Deliver Cake To Find Mother Of The Groom Has Made A Cake Too...what Do You Do?

Business By Snowflakebunny23 Updated 4 Jun 2014 , 7:36pm by SugaredSaffron

Snowflakebunny23 Posted 2 Jun 2014 , 4:11pm
post #1 of 22

Hi all,

Situation came up the other day which I'd appreciate some advice on - I'm not happy with the way I handled it (from a business point of view) but, not sure what else I could have done without causing potential arguements...

 

A bride ordered a cake from me a few months ago - all fine.  It was a beautiful, three-tier white cake in three sponge flavours.  It says in my contract that I must be the sole provider of cake for an event unless there is expressed written permission to say otherwise.  No worries.  Anyway, I got to the venue and the event manager tells me that another cake was made.  Apparently the grooms gran doesn't like sponge, so the MoG decided to make a fruit cake for him.  So I went to see it and, well, it looked horrific (think lumpy in the extreme, curved, very cheap store-bought spray of roses).  I did mention that it said in my contract that I was the only person to provide cake but the manager said she didn't think the Bride knew anything about this second cake.  Looking at them both together, there was no way that you could assume that the same person had made both cakes, so, on that basis, I didn't push more...and was kicking myself for it afterwards.   Can I ask what you would have done in this situation?  I didn't want to cause problems on the Brides big day (or get people talking about me for the wrong reasons!) but similarly, I am concerned about the maintaining the quality and integrity of my products.

 

Thoughts??

xx

21 replies
maisie73 Posted 2 Jun 2014 , 4:50pm
post #2 of 22

AHi snowflake bunny, tbh I don't know what else you could've done. If you'd insisted they remove it as per the contract it would've caused bad feeling. If you asked them to and they refused what could you have done? Taken the wedding cake away with you? I think you did the right thing for the bride and your reputation. :-)

maybenot Posted 2 Jun 2014 , 6:41pm
post #3 of 22

AI would have told the event manager to move the fruitcake to either the kitchen or to the table where the fruitcake-loverwas sitting. I would not have allowed it on the main cake table.

Carrie789 Posted 2 Jun 2014 , 7:13pm
post #4 of 22

While I agree that you would not want another cake competing with or being mistaken for one of yours, this is different. Whether the bride and groom are upset or love Granny's lumpy fruitcake, it is their business to decide. It is their wedding and their cake table. It could become one of their fondest or funniest memories. For you to have behaved any way other than you did would have caused unnecessary hurt feelings and made you look overbearing and petty. You did the right thing.

MBalaska Posted 2 Jun 2014 , 7:37pm
post #5 of 22

no business advice here, just an observation, that probably everyone attending the reception would know the situation.  Sometimes there's just no stopping people.  Sounds like you acted professionally.  The gifted cake will not be in the wedding photo, so all will be well.   One way to look at it, the old lady brought her own dessert, like she couldn't go one whole meal without it.

costumeczar Posted 2 Jun 2014 , 8:35pm
post #6 of 22

Sole provider clauses are pretty much impossible to enforce, unless you're willing to stay around until the beginning of the reception to monitor cake activity. If the catering manager hadn't said anything to you, or if Grandma showed up with her cake after you left, you probably wouldn't have known about the other cake at all.

 

A sole provider clause is like a relationship ultimatum...It's put out there to scare the other person, but unless you're willing to enforce it by walking out with your cake when you see another cake there, it's meaningless. Especially now, with the popularity of dessert buffets in addition to a wedding cake, it's just something that isn't worth worrying about. Most people at the reception either know what the situation is, or they don't care who made the cake and they wouldn't remember if they were told. The catering manager knows who made it, and the venues are the ones who send brides to you, so that's what's important in the long run.

kakeladi Posted 2 Jun 2014 , 11:59pm
post #7 of 22

I agree w/custumeczar.  I remember 2 similar times I delivered cakes. 1 time it was a home-made groom's cake and the other time it was Wal-Mart sheet cakes.   I still left my cake......I just could not not leave it.  What would I have done w/a 4 tier cake? :( 

AZCouture Posted 3 Jun 2014 , 5:57am
post #8 of 22

AYup. I ditched the sole provider clause I had in my contract a few years ago, for the reasons costume mentioned and because I'm just not that uppity about my cake. I know it's good, I know that whatever could get placed next to it that came from gramma [B]or[/B] the grocery store just ain't gonna get mistaken for mine, [B]by any reasonably thinking adult.[/B] Key words there, [B]reasonable adult.[/B]

I'd rather have a grand in my pocket for making a wedding cake, knowing full well that Gramma Ruth's ugly bundts will be flanking it, over not having a grand in my pocket.

