Make Them Understand

Decorating By SugarBakerz Updated 19 Sep 2007 , 12:48pm by SugarBakerz

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SugarBakerz Posted 17 Sep 2007 , 3:49pm
post #1 of 21

that a slice of cake serving is a slice and not a hunk..... this has happened twice already where people have ordered 2 tiers from me, gotten it and said when they saw it, do you think its going to be big enough.....

I have looked over the charts and use them religiously but how do you make the customer understand that you can't give them the WOW factor of a massive cake when they pay for a 2 tier to feed 35 people????

sorry just frustrated!

20 replies
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jmt1714 Posted 17 Sep 2007 , 4:22pm
post #2 of 21

Are you saying they want the look of a multi tier cake but are only willing to pay for 2 tiers?

do you show them your cutting charts? if they know they want a bigger slice, then they can order more cake at that point.

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step0nmi Posted 17 Sep 2007 , 4:25pm
post #3 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmt1714

Are you saying they want the look of a multi tier cake but are only willing to pay for 2 tiers?

do you show them your cutting charts? if they know they want a bigger slice, then they can order more cake at that point.


I agree. You need to grab that photo of the wedding slices to show them how big their pieces will be. Then, you need to instruct them how to cut the multi layered cakes....that way there is no misunderstanding of why they are not getting enough cake!

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leily Posted 17 Sep 2007 , 5:12pm
post #4 of 21

somewhere in the galleries someone made some "template" of cake slices. they had their husband cut out a block of wood that was 1"x2"x4" and also 2"x2"x2" and a few other sizes, she then painted them to look like cake. This way your customers actually have a visual of how much is in the serving.

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SugarBakerz Posted 17 Sep 2007 , 5:56pm
post #5 of 21

they want the grandiose look of this massive cake, like 14's and 12's but they only order 8' and 6's according to their feeding needs.... and I go over and over with them, are you sure you need to feed this many... .... they just expect it to look BIGGER on their table... it is never that there isn't ENOUGH cake at the end of the party cause there is always leftovers, I get that EVERYTIME... just that I expected it to look bigger.... I don't knot it just frustrates me.

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2060kenneth Posted 17 Sep 2007 , 6:10pm
post #6 of 21

I've had this problem, so now i show them the pans & what the size of the cake will look like with the pan sizes

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Cakery Posted 17 Sep 2007 , 6:13pm
post #7 of 21

I know that can be so frustrating. I have even shown people the size pan and then measured and shown them the size cut....and some just don't get it. They bring in a picture of these big cakes and think that is what they are going to get. Well...I decided to use styrofoam dummy sizes...and I stack them on top of each other....say they want the 10" and 6" for serving what they need.....then they actually see the size. Allot of them then will say they want to go bigger and that also helps them to serve a much larger slice of cake then too. But it's explained what my cost per serving is and most are ok with it. I will have some who will then stick to the size they needed and most say it was helpful to see the dummy cakes to help them understand better. That is also a good idea of having the small block of wood cut out to show a serving size, etc.

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Michele01 Posted 17 Sep 2007 , 6:18pm
post #8 of 21

I had the same thing happen last weekend. I droped off a beach wedding cake, and the mother of the bride didn't say anything, but as I was bringing things in the house, the guys were saying to the mom, "this cake is going to feed 164 people?" I came in and said, did you say 164? Because the bride said the cake only needed to feed 50 max. I made a 10" and 6" on top, both to be served. She said, "no we did a head count last night and counted 64, they were just exagerating. I walked out kind of ticked off that they did a head count the night before, because my cake was only enough for 50. But I can't stand the looks either when you walk in with there cake that's not big enough for them.

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indydebi Posted 17 Sep 2007 , 6:53pm
post #9 of 21

I'm with Cakery on using the dummies to show them the size. I have 7-8 dummy decorated cakes sitting around and I can point to any one of them and say "This is the size of your cake."

Kerri Vincent, at the Las Vegas Bakers Convention, told the story about a bride coming in and wanting a big cake that served 500, but only wanted to pay for the 125 people she was serving. icon_confused.gif

For tiered cakes, I saw the suggestion on here, which I thought was a good one, that a 1x2x4" wedding cake slice is about the size of a peanut butter sandwich (one slice of bread, folded in half). It's a very good illustration.

But remember the bottom line: If they want bigger pieces then THEY NEED TO ORDER MORE CAKE! You do not throw it in just because they've decided to eat like Jethro. Reference my KFC example here!

