I recently had a customer ask me to do a Rapunzel cake based on a photo. She told me she did not like the taste of fondant, but she wants the cake to look like the photo (the cake in the photo is all fondant). She is requesting that the majority of the cake be done only in buttercream, but I don't think this will look good or as "finished." I told her I only do fondant (over buttercream,) but she is really insisting. I sort of don't even want to do this cake now...how should I handle this?
"I' sorry. It's just not possible." <repeat as many times as necessary>
Do not engage, do not argue.
"I'm sorry, this is not what I do. Good luck with your event." And as johnson6ofus says, DO NOT ARGUE with her. It is what it is and she has no right to expect you to change your business for her convenience.
On the other hand, modeling chocolate could be used instead of fondant and it tastes way better. But if she's already being a pain, it will only go downhill from here.
Jeez lady - just remove the damned fondant and eat the cake underneath.
Some folks make things way more difficult than they need to be.
Tell her what she wants is really difficult and if she wants you to do it it will cost $xxxx, she'll go away.
One of the best decisions (and most profitable) we ever made as a business was learning to say no to customers. When the customer wants something that is either beyond possible(doing a fondant cake, but only using buttercream) or something just too labor intensive, or simply just something we dont want to do, we say no. There are many other customers who want whats within the realm of what your business offers. Good Luck!
White Flower Cake Shoppe
Thank you!! Jedi, you crack me up. I have followed your advice and said no, I can't do it with buttercream. I told her I'm happy to make it with findant, but I understand if she needs to find another bakery.
Fondant...I swear I can spell ;)
Just because it is on there plate doesn't mean they have to eat it. I get parsley on my plate a lot--- i don't eat it (some do, it is a natural breath freshener--- who knew?) Same with horseradish sauce, or the lemon wedges--- even the fancy grilled one or one in the cute white nets.
Fondant needs to be treated the same way. Eat it if you like it, peel it off before serving, or just push it off to one side of the plate.
Did the customer understand that there IS buttercream under the fondant?
You should have some written policies to refer customers to. Not only policies, but maybe some FAQ on cake terminology and terms. The general public doesn't understand cake decorating lingo and how cake decorating works. You are the expert, you are the baker and cake decorator. You know better than the customer, when it comes to what the end product will look like. Tell the customer that the cake cannot be done in buttercream, that buttercream behaves differently than fondant, and explain the differences between the two. Tell her you won't make the cake unless she's willing to have fondant on the cake. That, or just say no, if you feel like this customer is going to be problematic regardless if you use buttercream or fondant. In my experience, most customers will listen to you if you tell them that something cannot be done in the way they are envisioning. Just be firm and confident when you speak about it.
She can "insist" all she wants, but as the baker/decorater, you don't have to do anything out of your comfort zone. I encounter this same problem a lot, and just tell clients "I'm very sorry, but I am not offering decorated buttercream cakes at this time." If they don't like it, that's fine, they are just not the customer for you.
Just say nooooo
Buttercream transfer might be an option but it is not going to look like the picture she gave you.
Maybe an edible image cake topper of Rapunzel would be better to use. I would think there would be a copyright issue unless you buy an image top for cake. I have seen some really nice ones on the internet.