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they weren't happy with the cake, so now what?  

post #1 of 56
Thread Starter 
I'm sorry for the long post. I did a wedding cake Friday night. I was not 100% happy with it, but it was ok considering I haven't done many. The tiers were 6", 8", 10" and 12" plus a 2-layer 11X15 cake. The 8" was a dummy, the first I've done. Each tier was 3 2-inch layers. I received this email from the mother this morning. I am about in tears because all I want is for people to be happy and I never thought the cake would crack. Do you think my response is sufficient? What do I do now?


Dear Stephanie,
I need to arrange to get your cake board and supports back to you.
I have to share that we were very dissappointed with the cake appearance. It was delicious, moist and tasty though. It was not done on time, was crooked, and it cracked before the bride and groom got to cut it. Why was it being frosted and decorated on site? I'm not sure what all happened; I heard something about an accident from Laura's wedding day organizer.
I am sorry I did not take the time to talk with you; I was busy, and upset that the cake was not finished, but should have offered for you and the children to go inside . They could have watched TV while you worked.
Overall, the wedding went fine and in the big scheme of things, the cake is minor. However, you want everything to go as planned and be perfect on your wedding day.

Dear Mrs. T,

I'm so sorry that you were not happy with the cake. It really upsets me because all I want is for people to be happy. It was not finished before guests arrived as I had hoped because there had been an accident near the Dover bridge on the Preston side. I was stuck in traffic for 25 minutes. By the time I got by the accident site, all I saw was a pole on the ground, 1 Choptank Electric truck, and a state policeman's car.

As for the cake cracking, I am not sure why that happened. Could you tell me where the crack was?

I decorate all of my wedding cakes on site. Had I not been late because of the accident, this wouldn't have been an issue. The last thing I wanted is for people to show up while I was still decorating the cake because I know that it takes away from the mood of the day. I know that everyone watches the cake decorating shows on TV and sees them deliver the cakes fully assembled. I am in awe of them, also and wish I could do the same. It is safer for me to deliver, assemble and decorate at the site.

Once again I am so sorry that you were unhappy with the cake.
Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission.
-Eleanor Roosevelt-
Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission.
-Eleanor Roosevelt-
post #2 of 56
Thread Starter 
I'm sorry I couldn't attach a photo of the cake with the post. It is under my pics titled "scrollwork wedding cake". It was 165 servings and I only charged her $250.

(I hope this works.)
http://cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=1714801
Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission.
-Eleanor Roosevelt-
Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission.
-Eleanor Roosevelt-
post #3 of 56
How much decorating did you do on site?
Do you have a picture of the cake so we can see what exactly "crooked" means?
How did you dowel the cake? When you did dowel it (on site, at home)?

I'm so sorry this happened. icon_sad.gif
post #4 of 56
Live and learn! Things did not go as planned this time, but next time they will! Leave way earlier next time so you will have more than enough time to finish your cake. Was this a bc or fondant covered cake?
post #5 of 56
Thread Starter 
The sheet cake was completed. I assembled, did the scrollwork and the "ribbon" on site. I was afraid when assembling I would mess it up and knew it wouldn't take a long time. I doweled the cake at home with the plastic adjustable dowels. the top tier was slightly crooked, and the ceremony was about to start, so I didn't have time to adjust it.
Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission.
-Eleanor Roosevelt-
Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission.
-Eleanor Roosevelt-
post #6 of 56
Not sure about the crack...maybe the outdoors had something to do with it?

IMO the scroll work should have been completed before you left to deliver. There's no reason that part of the decorating could not have been done and then all you would have had to do is stack and add ribbon.

Look into SPS for the future!!

I think your response was fine. You apologized, explained the situation.

I'm a little confused about the kids watching TV part though. Did you bring your kids with you to the delivery? Maybe MOB thought you were distracted by that and couldn't give your full attention to the cake. If you are doing this professionally (and if you are selling cakes then you are a professional) then you really should arrange for a babysitter. I don't feel it's appropriate to bring kids along to deliver a wedding cake.
Tact is telling someone where to go so nicely they can't wait to take the trip!
Tact is telling someone where to go so nicely they can't wait to take the trip!
post #7 of 56
I am sorry to hear that they weren't happy. However I can too see that the cake is crooked. Also it looked like the middle two tiers were almost the same size which makes the proportions look odd to me. I almost never assemble on site and never decorate on site.
post #8 of 56
I don't think there is any reason why you would not decorate the cakes at home. I can understand why they are upset and I would be also. Just to have someone there decorating a cake while the wedding is ready to get started and being late on top of it. I know it is not your fault due to the accident, however, if you had decorated and stacked 2 tiers together and then stacking the other 2 tiers together you would have only had to assemble at the site. You can transport each set of tiers in a box and put them on the shelf liner in your vehicle and this prevents them from sliding. Of course you should take a few tools and icing for any repairs and covering of where the tiers go together. Sorry this happened to you but, I think it could have been prevented, at least the majority of the complaint could have been.
evelyn

