Caterer Serving Cake

Business By roboray Updated 22 Mar 2015 , 10:09pm by indydebi

roboray Posted 16 Mar 2015 , 2:49pm
post #1 of 7

So...after a long weekend with a wedding that I did the cake for and I was also a guest for I need some input. 

I made the wedding cake and cupcakes for an out of town wedding. In order to do this I transported about 400 cupcakes (a very large wedding) un-iced and prepared them at the venue. I cleaned up everything but left the bins of cupcakes so that they could be sat out (aside from the already completed display). I asked the bride who would be responsible for the cupcakes since I was also a guest. I would be 100% willing to do it. The bride informed me that the caterer would do it. When I show up and personally thank the caterer when she has a moment, she has nothing but attitude with me and tells me it's not her job but she would make sure it got stocked. I even offered by saying I would eagerly do it to relieve the stress of her staff since it seemed some miscommunication happened SOMEWHERE. But she insisted she would do it, but openly complained in front of guests THE WHOLE TIME. 

I'm strongly considering a (very nice) phone call today to keep good blood between us. She had excellent food, but honestly should have either just told me to do it, which I offered, or not complained about it in front of the guests, in my opinion. 

Any thoughts? I did my due diligence with what information I had in this matter.

6 replies
-K8memphis Posted 16 Mar 2015 , 3:23pm
post #2 of 7

me, i would let it go

obviously the chick was overwhelmed as is -- and while you did what you could there was miscommunication and she presented herself in a bad light -- you can't fix that -- what would be your goal in calling -- let it go -- 

but for future i would either refill myself no question about it or be sure that extra cakes were on serving trays because handling hundreds of cupcakes on top of catering an event for 400 is quite a lot -- maybe she had staff that didn't show -- maybe she was hedging her bets so she didn't get complained on because it slowed her down her service -- idk

but for a paying client i would never leave that much work to someone else --

i try to make it as user friendly as possible -- just like you did to offer to do it but unfortunately it didn't work out this time

best to you

-K8memphis Posted 16 Mar 2015 , 3:24pm
post #3 of 7

question for you -- when did you ask the bride?

roboray Posted 16 Mar 2015 , 4:21pm
post #4 of 7

I could tell she was stressed. I set the cupcakes up in a manner so that the were in 35 gallon bins, with a mix of flavors, that sat on a small rolling cart. They were small enough for me to hold with one hand to refill but held about 50 cupcakes each (and I'm a small gal). In order for me to refill though I would have to intrude on their whole prep area given the setup, so I didn't want to just barge in -- but I made sure that she knew what I looked like, what my name was and to come to me for anything at all and I made sure to thank her and the staff. The venue set up was so, so interesting aside from all that, and the venue was not helpful either. 

I would like to not gain an enemy out of a misunderstanding. I'm not one for berating people, I just want to make sure I'm on good terms with this women because if I go into this venue again, which is likely, she's one of the preferred caterers.

And I asked the bride to be sure before her menu tasting to ask since some caterers have fees for dessert service, after her menu tasting, and after she submitted her final guest count to be sure. Could be that the bride just referenced it as "cake" without clarifying, who knows.

Thanks for your replies!

-K8memphis Posted 16 Mar 2015 , 5:34pm
post #5 of 7

gotcha --

an idea for you to avoid this going forward is to coordinate with florists, caterers, venues, etc. yourself like you did with the bride --several weeks ahead of time on a monday or tuesday during down time -- 

if you really want to make nice i'd wait a week or two and make her something irresistible and not that it's all your fault  but do a mea culpa for your part in the miscommunication -- brides as you've discovered might not be the most responsible parties to conduct your business for you --

just a thought for you and i wish you the best

roboray Posted 16 Mar 2015 , 7:28pm
post #6 of 7

Thank you so much for the great advice!! 

indydebi Posted 22 Mar 2015 , 10:09pm
post #7 of 7

As a former caterer, let me chime in here.  

Too many times (TOO many times!) brides assume "Oh the caterer does that!"

Tables need set up?  Oh the caterer does that! (No, the maintenance staff at the venue does that.)

Cue the DJ?  Oh the caterer does that! (No the even planner does that.  Had a bride actually ask me this one!)

Glasses for the bar? Oh the caterer brings those (Not when this caterer does not have a liquor license AND you didn't order the bar from me.)

Cutting/handling the cake?  Oh the caterer does that.  

I've met other caterers who have told me "We know NOTHING about cutting wedding cakes.  We don't touch them."  I've scheduled caterings in which I've assigned staff based on the food menu.  My staff who knows how to cut a wedding cake is sent to the wedding where we are handling the cake.  THe wedding that was food only (ordered thru me) was staffed by my folks who didn't handle wedding cakes.

My point is handling cake from an outside source HAS to be communicated to the caterer, and it sounds like the bride just didn't do this properly.  What if you had not been a guest and it was simply a drop-n-run?  You are correct, many caterers charge for the cake service and not because it takes 5 minutes to do it but because there is an actual expense involved.  (extra/skilled labor, perhaps bringing the cake plates, having to pay someone to wash those cake plates, etc.)

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