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wgoat5 Posted 17 Sep 2007 , 7:23pm
post #10 of 21

I actually printed out indydebi's descriptions on how to cut....and show this to my customers so they know exactly how to cut their cakes precisely a lot of people do not really know how to cut cake correctly.

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SugarBakerz Posted 17 Sep 2007 , 10:43pm
post #11 of 21

so how do you explain to them when it is a party cake that is tiered and not a wedding.. same thing... they say well it isn't a wedding so why should I get charged for wedding size charts?

don't you just wanta slap a greedy person?>

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Cakery Posted 17 Sep 2007 , 11:25pm
post #12 of 21

On the stacked birthday cakes....I have a different price. It's still more than my sheet cake prices, but I explain that tiered cakes cost more due to the added work involved in stacking and adding support. I have a sign in my shop that lists my cake prices, and on my fliers....that says any specialty cake or special orders....to ask for pricing. The reason I don't charge the full wedding per slice order on a birthday stacked cake....I normally am not taking and setting it up. So there is no added charge for delivery and set up, etc. But like I said....it's more than my sheet cake prices due to the work involved.

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ceshell Posted 17 Sep 2007 , 11:50pm
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by SugarBakerz

that a slice of cake serving is a slice and not a hunk...




Although the full-sized dummies are a great help for people ordering so they can get a visual on how the cake will look on the cake table, I really do agree that some sort of demo of actual SLICE sizes will really help your customers "get it." When I cut myself a piece of cake to eat at home, or even when I get a slice (by-the-slice) at a bakery/restaurant/etc., it's always a hunk, so if these people are used to getting a slice at a bakery, they can't help but think "slice" means "hunk" because that is what is usually served. Only the clients who have attended a whole bunch of weddings could possibly be expected to know otherwise (until you show them). I remember the first time I attended a wedding and they served the cake...I was like "Um, that's IT?? Are you kidding me?" And then I went back for seconds icon_razz.gif.

By helping them understand a reasonable "wedding" slice size ("because after all of those drinks and dinner, many people rarely eat more than a few forkfuls of cake") then it will hopefully help you guide them into the right cake without them giving you grief. "An X sized cake can be cut into a maximum of 50 wedding-sized servings, if you want your guests to have bigger slices, or enough cake for seconds for half of your guests, you'll need a Y-sized cake which will permit you 50 hunk=sized servings."

I think it's a great way to potentially get them to upsize the cake too! I went to 6 bakeries before selecting our wedding baker and none of them showed me slice sizes. Frankly if I'd known how small the slices were I'd have probably upsized my own cake a bit just so I could have had some leftovers. I love cake!

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Hollyanna70 Posted 18 Sep 2007 , 5:37am
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cakery

I know that can be so frustrating. I have even shown people the size pan and then measured and shown them the size cut....and some just don't get it. They bring in a picture of these big cakes and think that is what they are going to get. Well...I decided to use styrofoam dummy sizes...and I stack them on top of each other....say they want the 10" and 6" for serving what they need.....then they actually see the size. Allot of them then will say they want to go bigger and that also helps them to serve a much larger slice of cake then too. But it's explained what my cost per serving is and most are ok with it. I will have some who will then stick to the size they needed and most say it was helpful to see the dummy cakes to help them understand better. That is also a good idea of having the small block of wood cut out to show a serving size, etc.




I don't have a business, but I hope to some day in the distant future. I was wondering, if you use the dummies like you suggest, would it be better to go ahead and maybe magic marker the charts onto the dummies like a cutting chart? Whether you use the Wilton method of cutting, or Indydebi's (which I think is my favorite), but would that give them a better idea of not only the size of the cake, but also the size of the pieces after they're cut? I know it's difficult for some people to understand exactly how big the size is, just by looking at a chart on a piece of paper.

You could probably also go one further so they don't try to sit there and count the pieces themselves, but write on the side how many slices it is, and how much each slice is depending on decoration, etc.

I hope that made sense.

I also like the pre-cut wooden blocks. I saw that thread too, and I thought that was a very clever idea.