Cake brings out the inner child in you.
 

Cake brings out the inner child in you.
 

post #9 of 56
Okay now that I have read some more posts and looked at the picture more closely, I think you owe them a refund of some kind. The cakes were crooked and that's really not an "acceptable" flaw, especially for a wedding cake.

Learn from your mistakes and move on to the next cake.
Tact is telling someone where to go so nicely they can't wait to take the trip!
Tact is telling someone where to go so nicely they can't wait to take the trip!
post #10 of 56
Thread Starter 
What is SPS? I did a search on here and nothing came up.
Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission.
-Eleanor Roosevelt-
Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission.
-Eleanor Roosevelt-
post #11 of 56
Thread Starter 
How much would be an acceptable refund? I am in tears over this.
Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission.
-Eleanor Roosevelt-
Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission.
-Eleanor Roosevelt-
post #12 of 56
First of all I'm not understanding why you "decorate on site" icon_confused.gificon_surprised.gif This isn't very professional in my opinion. I've actually never heard of anyone doing that. Something as important as a wedding cake should be decorated several hours BEFORE it's due so that if any problems arise there is time to make necessary adjustments. It is also very unprofessional to bring children along for cake deliveries. Never heard of that either.

You may want to make some changes in the way you're conducting business so that you don't have things like this to happen and believe me they will happen. I am curious as to why you decorate "on site"? This would not be acceptable for most of the venues that we cater to. Has this not been an issue for you any other time?

Your scroll work is really good BTW.
everyday is a good day, some are just better than others.
everyday is a good day, some are just better than others.
post #13 of 56
I think I would offer a 10% refund or $25.00. Before I offered the money back though I would see if they would like the $25.00 off on the next cake they want to purchase. That would be better than actually giving money back and either way they know you are willing to work with them to remedy the situation. I also would not offer any excuses as to why you were late or about the accident, they just don't care. Tell them you are sorry they had problems with the cake and let it go at that. At least by offering the money off for a future cake it will get them to return to you and then you can show them what your cakes really do look like. Good luck!!!
evelyn

Cake brings out the inner child in you.
 

Cake brings out the inner child in you.
 

post #14 of 56
Thread Starter 
I haven't done very many wedding cakes. I didn't charge her alot because of that. I am not a big city decorator. The cakes I have done have been for back yard weddings and receptions at fire halls. As for my children, they were in the car with the A/C on watching a movie. They were never out of the car and I was able to see them from where I was working. Ok, I should have maybe done the scrollwork before leaving, but I am always so worried of something happening to the cake on my way there. (I don't do fondant, just BC.)
Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission.
-Eleanor Roosevelt-
Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission.
-Eleanor Roosevelt-
post #15 of 56
I'm sorry that this happened to you, I know how hard it is when you are first getting started, so let me offer some advice if I may. Find a couple of good, reliable babysitters. It's not okay to bring your kids on a delivery with you, it's unprofessional and it distracts you from what you really need to be focusing on, which is the cake. Also, unless you are adding fresh flowers at a venue from the the florist, your cake should be done before you arrive. If your cake is stacked soundly, delivery really shouldn't be a problem. Nobody wants to see their cake being decorated, it ruins the illusion and it makes you look bad. I use wood dowels in my cakes, and have even driven a cake as far as Tuscon (8 hours) stacked. So I know it can be done. Finally...give yourself a break and give your customer a refund. You're just getting started and these things happen. We've all been there...and that's what makes this site so invaluable...the wealth of knowledge here is incredible.If it were me, I would refund your customer the cost of the labor. They enjoyed the taste of the cake and should have to compensate you for the ingredients. I've found that a refund accompanied by a sincere apology is the best way to salvage a bad situation, and it may just make a return client for you. Good luck!
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