Hi everyone! How's it going? I'm annoyed and I need somewhere to vent, so I figured I'd whine at the most understanding bunch of people on the internet. Thanks in advance for listening!
So a problem that I've been facing with a few recent orders is that the customers don't listen to me when I tell them how to transport their cake. I don't deliver and that really isn't an option for me unless it's a very elaborate cake that needs stacking on-site.
I tell them you can't put the cake on a tilted seat, it absolutely MUST be on a flat surface, or if they haven't got a flat surface in their car, bring another person along so that they can carry it on their lap. Do not tilt the cake, or it WILL slide or fall over. And drive carefully. But they JUST WON'T LISTEN.
Earlier today a customer sent her driver to pick up a cake from me, and she contacted me later telling me the cake was wonderful and her husband loved it and thanks. Then just as an aside she mentioned that when she received the cake, the letters were all messed up. The cake had slid and pushed and smushed the fondant letters on the board. The cake itself, thankfully, was off-center, but intact.
She didn't seem too bothered by it, and it's clearly her driver's fault, but it's just so annoying to work so hard on something and have it ruined by carelessness. We'd set up the cake in the car so that it was flat but I guess he was driving recklessly and tilted it all over the place.
And just last month I had someone pick up a 3 tiered cake and try to put it on the backseat of their sedan, even though I had told them repeatedly they needed to transport it on a flat surface or it would fall over. But no. They just say ohhhhhhhhhhhh ok ok.
And I found out later that another female had left her cakes tilted on her backseat for hours while she got dressed for her anniversary party and drove there. I could tell in the pictures that the cakes had slid, though she didn't say anything to me.
Thankfully no one has tried to put the blame on me yet, and I won't let them either, but I really don't want this to happen again.
I use buttercream or royal icing to secure the cake circle to the cake board itself, and central dowels for tiered cakes. But I can't defy gravity you know? Is there anything else I can do? Delivering myself is not an option.
Sorry for the huge rant! It's 4 am here,but I'm just so frustrated.
Start using loops of packing tape to attach the cake board to the cake drum, royal icing isn't strong enough to defy gravity. And the best thing you can do is to keep those photos and show them to every customer to detail exactly what will happen if hey don't follow your instructions!
What's that old saying? You can't fix stupid...
That's a great idea- show em the dang photos. This is what'll happen if you don't listen!
Costumeczar, that's a fantastic idea! I'm gonna do just that from now on. Detail my instructions, show them the pictures and scare the living daylights out of them, and repeat the day of pickup.
I'd thought of glueing the cake board to the drum, but it just seemed too poisonous and smelly. So I'm definitely gonna use tape from now on.
Lol jinkies!! You know, sometimes I wonder if I come off as frustrating to other vendors when I'm a customer as my customers seem to me, but I'd like to think I employ a modicum of common sense!
Well anyway, thanks for the advice! Hopefully this won't happen again!
This kind of anxiety can give you a heart attack. Can you hire and train someone to deliver for you? There are also delivery services available. Charge all fees to your customer.
On the flip side, you could think about how your passion is having a negative affect upon your well-being. @costumeczar has a great idea, which may cut down on how often it happens. But I suspect this will continue, even if occasionally.
You can still love your cakes while letting them walk out the door without a chaperon. When I'm in a situation that drives me crazy but I have no control, I do what I can and then poke fun at the craziness. Maybe think about saying a prayer to whichever angel oversees cake protection.
Thanks for the thoughtful response @MimiFix ! I definitely do care too much, and could do with loosening up a bit. I'm going to try showing the pictures to customers, and if I don't see a decrease in this issue, then I'll either look into delivering myself or just learning to let go.
Hiring someone right now wouldn't make financial sense, as my business is only a few months old. And my customer base is so stingy that they haggle with me over every single buck, so I don't see them paying delivery charges!
And trust me, my whole family is never as pious as on the days a cake is due lol! Although most of them are praying to be spared my wrath 8P
If there is any way you can work out a delivery system-go for it. It takes so much stress off. I deliver all my cakes and I find it so much easier. I don't worry about it being transported properly and I'm not sitting around waiting for someone to show up for pickup. I agree on a date/time for delivery at the time of order and that's it.
I also do my best to arrange delivery to the person paying for it so I know they've seen and love the cake before I leave. I don't wanna deal with that whole- friend picked up the cake and now there's issues with it. We read stories like that all the time on here. It's usually because said friend had their beautiful cake flying all over the car on the trip home.
And, Mimi's right, if you can't deliver, you gotta find a way to let it go. You did your job well and you can't control what happens when it leaves you.
My family stays away from me and my kitchen when I'm working on a cake order too, haha! I'm getting better though :)
Hmmmm.... you guys have got me seriously considering delivering myself now. It would absolutely take away all the stress, plus waiting around for pickup is just unbearable!!
I'm going to start looking into delivery services beacause it seems more financially feasible just at first. Or deliver myself.
And then hopefully as my business grows, I can hire and train someone.
Is there any special equipment or modifications to my car that I would need? Other than air conditioning in the summers and non-slip shelf liner?
Thank you so much guys!! I posted here just looking for a place to vent, but I'm leaving with constructive advice and great new ideas. You guys are just fantastic!!! Thank you!!!!
Good luck to you! I'm so glad we could help. CakeCentral is here for us to post our own questions and to help others by responding to theirs.