Customer Collecting Cake From Home Business

Business By kazbur Updated 3 Jun 2014 , 9:45am by kazbur

kazbur Posted 27 May 2014 , 1:40pm
post #1 of 18

Hey all, 

 

I'm pretty sure I've read posts on this before, maybe I'm not searching with the right terms! 

 

I have a client who is travelling an hour to collect a cake. Since we live in the mountains about 4km from the nearest town, I generally meet people at a meeting point close to town to do a handover. I also don't really want people showing up at my house - A, I'm probably busy, and B, I have children, which means unless I bind and gag said children, the house will be strewn with child debris. 

 

This girl will NOT give me a time and insists on coming to collect the cake. I have said several times, I need a time because I have other commitments. The answer is, oh, we're driving an hour so we want time to see the town, etc. Will you be home in the evening? Well, maybe, maybe not! I have a family, it's the weekend, we want to DO stuff, not sit around waiting for her to finish faffing about town. Especially if children are bound and gagged until she arrives, ha!

 

What do you do with an annoying customer who refuses to be pinned down to a time and place? And if you run a business from home, where does the handover usually take place? 

 

I've also asked for her telephone number, which she ignores. It takes days for her to answer emails, and when she does, the answer is always vague. Annoying! 

 

Thank you!! 

17 replies
lcubed83 Posted 27 May 2014 , 1:45pm
post #2 of 18

Send an email stating a one-hour period that you will dedicate to being at home, ready for her.  Just because you are at home doesn't mean you don't have "shop hours."

 

I'm not a pro, so will be interested in other answers.

cakebaby2 Posted 27 May 2014 , 1:56pm
post #3 of 18

since she is persistently vague and rather rude I'd give her a window of time that you'll be there for her convenience. As a matter of interest has she paid for the cake yet?

kazbur Posted 27 May 2014 , 2:04pm
post #4 of 18

She's paid a deposit, balance on delivery. I just resent that she wants to come to the house at all - and I'm sure she finds that odd - am I hiding something? Well actually yes, ha! My house is presentable, but on a weekend with the children around? Forgeddit... it means everything needs to be kept clean and tidy all day *gasp*

kkmcmahan Posted 27 May 2014 , 2:21pm
post #5 of 18

I would just explain that it is your policy to not have cake picked up directly from your home as it interferes with the family life.  Then give her a time, asking if it will work for her, if she doesn't respond you assume that time is satisfactory.  If she does not show then the cake can be donated with the deposit not refunded.  This would be a good reason for her to give you her phone number so if she is running late you can contact her.  It would probably be best not to take an order and deposit without a contact number as something could always come up with you as well.

 

All this being said...I don't sell cakes at this time but this is how I would manage it.  Good luck.

cakebaby2 Posted 27 May 2014 , 2:23pm
post #6 of 18

Thats the annoying thing about working from home. I am a homebased florist and I have the same issues so I keep a small room at the front of the house as my shop for dealing with clients, kids not allowed!

I suppose food based products cause a different headache.

aprildaisy Posted 27 May 2014 , 2:47pm
post #7 of 18

I don't see why your house needs to be neat. You live there, you have kids, it should be understood that orderly doesn't happen on the weekends. Also, sometimes I look at these "frustrations" as part of the bigger picture. Like maybe you need to be home that evening instead of out and about. Sometimes we learn the "why", sometimes we don't. 

 

If you do have commitments and are on a schedule, yes...giving an set window is a good thing. 

Norasmom Posted 27 May 2014 , 3:00pm
post #8 of 18

Is she coming into the house directly?  Just bring the cake to your front door, that is what I do.  And firmly tell her when you will be home.  If she wants to see the town then she can do that at another time, as she is there to pick up a cake.  I find her attitude downright flaky and it would annoy me to no end.

cakebaby2 Posted 27 May 2014 , 3:06pm
post #9 of 18

Quote:

Originally Posted by Norasmom 
 

Is she coming into the house directly?  Just bring the cake to your front door, that is what I do.  And firmly tell her when you will be home.  If she wants to see the town then she can do that at another time, as she is there to pick up a cake.  I find her attitude downright flaky and it would annoy me to no end.

exactly, have it boxed up and sitting at the front door.

kazbur Posted 27 May 2014 , 5:36pm
post #10 of 18

Oh, I don't know why I imagined she would have to come into the house! I can easily keep upstairs by the front door tidy :) Our house is open plan, you can see downstairs to the living area as soon as you're at the front door. In the end she got back to me, since I said she would have to let me know as soon as possible a time. I also said if I had to go out I would take the cake with me and meet her at the agreed time, and she's fine with that. Normally we would be home all weekend, but this weekend my hubby is home (is rare at the weekend!) and we will probably be out having family time... 

 

Thanks everyone. I was just frustrated today. I also got her telephone number... eventually. 

 

Having a bad day with customers. I had a 'friend' invite me to her children's birthday party, so could she order a cake instead of me bringing presents. Nothing elaborate you understand, just two figures and for 40 people. I emailed and said I'd be happy to deduct what I would spend on gifts, but that she would have to pay for the rest of the cake, and it wasn't going to be cheap. I'm appalled that she even asked. We're not even really friends!! She hasn't even responded, but I'm expecting a big fat no. I wouldn't feel good about making it for her anyway. 