Holly

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SugarFrosted Posted 18 Sep 2007 , 5:49am
post #15 of 21

Here's the wooden block Serving Sizes examples link:
http://www.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=88648

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nefgaby Posted 18 Sep 2007 , 5:55am
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by SugarFrosted

Here's the wooden block Serving Sizes examples link:
http://www.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=gallery&file=displayimage&pid=88648




I had DH make this for me so when people ask for x amount of servings and I ask how big you want your serving to be, I show the little wood blocks, helps them get a better idea on how big or small they want it. I try not to confuse them with the whole "party serving" or "wedding serving", I just show the cute little wooden slices of cake! And as for cutting the cake, I also love indydebi's way! HTH and I do understand your frustration! People... icon_confused.gif

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leily Posted 18 Sep 2007 , 5:58am
post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by SugarBakerz

so how do you explain to them when it is a party cake that is tiered and not a wedding.. same thing... they say well it isn't a wedding so why should I get charged for wedding size charts?




You don't show them the charts. YOU decide what your serving size is (I have priced all of my cakes out with a 1"x2"x4" size, you pick what you are comfortable with) then you tell them, this size will serve this many people with this size of piece. There is no explaining.

They get charged for the cake they are getting, it doesn't matter how many people they serve with it, or what even it is for, they ordered a cake for 50, they pay for a cake for 50 with the icing and filling they choose.

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indydebi Posted 18 Sep 2007 , 12:12pm
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by leily

Quote:
Originally Posted by SugarBakerz

so how do you explain to them when it is a party cake that is tiered and not a wedding.. same thing... they say well it isn't a wedding so why should I get charged for wedding size charts?



You don't show them the charts. YOU decide what your serving size is (I have priced all of my cakes out with a 1"x2"x4" size, you pick what you are comfortable with) then you tell them, this size will serve this many people with this size of piece. There is no explaining.

They get charged for the cake they are getting, it doesn't matter how many people they serve with it, or what even it is for, they ordered a cake for 50, they pay for a cake for 50 with the icing and filling they choose.




ABSOLUTELY!!! I dont' go into any BIG explanation of party size vs. wedding size vs. Jethro size. I BASE MY PRICING on the Wilton chart.

They are welcome to cut it any size they want. If they decide to cut them bigger and need more cake then they need to order more cake. Period. No discussion. No negotiation.

It is what it is.

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Cakery Posted 18 Sep 2007 , 12:20pm
post #19 of 21

That's what makes these forums so helpful.....people sharing great ideas and asking good questions!! After I went to using the styrofoam dummies, I don't usually have any problems explaining the size of how their whole cake is going to look. And I do have a cutting chart marked off in the actual size to cut. This gives them an idea on cutting it. I also have printed out cutting charts to give to the bride with her contract and this way she can then give it to the person who will be serving her cake or sometimes they ask me to just leave it on the cake table when I set the wedding cake up at the reception. Many brides will use a family member in serving their cake and not all people know how to cut a wedding cake. If they tell me certain caterers are going to be doing the serving and food, then I don't usually leave a chart. I work pretty close with some of the caterers here in my town and know they are very capable of serving the wedding cake and cutting it the right size. But the actual little blocks of wood painted to look like the cake slices is a GREAT idea!

And I agree with Indy....I use the Wilton size chart and I just tell folks this is how many servings this sheet cake will get, then it's up to them if they want to cut bigger or smaller pieces.

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Hollyanna70 Posted 19 Sep 2007 , 12:23am
post #20 of 21

Thanks for all the great information, Ladies. It will certainly be helpful. All of you are wonderful!!


Holly

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SugarBakerz Posted 19 Sep 2007 , 12:48pm
post #21 of 21

indy and leily, I agree... one thing about my situation is though I am legal, zoning has required me to be non foot traffic so I am website, phone call and delivery only...... they don't pick up and usually just know my through word of mouth and ads in the paper and town events.. which I don't complain cuz now I am overwhelmed... so having the wood piece wouldn't work for me..... I did post the wilton link on my site and if they so choose to view it then I will allow them that if not, their fault. The girl again emailed me and 6 days after the cake is consumed and decided to tell me that MY CAKE THAT I MADE wasn't made with MMF accents but with regular fondant ones and kids spit the balls on it out... well I think I KNOW what I made it with... so this just tells me she is just trying to find someone to pick at.... enough said.. no need to bark up my tree any longer.... I have her pegged icon_smile.gif Thanks ladies and gents *if applicable* you have all been a HUGE help.... the pup that she so rudely complains of over a week later is now in my photo gallery so poop on her.... with puppy poop I though "fifi" turned out precious.....

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