AZCouture Posted 3 Jun 2014 , 6:01am
post #9 of 22

AI'm not saying everyone who enforces that clause is uppity, but that's the only thing I can think of anymore if I were to enforce it. I just don't care if someone confuses something else for mine, and I'm protected if there were any questions about food poisoning later and they went from vendor to vendor to track it down.

Nin55 Posted 3 Jun 2014 , 12:48pm
post #10 of 22

You took the higher road and avoided embarassing yourself and granny.

Snowflakebunny23 Posted 3 Jun 2014 , 1:26pm
post #11 of 22

Thanks for the feedback everyone.  It's true that it is next to impossible to enforce the sole cake clause but at least I hope it will minimise the chances of it cropping up.  I can't personally imagine anyone not liking sponge cake (especially when there are 3 flavors to choose from!) but there you go :grin:.

 

That said, some things never cease to amaze me - I dropped off/set up a cake at a venue two weeks ago in my home town and asked the manager for a signature to acknowledge the delivery and that everything was OK and she looked very confused...apparently this lady has never had to sign for a cake - ever!  And the venue have been doing weddings for as long as I can remember!

 

Thanks again x

maisie73 Posted 3 Jun 2014 , 1:29pm
post #12 of 22

AMost welcome. Do you feel better about it now?

Snowflakebunny23 Posted 3 Jun 2014 , 1:37pm
post #13 of 22

Better than I did, thank you :-)  It's mainly because there have been a lot of new cake people cropping up over the last few months in my area (I swear, I'm finding a new one every couple of days) and you never know if one of them may be the 'other baker'...I've heard mixed reviews and noticed that some are advertising cakes they made with dummies, getting orders only for the end product to look nothing like the respective design they bought.  Guess I'm a little paranoid as a result and don't want there to be any possible confusion!  Sorry, I just rambled somewhat!  Much happier now! xx

maisie73 Posted 3 Jun 2014 , 1:55pm
post #14 of 22

AHaha, don't apologise, just glad you feel better. :-)

costumeczar Posted 3 Jun 2014 , 2:54pm
post #15 of 22

Quote:

Originally Posted by Snowflakebunny23 
 

Better than I did, thank you :-)  It's mainly because there have been a lot of new cake people cropping up over the last few months in my area (I swear, I'm finding a new one every couple of days) and you never know if one of them may be the 'other baker'...I've heard mixed reviews and noticed that some are advertising cakes they made with dummies, getting orders only for the end product to look nothing like the respective design they bought.  Guess I'm a little paranoid as a result and don't want there to be any possible confusion!  Sorry, I just rambled somewhat!  Much happier now! xx

Oh yeah, that's happening everywhere...

 

As a side note, I never get anyone at a venue to sign for the cake, since they don't know what they're signing for anyway. Half the time it's only the catering staff there, so they wouldn't sign, and even if they did they could be signing for a cake that was completely wrong for all they know. I just take pictures to show the setup, it's more reliable for "evidence" of delivery. And if they put the cake in some weird area you can take a photo of that to show it's not your fault!

Snowflakebunny23 Posted 3 Jun 2014 , 3:08pm
post #16 of 22

Quote:

Originally Posted by costumeczar 
 

Oh yeah, that's happening everywhere...

 

As a side note, I never get anyone at a venue to sign for the cake, since they don't know what they're signing for anyway. Half the time it's only the catering staff there, so they wouldn't sign, and even if they did they could be signing for a cake that was completely wrong for all they know. I just take pictures to show the setup, it's more reliable for "evidence" of delivery. And if they put the cake in some weird area you can take a photo of that to show it's not your fault!

It really bugs me when people can't make a real cake as well as they can decorate a dummy - I feel so sorry for the people on the receiving end.

