Cake Central › Cake Forums › Cake Talk › Cake Disasters › Wedding and Groom Cake Disaster...
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Wedding and Groom Cake Disaster...

post #1 of 104
Thread Starter 
Ok, so I've been designing cakes for a few years now and I finally went out and got a shop this month and hired a few people to help me over the weekend since I booked one wedding more than I usually do (3 weddings total). Well, long story short, we were all working on the cakes and I had one of the other people put together the groom's cake which was a baseball cap and a guitar. They messed up on it so we had to throw together the guitar cake and the baseball cap looked good, but apparently wasn't the right color according to the bride. I actually thought the wedding cake looked like the sketch, but I got a call tonight about how the cakes were horrendous and they had spent all this money on their cakes and avoided the flowers/honeymoon just to have the designer cakes, etc..... Apparently, the delivery driver dropped off the cakes and threw the birds on top of the cake, plus it wasn't put together right, an more and more... She was in tears and I could tell that this wasn't going to be pretty. I offered at first half of the price as a refund, which was $400, but she wouldn't take it, stating that she would pay $40.00 for the cost of a sheet cake. I could tell that it was so bad that if I didn't refund everything she was going to go all over town and talk crap or possibly take me to court (I did have a contract with her by the by), so I agreed to refund the cakes for a total of $800.00. The thing is I don't have the money because I have to pay rent and the staff I hired. She told me I shouldn't even pay them because they did such a terrible job. AAAAh, I've NEVER had THIS happen before and I am EXTREMELY embarrassed.... She wants me to send an agreement to pay her $200.00 per month for 4 months and states they didn't even eat the cake because there was no frosting??!! I had put fondant on the cake, so there wasn't as much frosting as usual, but I had explained that... Basically, I feel like the WORST cake designer right now and am so upset with myself and this whole situation.... Any advice would help.. Thanks icon_cry.gif
Kathleen Campbell

www.acakebydesign.com
http://acakebydesign.blogspot.com
(912) 695-CAKE [2253]
Reply
Kathleen Campbell

www.acakebydesign.com
http://acakebydesign.blogspot.com
(912) 695-CAKE [2253]
Reply
post #2 of 104
I have no advice, I'm sorry this happened, but I sure hope you got many many pictures before offering a refund.
post #3 of 104
I agree with kam mom, did she show you pictures before you offered her money back? I always take pictures from a couple different angles once the cake is set up as proof of what it looked like before I left. If you thought the wedding cake looked like your sketch, a picture would prove this. You want her to prove her point to you and I would ask where is the cake since they said they didn't even eat it. If I was that unhappy with the cake at my wedding that I wouldn't even serve it (and I wasn't going on a honeymoon, so that means I would still be in town) you would see me the next day at your door with cake in hand. If you know the caterer or someone at the hall, see what they say really happened with the cake, did they serve it, did she burst into tears when she saw it, etc., or is it just a case of "we overspent, lets try to recoup some of our money". If you know who the photographer was, ask him to show you her proofs of them with the cake, cutting the cake, etc.
post #4 of 104
Thread Starter 
The delivery driver took the WORST picture EVER and you can't even see the cakes??!!! I'm going to ask her for some pictures. I am going to go ahead and refund her ($800.00 HURTS~ouch icon_redface.gif ) but I was also thinking of remaking a smaller version of the cakes so they could at least get some pics of good cakes. Whaddayathink?
Kathleen Campbell

www.acakebydesign.com
http://acakebydesign.blogspot.com
(912) 695-CAKE [2253]
Reply
Kathleen Campbell

