Please Help Me To Put My Thoughts Together Before Approaching The Ceo..

Business By TheItalianBaker Updated 22 Jul 2014 , 1:24am by Norasmom

TheItalianBaker Posted 20 Jul 2014 , 7:38pm
post #1 of 19

Hi everybody!

 

I don't know if I ever mention it but, beside working for a bakery, I work as pastry chef for a 4 diamond hotel downtown my city. This hotel belonge to a company that owns 3 more hotels around here and they have MANY weddings. Last year they had around 150 weddings in just ONE hotel!

 

So, after getting my business license and everything I want to approach the CEO and the executive Chef of the company and see if they want to have me as the preferred vendor. Since they already know me (it's 1year I've been working for them) I think I might have some good chances.

 

I checked their websites, they have packages but none of those include the wedding cake. Back in the days I asked why, a guy from the HR told me usually their chef don't know how to do it. 

So I could design 3/4 pretty standard cakes and try to include them in a package or work with the brides from time to time. Also I can make everything for dessert tables: cupcakes, cake pops, french macaracons, fudges. ..

 

As soon as I get brochures and business card I will approach the CEO and the exec. chef asking for a meeting. Should I propose to give them a commition or see what they say? 

Do we need to have a contract?

 

 

Any advice or thought to pur everything together would be great!

18 replies
Norasmom Posted 20 Jul 2014 , 8:25pm
post #2 of 19

Just make sure the executive chef and the CEO are the decision makers in the process. The CEO often signs off on things that others have decided upon as a good idea  The CEO is the final stamp but sometimes depends upon other sources for how the decision is made.   So make sure you spend your time efficiently and find out who will make this decision for the hotels.  That's the person you want to reach!  Could very well be the chef and the CEO, I don't know who you are dealing with. I think it's great that you have this potential for your business.  Hopefully there is someone else on here who has dealt with hotel weddings and knows what it entails.

As for the commission, not sure, but if you are an independent contractor they might ask for a bit of the income.  Good luck, let us know how it turns out!

TheItalianBaker Posted 20 Jul 2014 , 8:37pm
post #3 of 19

AWe actually have an exec. Chef for each hotel and an exec. Chef of all the company, I think I want to talk straight to him because it's a deal I want to make for all 4 hotels. I will approach soon the CEO asking for a meeting with her, the chef and who she thinks should be involved, I'll bring samplers as well.. Hope it will work, they are very interested in new ideas, usually! If they want a commission I will need to raise my prices, $3.50 for buttercream and $4.50 for fondant don't give me enough room for sharing profits..

MBalaska Posted 20 Jul 2014 , 8:50pm
post #4 of 19

Quote:

Originally Posted by TheItalianBaker 

"....I will approach soon the CEO asking for a meeting with her, the chef and who she thinks should be involved, I'll bring samplers as well....."
 

 

Best of Luck to you!  It's always butterflies in the stomach for such events, but great things may result.  Keep positive thoughts knowing that many of us will be cheering for you.

mb

CoutureCake Posted 20 Jul 2014 , 9:18pm
post #5 of 19

IMO - follow the mantra "The toes you step on today may be connected to the __arm__ you have to kiss tomorrow"...  There's an order and a process for everything in the borg, you need to follow it up the ranks and know the corporate culture and good 'ole boy rankings before you do.  Even if you've been working there a year, that doesn't mean you've built up the seniority yet.  It's one thing if you approached them as an outside vendor to become a preferred vendor, in which case you keep the business matters separate than what you're doing now.  Yes, you could have a contract with them that includes a kickback to them for doing so, but do you REALLY want to, this could be a PITA waiting to happen.  And, you have to work out scenarios like what happens when - your base costs of doing business goes up and you're locked into a contract.  Or you have a gigantic order that is your dream order, and you've got four brides that same weekend from those hotels.  Or you want to go out of town on a particular week and they've got three weddings booked for your cake.   You've got to be business savvy and realize are you ready for that level of commitment as well.  It's one thing to be listed as a vendor on their paperwork, it's another to be locked into a contract for all the brides...