 

Love the decorating. Not so sure about the people :) 

thecakewitch Posted 27 May 2014 , 5:44pm
post #11 of 18

AI do not understand why you let her do this to you. It's your business, you make the rules.

kazbur Posted 27 May 2014 , 5:57pm
post #12 of 18

Who? The 'friend' or the client who wouldn't set a time? Either way neither did anything to me. I set the 'friend' straight, and the client has agreed to a time and place that suit me. I just wondered what other people did in relation to collection at home, and vent my frustration. 

 

I just thought though, I don't actually think the client was being rude - English is not her first language, and there are probably cultural differences too... 

cupadeecakes Posted 27 May 2014 , 6:30pm
post #13 of 18

I have a dedicated kitchen built on to my house, and when I had more pick-ups, I found that people would string me along all day long if I let them.  Now for the few pickups I do have on Saturdays, I inform them that all pickups must be made my Noon.  I tell them we close the business at Noon because that is when we begin wedding cake deliveries.  Sometimes that's the truth, sometimes not.  But those are still the rules.

 

I do make my clients pay for the entire cake prior to pickup, so I think that makes a big difference.  If they don't show, I can go about my merry day with a paycheck instead to letting the customer keep me at home holding the remainder of the payment as ransom.  That's the best thing I have done actually, I had a lady show up 30 minutes late on Saturday (still got there at 11:30) and she was sweating it.  First one I have had be more than a few minutes late in a while.  People tend not to remember better when they've paid.

kazbur Posted 27 May 2014 , 6:54pm
post #14 of 18

AGreat ideas Cupadee. I'll do that in future.... get payment up front and state a time right at the ordering stage. I need to toughen up. Though to be fair I took this order months ago. I started getting full payment right after this one. I have yet to persuade my husband to let me convert our garage to a kitchen but I'm working on it :)

MBalaska Posted 27 May 2014 , 7:26pm
post #15 of 18

Put the cake in the car, as though you were going to deliver it normally (not in the house).

kvand Posted 3 Jun 2014 , 6:42am
post #16 of 18

I run a legal home based cakery.  I book half hour pick up appointments and am very clear that I have another appointment after theirs and if they are late they will need to reschedule.  I generally take payment in full prior to any orders (unless I know them or am making an exception) I find people are very motivated to show up on time if they have paid for something and know I will not be available once their appointment is over.   Once in a while if someone doesn't show I will call them and advise I am headed out for a delivery (sometimes I am and sometimes its a delivery of my kids to the park or beach or.... ) and will be available again as ____ time.  usually their response is I will be there in 5... im so sorry! If I am having a particularly busy pick up day I will book a 1-2 hour block of pickups and schedule people in 15 min increments.  Once in a while they all show up at the same time but usually it all works out that there is a revolving door of people coming and going for an hour or so and then I am done for the day.

 

There is a sign in my yard for my business that states "by appointment only" and I do not have my address on my website as I don't need any one randomly show up to "look at my cakes".  I have had people call be for and ask where I'm located because they want to pop by and see my shop. ugh! 

 

Good Luck! Remember money is the best motivator for most!

cakebaby2 Posted 3 Jun 2014 , 8:46am
post #17 of 18

Quote:

Originally Posted by kvand 
 

I run a legal home based cakery.  I book half hour pick up appointments and am very clear that I have another appointment after theirs and if they are late they will need to reschedule.  I generally take payment in full prior to any orders (unless I know them or am making an exception) I find people are very motivated to show up on time if they have paid for something and know I will not be available once their appointment is over.   Once in a while if someone doesn't show I will call them and advise I am headed out for a delivery (sometimes I am and sometimes its a delivery of my kids to the park or beach or.... ) and will be available again as ____ time.  usually their response is I will be there in 5... im so sorry! If I am having a particularly busy pick up day I will book a 1-2 hour block of pickups and schedule people in 15 min increments.  Once in a while they all show up at the same time but usually it all works out that there is a revolving door of people coming and going for an hour or so and then I am done for the day.

 

There is a sign in my yard for my business that states "by appointment only" and I do not have my address on my website as I don't need any one randomly show up to "look at my cakes".  I have had people call be for and ask where I'm located because they want to pop by and see my shop. ugh! 

 

Good Luck! Remember money is the best motivator for most!

I think this could be the problem with some websites, people assume a bakery is a shop that they can browse in.

We have a few really beautiful high end bakeries in my area where people do window shop and browse before making appointments to order a particular cake.

Customers like to see the environment that a cake (or any food product) is being made and if its not clear that you are making it in your home kitchen they may assume you have an actual shop?

kazbur Posted 3 Jun 2014 , 9:45am
post #18 of 18

Yes, I thought that in the end. Though it does say on my website that I'm home-based. It turns out she was just unfamiliar with our town, and her first language is not English, hence she might have seemed rude because of that. In the end I met her in town, which suited us both, and she was the loveliest girl, ha! Thanks everyone. I will be making appointments in future if it crops up again. I'm sure it will! 

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