Stick To The Menu! Rant!

Business By kcampeau Updated 2 Mar 2016 , 10:01pm by LelekBolek

kcampeau Posted 1 Mar 2016 , 7:58pm
post #1 of 19

I am so tired of people being like make this flavor or that flavor and do it this way. I just had someone who I have known a very long time, not friends, just known from school who refound me through my business and wants 3 dozen cupcakes in a flavor I do not offer, make in a way I would never make as its perishable and I only work with buttercreams that can sit out a very long time for weddings etc.

She even had the nerve to send me some googled recipe from allrecipes and just said make it this way, I will pay the extra, just make it this way. It is not that simple! Other peoples recipes do not always turn out and I do not want my name on someone else's recipe. I offered to make the flavor she wanted using and emulsion in my normal buttercream so it will taste like the flavor but no, she wants the look of the seeds (fruit based flavor) running through the icing, she is all about the look.

I just told her I am sorry it is my way or no way, you can try another baker if you like but I do not bake others recipes. I am just so irritated, does this happen to others? I have had 3 people in 2 months try this.

18 replies
Jinkies Posted 1 Mar 2016 , 9:16pm
post #2 of 19

I had a ton of flavors listed on my website and people had a hard time choosing or would come up with something not listed.  I temporarily hid the flavor page from the public so I could re-vamp the flavors and simplify it.  All the orders I've had since then- ask for chocolate or vanilla, haha!  I'm not sure I wanna put the flavor page back up now :)  At the very least, I'm in no hurry to do it.

MimiFix Posted 1 Mar 2016 , 10:43pm
post #3 of 19

I was the pastry chef for a fancy restaurant and made all their wedding cakes. I sent the bride a long list of flavors, she chose five for the tasting, and after much angst she decided on a chocolate liqueur mixed drink flavor I had not heard of. I said it wasn't possible and she needed to pick something soon, from the list.

A couple of weeks before the wedding she told the owner she had the recipe she wanted me to use. He told her fine, that his pastry chef would make whatever she wanted. When he told me, I didn't say anything; I was going to use my chocolate cake recipe and there was not going to be any discussion.

Two weeks later, the afternoon before the wedding, I had just finished her cakes and put them in the cooler. She suddenly trotted into the kitchen and handed me a recipe, torn from a trendy magazine. I just said thank you and set it on the workbench. I have no idea what happened at the wedding but the bride's sister later asked for my recipe.


Apti Posted 1 Mar 2016 , 10:52pm
post #4 of 19

Jinkies~~Interesting about the chocolate and vanilla.  So nobody "requests" other flavors without a list, eh?  Any difference in your business profitability without the "flavor page" info being posted?

Apti Posted 1 Mar 2016 , 10:54pm
post #5 of 19

mimifix ~~ that's hilarious! 

Pastrybaglady Posted 2 Mar 2016 , 7:45am
post #6 of 19

Haha Mimi!  Was the recipe she gave you even chocolate? You are incredibly wise, you avoided a big confrontation and unhappy client by simply doing what you do best and not allowing her to fluster you.

LelekBolek Posted 2 Mar 2016 , 11:26am
post #7 of 19

Kudos to all who can avoid the confrontation, and have the patience to deal with flaky clients. 

How about a request to construct a multi-tiered cake, using recipes for very soft, fluffy cakes + squirted with syrup for extra-moisture (and hell of extra-weight!), different flavor per tier, with mousse-like airy fillings, do each tier tall and multi-layered with more filling than cake, and avoid using those "paper rings between", as they are "annoying to cut through". Oh, and of course, make it for under-cost, because "it is just a cake", and "I can get it cheaper at XXY"

Sometimes I am glad my baking/decorating is not the main source of income for us. :-) When I say "I can't make that..." I get a "Why?!" like from a child, who is too impatient to wait for an explanation. There is probably someone who can make that, and without the cake go all black-hole-like, collapsing on itself. I can't though. In case like that, best I would offer is the top tier be in some custom "fluffy-moussy" flavor, the rest - in something that can support that. With the separators though, "annoying" as they may be...  

Pastrybaglady Posted 2 Mar 2016 , 4:11pm
post #8 of 19

Whoa lelekbolek, that's some insanity right there!  I love the part about how the supports get in the way - cause you just put those in for fun , right?

LelekBolek Posted 2 Mar 2016 , 4:43pm
post #9 of 19

Yeah, I did not take that job. I don't think I have the strength and skin thick enough, to comply with so many demands, and listen to possible grunts. A challenge is a challenge, but absurdity - is just that. And it seems that clients like that WILL find many flaws regardless of how great the cake is. So - go fish.

MimiFix Posted 2 Mar 2016 , 4:48pm
post #10 of 19

Quote by @Pastrybaglady on 8 hours ago

Haha Mimi!  Was the recipe she gave you even chocolate? You are incredibly wise, you avoided a big confrontation and unhappy client by simply doing what you do best and not allowing her to fluster you.