 

Really?  That's interesting :-)  I always get someone from the events team (usually the event manager/wedding planner, failing that, the chef) to look over the cake and check everything is ok.  I take the order form with me in case they ask - they have to give a time as well.  Guess it's no different to taking pictures (I do that too) but it gives me someone specifically to take responsibility should there be any comeback.  The woman the week before this delivery took about 5 minutes inspecting the cake from different angles - I half thought she was about to get out a magnifying glass! lol xx

costumeczar Posted 3 Jun 2014 , 3:14pm
post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Snowflakebunny23 
 

It really bugs me when people can't make a real cake as well as they can decorate a dummy - I feel so sorry for the people on the receiving end.

 

Really?  That's interesting :-)  I always get someone from the events team (usually the event manager/wedding planner, failing that, the chef) to look over the cake and check everything is ok.  I take the order form with me in case they ask - they have to give a time as well.  Guess it's no different to taking pictures (I do that too) but it gives me someone specifically to take responsibility should there be any comeback.  The woman the week before this delivery took about 5 minutes inspecting the cake from different angles - I half thought she was about to get out a magnifying glass! lol xx

Nobody around here would do that! I usually try to find the person who will be cutting the cake to tell them anything they need to know specifically about it, but for the most part nobody pays any attention to it as long as it shows up! Some venues are always so deserted when I get there that there is literally NOBODY there, or just one or two waiters who have no authority to sign for anything. More than once I've delivered cakes to venues where the place isn't even set up yet, and nobody is around at all. I remember one where I only knew for sure i was in the right place because there were boxes of tablecloths, etc with the bride's stuff in it, so I knew that they'd be there eventually to set up. More than once I've had to read the labels on the rental delivery boxes to make sure I was in the right place since nobody was there to answer questions. It's either like that, or everyone is running around like crazy like frantic psychopaths trying to set things up, and you just want to get out of their way.

Snowflakebunny23 Posted 3 Jun 2014 , 3:24pm
post #18 of 22

Hum, intriguing!  To be fair, I only started up the business a year ago so I'm probably just yet to come across it.  I limit my wedding cakes to 2 a week at the moment so have the time to do the deliveries maybe an hour or two before the start of the reception.  My first wedding cake was for a reception held in a museum...museum closed at 4 and the reception was at 5.30.  I was there about 5 and they were still lugging chairs around, one of which a bloke was carrying at chest hight, foot forward with chatting with another dude and it missed impaling the cake by about 5cm...after a mild heart-attack, I now try and set of after everything has been put in the right place if possible :-)

theresaf Posted 3 Jun 2014 , 8:33pm
post #19 of 22

It sure sounds like no one would confuse the two cakes but here's my 2cents thought:  Don't you think the person who made the cake would be telling everyone she made it!  Even during the course of the whole reception, people would come to know how the other lumpy cake came to be.  And they would say, isn't that sweet and silently think how much BETTER your cake looks! 

I'm not a pro but I say you did the right thing too!

Theresa

costumeczar Posted 3 Jun 2014 , 10:27pm
post #20 of 22

Quote:

Originally Posted by Snowflakebunny23 
 

Hum, intriguing!  To be fair, I only started up the business a year ago so I'm probably just yet to come across it.  I limit my wedding cakes to 2 a week at the moment so have the time to do the deliveries maybe an hour or two before the start of the reception.  My first wedding cake was for a reception held in a museum...museum closed at 4 and the reception was at 5.30.  I was there about 5 and they were still lugging chairs around, one of which a bloke was carrying at chest hight, foot forward with chatting with another dude and it missed impaling the cake by about 5cm...after a mild heart-attack, I now try and set of after everything has been put in the right place if possible :-)

I set up an hour and a half to two hours before, but that doesn't mean that anyone's there! Some people just leave everything unitl the last minute, or they don't bother to verify that the person who's supposed to set up will actually do so in the case of DIY wedding receptions. I always think of the bride walking into a naked room with no decorations up and everyone pointing fingers at each other.

superstar Posted 4 Jun 2014 , 1:39am
post #21 of 22

Place a sign on  the other cake table ' This cake was made by Granny with love!" LOL

I am sure it all worked out.

SugaredSaffron Posted 4 Jun 2014 , 7:36pm
post #22 of 22

I think you did the right thing too, and I don't get people to sign off on cakes. I think I did it once a couple of years ago but as long as someone with a bit of authority has seen it and I've got a photo of it set-up then I'm cool.

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