-K8memphis Posted 20 Jul 2014 , 9:51pm
post #6 of 19

Aidk - how many ducks are in your row -- are you at this point able to assure them that you can handle the potential load you're taking on? or are you starting out with employees where you can show them you will be up to the task right out the gate--

I mean it sounds great but are you a little premature? if they threw you half their brides and half of them booked you'd be in for 3 cakes a week give or take -- which is not bad but if you wanted to do some off the street cakes you're gonna need help--

I think I'd get myself open, and established and have things under control-- or just do one hotel at a time -- first of all I'd check w/whosoever does the consults and ask them about the process -- maybe they could just put you on the pv list right now -- let it roll for a while get some great references then go seal the big deal --

but the way best of the best to you-

p s -- if they have a pchef they should be doing their own cakes

TheItalianBaker Posted 20 Jul 2014 , 10:13pm
post #7 of 19

A

Original message sent by -K8memphis

idk - how many ducks are in your row -- are you at this point able to assure them that you can handle the potential load you're taking on? or are you starting out with employees where you can show them you will be up to the task right out the gate--

I mean it sounds great but are you a little premature? if they threw you half their brides and half of them booked you'd be in for 3 cakes a week give or take -- which is not bad but if you wanted to do some off the street cakes you're gonna need help--

I think I'd get myself open, and established and have things under control-- or just do one hotel at a time -- first of all I'd check w/whosoever does the consults and ask them about the process -- maybe they could just put you on the pv list right now -- let it roll for a while get some great references then go seal the big deal --

but the way best of the best to you-

p s -- if they have a pchef they should be doing their own cakes

Totally right, but I also was thinking not all the brides might want to go with me. There are several bakeries in town, I think many brides usually get their cake outside the hotel, that's why they are not offering the service now. They might have already a list of vendors, so I could just be added. I will discuss about it too.. I can handle only few orders a week, let's say 3 big orders, after that I will need help, no doubt!

I've been working for several restaurants and this hotel in the last year, they all buy frozen desserts, especially for big events/parties, I only make desserts for small events and for the restaurant! It's not convenient for them to have me working for many hours when they can have a medium good product for less

-K8memphis Posted 20 Jul 2014 , 10:29pm
post #8 of 19

so their diamonds are for lodging not food huh --

 

but man this is a great potentiality for you -- i'd just get my ball rolling and see how it goes -- but like you said i'd definitely get a handful of popular designs in a nice compact portfolio and just punt it to the wedding coordinator -- where the bride can just pick the color and flavor - no substitutions -- stuff you can just pop out--nothing like keeping your rent paid easy peasy -- this could be a significant opportunity for you -- but also be careful about not overlapping your current responsibilities -- some places get ticky about that --

 

best to you!

 

*:-)/\:-) high five

Norasmom Posted 21 Jul 2014 , 1:13am
post #9 of 19

I got married at an awesome, schmantzy hotel but I did not use their baker, and they had one.  The cakes looked and tasted blahhhh, and to boot, were a bit more pricey than the cake I ordered to have delivered.   Maybe if they object you can ask to consult with a bride or two (or more), get the bride to speak on your behalf, and then you will have even more of a reference point.   It takes persistence, you might not get an agreement off the bat, it might take you another year to make your inroads.  Be prepared ahead of time for responses to possible questions, such as, "you're not experienced enough, how do we know you will do what you promised, we already have bakeries in the area we suggest, we want half,"  e.t.c. If you want it badly enough, though, stay the course.  :-D  I just took a position in sales and I'm about to spend all day everyday getting CEO's to use my company's services.  Totally nervous but I'm going for it!

TheItalianBaker Posted 21 Jul 2014 , 2:06am
post #10 of 19

A

Original message sent by Norasmom

I got married at an awesome, schmantzy hotel but I did not use their baker, and they had one.  The cakes looked and tasted blahhhh, and to boot, were a bit more pricey than the cake I ordered to have delivered.   Maybe if they object you can ask to consult with a bride or two (or more), get the bride to speak on your behalf, and then you will have even more of a reference point.   It takes persistence, you might not get an agreement off the bat, it might take you another year to make your inroads.  Be prepared ahead of time for responses to possible questions, such as, "you're not experienced enough, how do we know you will do what you promised, we already have bakeries in the area we suggest, we want half,"  e.t.c. If you want it badly enough, though, stay the course.  :D   I just took a position in sales and I'm about to spend all day everyday getting CEO's to use my company's services.  Totally nervous but I'm going for it!

I'm writing everything down so I can be ready!! I think will be more convenient for me to have them include a cake in a wedding package, maybe 5 different design, colors and flavors to pick. Updates on request and charged on the side. Cake tasting included!

Who knows, let's see what happens..

Good luck to you for your new position! What kind of service does your company offer?

