Hi All, I am currently sharing a kitchen space with a caterer who is just starting out. We chat throughout our days and came upon the fact that I have had to turn away a customer because I just can't take on anymore cakes for the week. Now I am just starting my business but have been baking for 7 years. I know I can crank out cupcakes all day long but custom cakes are an entirely different beast!
He just does not get the fact that custom cake decorating is very different from catering a party. The topic came up again today and I explained that until I am turning down 5 cakes solid a week I cannot hire someone?
Do you all have any advice? It's my business, not sure why he thinks he should even be telling me what I can and cannot do!
Any advice or opinion appreciated! Am I wrong to know my limits?
Tell him: "This is my business and I know how to do it. I'm not sure why you think you should be telling me what I can and cannot do." Be strong.
Yeah right? It's that simple, I know. Thanks!!
I can relate. I had someone send me a cake covered in camo fondant and all the works with a budget of $40. I just had to be real with them and tell them that I can't create squat with that budget. Explaining the time it takes to bake a cake is really difficult. I was reading on CC about how someone defined the time it takes to bake very simply.
We say "I have a cake to bake."
They are thinking in their minds, ONE CAKE. One. "Okay, so you get a box of Duncan or Betty, throw it in your mixer and pop it in the oven. VOILA! A cake!"
We all know here, that a cake is NOT that simple. It takes planning, prepping, ingredients, molding, waiting, freezing, decorating...it's SO much more. Not only that, but if you're doing say, a three tiered cake...that's like 4 batches of batter (give or take depending on your recipe)...so in reality, that's like 9 cakes of just BAKING time!
This is personal, but for the first few years of business, I have just been taking all the money I have made off my cakes, and pouring it right back into the business. I don't even pay myself. (Which is okay, because this is HARD work, but it's what I want...no loans or debt!)
Here is a thought though, I asked openly if anyone wanted to work for free just for experience, and I got EIGHT responses! I had to do interviews! haha! Best of luck to you!
Wow, that is crazy!! And pretty awesome that people want to intern with you! I hear you, i don't pay myself and prop will not for some time.
I think knowing our limits is vital to our success. I had a sheet cake and 2 smash cakes to do for a friend and through a mistake of my own 3 cakes turned into 4 and due to my lack of experience I became overwhelmed with 4 cakes all with custom fondant work. I love how one poster put it about one cake and that one cake actually being a ton of work. I'm guilty of thinking how hard can one cake be well now I know one cake can mean days of little to no sleep and more work than seems humanly possible lol. But with experience and practice I'm sure we'll be able to take on more cakes :)
Yes, somehow 1 turns into 5. Somehow it all gets done!!
I'm not sure why it's a problem that he's offering advice. If you feel like educating him about how your business works that's cool, if not then just thank him for the advice and continue running your business.
If he constantly brings it up every time you talk to him to the point where it's bothersome, then don't start or maintain conversations with him.