nosh 

...the cake tasting session is aleays the first face to face encounter I have with the couples. I offer 4 different and cake flavours and I design each cake uniquely trying to, at the same time, show off my decorating or creativity, so to speak.
You should have photos or styrofoam dummies as examples of your decorating skills, not a custom-decorated cake for a cake "tasting".    There are a ton of examples of cake tasting formats online.  Choose one that wastes the LEAST AMOUNT OF TIME.
Sometimes couples bring along friends or family members to help them along, I dont mind this at all. I become frustrated when the cakes are so to speak, finished off, and I could see they were really enjoying it, then they would ask for more flavours and so on...but in the first place they agreed to just testing 4 flavours.
Provide written and verbal instructions for cake tastings.  Stipulate the cost, if any, the maximum length of time, the 4 flavors, and HOW MANY people can attend.  IF they want additional flavors, tell them a custom flavor can be made in an 8" cake with minimal buttercream decoration for $XXXX.
do you think I offer töo little flavours? Or should I not offer cake tasting on the first consultation, I only do thios to save the couple from having to pay a consultation f€ and then later on, an additional cake tasting fee. Or maybe I should not charge for cake tasting but I rea£y cant afford that yet,
4 flavors and up to 4 people are reasonable.
this is our only source of income, with my husband being unemployed and a baby on the way, it aint easy guys. Please help with some sound advice.

This is probably 95% of your anxiety and concern.  You are trying to get every single consultation to sign on the dotted line because YOU are desperate for income.  Your potential customer doesn't care that this is your only source of income, nor should they.     IF you weren't in financial difficulties, and pregnant (what a combination!  You have my sympathy), your entire approach to all of this would be radically different.

 

Good luck (and welcome to the forum).

cakesbycathy Posted 17 Mar 2014 , 3:32am
post #15 of 16

Not to give you something else to stress about but.. do your clients know you are pregnant?  If they come for the tasting and discover you are expecting a baby they may choose not to book because they have concerns you will be able to do the cake.  Maybe it's a timing issue.  Your due date is close to the wedding date?

 

Keep in mind you there will always be people who will just be on the hunt for free cake or will not be able to afford you.  It doesn't mean you're doing anything wrong.

nosh Posted 17 Mar 2014 , 7:20am
post #16 of 16

AHey everyone! I`ve learnt so much about cake tasting in such a short time! Your thoughts and ideas and opinions are amazing, its not even necessary to do research haha! I appreciate every bit of advice that come through, honestly, you guys are so good! Well I still have a long way to go...Let me put on my cake baking armour!!!

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