Originally Posted by costumeczar
As far as people not calling until the last minute goes, you do need to stand your ground on that. But I hear you with the "I want it and I want it now" mentality that's taken over. With everything so accessible online, to-go and fast these days, the brides who are in their 20's have been raised when they can get everything right away, and they don't like to be told they have to wait. I don't think it has anything to do with the time of year, it's just that these young'uns have different expectations than older people do. (and I include myself in the "older" category at the ripe old age of 48.)
And for the tastings, what I've started doing is giving people the option of a free open house appointment, where they can come and get samples between certain times, and only have one other person with them. So this weekend I'm doing from 2-4 on saturday for 6 people, and from 1-3 on sunday for 7 people. That's less time it will take for me, and I'll give them the option of having the samples at the office or sending them home with them. I got some little solo lidded containers to put the samples in.
Then I have paid individual appointments, which are $20 each and last half an hour. I've had three people schedule those already, so I guess it's not as off-putting as I thought it would be. There are a bunch of other people in this area who have started charging for appointments, though, so I think that people are starting to expect that.
I'll report back after tomorrow afternoon when I do the open house for the first time to see how it went. I'm hoping that they don't all show up at the same time, but if they do that will save me from having to go over the spiel multiple times, too.
Yep, that is the big fat wall I am running into. "I want it now, but I shouldn't have to actually work at it." And some bakeries can oblige. I cannot nor will I.
For the past year I have been doing a tasting evening open house type thing at a local hotel. Free of charge, a buttload of flavors, come and go as you please, I am there to answer questions and book. If they can't make it, they could do a paid private tasting. Again, I want to make sure there is a free option.
1. People love the free cake.
2.People don't love the "it's not JUST about me" thing. They come and they eat, and then they try and set up a "private tasting" for later. Um, no this IS your tasting. They want BOTH.
The booking rate at these events was about 30-50%. GREAT feedback, just no commitments. My conclusion was that although people like the option of free, they don't feel they are getting the personal attention they want. The "experience" wasn't quite right. And since baby is on the way and I will now have 2 kiddos and no hubby at night and the booking rate was way too low to justify the effort, I went back to the one-on-one format exclusively. The booking rate since Jan 1 is back up to 100%. (not a good segment of time, but I've had a LOT of tastings in the past few weeks!)
I know I could make a tasting event work with scheduled individual appointments over one day, etc. But with a new baby it just wasn't worth it.
And now I'm back to "I'll talk to my fiancee and get back to you...."