@Pastrybaglady ‍ , I didn't even look at the recipe. There was no point, I knew it would only aggravate me. I despised the magazine she'd torn it from and her cake was already finished. So I smiled about the entire situation, then went home and enjoyed my weekend!

Jinkies Posted 2 Mar 2016 , 7:06pm
post #11 of 19

@Apti ‍ No issues as of yet but, mind you, it's only been a couple of weeks and we're not talking wedding cakes.  I've found that most of my clients couldn't really care less about the flavor of the cake, they just want the look they want, kwim?  I'm sure brides are more concerned with the gourmet flavors.  I do mostly party cakes.

As far as profitability, I don't charge according to flavors. When I figured my pricing, I did it according to my most expensive cakes/fillings.  I have my base price per serving and add on for complexity of design.  

All that to say, I am going to put the page back up in the next week or so.  I'm just streamlining it a bit and re-working a few recipes :)

@MimiFix ‍ Wow, I'm impressed that you did not strangle her!

costumeczar Posted 2 Mar 2016 , 7:10pm
post #12 of 19

I once had a bride whose friend thought she was a cake decorator. The bride kept sending me advice from her friend, telling me that this is how I should do this or that. 

Oh, wait, this reminded me of this woman:

Webake2gether Posted 2 Mar 2016 , 8:03pm
post #13 of 19

 @costumeczar ‍ the longer we are open the more I am dealing with people like that. 

I think there is a close tie with difficult or outrageous customers for me so I'll pick the one that happened first lol.

a guy messaged us about his daughters birthday cake that he needed in 2 days yep that's right 2 days and they want a rainbow layered cake with the rainbow ombré icing  it took over 3 hours of back and forth to even come to that conclusion bc he sent 2 different pictures and had no clue about what he was talking about. I told him we could not do the rainbow cake bc the additional time it takes to make them and we had other orders to accommodate but that we could do the rainbow ombré icing and gave him a price for that . And here comes the best part he then replied "It should be just a matter of mixing in some color and you wouldn't even have to put icing between the layers"  are you even serious lol?!?! there was a bit more back and forth and him simply failing to understand that cakes require work and wore requires money. He finally said "my usual baker wasn't able to take the order this week and she charges half that so I think I'll try it myself bc the colors were important and I figured it was quite simple to dye the layers." I finally replied saying this:

"We are aware of how to do it  it requires baking each layer separately which takes more time and each layer has to be stacked and filled which takes more time our base price for a standard  6" cake with 2 colors of icing is $40 so with the servings you need the additional colors and design the price increaseS and we can accomidat this order for you"

also I didn't mention they wanted the number "10" made out of fondant all for a whopping $40 an 8" rainbow cake with ombré rainbow icing with a fondant 10 in 2 days for $40!!! I think I know why their baker was unavailable that week bc who in their right mind would want to accommodate an order like that for someone like that?!?!? I sooooo wish I could see what they ended up with that's awful I know but man that's the kind of stuff that makes you question why you sell cakes to begin with lol  

costumeczar Posted 2 Mar 2016 , 8:26pm
post #14 of 19


LelekBolek Posted 2 Mar 2016 , 9:07pm
post #15 of 19

Omg laughing so hard at that Nailed It pic!

Pastrybaglady Posted 2 Mar 2016 , 9:17pm
post #16 of 19

I'm laughing between the heaves.

Gotta love that "All YOU have to do is.."

Jinkies Posted 2 Mar 2016 , 9:41pm
post #17 of 19

Nailed it, hahaha!   Love it!

I haven't had any of those issues with clients  (knock on wood).   I did have one lady who, upon reading that I require a 2 week notice to make a cake, said, "it takes 2 weeks to make a cake?"  I just said, "yes... yes it does".   She just said "ok" and placed her order.  

If I want to keep my sanity and not get divorced, I need a two week notice, haha!

One thing I do get, which I think is really funny:  My last name is Hennessy, so I get a lot of calls from people who want a Hennessy Cognac bottle cake.  Good Lord....

Webake2gether Posted 2 Mar 2016 , 9:50pm
post #18 of 19

Oh my goodness @costumeczar ‍ that soooo nailed it!!! I can't stop laughing makes me want to see if that's what they got ;)

maybe one of these days if I'm feeling onry enough I'll show someone a picture like that and say if I do it the way you want this is what your getting haha!!

LelekBolek Posted 2 Mar 2016 , 10:01pm
post #19 of 19

@costumeczar ‍ That story if the Hot Pink and Baby Pink cake was so funny! Unfortunately, people like that are almost cliche, i can even visualize her and her S-Q friend! 

The all-knowing people, as in the rainbiw cake scenario, are true gems, that give us the "There, I fixed it!", "Darvin Awards", "Nailed It", and other priceless contributions to cumulative human experience and intellect.

There are people, who are very indecicive (sp?) In certain matters, but they are then able to say "well, i will trust your expertise", and step away from the project. 

Quote by @%username% on %date%