www.acakebydesign.com
http://acakebydesign.blogspot.com
(912) 695-CAKE [2253]
Reply
post #5 of 104
Sooo sorry this happened. But I think I agree with some of the other comments....buyers remorse or we spent too much money....how can we get some back? attitude of the bride and groom. I hope you will let us know about the pictures she has as proof.
I noticed you are in Savannah....I am just outside of there! I would love to know where your shop is! Love your website and your company logo is one of the cutest ever!
Hope you get this resolved.
Karen
____________________
Reply
Karen
____________________
Reply
post #6 of 104
I think if you make small cakes for their pics it will be going above and beyond what is necessary. It's a nice thought, but if that happened to me, it wouldn't matter if I had the right cake after my wedding. The only important pictures are from the big day. I'm really sorry this happened to you!
post #7 of 104
Pictures and contracts are such a great thing to have. I did a wedding cake this past weekend. I delivered copies of the brides contract, cutting instructions and a delivery confirmation form signed by the catering manager and the chef. Needless to say the bride and groom had a terrible time with the hall and their maitre'd. The cake was not cut properly so there was not enough to go around. It was a 3 tiered cake to feed 162 total. There were 102 guests and instead of cutting a round cake properly they cut straight across to serve thing long slices. The couple did not take a honeymoon so I had called to see how things worked out. They told me what had happened and that they were taking things up with the hall. I felt bad for them so I made a mini version and delivered it to their house. They sent me a thank you card with a gift certificate for a local restuarant saying I went above and beyond. I showed them all of my documents which they in turn showed to the catering hall to correct the situation.
post #8 of 104
I am so sorry about that. See, I think that next time you should escort all your cakes to the venues. Yes! have help to set up - but, be there on hand. People do not take pride in doing your business the way you want it done. I am said to be a perfectionist. But I think what I am is an "avoidist" - avaoiding anything that may go wrong. I know you may have more cakes to deliver, but set up a system to where you can personally accompany cakes where they are going.
I do not know, but, I assume that when the Bride had a consult that she met with you -- and you know those details that meant a lot to her...... It is a hard/ expensive lesson, but, look at it this way.... at least now you know.
I am really sorry...... really really sorry.
And, yes, before you refund fully .... ask for photos. Your cakes on your website look beautiful to me.
I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me!
Reply
I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me!
Reply
post #9 of 104
What's with the $200/month over four months? Is that to help you, or is that what she wants?

Sorry this happened!!!! If it were me, I'd probably work more hours and hire less people (and the ones you do hire, make sure they are MORE than competent) rather than risk doing something substandard to what you've built your reputation on.

Hope it works out!
post #10 of 104
Thread Starter 
I apologized to the wedding planner at First City Events and Fred at The Mackey House as well because I'm SURE terrible comments were made and Savannah is more of a smaller town and we'll just say that one screw up can really screw you around here if you know what I mean. They were both really kind and basically said they've seen things go wrong and that crap happens.

Ugh, I didn't sleep well at all last night. I am just SO upset about all this, lemme tell ya.

Thanks for all your support... I will NEVER let this happen again, EVER!!!
Kathleen Campbell

www.acakebydesign.com
http://acakebydesign.blogspot.com
(912) 695-CAKE [2253]
Reply
Kathleen Campbell

www.acakebydesign.com
http://acakebydesign.blogspot.com
(912) 695-CAKE [2253]
Reply
post #11 of 104
Well, as a buyer NOT a cake maker, I would never, ever expect a full refund unless someone got sick. You still had to pay for ingredients, rent, time, etc. That doesn't mean that her cake is exempt from those costs. It doesn't seem like you are very proud of this cake...can we see the photo of it at the venue (even if it's not good - I know how great cakes and look bad with poor photos)

TrinaR gave you excellent advice. If you can, go with your cakes. Then you can say "When I set it up..." and "Well the photo I took...." if someone tries to mess with your cake
post #12 of 104
The impression I have of this ordeal is that you have no control of anything. I'm shooting straight here so that you can work on this for next time and avoid all this drama. And I'm very sorry for all the drama too but we can put it to good use.

There was not enough control for your workers & they messed up the cake.