MimiFix Posted 21 Jul 2014 , 12:31pm
post #11 of 19
Originally Posted by CoutureCake 
 

There's an order and a process for everything in the borg, you need to follow it up the ranks and know the corporate culture and good 'ole boy rankings before you do.

 

There's a chain of command. Not following it automatically puts you on the kill list. It lets them know you're not ready. I understand your enthusiasm and the idea has potential but IMO you're moving too fast.

TheItalianBaker Posted 21 Jul 2014 , 1:22pm
post #12 of 19

Quote:

Originally Posted by MimiFix 
 

 

There's a chain of command. Not following it automatically puts you on the kill list. It lets them know you're not ready. I understand your enthusiasm and the idea has potential but IMO you're moving too fast.

True but the hotel I work for hosts conferences and company parties mostly. I think I saw only 2-3 weddings in 1 year, so the exec. chef of this hotel might not be interested (I'm very sure about it, he is very old style, doesn't like changing..).

The exec. chef of the company has a global vision and the CEO knows for sure what's the agreement for the wedding planner service they offer (just to mention one).

I feel I need to know how they work with other people, I don't want to have a meeting where they ask a commission of 30% and I don't know what to say!

JWinslow Posted 21 Jul 2014 , 1:28pm
post #13 of 19

Quote:

Originally Posted by MimiFix 
 

 

There's a chain of command. Not following it automatically puts you on the kill list. It lets them know you're not ready. I understand your enthusiasm and the idea has potential but IMO you're moving too fast.

 

Agreed Mimi.  There is always a chain of command and it needs to be respected no matter the type of company.  When you are ready, make sure you present your ideas with how this will benefit their bottom line and how your business can achieve this.

thecakewitch Posted 21 Jul 2014 , 4:46pm
post #14 of 19

If the OP wants to be on the preferred vendor list, shouldn't she contact the event coordinator or the FB manager instead of the EC or CEO? They're the ones who meet with the brides not the CEO. And she doesn't need to get into a contract with the hotel. Although personally I won't do this myself since I'm still their employee. Just doesn't sit well with me.

-K8memphis Posted 21 Jul 2014 , 4:52pm
post #15 of 19

Quote:

Originally Posted by thecakewitch 
 

If the OP wants to be on the preferred vendor list, shouldn't she contact the event coordinator or the FB manager instead of the EC or CEO? They're the ones who meet with the brides not the CEO. And she doesn't need to get into a contract with the hotel. Although personally I won't do this myself since I'm still their employee. Just doesn't sit well with me.

 

yes -- cart before the horse seems like

-K8memphis Posted 21 Jul 2014 , 4:55pm
post #16 of 19

they should not be asking for any commission because you don't let them ask for any -- you sell for what you sell for -- if they upcharge it on their end so be it --

MimiFix Posted 21 Jul 2014 , 7:21pm
post #17 of 19

Originally Posted by JWinslow 

 

There is always a chain of command and it needs to be respected no matter the type of company.  When you are ready, make sure you present your ideas with how this will benefit their bottom line and how your business can achieve this.

 

Originally Posted by thecakewitch 
 

If the OP wants to be on the preferred vendor list, shouldn't she contact the event coordinator or the FB manager instead of the EC or CEO? They're the ones who meet with the brides not the CEO. And she doesn't need to get into a contract with the hotel. Although personally I won't do this myself since I'm still their employee. Just doesn't sit well with me.

 

Originally Posted by -K8memphis 
 

yes -- cart before the horse seems like

 

they should not be asking for any commission because you don't let them ask for any -- you sell for what you sell for -- if they upcharge it on their end so be it --

 

OP - I know the above points are not what you want to hear, but I hope you're able to listen (and incorporate) this feedback. Best of luck.
TheItalianBaker Posted 21 Jul 2014 , 10:59pm
post #18 of 19

AI will! I have a couple of weeks to go so I'm going to double check Who I need to talk too without get anybody upset :)

Norasmom Posted 22 Jul 2014 , 1:24am
post #19 of 19

Italianbaker-  I am going into sales for a  meeting-procurement company.  It's business-to-business, I will be streamlining the hotel room rental process for corporations, companies and organizations of all sizes.   Took me awhile (and some connecting to people) to find the right company to work for doing a job I knew I would be successful at, but I found it!  The job I had previous to having my daughter was amazing, so I needed a company that could replicate the scenario.  Not an exact replica, but close enough.  

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