No control on 'delivery driver'. Delivering needs a softer tough than one would think and most owners deliver themselves or carefully train someone they can trust explicity. Calling your set up person delivery driver is an indication of what you got. Someone who drove a vehicle for a 'designer cake'.

Now then the bride is not only dictating your 'punishment' she is telling you how to run your business saying don't pay the employees.

I think that opeining the new shop has you out of your comfort zone and you just need to regroup a bit. Because you have the new $hop, you took on more business but this one wound up biting obviously.

Just try & clear your head and give your staff clearer goals for next time. Advise your staff to ask questions if they are not sure of how to proceed because you have to make all the executive decisions because it is too costly otherwise.

So what happened to the cake? She should be returning it to you. Ask the venue if they served it. If they did then the refund just got cut in half.
one baker's never ever do is the next baker's 'i swear by this'
 
Reply
one baker's never ever do is the next baker's 'i swear by this'
 
Reply
post #13 of 104
Thread Starter 
Well, I have to pay her like this because I just got a shop starting this month and had to pay a deposit + rent (I could not do this out of my home anymore.. ( 2+ years with 4 kids almost destroying cakes was just too much for me) and had to buy commercial equipment, plus I am doing the Bridal Show on March the 1st and had to pay for that so I am low on cash. My husband's pay was cut drastically and trust me, I DON'T want to refund this, but I feel due to my negligence and by leaving this situation in the hands of people that totally sucked, I screwed myself. So, therefore, I will have to live with it.

She did tell me she tried 6 other cake designers, including Minette Rushing www.savannahcustomcakes.com, who is top cake dog around here and a good friend of mine (she did my wedding cake in 2005 and I've taken several awesome classes from her), but decided to go with me because she thought she was getting "Ace of Cakes" quality.

AAAAh, I'lll get over this... I am just so sick to my stomack right now! Sorry.. icon_sad.gif
Kathleen Campbell

www.acakebydesign.com
http://acakebydesign.blogspot.com
(912) 695-CAKE [2253]
Reply
Kathleen Campbell

www.acakebydesign.com
http://acakebydesign.blogspot.com
(912) 695-CAKE [2253]
Reply
post #14 of 104
k8 had a really really good post....I have to agree with her.

I have four kids as well and do this from home...but I bought some extra refrigerators and installed locks...also have a gate on my kitchen doorway....and so I keep everything safe from my kids. I know I personally could never afford a shop....plus, if your customers think they are getting a cake from YOU...you should make sure your staff is just as talented and capable of you...otherwise, the customers really aren't getting a cake from you. If that makes sense.

I would definitely regroup as k8 said....it sounds like maybe you need to step back and redo your business plan? I was told by a pastry chef one time that to do your own shop you will be putting in at least 60+++ hours per week to make it go right. Which is why I will never ever open a shop, because I would rather do my few cakes right and stay home than to worry about more volume and more headaches and more bills.

A shop is cool though...I really hope you make it work and are very successful! Best of luck!
post #15 of 104
how many servings did your cake serve? I ask because I suspect that even at a grocery store it would probably be $200 - who in the world can take a honeymoon on $600?! Maybe they could point me in the direction, I would love to take a vacation, and that's totally in budget.

I would inquire further with the hall and caterer and find out if they served the cake. Here's the thing with the cake, if they served it and put it on plates and put it in front of the guests, she is NOT due a full refund. Whether people finish what is on their plate or not is irrelevant. they may have served a bountiful meal, and then put cake in front of them... I don't know. I just don't think the fondant on the outside is a good enough to reason to not eat the cake, there is still cake inside! Unless she just did not eat the fondant... Call the hall and caterer. Then call her back and say that you spoke with them and that the cake was served and guests ate it, therefore she is NOT due a full refund.
Alison
Reply
Alison
Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cake Disasters
Cake Central › Cake Forums › Cake Talk › Cake Disasters › Wedding and Groom Cake Disaster...